Dear Summer Part 3

Since today marks the unofficial start to summer, I put together a to-do list with fun little indulgences to help savor the warmest months of the year. I hope it inspires you to create your own list.

1. Go to a drive-in movie theater (I’ve never been)
2. Pick strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
3. Build sand castles
4. Go on an adventure
5. Run a 5k
6. Take a sunset beach walk
7. Visit three lighthouses I’ve never been to before. 
8. Take sewing classes (I want to make breezy dresses)
9. Spend a day like a tourist around lower northern Michigan
10. Make a gallery wall of pictures in the hallway
11. Go to the zoo

What are you looking forward to doing this summer?

List: 2013 | 2012

Review: The Southern Pup

I love discovering shops on Etsy, and one of my new favorites is The Southern Pup. The shop offers handcrafted canine couture such as bow tie collars, leashes, monogrammed collars and more. Patterns include seersucker (Jack is rocking this one), madras and gingham featuring plenty of southern charm for your dapper dog.
Connect with The Southern Pup on your favorite social media platform
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Twiced Baked Potato Salad

Lately my weekends have been filled with plenty of cookouts including one fabulous barbeque this past Friday on the beach. I was asked to bring potato salad, and instead of my go-to recipe I tried to recreate my favorite loaded baked potato salad from Spring House in Washington, PA.  The result was everything I had hoped for.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad
8 medium redskin potatoes
1 cup sour cream
½ cup Miracle Whip (you can use mayo, I just knew they didn’t)
9 (or more) pieces of bacon cooked and crumbled into larger pieces
2-4 green onions, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
salt & pepper to taste

1. Wash and cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces, leave the peel on.
2. Cover with water and boil until tender. Keep a close eye and check after 10 minutes. You don’t want them to get mushy. About 15-20 minutes.
3. Drain and rinse with cold water.
4. Make sure potatoes are semi dry and place in the refrigerator.
5. Mix the Miracle Whip and sour cream together.
6. Mix the Miracle Whip and sour cream mixture in with the potatoes, green onions, ¾ of the bacon and 1 cup of cheese.
7. Salt and pepper to taste (I just added pepper).
8. Top with the remaining cheese and bacon.
9. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Five Fun Ways To Get Fit

Exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, but there is nothing I dispise more than going to the gym and running on the treadmill – hello boring!. Luckily, unconventional workouts like Pound and rock climbing are taking over and allow you to leave the treadmill behind. Here are five of my favorite ways to workout without setting foot in a traditional gym.
Meet Me at the Barre. A combination of Pilates, yoga and ballet moves resulting in beautiful, sculpted and lean muscles.

Pound. This full-body cardio workout uses lightly weighted “drumsticks” called Ripstix, and fuses Pilates, plyometrics and isometric movements with constant simulated drumming to torch up to 900 calories in 45 minutes.
Fun runs with friends. Races like The Color Run and Neon night runs are a great workout, and a ton of fun.

Zumba and other dance aerobic classes. I have zero rhythm at all, but after taking a Zumba Step class with a friend I’m hooked. Plus burning 700 calories helped.
Go on a Hike. Explore the local terrain; you never know what you might discover.

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Sunday nights in college always included going to the on campus theater, and watching a movie. Once a month a friend would bring these sinfully delicious peanut butter bars that she would make in her dorm room. Last weekend I received a box of the bars and the recipe. They literally take five minutes to make so I knew I had to share the recipe with you.

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars
½ cup butter; melted
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (grind them in a food processor or use the box kind)
1 cup powdered sugar
½ cup (heaping) peanut butter

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1. In a medium bowl, mix together butter, graham cracker, powdered sugar and the ½ cup of peanut butter until blended well.
2. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 8x8 pan.
3. Melt the chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons peanut butter double boiler method or in the microwave, remember to stir occasionally until smooth.
4. Spread over the peanut butter layer.
5. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

Puma Studio Look

  The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of PUMA.

Studio fitness classes have been my go-to workout since college. With my favorite (currently any way) being Body Sculpt, think Tracey Anderson meets HIIT. This coral ombré look from Puma is studio workout perfection, featuring an ombré feminine top, with matching skintight crops and a bright pair of kicks.
Shoe: the Formlite XT Ulta is a new and improved model both sleeker and lighter than before. A couple of the studio classes I attend involve a lot of burpees and the flexibly (you can bend them in half) of these shoes really helps with a full range of motion. They’re made with a breathable mesh and a cushioned lightweight EVA. Puma’s design really allows you to focus on getting the most out of your workout, while the outsole cutouts of the shoe create flex grooves, which reduce weight and maximize performance (fab shoe choice for Zumba).

Tank: The Graphic All Eyes On Me Tank features ombré coloring, a cutout back and a curved silhouette giving it a chic feminine look. When I am twisting, jumping, squatting and burpeeing I like the freedom of movement which the LYCRA® SPORT yarns supplies. The tank also comes with an inner bra, since I have a larger bust the bra isn’t enough for me so I double up with a sports bra (usually what I have to do anyway).
Pants: To match the ombré tank, the Gym Graphic ¾ Tight includes a matching stripe down the side of each leg. This is my first experience wearing tights. Since I have a little bit of junk in my truck (and I am only 4’11”) I prefer longer flared pants that do not draw attention to my booty or cut me to make me look shorter. However these skintight tights hugged me in all the right places and kept me cool. I sweat A LOT during my workouts so the addition of the “Drycell” material is fabulous for keeping you dry throughout your workout. 

Let's Shop: Collar Me Charming

I think guys that wear bow ties look perfectly preppy so you know Jack has to have a few in his collar rotation. One of his newest ones comes from Collar Me Charming. Collar Me Charming offers some adorable collars for your favorite puppy, and you can even order matching leashes! Jack's sporting their Breezy bow tie collar and he gets so many compliments! I highly recommend Collar Me Charming if you're in need of some trendy new accessories for your dog. The bow ties are extremely cute and the craftsmanship is impeccable.

Zoya Summer 2014: Tickled Swatches

Zoya has released two collections for spring, Tickled (creams) and Bubbly (glitter). Below you'll find the swatches for Tickled - minus Rocha as I broke the bobble...whoops! On a side note I think these colors would look a lot better against tanned skin.

Ling is a vibrant robins egg blue.
Rooney is a magenta, purple toned down combination.
 Wendy is the perfect coral.
Kitridge is a stunning neon barbie pink. I actually wish more colors in the collection were like this one.
Tilda is a flashy lime green.

Review: Mattie & Margot Dog Collar

{clearly someone did not want his picture taken}
Have you heard of Mattie & Margot before? The company is out of California and they produce over 200 styles of dog collars and leashes. The selection will literally blow your mind! Their products feature aluminum side release buckle, die-cast metal hardware, heavy-duty nylon webbing and grosgrain ribbon.  The collars come in standard and mini sizes. Jack received a sage mini collar perfect for spring, not to mention it looks so cute contrasted against his fur!

One thing I love about Mattie & Margot is their recycling program. They understand that the hardware will most likely outlast the last pup fashion trends. So when you’re ready for a new look, mail your dog’s old collar back and they’ll turn it into a key fob for YOU – seriously how cool is that! Plus you’ll get a new collar for your dog  using your old hardware, but with a 40% discount.

Jack highly recommends you keep your furbaby stylish year round with a Mattie & Margot collar. He’s currently eying a lime one for spring.