Finding Balance



It’s something that we all struggle with.

Between full-time careers, social events, blogging, relationships, staying active and eating well, balance can be difficult to find! Last week, I wrote a post for Katie discussing how I define balance. I’d love for you to check it out :)

Ending on a very balanced note… Happy Friday Eve!

How to Relax and Recharge

Happy Thursday! Today I have Amy from Long Drive Journey to share an important-to-me topic with you – RELAXATION. I’m pretty sure 99.9% of the blogging world (and all you readers too!) have problems with this simple, little task which makes me SO excited for Amy to share some tips with you :)

Hi there Olives ‘n Wine readers! I’m Amy from Long Drive Journey, blogging about eating and cooking good food, running slowly but steadily, and living life.  I was so excited when Becky asked me to share a guest post, because I am a faithful Olives ‘n Wine reader myself!  I’m not sure how I originally found Becky’s blog, but I keep coming back because I love her honesty, openness, and delicious recipes.  Plus she is the single most active Instagramer that I follow! {Editor’s note: I might have an addiction to Instagram… ;) }

I’m not sure about all of you, but the past few weeks have been absolutely INSANE over in my corner of the world.  I’ve had crazy deadlines, gotten a nasty cold, and had unexpected stressors popping up left and right.  Now that it’s almost the holidays, I know that things will only get busier.  Because of all of that craziness, today I want to talk about a topic close to my heart – relaxing.

just breathe

I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I have trouble relaxing.  I tell myself that I have half an hour to sit on the couch and watch TV or chat with a friend on the phone, and what do I find myself doing? Cracking open my computer on commercials, checking email when there’s a lull in the conversation, and otherwise feeling downright guilty for not completing another item on my to-do list.  In the past, I would cut my relaxation time short and just get back to work full force, but I have slowly been learning the importance of recharging and taking a break.   Here are some relaxation tips that help me:

1. Unplug.  Leave your computer and your phone in another room, and allow yourself some time without them.  Your email will NOT disappear just because you give yourself thirty minutes to pick up a book, do a little bit of yoga, or even just turn on some trashy TV.  Make a cup of tea and take a moment for yourself.

relaxing on couch

2. Leave the house/apartment/dorm and spend time with another human being.  Go for a walk! Grab a coffee!  Do something with another living soul that doesn’t involve complaining about how much work you have.  You don’t have to spend three hours at lunch if you have a bunch of tasks to complete, but you can spare 30 minutes to take a walk with a friend.  Plus, focusing on someone else often helps to lift your mood. Win-win!

fall leaves

3. Breathe.  Breathing is so important, but often overlooked.  When it feels like everything is crashing in and needs to get done IMMEDIATELY, put your paper down, walk away from your computer, and breathe.  Sometimes we all need to close our eyes and take a deep breath in order to regroup.

You CAN do this.  Just remember not to drive yourself absolutely crazy trying to get everything done all at once! Thanks so much to Becky for letting me share today!

Do you have trouble relaxing? Any tips to add?

Tourist Tips – Chicago!

Have I told you how much I love Chicago?

photo 1


No? Well, today I am guest posting about what to do when you visit Chicago on Holly’s blog! Make sure to head on over and check it out :)


photo 4

How to Deal With the Hand You’re Dealt

Can I get a TGIF from the crowd? Work is cray-cray right now (until next Friday…) so I am going to embrace this weekend whole-heartedly!

Today I’m excited to introduce you to Erin. I met Erin a few weeks ago while she was visiting Chicago for a work conference. We met at at a fancy bar called Gilt {please tell me you’re not surprised ;)} and I knew we’d immediately become BFFs when she had already scored us free drinks from a few men at the bar.

Hey, sometimes you just gotta work what your mama gave ya! ;)

Anyways, I digress… Erin is a total sweetheart and we bonded over cocktails and microbrews while discussing the blog world, work, husbands/boyfriends and life! AND, if I have my way – which I always do, hehe – she will be at Blend in June! I CANNOT wait :)

Hi everyone! My name’s Erin and I write over at The Almond Eater. I’m pretty new to blogging but so far am in love with the blogging community. I was lucky enough to meet Becky in person last month when I traveled to Chicago for work.


When she asked me to write a guest post, my immediate response was ‘OF COURSE I’LL WRITE ONE.’ One problem: so many topics, which one to choose?

Today I want to talk about injuries. Most people who are regularly active have or will experience some sort of fitness-related injury at one point in their life. When this happens, it completely throws you off guard and, if you’re anything like me (a planner, a whiner, a baby) you don’t know how to handle it. I’ve had lower back pain for the past five years, but pain that could always be fixed by the trusty chiropractor. Or could it? That’s another topic in itself.

About two months ago I hurt my back badly (not entirely sure how, though I have my suspicions),  bad enough that even the chiropractor couldn’t fix it. What now?? Should I keep exercising? Should I stop all together? See a doctor? What kind of doctor? These were the questions running through my head.

My first thought after my injury was: why me? I read blogs all the time and see people running marathons and doing CrossFit and I can’t even SIT at my desk for more than an hour without my back bothering me.


…..ok it’s not quite THAT bad but I felt like being dramatic. My pain made me a pouty pants for a few days, but what good does moping do? Then I started thinking that it’s all about perspective.

When injuries occur, we have the free will to choose how to handle them. You can sit back and see how things pan out, all the while moping about how you’re in pain, or you can be proactive and seek help (the internet doesn’t count ;)).


Though injuries are not fun and I would never with an injury upon someone, I think there’s much to be learned from them. They prove that, whether you’re working out like a hardcore maniac or like a grandma, your life is going to be ok. Why? Because at least you can still exercise.


Think of all the people who are unable to even walk, something we take for granted each and every day. When I think about my injury that way, I begin to be thankful; thankful that my physical therapist told me to continue working out on the elliptical or treadmill. What a relief! I know some injuries are more severe but most are temporary, a temporary set-back. I’m not saying you have to be thankful when you’re injured, but try to see things in a different light. Some suggestions…

Instead of a HIIT workout, try those same exercises without being timed and at a slower pace. Instead of running, try walking on the treadmill on a slight incline. Instead of weight lifting try yoga. Though you won’t burn as many calories, yoga will increase your flexibility and is a great stretch for your muscles.

Dealing with an injury can be tough, but you’ll be happier overall if you A) go see a doctor to find out what’s really wrong, B) change your mindset and C) tell yourself it’s only temporary and that you’ll be back to being a crazy fitness fool in no time.

Have you ever been injured from fitness? Did it prevent you from doing the exercises you love? If so, how did you handle it?

Disclaimer: The workout suggestions are based on my personal experience. If you are injured, please consult your physician before performing any sort of exercise.

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.



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.



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!) 

Body Image and Pregnancy

Happy Thursday, friends!

With my new job just a few weeks in, I’m a bit busier than normal as you can probably imagine. Because of all of this busyness, I’ve decided that I’m going to host a series of guest posts for y’all – hopefully one per week! – just so you don’t forget about me and to introduce you to some of my favorite bloggers! Make sure to check out last week’s guest blogger if you haven’t already :)

This week I’d like to introduce Dana, the blogger over at The Daily Moderation! As the title of this post might suggest, Dana (not me, let’s not get ahead of ourselves now!) is expecting a baby girl in February and has provided a great post about body image and weight throughout her life and now while pregnant.

Hello friends of Olives ‘n Wine!  My name is Dana and you can find me on The Daily Moderation .  I can’t thank Becky enough for letting me take over for a day on her fun blog!  She’s always full of energy and provides great topics and that’s what always keeps me coming back to her neck of the woods.  My blog is a little corner of my world where I love to share good recipes and talk life with you. Life is different every single day and that’s why we should cherish every moment. That’s also where the moderation part comes in.  I believe doing everything and anything we enjoy, in moderation, is so vital. Stop by and say hello when you catch a break!  Also, please visit my Facebook Page .


I recently learned that I became pregnant back in early June.   And although I’m very grateful and feel very lucky that I wasn’t consumed with crazy morning sickness, I thought I’d never want to see another peanut butter and jelly sandwich again.  My appetite has always been pretty big; I simply love great food.  And until I turned 27, I never worked out hardcore or watched what I ate.  I’d like to sum up my lifestyle in a nutshell for you.  It goes a little something like this:

-Ate like a bird until I was 11 or 12 years old.

-My only forms of “exercise” consisted of dance from ages 4-17 and high school color guard.

-Until puberty came around, I was a size zero and looked sickly and anorexic.

-My metabolism was through the roof.

-At age 25, that’s when it hit me that I need to monitor what I eat a little more and get in better shape.

– I didn’t actually put in any effort until I turned 27.

-I was always hanging around the number of 145ish, completely out of shape and uncomfortable in my own skin.

-At the end of 2011, I had dropped ten pounds, really paid attention to what I consumed, and got in much better shape.

-By May of 2012, I was in the best shape of my life, had dropped a solid 13 pounds and maintained my new weight of 130 up until I became pregnant.

-I’m currently almost five months pregnant, have gained { I think } about 13-15 pounds within four months, I do not weigh myself at all, I work out when I feel up for it but do not push myself, and I’m loving this time in my life.

So what’s the point of the above information?  Nothing really.  Was I consumed with a “number” and obsessive about weighing myself? Initially, yes.  Not anymore. I just think we all do this to ourselves at one time or another.  It’s healthy to want to lose weight and make a change and eat better.  But we can sometimes become so obsessed with that simple change we have made, that it can totally take a turn for the worse. We have to feel comfortable in our own skin; bottom line. To most people in my life, anytime I would tell them that I need to work out a little more and that I’d like to lose just another five pounds, I would get the eye roll and be told that I’m being ridiculous.

I mean, come on people. It’s not like I wanted to lather up in oil and become a body builder lady. (Editor’s note – I would really like to see this, Dana!! ;) Haha!)


In one of my earlier posts, I discuss my own body thoughts and how I felt about working out and all of those glorious things. I think we all have some idea of what we’d like to look like and we work a little bit at it each day.  We don’t go crazy and starve ourselves.  We do it the healthy way.  We are trying it all out in our own way, and that’s what matters most.

Until this baby arrives, I am enjoying the ride and indulging in lots of different healthy and yummy foods; with a little more pastries, some ice cream, and maybe another PB&J sandwich… on whole wheat.

I want to know how you feel about your body and if you are currently comfortable in your own skin?  What are some changes you have made in the past to become healthier? 

Thanks for reading my novel, friends.  {I have a chatty-Cathy problem; we’re looking into it}.

Thanks again, Becky!  I had a blast and I hope to take over your blog again real soon.

Favorite Fall Activities + A Fun Fall Workout!

Happy Thursday, friends!

With my new job just two weeks in, I’m a bit busier than normal as you can probably imagine. Because of all of this busyness, I’ve decided that I’m going to host a series of guest posts for y’all – hopefully one per week! – just so you don’t forget about me and to introduce you to some of my favorite bloggers!

I’m excited to kick it off with a great post about all things FALL (our favorite season!) from Heather! She’s one of the most dedicated fitness bloggers I know and I can always find motivation for a quick workout on her blog – Fit ‘n’ Cookies. After you read her guest post, make sure you head on over to show her some love!

Hello Olives ‘n’ Wine readers! I am Heather and I blog at Fit ‘n’ Cookies about daily life happenings, food, cookies, and new workouts! I am very happy to help Becky out by filling in for her today! I discovered her blog pretty quickly after I started mine, and have loved reading her posts every day! I am really excited to read more about her adventures in Chicago, and all about her new job. However, for today, you are stuck with me ;)

Over the past few weeks, I think we can all agree that fall has swept in and been accepted by people everywhere! Whether we are trying new recipes, or relaxing in the cooler weather, I think we are all loving it! Fall doesn’t mean we have to stay indoors soaking up the candles and pumpkin treats, though. There are so many more options of things to do during the fall!

Fall activities

1. Rake up your leaves, or your neighbors, and then jump in the pile of leaves. Who says you have to be a kid to do this!

2. Take a picture of you and your family, boyfriend/girlfriend, dog/cat by a tree that has changed colors! I swear it will look beautiful, and it’s the perfect time!

3. Find a pair of cute boots for the winter, or a cute scarf. I’m all about the boots and scarves!

4. Bake a new recipe! Check out Pinterest for recipes, check out my blog, or just stay here and look at Becky’s treats.

5. Spend an entire day on the couch watching movies with candles lit. It’s my favorite way to relax. Don’t have all day? Spend as much time as you can and I promise your to-do list will still be there, the house will still be there, your life will still be there.

6. Find a new haunted house to go to for Halloween!

7. Go to a pumpkin patch or an apple orchard and choose your own.

8. Go for a run on a trail, where the leaves are crunching under you, and you are surrounded by beautiful trees.

9. Have a girls night with a bottle of wine, and carve pumpkins (or paint on them!) {Editor’s note: Number 9 is my favorite! I’m definitely going to do this but maybe make it a draw on the pumpkin event… I don’t want any wine-induced knife accidents, ha! ;) }

10. Go for a walk after dinner with tea, coffee, or hot chocolate in your hand. It doesn’t have to be a fast paced walk, just one to relax and enjoy your drink of choice.

And since I love to workout, one of my favorite things to do in the fall is to go running, and get a lifting workout in. Here’s one that you can cross both of these off!

fall workout for becky

What’s your favorite thing to do in the fall? What’s your favorite thing to do in the fall? Has the cooler weather struck where you live?

Make sure to stop on over to my blog and say hi! Thanks Becky for letting me take over for the day!

THANK YOU + Wine + Vega + Ellie Goulding

1. First of all, I want to thank ALL of you for your sweet comments on yesterday’s post! No need to worry, I’m not quitting my marathon training – I may need to walk some of the race but I will get to the finish line, darn it!

2. I’m leaving for California TONIGHT!! I’m so freakin’ excited to see Carly and Katie and Sarah, I’m about ready to combust. BLENDS – YAYAYAYAY!!!! Plus, Mama Snack Therapy is picking me up at the airport – I’m excited to have some bonding time and get some dirt on Carly on the way to Davis ;)

3. On Monday night I found this amazing poem on Pinterest. I need it framed in my kitchen/bar area ASAP.



(Image Source)

Carly, being the poetic genius that she is, was inspired and came up with a haiku for the weekend:

Wine Wine Wine Wine Wine

I want wine up in my grill

Wine Wine Wine Wine Wine

Yep, I think that is going to be Friday all right ;)

4. The wonderful team over at Vega graciously sent me a case of Vega Sport Sugar-Free Energizer a few weeks ago! I’m not a huge sweetened water fan so I’ve been throwing this into my smoothies (it is AMAZING in both my Strawberry Smoothie and my Coconut-Mango Smoothie!) post-workout and they have given me a great boost of energy to keep me going for the rest of the day!

5. On Monday, I did a guest post for Jackie over at Nacho Average Runner. It’s all about how I’m incorporating yoga and rest days into my marathon training! Since I was pretty much ready to quit my marathon training yesterday, I am obviously full of great advice ;) I kid, I kid… For real though, head on over and check it out!

6. I’m obsessed with Ellie Goulding’s new song, “Burn.” I was extremely bummed yesterday when I discovered that it is only for sale on iTunes in the UK. SERIOUSLY??! Get with it, Apple! So, while this song is not on my playlist, I have a YouTube link bookmarked so I can listen to Ellie on repeat :)

7. Speaking of playlists, do you want to know what I’m listening to on the way to California??! No? Well, you’re going to get it anyways!

Summer 2013 Music

8. I am apologizing in advance for the obnoxious Instagram photos and Tweets throughout the weekend. It is bound to happen. At least they’ll provide some sort of entertainment, right? ;) Make sure you’re following me to track my wine drinking and debauchery over the next few days!

What random things do you have going on in your life right now? What’s your favorite Summer 2013 song? Any ideas of what hashtag Carly, Katie, Sarah and I should use for our weekend? I’m thinking something along the lines of #blendvinofest or #winedrunkblends :)

Sorey Fitness

Happy Saturday!

I’m just popping in quick to let you all know that I’m guest posting for Kalee at Sorey Fitness today!

My post is all about how to train and prepare for your first marathon (or any race!) – Make sure you head on over and check it out!

DONUTS! + Guest Posts + A Marathon + A Contest!

Whew – how’s that for a title?

I have a few quick things to share with you today!

1. HAPPY FRIDAY! What are you doing this weekend?

2. It is National Donut Day. Have you celebrated? I have heard rumors that both Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme are giving away free donuts today. Neither have locations near me (thank goodness!) so I’ll be sticking to my healthified version of donuts today!

Healthy donuts?  YES. If you feel the need to indulge in a donut on this national holiday, check out my Chocolate-Glazed Cake Donuts! All of the donut-y goodness you love with none of the guilt :)


3. I wrote a guest post for Leslee at Her Happy Balance yesterday! It’s all about how to stay active while traveling – whether for a fun vacation or for work. Head on over to Her Happy Balance to check out my travelin’ fitness tips and tricks!

4. Herb on Herbs is doing a Q&A Feature Series with fellow food bloggers and I am their featured blogger today! If you’ve always wanted to learn more about me and my blog, check out my Q&A – I reveal some pretty scandalous things about myself… Okay, not really – I don’t do scandalous things (haha!) but  my Q&A is really fun and I promise that it’ll make you laugh :)

5. I am also guest posting for Brittany at Dulce Vie today! (I have obviously been busy in the bloggin’ world recently!) On Dulce Vie, I’m sharing my favorite Summer 2013 beauty and fashion finds for all you fashionistas out there! If you’re a lover of all things summer like myself, you won’t want to miss this post!

6. Remember those Muesli Fusion Banana-Chocolate Truffles I post on Monday? Well, I am participating in a recipe contest and I need your help! Click on THIS LINK and repin my pin to one or 5 of your boards on Pinterest :) Thanks friends!

Truffles 4

7. Last but not least, I am currently accepting sponsors for my first ever marathon – The Long Beach Marathon on October 13th! I already have a few fitness apparel and marathon fuel partners but would love to partner with YOU! If you’re a blogger or a fitness/health-related company and are interested in gaining some exposure on my blog and social media sites, send me an email at becky (at) olivesnwine (dot) com and I’ll get my sponsorship information out to you!

I think that does it! I hope all of you lovelies have a wonderful, relaxing, beautiful weekend :)

Did you celebrate National Donut Day? What is the one thing you’re looking forward to most this summer?

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