summer days

By July 31, 2015 Life

Cheers

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Summer has certainly been a little bit nutty, as evidenced here by the radio silence on my blog. But it’s all for good reasons. While I’ve certainly thought a lot about posting and getting back to blogging the past couple months…life, work, fun, enjoying summer weather, and spontaneous summer adventures have taken far bigger priority over spending more time in front of a computer screen.

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June was full of good things – a work trip to Miami, a couple (really successful – see below!) fishing trips to Ft. Myers, a crazy work road trip through Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky, lots of biking, weekend visits to the lake, camping with friends, a gorgeous wedding, a concert, and catching all the sunshine possible.

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The fun carried on into July with spending the 4th at the lake, a cool work event at another fun lake, beginning my training for my next marathon (I’m running the NYC marathon on 11/1!), another lovely wedding, practicing and perfecting my wake surfing skills, a work + play trip to New York City, biking through the Iowa countryside with tens of thousands of happy people during RAGBRAI, and enjoying a couple weeks at home before more work travel.

Between all of this – it doesn’t leave a whole lot of free time, but I’ve been able to squeeze in some date nights, some yoga, girlfriend time, and a little down time. Here’s to adding a little more blog time to that list, while enjoying the rest of these sunshine-filled summer days.

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long sleeved dress

By July 2, 2015 Style

MarieHell6 {gifted marie hell dress, miansai necklace, coach sunglasses, lulu frost earrings (similar), banana republic heels, cause & effect clutch}

Summers are always a busy wedding season, but this year I have more than ever. (8 to be exact, throughout all of 2015!) While I love any excuse to get dressed up and eat cake, finding the right thing to wear to summer weddings can be a tricky thing. For a friends recent (elopement!) celebration in Minneapolis I knew it would be a warm evening spent outside, but it would turn chilly fast. I needed something that kept me both cool and warm and that could travel well for the short road trip north.

I’ve always loved a good long sleeved dress but to find a simple, classic, unadorned one can be hard to find. This Marie Hell dress is perfectly fitted with a slight stretch, and the fabric has a good thickness to it so it doesn’t lose it’s shape or show anything underneath! This has been a go-to dress since it arrived at my door – it’s such a perfect basic I can dress it up or down, add a jacket over it, and accessorize it with anything.

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Photography by Justin Meyer

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smoothie staples

By June 30, 2015 Life

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With traveling as much as I do lately, one thing I love and look forward to with my limited time at home is cooking in my own kitchen. Going out for dinner on date night is always fun, going out for every single meal for 2 weeks straight – not so much. So when I’m home, I like to make yummy + healthy food, and smoothies are something I look forward to making almost daily.

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I’ve found that by keeping a handful of pantry and freezer staples on hand it’s easy to whip one up without needing constant trips to the grocery store. A few things that help – buy bananas in bulk and immediately peel, chop, and freeze. (Have you ever tried peeling a frozen banana? Almost impossible.) I also buy fresh spinach but as soon as I realize I won’t use the whole container before the ‘best by’ date, I throw the whole thing in the freezer. Throwing a handful of fresh or frozen spinach doesn’t change the taste of a smoothie and it’s nice to sneak in some veggies. I also like to use coconut or almond milk but in a pinch water + ice works just fine too.

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As for pantry staples – I always keep a jar of coconut oil and almond butter on hand. And something I’ve learned from visiting so many cool juice and smoothie shops around during my travels – throwing a few toppings on top of your smoothie can make it feel more like a whole meal, so I hit up the bulk bins at Whole Foods and load up on a bunch of healthy goodies like raw nuts, goji berries, chia seeds, coconut, hemp protein, dates, and oats. A little bit of fruit, granola, and almond butter on top too can turn a boring smoothie into a really tasty breakfast. This article talks more about why these ingredients are so great and gives a few extra ideas of smoothie staples.

I don’t really have a go-to smoothie recipe and typically just throw things in depending on what I currently have in my kitchen. A smoothie game changer for me was investing in a Vitamix awhile back. The thing pulverizes anything you put into it and makes everything blend together smooth and easy. It’s a pricey thing at first, but when you think about how much smoothies cost when you order them out, it’s actually over time a pretty smart purchase. I’d love to know your favorite smoothie concoctions – and I’ll work on putting together a few of my favorite recipes!

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whish beauty

By June 15, 2015 Beauty, Travel

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During my trip to Arizona a few weeks ago, the sweet team at Whish invited me to stop by for a visit. I got a full tour of their office and production area, and learned about how they make the Whish products. While I was already a huge fan of Whish products before the visit, I’m now a fan girl for life after getting a glimpse of it all behind the scenes. The company is so picky about what goes into their products, and everyone that works there is so passionate about their job. (Including Cookie, the owners sweet pup who roams around the office all day!)

The Whish products I’m using daily right now include this almond body wash, this body oil for all over moisturizing post-shower, and this gel on my legs. I also use this shave cream and this sugar scrub a few times a week. I can’t get enough of how good everything smells, and how they all really seem to make my skin feel and look more glowy. Thanks again to the Whish team for the behind the scenes tour, and turning me into a lifelong fan!

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