Fit Girl Gift Guide 2017

Next on the gift guide list is a guide for what to get your favorite fitness enthusiast.  With the wide range of fun products that fit any budget, you’re bound to find something the buy your fit girl this holiday season.  

 

Fitness Subscription Box

Subscription boxes are everywhere lately, from boxes for date nights to candy and chocolate, whatever your genre, there’s a box for that.  Fitness is no different.  If you want to try new supplements and treats that are for health enthusiasts, you could gift Bulu Box.  Not only is it a less expensive subscription ($10/month, but as low as $8/month with 6 or 12 month subscriptions), but there are also 2 boxes to choose from: an original or weight loss focused box. 

Alternatively, there are also a ton of food-related subscriptions out there.  One that feels particularly healthy is Daily Harvest.  Originally, Daily Harvest was just premade soups and smoothies, but they’ve expanded to include overnight oats, chia parfaits, and even sundaes.  They send frozen superfoods, preportioned, straight to your door, and all you do is keep them frozen until you’re ready to use them.  I’ve tried several of the smoothies, and they were delicious.  I know I’d love to see a Daily Harvest gift under my tree this season!  You can gift a box of goodies or just buy a gift card and let your recipient choose their own.  Use this link and get 3 of your first 6 cups for free!  That’s a reason to gift a little to yourself too 🙂  Read more

Cozy Home Gift Guide 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, my friends, and that means it’s time for us to forget that Thanksgiving is even a holiday and skip ahead to Christmas shopping.  This year I’m actually trying to get a few gift guides on the blog, and here’s my first one.

As a housewife, blogger, and certified homebody, I spend 90% of my time at home, so I feel that I have the expertise to create a gift guide perfect for the woman (or man) that spends a lot of time in her cozy little part of the world.  I love having things around that make my home feel warm and cozy, and I think this list covers several different bases and price points.  Let’s jump right in.

Interchangeable Letter Board 

This is a less expensive gift on the list, but it’s a great addition to the home, especially for the blogger or Instagram addict in your life.  If I had one, you had better believe it would make a regular appearance in photos.  It’s a great place to put your favorite inspirational quote or Bible verse, or even a little note to your husband.  They come in a bunch of colors and you can find letters for them in all kinds of places.   Read more

31 Thoughts on Being 31

Happy Birthday to me!  Today I’m 31 years old, and quite frankly it feels no different from any other day or year.  As a blogger, I feel like there should be some post about my birthday, so I decided to do 31 thoughts on 31.  I actually meant to do a 30 on 30 last year but didn’t get around to it, so here we are.  31 thoughts, facts about me, and statements on life, the past year, and being 31 years old.

31 Thoughts On Being 31

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That Time When Eating Got Easier

I wasn’t entirely sure how to title this, but I wanted to sit down and write about it anyway.  While this isn’t a weight loss tips, tricks, or advice post, it still involves my weight loss journey in a very major way. I just have no way to explain or classify it.

Eating magically got easier 

The past few weeks I have experienced this weird phenomenon where my appetite has seemed to disappear. Out of nowhere, I have noticed that I’m no longer craving sweet things (I will sing a loud Hallelujah to that!), and in general, I don’t really have the desire to eat much anymore.  Before any of you panic, don’t worry. I am most definitely not starving myself.  I’m making sure I eat enough and supplementing plenty with protein bars, but I legitimately don’t have the desire to run to the pantry or fridge and hunt down something to eat.

Okay, let me modify that a little bit. I do in fact give in to the urge to go to the pantry and fridge and browse for something to eat, but after looking around for 15 seconds, I see nothing that jumps out at me as something I want, so I close the door and walk away empty handed.  That’s the significant detail here.  Nothing is sparking my interest enough to motivate me to make a poor choice. 

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November 2017 Goals

Well, it’s November.  NOVEMBER!  I can’t even handle it.  The start of the holiday season, my birthday month, and this year, the start of a whole lot of travel for Erik and I.  Life is going to get a little crazy, so in order to reach a few of this month’s goals, I’m going to have to work myself pretty hard, but since I have lofty goals, that’s totally okay!  Here are my goals for this month. 

Health and Fitness

Get into a new weight “decade”: I don’t actually know what you call it when you enter the next 10 lbs on the scale, but we on Instagram have been calling it a decade, so we’re going to go with that.  In a perfect world, I would be in the 150s by the time Erik and I leave for our holiday travels, which is in the middle of the month.  That’s a 1.5lb loss each of my next 3 weigh-ins. Since we don’t live in a perfect world, my hope is that I can wrangle enough self-control while I’m in Florida (which is always difficult for me) to stay mostly on track and hopefully end the month in a new weight decade. Bonus points to me if I can pull it off before we go, but I’m not holding my breath.

400,000 Steps:  It sounds like a crazy number, but this past month I ended up with 406k without even aiming for a large step goal.  This goal is just to ensure that I stay moving and active, even with all of the challenges the second half of the month with bring.  Read more

Current Book Wishlist | Fall 2017 |Brianna’s Bookshelf

I would love to say that I’m a reader and love books just as much as one of my favorite Disney princesses, the lovely and intelligent Belle, but alas, it’s still not so.  I’m a work in progress, and while I’m going to have to do quite a bit of reading to reach my goal of 25 books read by the end of 2017, I’m up for the challenge. 

One of the ways to get me to read is to put a book in front of me that I simply can’t put down.  I’ve never been a regular reader, but I also grew up in the generation that had to wait for the next Harry Potter book to be released, and you had better believe that I pretty much blocked off my calendar the moment I got my hands on the latest J. K. Rowling masterpiece and plowed through that sucker as quickly as I could. In hindsight, I probably should have paced myself a bit better so I had a longer timeframe to enjoy the magic that comes from reading Harry Potter for the first time, but I couldn’t help it.  The same thing happened to me as I was reading the Hunger Games series. I couldn’t put them down.

Becuase I have this desire to fall so deeply into a book that I would much rather read than turn on the TV, I always keep a wishlist of books that I think will do just that.  Lately, there have been a handful of books that have popped up on my radar that I’m dying to get my hands on, and I’m pretty positive they’ll be books I can’t wait to sit down and enjoy.  Here’s what’s on my current wishlist.

Voice Lessons: A Sisters Story by Cara Mentzel

Don’t let the spelling of the last name fool you. Cara Mentzel is indeed Idina Menzel’s younger sister.  Everyone who knows me personally is fully aware of the Idina Menzel obsession I had when I became crazy obsessed with Wicked.  You all know her as the voice of Elsa from Frozen. While I adored her talent and voice, I couldn’t decide if I ever wanted to meet her because I felt like she comes across as a bit of a witch, if you know what I mean.  I had no idea this book was coming until I saw an amazing interview on the Broadway.com Youtube channel with both of the sisters on it.  Watching Idina and Cara talk about this book together actually made me feel a lot better about who Idina is as a person.  Call me crazy, but that kind of stuff is super important to me when I look at what celebrities to admire and look up to.  Anyway, the book!  This book is Cara’s story about essentially growing up in Idina’s shadow.  I am dying for a look into the home of the Men(t)zel sisters, and the book is supposedly full of great insight and amazing photos.  I can’t wait to get my hands on this and devour it cover to cover. 

Eat, Lift, Thrive by Sohee Lee

This book is written by a trainer I follow on Instagram.  She’s this crazy fit woman who is stronger than I will ever be. Her Instagram feed is full of amazing information for people looking to get leaner, healthier, and improve their overall fitness.  While I am a Weight Watcher through and through, this doesn’t mean that I am closed minded to other ideas of how to achieve weight loss and optimal fitness. I have seen so many amazing comments and reviews on Eat, Lift, Thrive, that I know it will be worth a read, even if there is not a single mention of Weight Watchers or a Smart Point in sight. Sohee discusses her Living Lean guidelines to help your diet work around you live (and not vice versa), how to overcome challenges, and her favorite strength training moves to help you reach your goals. I feel like this guide will be a perfect addition to my collection.

How A Body Should Be? by Bethany Maloche

This book is one I have to have for a completely different reason than the others.  Bethany has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, just like I do, and this book is her coming of age story about living with CMT.  As a young woman who has done the same thing as Bethany (grown up with CMT and managed to navigate life with it), I would love to hear someone else’s perspective on life with CMT.  I can’t tell you anything more about the story since I haven’t read it yet, but I’m willing to bet it is worth every penny and so much more.  If you want to know more about life with CMT, you should pick it up too. 

That’s it for my book wishlist this fall.  Would you be interested in an ongoing series involving books I’m wanting to read or reviews on books I have read?  Let me know!  Do you have any suggestions for books I should be reading?

 

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5 Weight Watchers Smart Points Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats

Pumpkin Spice!  Pumpkin Spice is EVERYWHERE!

Pumpkin spice season is here, and with it comes a ton of grocery store finds and pumpkin recipes popping up everywhere.  This year I have been so intrigued by the overnight oats train that everyone seems to be a part of, I wanted to combine the two and come up with some pumpkin oats that are Weight Watchers friendly.  

After exploring some basic overnight oats recipes to understand things like the oats to liquid ratio and the general idea of how to build an overnight oats recipe, I finally came up with one that I love, and have made many times this year already.  It has several ingredients for flavor: cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, stevia, and even sugar-free maple syrup (game changer). While it seems a tad elaborate, the flavor this mixture brings promises to start your brisk fall morning with a filling breakfast that screams “it’s fall! Hooray!!”

A few things to note:

  • I tend to make this in batches, so I’ll fill 4 or 5 Mason Jars at a time.  Even if they are sitting in the refrigerator for a few days, they still taste great.  It just lets the flavors blend even more
  • There’s no rule that says you have to eat them heated up. It’s just how I prefer to consume my oats.
  • I use cinnamon crunch Quest protein powder, but you can use other flavors like vanilla or salted caramel.
  • You can also use other brands of protein powder if you wish, but changing the brand might change the Smart Points value of your oats.  Adjust your tracking accordingly.   

That’s it!  I hope you enjoy my recipe 🙂 

5 SP Pumpkin Spice Protein Overnight Oats
Serves 1
Overnight oats are a great way to get your mornings started off on the right track by making your breakfast ahead of time. These Pumpkin Spice oats are filled with protein to keep you full, and are only 5 Weight Watchers Smart Points.
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 C Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (0 sp)
  2. 1/2 C Old Fashioned Oats (4 sp)
  3. 1/2 C Canned Pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling) (0 sp)
  4. 1 Scoop Quest Protein Powder (I use Cinnamon Crunch, but I imagine vanilla or salted caramel would work well too)(1 sp)
  5. 1 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (0 sp)
  6. 1 Tsp Cinnamon (0 sp)
  7. 1 0 Calorie Sweetener Packet (I use Stevia)(0 sp)
  8. 1 Tbsp Sugar Free Maple Syrup (0 sp) *This makes it a bit creamier and oh so good*
  9. Vanilla to taste (0 sp)
  10. A Mason Jar (or some other container to store it in)
Instructions
  1. Mix everything together and put in container (It's really that easy)
  2. Let container sit in refrigerator overnight (Note: I actually make several jars at once, so some sit for a few days. It's totally fine.
  3. Remove lid and microwave oats until they reach your desired temperature, stirring occasionally (I typically microwave for a minute a time, stirring after each one. 3 minutes usually does the trick)
  4. Sit down with your cup of coffee or tea and enjoy a protein packed breakfast that brings fall to your table.
Notes
  1. Tip: While it really is as simple as mixing everything together, I have found it easiest to mix things outside the jar (in a bowl), starting with the almond milk and pumpkin first and adding the oats last. This makes sure the protein powder and spices are mixed thoroughly and evenly throughout.
Diva and the Divine http://divaandthedivine.com/

September 2017 Favorites

It’s hard to believe that September has come and gone already!  I actually sent an email out to my family telling them they need to start thinking about (and sending me) their Christmas lists.  Christmas!!  It’s crazy how fast this year is flying by.  

September was a busy month, as most months for the rest of 2017 promise to be.  While I was spending a lot of time running around like a mad woman, I did have enough time to discover and fall in love with some new products.  This month we’ve got some beauty stuff right alongside a few food and health related items.  Every single product is something I’ve been using and loving constantly throughout the month, and I feel the need to share so you can enjoy them too!

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A Mammogram Changed Sam’s Life

As you probably already know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  The entire month is seen with an extra dose of pink as companies release special Breast Cancer Awareness products to help raise money and awareness for this disease.  

While I don’t have any personal experience with breast cancer (although both of my grandmothers died of other cancers), I do know people whose lives have been affected by those scary words.  Cancer is a word that can strike fear into anybody.  No one is exempt.  While there are things you can do to help your chances, at the end of the day, there’s no guarantee that you won’t be cancer’s next victim. A little dark for my blog? Yeah, but I’m real with you guys, you know that. 

My brand is all about lifestyle and health, and I want to stress the importance of doing all you can to be your best and healthiest self.  Part of that is going to all of your regular medical check-ups to make sure everything is okay. No one likes getting blood drawn or the all too personal exam you get every time you go see your gyno, but they are essential steps in ensuring your optimum health. What if something is wrong that you don’t see?  Catching it early is the best way to ensure you will be able to recover and continue living your best life. 

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Be The Change

Guys, I can’t handle the news anymore.  I mean, I haven’t been able to handle it well anyway, since it’s always filled with bad news.  Why can’t the news report be full of fun, exciting things that are happening in this world?  Instead, it’s filled with drama, murders, trials, and terrorism.  It doesn’t exactly make me want to turn my TV on to tune in with my morning cup of coffee.

Of course, with social media always at our sides, it’s all too easy to get the bad news report right from your phone before you even get out of bed in the morning.  That’s what happened to me yesterday, Monday.  I hopped on Facebook to do a little bit of scrolling before getting out of bed to start my day and that’s when I found out about Las Vegas.  

My heart sank.  It sinks lower and lower with every instance of terrorism that happens in our country and around the world.  Why is it that the idea of living in a world where there is peace, kindness, and acceptance seems like this dream.  A world where we can feel safe going out at night, walking alone after dark, or attending a joyful and fun country music concert.  Am I crazy for thinking such a place should exist??

Friends, this world needs a lot more love and a lot more kindness, and it is up to us to see to it that the world gets what it needs.  I beg you, do something nice for someone; today and each and every day.  It doesn’t have to be anything huge. It doesn’t even have to be all that noticeable. Read more