Lifestyle

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

I count my first Mother’s Day to be the one when I was pregnant with my first son. I was already working very hard every single day to make sure I was eating the right foods and being as healthy as possible for my growing baby. My second Mother’s Day Myles was 9 months old and my third Mother’s Day I had only been home one day since delivering Noah! My Mother’s Days have been eventful and busy and has become one of my favorite holidays. I have a new appreciation for parents since having my own children and a gift, small or large, is well deserved.
mothers day gift guide1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

When I do my gift guides I try to be practical and I think really hard what the majority of the moms in my life would like and hopefully everyone can find a little bit of gift inspiration here. You can’t go wrong with personalized jewelry, I love this necklace that you can choose your children’s birthstone and it comes with a little leaf with their initial. I just ordered one for my mom and sister, I was going to order one for myself when I realized my sons birthstones are ruby and emerald, that’s red and green, which is just too Christmas-y for me. I have had my eye on this “Mama” necklace (and this belt) for a few months (and I recently found this “mama” necklace for more than half the price! Both necklaces would go great with these darling little studs.

Mother’s are busy and it is hard time for self-care but if you get them some beauty things as a gift they will have to find the time to relax. We chase are kids around also and need shoes that are chic and comfortable. I have these sneakers and they are just as cute with joggers, leggins and denim shorts. I saw this fun printer that I know every mom would love, you can print 4×6 photos right from you phone! The last thing I want to mention are these leggings. I just ordered my first pair by this brand, Strut-This, and I love them. At first I thought they would run too small but they fit like a glove and really hold your waist in! What mom doesn’t want that!?

Happy Mother’s Day to all you amazing women who care and love for the children in your lives!

Live votre rêve!

Fitness

6 Best Fitness Pieces To Get You Ready For Outdoor Runs

athleta running clothes  Happy Monday! I spend last week in Columbus with two days in the negatives and a couple days after that in 5 inches of snow. Needless to say it was a full on winter week where we stayed bundled up and had a little sledding fun. We have a much deserved warm couple days happening right now and I have never been so ready to take an outdoor run. Spring is at the end of the tunnel which means outdoor runs will be back in full swing. I’ve rounded up a few things to get you ready for your outdoor runs.
fitness blogger athleta running clothes
athleta running clothes mike conley wifeathleta running clothes fitness blogger1 // Cropped Leggings
Time to let your legs breath. I have never been comfortable running in shorts because they tend to ride up and cause my thighs to chaf. Cropped leggings are the perfect pant for your outdoor runs.

2 // Sports Bra
Any female knows the importance of a supportive sports bra. I have sports bras for yoga and barre workouts and different bras for running and HIIT workouts. For running you need bras to be extra supportive to keep the girls in place. Some things to keep in mind while bra shopping is support, breathability, comfort, fit and style.

3 // Knit Running Shoes
If you plan on running long distances I recommend getting fitted for the best shoe for your foot. Prior to training for my first half marathon I was fitted in these shoes which I love, I wear them anytime I plan on running more than 3 miles.

4 // Layering Top
Layers are a great way to regulate your body temperature. Post run sweat plus cloud coverage and a light breeze can bring on the chills. Keep a light weight jacket or top around your waist for when you need to throw on a layer.

5 // Sweat-Proof Sunscreen
Not any sunscreen will work during outdoor exercise. Make sure you get a sweat-proof option to keep your skin protected from start to finish. Don’t forget to add a little SPF on your lips!

6 // Running Hat
When the sun is blaring down the only thing to make it easier on your run is adding a hat or visor. This will keep you from squinting and will help protect your face from the sun. If only we could find some woods to run in on sunny days.

outdoor running outfit
athleta running clothes
Shop my look below:

Beauty

Strawberry Spinach Beauty Smoothie

starberry spinach beauty smoothie

What you put on your skin is important and what you put inside your body is even more important. Unfortunately, I am really bad about being consistent with both of these things but I am trying to get better. I have had most of these ingredients in my pantry in the past and I hate to admit I’ve never finished a bag of any of them, except chia seeds which I didn’t add to this recipe but you easily could. Now that I am in my 30’s I know I need to nourish my body and I have become better at being consistent with a beauty routine and a healthy routine, especially in the mornings which is the perfect time to drink my strawberry spinach beauty smoothie.

I love having smoothies packed with nutrients, they are easy to make and great for my body. A short three years ago my smoothie recipes didn’t contain protein powder to my smoothies let alone maca powder and collagen. Some supplements and vitamins can taste bad but when you add other yummy ingredients you can’t tell. The taste of maca powder can be a bit much so stick to the serving size of 1 teaspoon, cacao nibs aren’t the best when you eat them but when blended in a smoothie adds just enough sweetness and hint of chocolate, collagen has no taste and I think we all know what protein powder taste like. I also like to add spinach to just about every smoothie I make because it doesn’t have much of a taste and is packed with many vitamins.
Ingredients
1 cup spinach
1/4 cup strawberries
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tsp maca powder
1 tbsp cacao nibs
1 scoop of collagen powder
1  handful of ice
unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Here is a little bit of info about why I add some of these ingredients to my beauty smoothies:

protein powder – Helps sustain energy throughout the day. I love to snack but adding protein fills me up just enough to help me make it to my next meal.

maca powder – Maca is a root vegetable that has an earthy flavor and I do not recommend adding too much. It is packed with iron and vitamin C and supports daily energy.

cacao nibs – Somewhat of an unprocessed form of chocolate. It is filled with antioxidants, helps boost energy, prevents premature aging, burns fat and is high in fiber.

collagen powder – Collagen has anti-aging benefits for your skin, hair, nails, joints, and it promotes a healthy immune system. My husband takes it and I always thought it was for his joints and tendons only. Once I learned the benefits I started adding his collagen to my smoothies but now I have my own!

I hope you enjoy this strawberry spinach beauty smoothie!

Live votre rêve!

Fitness

CycleBar x Bluff City Lights

Not only did it feel good to hang out with my girls of Bluff City Lights but it felt great to get an amazing workout in at CycleBar in Germantown! I had done one spinning class a few years ago and other than that riding indoors was very foreign to me. I love my Trek bike and cycling through country roads and pretty bike paths. I’m not much of an indoor cardio person so I was hesitant that I would enjoy this class. I will tell you it was not what I expected!
I was warmly greeted by a few energetic cycle instructors, shown where the lockers and shoes are and I even got a complimentary water bottle that you will definitely need at every class. CycleBar is an extremely enthusiastic cardio class. The music is loud, the teacher is moving all about while instructing, class goers are randomly shouting out with excitement and the lights brighten and dim. They say every class is a party and it truly felt like a party, a healthy party! 
A first workout class for anyone is confusing no matter what the workout is since you haven’t quite learned the lingo or technique. This experience was no different. They showed me the bike and how to adjust it, they actually fitted me. I was 36 weeks pregnant at the time, my belly was quite large and my knees kept hitting it so we moved the seat here and the handlebars there and everything worked out just right. On each bike you can see how fast you are pedaling and what your resistance is. Those two numbers are very important and the 2 different numbers the instructor shouts out is in reference to those numbers on your bike. You always want to be within the range the instructor gives. I always went to the lower range because I didn’t want to put myself into labor!
Something that was really exciting was this weighted bar we worked with. I saw the bar on my bike but the class was going on and on and I thought maybe the bar was for a different type of class. I was wrong and we got to use it! It is a light weight bar but so efficient! My shoulders were burning so bad from lifting it. That bar put the icing on the cake. The class is an incredible cardio class, I felt like a burned a million calories, your core is engaged the whole time, you sit and stand and your thighs are on fire, then you add this bar to get an upper body workout in. What’s not to love?
 The class is an incredible cardio class, I felt like a burned a million calories, your core is engaged the whole time, you sit and stand and your thighs are on fire, then you add this bar to get an upper body workout in. What’s not to love?
Thank you CycleBar Germantown for having us!

 

The Breakdown:
I love all the crop styles that my BCL girls are rocking, can you imagine if I tried to do that right now?! LOL. Wearing cute and matching workout gear will always help give you that boost to get to the gym and when I’m getting my picture taken that gives me all the more reason to match. I had recently ordered a few things from Nike and I went with all blush colored items so that they would all match! You do sweat a lot in this class so wearing a crop top would absolutely feel freeing! Maybe I’ll give that a try in a few months!
top | Nike ’Tailwind Running Tank
tights | Nike ‘Epic Lux Running Tights’ in particle rose/thunder blue
shoes | Nike ‘Free TR 7’ (on sale here)
jacket | Nike ’Tech Fleece Destroyer Jacket’ in atmosphere gray

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Live votre rêve!

 

Fitness

Training For My First Half Marathon

Completing a half marathon has been on my bucket list for quite a few years, at some point in my life I wanted to complete my first half marathon. I never have had a desire to run a full marathon because running for over 20 miles just sounds absurd to me. I also never have had a desire to do any sort of race because waking up early, trying to find parking, and finding my way through large crowds of people just isn’t my cup of tea. Then I had a baby and I really thought I missed my window to run a race. I assumed I’d have to wait till I was done having kids to physically become strong enough to run 13.1 miles.
Last spring I attended a St. Jude Blogger Ambassador meeting and we got to talking about and fitness and the St. Jude Marathon. Shortly after this meeting, I was invited to participate in the St. Jude race, running a distance of my choice as part of the St. Jude Marathon Bloggers team! This was just what I needed to push myself to run my first half marathon. I could have taken the easy route and done the 5K or 10K but I knew if I committed to running the half marathon on a St. Jude team I wouldn’t back down!
I have been following the Hal Higdon Half Marathon Training Guide – Novice 1, which is a 12-week program that has you running 3 days a week. Over the summer I did a lot of strength training but not much running. During my strength workouts some days I did high-intensity interval training so I was getting my heart rate up and getting my cardio in. That is not the same as running! Before my 12-week training began I did a few 3 mile runs once or twice a week to get my body used to running again. I was shocked that I wasn’t sore the days following my runs. In the past, my legs would always be sore after a run so I know I have my strength training to thank for that.
 I have registered as the Half Marathon Gold which means I committed to raising $2,500.00 for St. Jude and I would love your help! You can click below to donate.
 Rio joined me for my first few runs but he is actually a terrible running partner. I feel bad because he is so sad when I make him stay home but he stops all the time to smell and to do his business. On the small runs, I could take him off his leash but too many people are scared of him for me to do that all the time. I have been training with Myles 2-3 times a week so I’m doing my run while pushing the jogging stroller. Saturdays are my long runs but it is getting harder and harder to push Myles as my distance increases. I may need to hire a sitter on Saturday mornings so I don’t have to push Myles 7+ miles!
The Breakdown:
I took these photos last week prior to getting fitted for my race sneakers. The shoes I’m wearing here aren’t ideal for running long distances because they don’t have a lot of support. I now have my race shoes and I ran in them for my first time yesterday and they felt great! When it was really hot I wore shorts and a tank but before the run was over I took my tank off. Now the weather has cooled off I’m wearing pants, long sleeves, gloves, and ear warmers!
I would love any advice you runners have to offer to help me prepare for the big day!!! Do I need to change my diet? What about what to wear on race day? I heard when people take off their layers they throw them to the side and those items get donated. So is it best not to wear your favorite jacket?
Don’t forget to DONATE!
bra | Carbon38 ‘Ace Bra’  (black version)
pants | Carbon38 ‘Hero Legging’  (black version)
shoes | Nike ‘Lunarepic Low Flyknit 2

Live votre rêve!

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Fitness

Bluff City Lights x Pure Barre + A Giveaway

When I found out Bluff City Lights was teaming up with Pure Barre I was so excited. I can go on and on about how much I love going to Pure Barre, I cannot believe I have been doing it for almost 7 years! Although I am a regular, this workout is NEVER easy! Make sure to check out the other Bluff City Lights blogs, Megan, Collins and Alex to read about their experience!

My favorite part about class is elongating the muscles we just worked. Also known as stretching. But it really is elongating them and that is one thing I love so much about Pure Barre is that you get long and lean muscle tone throughout your body.

In the above picture we were doing the pretzel move, it is such a good one. I will 100% be sore after this move. 
Below we are working on our abs. It took me a long time to be able to focus the attention on my core and not use my hip flexors. Do any of you still struggle with focusing on specific muscles during class?
Since I love Pure Barre so much, as do the girls of Bluff City Lights, we decided to let one of our readers give it a try… for FREE! Enter our giveaway below for a chance to win 1 month unlimited!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for the class Lindsey! By the way, Lindsey just started her own health, fitness and fashion blog and it is so good! Make sure you check her out, Pretty Active Life.
The Breakdown:
When I was looking at these pictures I started to laugh a little becuase all my workout thoughts started going through me head as if I was taking class again. See below for some of my most popular thoughts. I have encouraged so many of my friends to try Pure Barre and a few go regularly now! I am huge advocate for Pure Barre, it truly is a great workout and I love what it does for my body. I took class throughout my whole pregnancy, up to 37 weeks! At that point I wasn’t able to be very productive in class. Comment below if you want me to do a pregnancy post on Pure Barre. 
I enjoy putting my workout outfits together just as much as I enjoy putting together any other outfit. Athleisure is so poplar now and there are a number of different styles and trends. How many of you pick a cute athleisure outfit to go to the grocery store or lunch when you have no intention of working out, I know I do! I have black pants to bright solids and crazy prints, some cut off at my ankle and some I pull down over my heel. 
Lately, I have been wearing loose tops with my leggings because I still have a little extra/squishy skin since having a baby and my pants cut into me more than they used to and tight tanks show it off and it isn’t flattering. Pure Barre carries so many different brands, there is definitely something for everyone. I feel like it used to be Lululemon and Splits59 and now there is Alo, Beyond Yoga, Vimmia, which is a new brand that I had never heard of, and of course the Pure Barre brand as well as others. 
Class photos:
top | Alo
bra | Splits 59
pants | Lululemon “Wunder Under” 
socks | from Shopbop
Pure Barre has so many great new spring pieces in. I did a little browsing and decided to show you my top outfit. All of this can be purchased at the Germantown location. 
top | Beyond Yoga “Inner Lightweight Tank
bra | Beyond Yoga “Converging Straps Bra
pants | Vimmia  “Karma Leggings
socks | Pure Barre

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Pure Barre Thoughts after I hear the instructor…
– “Stack your arms and begin to lift your knees” – Here we go, I hope this is a good class, my thighs are kind of burning and I’m only 10 seconds into class. Oh shoot, they said 2 to the right, 2 to the left.  Ok, now I’m back on track. 
-“We are here for 90 seconds” – This version of plank is so hard. I really want to come down to my knees. No, don’t do it. 30 more seconds to go, mind over matter. I did it!
-“High up on your tippy toes and glue your heels back together” – Oh, I like this one. They want me to go lower. I’m not shaking but my thighs are burning soooo much. Ok, I’m going to get my belly button below the bar. Can’t do that, belly button at bar height I can do. 
-“Back to center and reach your left leg out in front”- I love stretching! Can we please hold this pose a little longer. 
– “Time for seat work” – I love seat work, much easier than thigh sprints. 
– “Come down on all fours and bring your left leg to the side like a fire hydrant” – There is no way anyone can hold this pose perfectly the whole time. I’m supposed to be working my left out seat muscle but my right hip is burning so bad. I hate when I rest my leg. Last 10 seconds will be my best!

I could go on and on with all of my thoughts and as you can see there is some positive and negative. Some days are better than others. I assume it has to do with how well I’ve ate or if I’m already sore from a previous workout. Please let me know if you have had tried Pure Barre or if you have any questions about it!
Live votre rêve!

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Fitness

Memphis Health + Fitness Make || What Makeup I Used

I love going to Sephora and looking at all the beautiful products and packaging. Plus, I always learn some tricks from the make up artists. I don’t wear much make up but I always enjoy applying it. It feels nice to get make up applied professionally but sometimes I don’t feel like myself when its all finished.
I did my own make up for my Memphis Health + Fitness cover shoot and wanted to share what products I used.
Face
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – I start by applying this primer to a freshly washed face. I like to use a primer when I know I’ll be getting my picture taken because it helps mattify and control oil.
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD – This foundation is very natural looking and I love how my skin photographs when I have it on. I apply it with a sponge for a flawless look. When I use a brush I sometime see streaks and need to spend some extra time blending.
Korres Concealer Correcteur – I am very sad I can no longer go to Sephora to pick up this concealer. I used the medium-03 for under my eyes.
Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Micorfinish Powder – This is the very last product I apply. Well, second to last. My lips are the very last thing I do. This finishing powder is another product to help reduce shine and mattify the skin. I have this pressed version also, the loose powder can make such a mess so I take the pressed powder when I travel.
Face continued
BareMinerals Brighten, Contour and Highlight – This was a 500 point perk from Sephora, I usually save up my points for something really intereting that I want to try. This starter kit from BareMinerals was perfect for me to try because I had actually never used BareMinerals products. I am a fan of light contouring and highlighting and I was really happy with how these loose powders turned out.
Eyes
Urban Decay Naked – This original Naked palette is amazing. I am able to do a natural eye, a smokey eye and everything in between.
Tweezerman ProCurl Eyelash Curler – I curled my lashes before I apply masacara.
Benefit They’re Real! – This mascara does wonders, it really does lengthen and add volume.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo – I prefer powders over creams when filling in my eyebrows. I use the lighter shade for the beginning of my brows and the darker shade for the ends. This powder duo is in Taupe.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush #12 – I am obsessed with brushing my eyebrows, even if I don’t fill them in they must be brushed. I do it every morning, photos or not.
Lip
Glō-Minerals Gloss – This gloss is in Nude. My go to lip is definitely a nude and natural color. This gloss has a great sheen and texture without being too sticky.

I hope you enjoyed and thanks for checking out my site!
Live votre rêve!

 

 

Fitness

Memphis Fitness and Health

i cannot believe i am on the cover of Memphis Health + Fitness! when the publisher of the magazine reached out to me about being a part of the August Fit Issue i did a double-take, actually a quadruple-take. i was contacted after posting this image on Instagram. i figured i would be one of ten people inside the magazine. little did i know, i would also grace the cover. it came to my realization when i was halfway through the shoot. i asked the editor if this was for the cover and she said “yes”!
the photo shoot took place at my friend Lindsey’s house. she is an amazing photographer (check out her site here) who i love working with and makes me feel very comfortable. here are a few more pictures from day of shooting i wanted to share with you all.
 
 below is the rest of the pages of the magazine. you can also read the article here or pick up a magazine locations across the Mid-South.
happy reading!
live votre rêve