Archives for October 2013

Pile on the Miles

Hi friends!

I’m writing a quick post to make sure you ALL know about a fun health challenge Monica is hosting for the month of November.

pile on the miles

Below (verbatim from her blog) is what the challenge entails – the idea is to make sure you stay active, challenge yourself and have fun with fitness heading into the holiday season!

Since I’m still not cleared to run more than a few miles at once for the time being (dang iron levels…), I have set my goal at 100 miles for the month! Between walking approximately 3 miles to and from work or the Metra each day – incentive for me to NOT take the L when I’m downtown! – and fitting in a few runs each weekend, I think I will be able to meet my 100 mile goal!

I always struggle to stay focused on my health heading into Thanksgiving and I hope this keeps me, at the minimum, accountable to all of the leftover Halloween candy I will be shoving down my trap ;)

Hot Chocolate 15/5K - America's Sweetest Race

I’ll be starting the challenge off with the Hot Chocolate 15k this Sunday (let’s ignore the iron levels for a minute… oops!) and can’t wait to start saving $4.50/day by walking instead of training it to my downtown office (hello more Starbucks holiday drinks!).

I hope you’ll all join me and participate in this great challenge!

PILE ON THE MILES CHALLENGE

What: FREE Online challenge to walk or run more during turkey month.

Who: Everyone is invited to join. Everywhere around the world!

When: November 1 – Nov 30.

Where: Virtual! Sign up on this form and go to RunEatRepeat.com each week to stay accountable and be entered in a drawing for prizes.

Why: To challenge yourself and encourage others to move more this month. This is about setting a goal and staying accountable with check-ins. It is not a competition for the most miles any longer – it’s about YOUR GOALS.

The Rules:

1. Sign up by completing this form.

There will be a place for your name, email, goal and blog address (optional). You must put in a name and email. If you have a blog please add it so we can create the most epic blogroll ever!

2. Set a goal at the beginning of the challenge to WALK or RUN x amount of miles or minutes in November. These could be miles or a set time on the treadmill OR outside/inside walking or running or cycling… Do your favorite exercise!

3.  Leave a comment on RER Nov 1,10, 17 and 24th with your Mileage/Minutes Goal for that week. All comments on those posts will be entered into a giveaway. It does not matter if you hit your goal each week but you must check-in and be accountable to be entered to win.

Do you have any health focuses for yourself during the holiday season?

October 2013 Foodie Pen Pals

BOO! Happy Halloween!

How are you celebrating the holiday? Since Kyle and I celebrated with friends this past weekend, I’m just planning on dousing myself in sugar and calling it day ;)

Today I am happy to be participating in Foodie Pen Pals via Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean. It has been MONTHS since I last participated so I jumped at the chance to join in on the fun for the month of October.

In case you’re not familiar with Foodie Pen Pals…

FPP

On the 5th of every month, you will receive your pen pal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your pen pal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions. The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

Foodie Pen Pals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your pen pal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

This month I was paired up with Monica. Monica is currently stationed in Japan teaching children on a U.S. military base. Once I found out where she lived and learned more about her career, I immediately gained an immense amount of respect for her and couldn’t wait to send her a box full of goodies. Plus, she requested all things peanut butter and chocolate so – let’s be honest – she had my heart from the beginning ;)

I know we’re not supposed to talk about what we sent but since Monica doesn’t have a blog, here is a quick photo of all of the goodies she received from me – are you jealous?! Look at all the peanut butter and chocolate-y goodness! {Accept my apologies Amanda, you’re probably on the verge of feeling your peanut allergies from just looking at this photo!}

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And cue the hunger and cravings for all things sugar.

Great. Remind me why I posted this photo again?

At least it’s Halloween so I have an excuse to overeat indulge in chocolate and peanut butter :)

Anyways, I digress…

Monica was very generous and sent me TONS of goodies from Japan!

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Those “veggie” chips are dangerous. I may have eaten the entire bag between two sittings. If I ever head to Japan you better bet I’ll be stocking up on those!

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Check out ALL of the flavors of Kit Kat’s Japan makes.

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Honestly though, the item I was most excited about was this jar of PB2. The blog world has been raving about it so it has been on my radar for a few months. I tried it plain (mixed with water per package instructions) and it was just okay, it did have the taste of peanut butter but lacked the texture – I like real peanut butter much better (obviously…) Then I tried it in a smoothie and holy amazingness! It adds the flavor of peanut butter, blends very well and doesn’t get chunky or stick to the sides like normal nut butters. SO, smoothies it is for my newly acquired jar of PB2!

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I have yet to try some of the goodies – gummy candies, green tea and canned coffee – they’re being saved for a special occasion also known as, my cupboards are empty and I don’t want to make a trip to the grocery store ;)

Have you participated in FPP? What’s you take on PB2? Have you ever been to Japan?

The Mind is a Powerful Thing

Since tomorrow is the Foodie Penpals link-up, y’all are getting my weekly guest post a day early! Today I have for you Lindsay from Lindsay Weighs In. Lindsay is a sweetheart and always has the nicest things to say. She has some great words of inspiration in her guest post (and more on her blog!) so make sure you head on over and say hi after you read her wisdom here :)

Hello you beautiful Olives ‘N Wine readers!

My name is Lindsay, and I blog over at Lindsay Weighs In. I’m so happy to be over here guest posting today!

I hate olives, and only drink white wine occasionally, but for some reason Becky has allowed me the honor to be over here today despite that. I probably just lost my privileges by admitting those two things. If you never see this post, that’s why ;-) (Editor’s note – It’s okay Lindsay, I still love you… but if you ever come to Chicago, be prepared to be introduced to more wines, hehe!)

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On my little space on the internet, I attempt to be funny, though I’m usually the only one laughing at my own jokes in real life, so I’m sure it’s no different here on the internet.

When I’m not trying to be funny, I also talk about my weight loss journey, as I’m currently trying to lose 70 pounds. I also signed up for my first half marathon this Spring, after never running further than a 5K. Crazytown, USA – population: Me, right?

Not necessarily.

Our minds are powerful. From what I’ve heard from people that have done marathons and halfs or any other kind of distance events, so much of it is mental. That’s applicable to so many different aspects of our life as well.

I’m not the biggest fan of myself, I’m ashamed to say. I wish I had more self-confidence, but the truth is I really don’t. I talk often on my blog about my issues with being kind to myself. I look in the mirror, and I don’t necessarily always like what I see. I got myself here, 70 pounds overweight, and I spent a lot of time mad at myself for getting here and hatin’ on myself. Not anymore.

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(Source)

If I’m going to complete this weight loss journey, and this half in a little over 4 (!!!!) months, I need to train not only my legs by going on training runs, but my mind to believe I’m capable.

I’ve talked on my blog about my struggles with anxiety. I see a counselor to help with this, and one of her suggestions for me was to keep a journal of positive affirmations about myself. I know that doing so will help with my anxiety, but I also know it will help with the mental game of losing weight as well.

Like I’ve said, the mind is powerful. If we believe that we can do something, chances are we will get there with enough positive thinking, and sheer will to accomplish what we set our minds to do.

Do I think I’m going to have an outstanding finish time this March? Heck no! If it happens it’s a happy coincidence, but since it’s my first half, any finish time is a PR. Whoop whoop!

The only thing I’m concentrating on is crossing that finish line, but in order to do that, I have to actually start training. That means that I have to let go of my fear. Fear of failing, fear of starting training, fear of never losing the weight. If I doubt myself, I’ve already sealed my fate.

Fear and doubt are unwelcomed guests and I’m saying “Hasta La Vista” and “Good Riddance” to them and all of the trouble they cause. If there’s anything that’s holding you down, or holding you back, I hope you’ll join me in politely (or kicking them in the face, that’s what I’d like to do to them) seeing doubt and fear to the door.

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(Source)

We are capable of so much, if we just allow ourselves the opportunity to do all that we’re afraid to do.

I’ll see you all at the finish line!

Do you want to kick doubt and fear in the face too? Go ahead, I won’t tell.

What is something that you’d like to accomplish, but that you’re holding back from doing because you’re afraid? Are you going to give yourself the opportunity to do it? (Hint: you should!) 

#8 Treat Yourself Tuesday {TYT}

Here we go… another Treat Yourself Tuesday!

How are y’all feeling about these Tuesday link-ups? Like ’em? Hate ’em? Keep ’em coming? Let me know! I can easily change it up :)

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

Again, a BIG thank you to everyone that participated in Treat Yourself Tuesday last week. I loved reading all of the ways you treated yourself and can’t wait to see what this week has to offer!

If you’re new to TYT, head over here to read about why I am a firm supporter and advocate for treating ourselves – even in the smallest of ways – everyday! I promise you will fall in love with the idea and once you do, please link up below :)

Another week, another shopping adventure – you didn’t expect any less, right? ;)

This week’s shopping was fueled by no other than my husband. It’s a little known fact that the man loves to shop {almost} as much as I do. A few weeks ago he told me that he wanted me to take him shopping so that he could get some “trendier” clothes.

I may not be the trendiest, most fashionable gal but I know what looks good and what doesn’t plus, I can never turn down a shopping trip – or spending time with the hubs – so on Saturday we hailed a cab (it was windy and I was feeling lazy after my run or else we would have walked…) to Michigan Avenue for some shopping!

On Kyle’s agenda was The North Face, Patagonia, Ralph Lauren Polo and Nordstrom’s. My list included (remember… it’s Treat YOURSELF Tuesday, hehe!) J. Crew, Bloomingdale’s and Lululemon.  Since I was leading the way, we hit up J. Crew first…

Kyle tried on piles of clothes and came out with a few button-up shirts, a sweater and a pair of fitted khakis that were backordered but they’re shipping them to us for free.  (No photos – Kyle was feeling camera shy on Saturday!)

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I – of course – found a few items as well ;) There’s a reason J. Crew was on my list – I can never make it out of there empty handed!

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I bought this comfy sweater. I’m still on the fence about whether or not to keep it. It’s super comfortable and I love the zipper detail on the back but I’m not sure it’s worth the $120 price tag and I have 50 other tops just like it… it’ll probably be going back!

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I also got this sassy new tank! I can’t wait to wear it under a cardigan or blazer to work or over some skinny jeans with stilettos for a night out.

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After refueling with a salad and a glass of vino, we hit up a few more stores. After walking past Madewell, I decided to stop in for a quick look and found exactly what I had been looking for ALL DAY LONG – a new fall jacket! In Minneapolis, I used the skyway system a lot and never wore a coat unless it was below freezing. Since Chicago doesn’t have indoor walking paths, it was time for a new coat.

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This one is made by Penfield an environmentally-focused apparel company out of New England. The coat has a hood (selling point!) and is water and wind proof. It is going to be perfect for rainy fall and spring weather.

mani Collage

In addition to my shopping fun on Saturday, I treated myself to a mani-pedi on Sunday AND bought a new nail polish on the way out of the salon. Toggle to the Top by Essie looked too good to pass up (plus I had a gift card for the pedi so my salon service was only $10 – I felt like I could spend a few more dollars on a new bottle!) and I can’t wait to try it!

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New sweater from J. Crew – keep it or return it? How did you treat yourself this week?

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{Healthy} Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

Chocolate.

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Sometimes you just need it for breakfast. And by need, I mean you must have chocolate right then and there or watch out world/coworkers/spouse/random stranger on the corner – a full-fledged, hormone-driven chocolate tantrum will be exerted and it ain’t pretty.

Please tell me you’ve been there too.

I was having one of those days last week. I needed chocolate in a bad way. I didn’t want chocolate as a dessert either. No, I needed chocolate for breakfast.

So I headed the whole 10 steps to my kitchen (Generous living spaces do not exist in downtown Chicago…) and started pouring and mixing and getting excited for the chocolate creation I was about to consume… when I gasped out loud.

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I didn’t have any eggs. Or butter. Or white flour. Or oil.

Major baker fail.

What was I to do??!

Not having any chocolate was not an option so I did something that I am normally against. I made a healthy muffin.

I have certain standards when it comes to baking treats and desserts and healthy is definitely not one of them. If I’m going to eat a cookie or a piece of cake or a brownie or a muffin, it ain’t going to be healthy. It’s going to be full of butter and sugar and worth every darn bite. It’s called dessert for a reason, people!

If I want to be healthy, I’ll eat a bowl of oatmeal or an apple.

I took a deep breath and threw in some Greek yogurt and some whole wheat flour and some {gasp} applesauce and voila – A delicious, chocolate-filled, healthy muffin was born!

Don’t you worry now, this muffin definitely doesn’t taste healthy. But, since it is, why not eat it for breakfast? ;)

Muffin 4

{Healthy} Double Chocolate Chip Muffin

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (you could use white flour as well)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-6 oz container plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips, separated

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place liners into muffin pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda. In a separate bowl, combine water, yogurt, applesauce and vanilla until smooth. Pour yogurt mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined. Mix in 1/3 cup chocolate chips and spoon batter into muffin tins. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top of muffins and bake for 15-20  minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 3 minutes and then remove muffins and cool completely on a wire rack. Enjoy!

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Although I don’t see myself crossing the healthy baking line again anytime soon, these muffins were worth the risk ;)

Healthy baking – yay or nay? And what about chocolate for breakfast?

Boo! + Weekly Meals and Fitness

Boo!

Happy Halloween weekend :) I have a super quick post for you before a fun Sunday full of errands (Target run!), laundry, maybe a pedicure and family dinner tonight.

Here’s a photo recap of the last two days…

1. Friday started out with a bowling “happy hour” with my coworkers after a day of volunteering at Feed My Starving Children.

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2. A run kicked off my Saturday followed by shopping and lunch on Michigan Avenue with my man <3

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I couldn’t stop laughing at lunch because Kyle’s shirt matched the tablecloth!

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We were shopping for him but I may have found a little something for myself too ;)

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3. A costume party with friends Saturday night – Legends of the Hidden Temple for the win!

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Weekly Meal Plan

Weekly Fitness Plan

  • Sunday: Body Pump
  • Monday: Spin Class
  • Tuesday: Boot Camp
  • Wednesday: Run
  • Thursday: Body Pump
  • Friday: Spin Class
  • Saturday: Core on the ball + Run

Did you dress up for Halloween this weekend? What was your costume?

Wake up and love yourself!

If tomorrow, women woke up and decided they really liked their bodies, just think how many industries would go out of business. – Dr. Gail Dines

love your body

I came across this quote yesterday and it really hit home.

Think about it.

How much money do you spend annually because you don’t love what you were born with? Because the genes that were passed down by your mother, by your grandmother, by your great-grandmother don’t fit into “society’s” image of beauty? Because you don’t look like the cover girl on the latest fitness magazine? Because you think those extra calories in real yogurt or cheese or ice cream will be detrimental to your health and that the skinny alternatives are better?

Love Yourself!

Seriously. How much money? 

Enough for a month of rent? A vacation? A new car? A shopping spree?

And what does that money that you spend on all of this “health” get you? Are you healthier or skinnier or fitter or happier? Do you have more friends or a new promotion at work? Is your life better because of this money you spent?

Yep, that’s what I thought…

The money we spend this way doesn’t get us any of the above. I’ll tell you what it does get us though… It gives us the feeling of unworthiness and depression and makes us feel less-than-ideal and *gasp* fat. Is that money well spent? I say no.

So true! Confidence :)))

I’ll be the first to admit that we have lost touch with many of the things necessary to lead a healthy and happy balanced life that makes it difficult for us to truly love our bodies.

Most of us are out of touch with our true hunger signals. We don’t eat when we’re hungry. We eat because it’s convenient or because someone else is eating or because we’re emotional or lonely. And when we do eat, it is most often too much.

We lead sedentary lifestyles. We sit in cars or trains or buses on our way to the office five days per week. We sit in front of a computer at work for 10+ hours per day. We get home and we sit in front of the television or the computer or a video game.

We’re a group full of anxiety and depression. We feel the need to have it all and do it all and be it all for everyone but forget ourselves in the middle of all of this “outward impressiveness.”

But guess what, all of these things are easy to overcome. Want to know how?

Love yourself.

Believe

Love your body. Love your mind. Love your talents. Love your imperfections. Just love you.

Once you stop playing the all too notorious self-hate game, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your body shape, your wrinkles, your bad hair days and your “fat” days just don’t matter. You’ll be happy and confident and that, my friends, is true beauty.

CONFIDENCE is the sexiest thing a woman can wear.  so true - and if you don't have it - FAKE IT - it may become a real feeling eventually.   No negative self talk on set! Preparation and a little homework in modeling tips will help.  Practice/Experience builds better results - alas, there's no better time to start trying than now <3

Forget about those “health” magazines telling you what to eat to “lose 10 pounds by the end of the month” or what skin treatments to blow your money on to “look 10 years younger.” Those magazines are NOT healthy and only perpetrate our lack of love for our bodies. You don’t need any of their advice. Listen to your body and it will tell you what you need to do.

Forget about skinny foods. That Yoplait you’re eating? It might be a few calories less than the full fat version but I guarantee it won’t satisfy you or quench your hunger. It’s also full of crap ingredients that you should not be putting into a body that you love – aspartame, hormones, HFCS. Sounds tasty… ;)

Agreed. Have only met about 3 of these people.

Forget about weight-loss supplements and month-long challenges that promise to make you a better looking version of yourself. You’re pretty darn awesome just the way you are and don’t need to spend your hard earned money on these empty promises. (Trust me, they don’t work…) Plus, isn’t it better to just eat REAL food that makes you feel good on the inside and out?

Forget about points and calories and macros and micros and grams and ounces and whatever else companies are telling us to track these days and do this instead. Stay hydrated. Eat what you’re craving when you’re hungry. Eat slowly. And then stop when you’re full. As hard as this concept is to put into practice, letting go of control and listening to your body is always, always, ALWAYS the best idea.

Love yourself!

On the flip side, loving your body doesn’t mean allowing yourself to gorge on a gallon of ice cream or to skip the gym (or walking or stretching or whatever you do to stay active) or to drink a bottle of wine after a bad day of work. If you love yourself and honor your body, you know that all of these things are best in moderation.

Life with Love is Great! Star Fleet Yachts, #Kemah, #Texas, loves you loads. Select #StarFleetYachts for your #wedding in #Kemah, #Texas. We make your wedding day memorable by providing quality #food and #awesome #floral #decoration. Book us now for your #wedding. #Life #Love #quote

Loving yourself might not get you to society’s ideal image but you know what? Loving yourself will get you to YOUR ideal image. An ideal image that is made up of health and beauty and happiness and joy and something MUCH better than what society thinks we should be.

Calling all oatmeal lovers!

Happy Thursday!

Kyle took me to see 50 Shades! – a musical parody of the books – last night. While I’m attempting to get over all of the awkward tension that was in the theater, Alisha is here filling in today. And don’t you worry, I’ll share the full details of the musical tomorrow!

I’m super excited to have Alisha here today! I think we have similar “health nut” tendencies… Alisha is focused on health but with a highly realistic point of view – she’s into yoga (and now running!) and healthy foods but she also enjoys the occasional beer <– although since she is an Iowa alum, I doubt it’s just occasional ;) Hehe! I am also PUMPED that I get to meet Alisha and spend an ENTIRE weekend with her here in Chicago in a few short weeks.

Watch out Chicago, you won’t know what hit you after these Iowa girls invade your streets :)

Hi Olives n Wine readers!  My name is Alisha and I’m filling in for the beautiful Becky today. I’m so glad Becky is letting me guest post for her- I love ONW and always look forward to seeing what is in Becky’s shopping bags every week ;)  (Editor’s Note – I have a shopping problem and I’m working on it, except not really… Shopping and wine are two vices that I will never give up!)

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I am the blogger behind Alisha’s Appetite, where I write about my appetite for (mostly) healthy food, recipes, yoga, weight lifting and life with my hubby and newly adopted maltipoo.

I don’t know about you, but as the mornings start to get colder I wake up craving a big bowl of hot oatmeal to warm me up first thing and keep me full well into lunch.  Sometimes oatmeal can get a little predictable, so I’ve found the best way to keep things interesting are to mix up the toppings!

Toppings are always the best part of any meal, right? Froyo toppings, pizza toppings, taco toppings, pancake toppings, pasta toppings, (I feel like Bubba in Forest Gump right now) and of course oatmeal toppings.  Obviously, toppings are where it’s at.

So since we are getting further into hot oatmeal season, here are three different topping combos to inspire you to keep your oatmeal interesting!

A standard banana oatmeal base (1/2 cup old fashioned oats, ½ cup water, ½ cup almond milk, ½ banana, pinch of salt) topped with pomegranate seeds, dark chocolate chips and almond butter.

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Another standard oatmeal base topped with chopped kiwi, toasted unsweetened coconut shreds, mango butter (I picked mine up from Trader Joe’s), and of course almond butter!

Kiwi_Mango

And if you’re like me and crave savory breakfasts just as much as sweet-

try this savory bowl of toppings.  For the oatmeal base I cooked together ½ cup old fashioned oats, ½ cup water, ½ cup almond milk, 1 square of swiss laughing cow cheese wedge (or any other soft cheese) and a pinch of salt.  I topped it with a piece of crumbled bacon, avocado slices, cherry tomatoes and a fried egg (that I may or may not cook in some of the bacon grease…….).  And a ton of pickled jalapenos- you should probably know that I have a sick addiction to spicy foods.  It’s a real and serious problem ;)

BLT

As a bonus topping, you could always crumble any of Becky’s dessert bars over top of a standard bowl of oats with a scoop of nut butter (I’m thinking her dark chocolate pumpkin cookies!?).  That would be awesome, no?  Thanks again Becky for letting me crash the party!

Hopefully you will take this as inspiration and never have another dull bowl of oats again – Cheers to oatmeal season :)

Want to connect with me?

Twitter: @alishasappetite

Instagram: @alishasappetite

Facebook: Alisha’s Appetite

Bloglovin: Alisha’s Appetite

Email: alishasappetite (at) gmail (dot) com

What are your favorite oatmeal toppings? How often do you eat oatmeal in the winter months?

Confessions, Part II

Confession: I don’t love almond butter. I know, I know… Healthy living blogger fail big time fail. I mean, it’s not that I don’t like it – I have no major problem with the butter of almonds but I much prefer peanut butter or Nutella (obviously…) or almonds in their whole state. It is definitely a texture thing. Almond butter just doesn’t get as creamy or as smooth as peanut butter does and because of that, it doesn’t do the trick. Love me or hate me, it is what it is – peanut butter will always hold true to my heart. Heaven forbid I have a child that is allergic to peanuts <– The thought of this actually just gave me mini-panic attack! If that’s what my future holds, Kyle and I will have to have a peanut wing in our house because there’s no way I could give the stuff up ;)

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Confession: Carly, Katie, Alisha and Sara are coming to visit MEEEE (okay, they’re coming to visit Chicago but it’s conveniently where I live so I say they’re visiting me…) in 2.5 weeks – TWO AND A HALF WEEKS biotches! I’m so darn excited for blend-y blogger friend time I’m about to internally combust. Get ready for a weekend of debauchery and shopping and eats (Chicago pizza) and Scott’s <– Because men with this name tend to flock to us when we’re together… Unfortunately I’m not kidding – Remember Blend and Napa? I guess it’s a good thing for Katie (being the single and ready to mingle girl of the group), she only needs to remember one name for the weekend ;)

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Confession: When I applied for my current position, I used my full name “Rebecca” on my resume. I also went by Rebecca during the interview process. I was nervous starting my job so I never corrected anyone during my first few weeks and now it is much too late to pull a name change out of the bag. So I’m officially Rebecca at work and it’s weird. It took me a few weeks of getting called Rebecca to actually start responding – my coworkers must think I have hearing problems or that I’m lacking half of my brain. And I’ve awkwardly introduced myself as Becky a few times. I’m obviously the cool girl at work <– HEAVY sarcasm…

Confession: I felt like a rockstar this morning when I could actually give someone accurate directions to a destination in downtown Chicago! I’ve been able to point people in the general vicinity of locations and have definitely sent people the wrong way before (sorry ’bout that!) so I was extremely proud this morning. It’s the small things ;)

Confession: I miss Target more and more every day. They really have their stuff together and I miss working for an organization that has distinct goals, processes and structure for their employees. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ELATED to be in Chicago, I just wish Target would relocate 400 miles southeast! Hint, hint Triple G ;)

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Confession: I’m going to see 50 Shades! tonight. Yep, a musical parody based on the book series. Kyle surprised me with the tickets when we moved to Chicago back in August. (As a side note, I don’t think he knows what the books are about – He’s in for a BIG surprise tonight!) I’m anticipating a crowd of middle-aged women and a room full of tension. Things could get awkward.

Time to confess – What’s on your mind?

#7 Treat Yourself Tuesday {TYT}

Are these weeks flying by or is it just me? I can’t believe it’s nearing the end of October!

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

Again, a BIG thank you to everyone that participated in Treat Yourself Tuesday last week. I loved reading all of the ways you treated yourself and can’t wait to see what this week has to offer!

If you’re new to TYT, head over here to read about why I am a firm supporter and advocate for treating ourselves – even in the smallest of ways – everyday! I promise you will fall in love with the idea and once you do, please link up below :)

Have you heard of Stitch Fix? To briefly sum it up, it is a personal shopper-esque apparel company that sends you five pieces of clothing and/or accessories via a “fix” each month or whenever you schedule a shipment. You let the stylists know what style you prefer, your budget, the type of clothes you like (colors, fit, etc.), your size and lifestyle and they do the rest! You can even have a Pinterest board to keep them up to date on your most current wishlist – here’s my board.

In the past, I have only kept one item in each of my fixes. I liked what was sent to me but I didn’t love everything I received. The fix I received this month, however, was absolutely AMAZING! Everything fit perfectly and I decided to keep it all – as a side note, if you keep your entire fix, you get 25% off of the total! #treatyoself

For this fix, I let my stylist know I wanted items that I could easily transition from “career to happy hour.” This is a must if you live in Chicago! My stylist chose well and I can’t wait to share my new pieces with you.

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I wore my first dress last week. The first time I tried it on and didn’t “love” it. It fit well but I wasn’t sure of the style or color – with the 25% off, it was essentially free so I figured, why not! I wore it with a jean jacket, a thick belt and boots but next time I think I’m going to wear it with a black blazer and black heels for a more sophisticated look. It’s very comfortable and I love that it is sleeveless!

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The next two items I received were a black and white striped skirt and a dressy, royal blue top. The skirt is adorable and I love that it has a pocket that I can stick my hands all of the way through! I can see myself wearing this with a chambray shirt and flats this fall. I think it will also look awesome with black tights and a black sweater – SO many options here!

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The blue top is definitely a staple. It will look great with jeans, tucked into a skirt and under a cardigan. I love the gold buttons and pleat details on the front.

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My fourth item was a forest green cardigan. Y’all, I’m not a green person, it’s just not my color. I tried this sweater on however and really liked it! I don’t have anything this color and – let’s be honest – a girl can never have too many cardigans ;) Also, let’s please ignore my mess of a hair knot and lack of makeup… I took these photos on Sunday and didn’t feel like getting all dolled up for a phew photos!

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My final piece was a polka dotted top, actually the one in the photo above! I love the bow in the front and that it will look great over black pants, jeans or tucked into a skirt – so versatile. Note to self: Do not wear this top with a black bra and remember the anti-static spray ;)

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Overall I was impressed and happy with this fix! I’d definitely recommend it to anyone interested in getting some new styles into their wardrobe.

Disclaimer: All links to Stitch Fix (<– Like this one!) are referral links. I’ll get some cash to use toward my next fix if you sign up and I think it also gets you to the top of the list a bit quicker :)

How did you treat yourself this week? Have you tried Stitch Fix? What type of style would you tell the stylists if you were to create a personal shopper profile?

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