A Naples Adventure

Living in a new place is always an adventure! While Kyle and I have lived in Naples, Florida since October, it is our first summer in SW Florida and we had (and still have) no clue what to expect.

We were told to get used to heat and rain and humidity, LOTS of rain and humidity. So far, the heat hasn’t been too bad (much better than snow, in my opinion) and the rain wasn’t unbearable either, until the last few days at least. But I digress, as much as you might want to chit chat, we aren’t talking about the weather today… unless we want to pretend we are 80-year old men ;)

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In Florida we are lucky enough to have outdoor adventures year round, but summer always calls for a few beach trips, especially when you live so close to the water! While our sunset trip a few days ago was a total fail (boo storms!), Naples is known for its amazing, colorful sunsets each evening.

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Watching the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico is always a beautiful experience. Hues of red and orange and pink fill the sky and the reflection on the water is just as breathtaking. They are one of my favorite parts of living in Naples!

The only problem with sunsets is the time of day <– LOL! This time of year, the sun sets around 8:15pm which means you want to be to the beach around 7:30pm to snag a good spot and to see the sun in all its glory. And that means that viewing a sunset cuts into dinnertime, not good for someone who gets hangry if they don’t eat on time ;)

Enter – BEACH SNACKS!! Specifically beach sunset snacks.

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This summer I’ve been lovin’ Blue Diamond Almonds for a quick, filling snack to hold me over until a late, post-sunset dinner. Their canisters fit perfectly in my bag (Yes, this is Dean’s diaper bag BUT I have also tried them out in my other non-mom bags and my beach bags.) and I trust that they aren’t going to break open and make a mess all over. The canisters are easy to open and close (A must have for a beach outing!) for a quick handful of almonds. Plus, Blue Diamond Almonds are the best tasting almonds out there. I know you agree if you’ve tried ’em :)

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Easy to grab. Great tasting. Filling yet they won’t ruin your appetite. Blue Diamond Almonds are where it is at for your next summer adventure. And while you’re looking into summer adventures, make a trip down to Naples – Dean and I love to entertain!

Where do you like to visit during the summer? What has been your favorite adventure this summer?

This “Flavor Your Adventure” post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. For more snack ideas to “Flavor Your Adventure” this summer, visit Blue Diamond Almonds on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Sunkissed Summer Survey

Here I am with another survey! Apparently I’m in a question answering mood as of late so when I saw this on Brynn’s blog yesterday, I knew I had to complete it for myself.

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1. What is your go-to product for a sun kissed summer glow? (bronzer, self tanner, etc.)
Hmm… Honestly I have never used one! Since I live in Florida now, I can walk outside and be “sun-kissed” in about 5 minutes any time of the year ;)

2. What book would you recommend for a summer read?
I typically go for the current popular quick read series… Think 50 Shades and The Hunger Games, haha! Or I search through my favorite blogs to see what books they’ve recommended. 

3. What’s your signature summer scent this year?
I am currently obsessing over VS’s Bombshell body spritz. It’s light and fresh and it easy to throw in my bag when I’m running out the door to the gym or on an errand.

4. The sun is shining and it’s time to get outside! What’s your favorite thing to do?
RUN!!! I’m also all about walks with the fam, picnics, beach time, and outdoor shopping :)

5. You’re on the boardwalk and your stomach is grumbling. What’s your go-to summer beach food?
Summer heat always messes with my appetite, especially the heat here in Naples. If I’m on the beach, I try to eat something quick and easy like a sandwich or a piece of fruit… No one likes sand in their salad or a hot meal when the sun is beating down on you ;)

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6. Sunscreen is always important, but it’s a MUST in summer! What’s your favorite? (Face, body, or both)
I actually JUST read an article about how most drug store sunscreens (Neutrogena, Coppertone, etc.) can actually cause skin damage due to an ingredient they use in their formulas (if I find the article, I’ll share it…) – YIKES! I was just sent a bottle of Block Island Organics to try out and I’m thinking it may be my new favorite, especially if it doesn’t have the icky ingredients!

7. After a day in the summer sun and heat, what do you do to cool off?
A long shower and an even longer nap ;)

8. How do you wear your hair in the summer? (down, ponytail, ombre, dip dye, etc.)
I haven’t dyed my hair since I was 19 (yeahhh I’m super boring in the hair department!) but it tends to get natural highlights really easily. These days my hair is always up in a pony because I’m working out, taking care of a baby, or teaching at the gym. Plus, who wants their hair down when they’re at the beach? Not me!

9. Must-have nail polish for summer 2014?
I’m loving mint and nude polishes. Both go with basically everything and are perfect for the summer months.

10. Sometimes it just feels good to chill out and watch Netflix. What shows/movies do you recommend for summer?
I’m always about SATC (who’s with me??) and while we don’t have the TV on that often in the summer, I’ll never turn down a good Big Bang Theory episode.

11. Do you wear liquid foundation, BB cream, or tinted moisturizer in the summer?
Nada. You guys. Maybe this survey wasn’t for me, LOL. I am so boring in the beauty department! If I wear anything on my skin, it is a light powder (I love Bobbi Brown or MAC). Other than that, I’d prefer to just go bare.

12. It’s super bright outside! Do you reach for sunglasses or a hat?
Both! You will NEVER find me with out my sunglasses and I love a good hat in the summer :)

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13. What is your summer jam this year?
I am really liking that Marvin Gaye song right. I think it’s one of the few I’ve only heard a few times so I’m not tired of it yet, haha!

14. Do you have a summer bucket list? If so, share some things on the list.
This summer not so much… I (we) have one item and that is to survive living with a newborn ;) So far, we have been successful. I would also like to enjoy a big ol’ margarita sometime while it is still super hot. Maybe Kyle and I will hit up our fav Mexican joint this Friday for guac and margs. That sounds like a big TGIF to me! 

15. Bikini, tankini, or one piece? Show us your fave bathing suit this year!
Either a bikini or a one piece. I’ve seen some super cute styles this summer!

16. Summer means heat… and sweat! What’s your favorite sweat proof product this year? (Skincare, makeup, anything!)
A cool sea (Gulf) breeze. A big beach hat. A fan and AC (LOL). 

17. Summer wouldn’t be complete without a scoop (or two) of ice cream! If you could create your own ice cream flavor, what would it be?
Oh man, this is a toughie! It would definitely need to involve Nutella (obvs…) and sprinkles and chocolate and cookie dough and Reese’s Pieces. Andddd now I’m craving fro-yo ;)

Your turn! Answer one or five or all of the above questions, especially the beauty-related ones… I definitely need some major help in that area.

#31 Treat Yourself Tuesday

Treat yoself!

Sorry, that’s the only tagline I have for you this morning. I’m lacking some serious creativity this Tuesday!

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

If you’re new to TYT, head over here to read about why I am a 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 :)

Let me start with my best treat this week – flip flops. Outside. FLIP FLOPS, PEOPLE!

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Hallelujah. The birds were singing and my toes were happy :)

Because the weather was glorious and my nails were in need of some serious pampering, I decided I needed a spring-colored manicure on Saturday afternoon. #treatyoself

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And while we’re on the topic of pampering – I had my first facial since moving to Chicago on Sunday! My skin always feel amazing after a facial and this winter did not do my skin well so I will be back in 2 weeks for a “mini facial” to continue to repair the winter damage.

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While at the spa, I decided to splurge on a skin cleanser. I’ve been using something much too harsh and it turns out, it’s clogging my pores. My aesthetician also gave me a sample of an antioxidant serum (that supposedly has natural SPF properties) to try for a few weeks. It’s expensive and I want to see if I like it before I shell out the big bucks.

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Apparently it’s beauty week here on TYT because I also treated myself to a bottle of tea tree shampoo while grocery shopping on Saturday night (see it in the cart up there?) I recently read that if you don’t wash your hair every day (and I don’t…), overgrowth of yeast can become an issue on your scalp. {#sexy}

Tea tree oil prevents/eliminates yeast so I treated myself to a clean, yeast-free scalp – Haha!

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And because I’m now obsessed, I bought a few more pairs of Feetures. I bought 3 pairs the first time and almost panicked when they were all in the laundry for my Friday morning run! Now, I have 7 pairs – enough to get me through laundry day each week. I also bought a new sports bra – I figure if I’m going to be running my life away this summer, the girls need a little treat as well ;)

Remember this Instagram post?

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I broke down and bought the dress. Don’t act like you’re surprised ;) I have a few weddings and events coming up this summer and this dress will be perfect. Kyle wore a seersucker suit to the Derby last year and I’ve wanted something seersucker ever since! I can’t wait to wear this dress with some summer accessories – a fedora, wedges, and a white purse to be exact.

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How did you treat yourself this week? Is it flip flop weather where you live?

Confessions + An Announcement

1. Confession – I joined the most expensive gym country club fitness club in Chicago yesterday. It’s like a country club but fitness style. #oops

Kyle wasn’t too keen on the monthly fee (especially since we have a gym in our apartment…) but I justified it since the monthly membership fee is only $40 more than the CorePower Yoga membership I was paying in Minneapolis AND it includes so much more than CorePower did! I have yoga + body pump + cycling + pilates + zumba + kickboxing + ropes training + core classes + barre + SO MUCH MORE. The gym even has 5 pools, a gigantic weight room, an even larger cardio room, a spa IN the locker room, a salon, 2 restaurants, a juice bar, free valet parking (I can walk so I won’t be using this…), a sun deck/fully stocked bar for the summer months, a golf driving range, tennis courts, basketball/soccer courts… I’m sure I’m forgetting something here… Anyways, it’s pretty much my piece of heaven here in Chicago and it is going to be worth every single penny!

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I attended a “Buff Yoga” class yesterday and I’m fairly certain my inner thighs are going to be sore for the rest of my life.

2. Confession – I kinda fell off the marathon training bandwagon. I doubt any of you are surprised to be reading this. I haven’t provided a weekly training recap in, well, weeks and I have mentioned that my stress levels were not very conducive to running. Kyle and I still have our plane tickets to California and I am still running every week just not as far as I need to be for the whole 26.2 miles thing. I’m  planning on running at least the 13.1 miles and then running/walking every other mile after that. We’ll see how it goes but the last thing I want to do at this time is put physical stress on my body and have more hair fall out. I’d rather have hair than be a marathoner ;)

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3. Confession – I freakin’ love Chicago. Minneapolis never really felt like home the 4ish years Kyle and I lived there. Maybe it was because we knew it wasn’t going to be our forever home or because we didn’t have any family there or because we moved there without knowing a single person in the city but regardless, I am so happy to finally be somewhere that I feel like I belong. Plus Chicagoans are SO much nicer than Minnesotans (sorry friends but it’s true!). I’ve already met more people in the 1.5 weeks I’ve been in Chicago than I did in Minneapolis all 4 years. And they’re all nice and actually invite you to do things. Amazing.

4. Confession – Kyle’s mom brought us a “housewarming” quiche since we don’t have room for a gift in our tiny apartment and it is seriously one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. It is cheesy and egg-y and is FULL of summer squash. I may have had it for every meal since breakfast yesterday. Remind me to get the recipe from her…

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5. Confession – I love summer but I am ready for the hot weather to be gone and for cooler, fall days to arrive. I am over being coated in sweat the minute I walk outside and I want to be able to take Mitchell for a walk without worrying that he is going to get heat stroke. I’m also kinda over the pool… I know… Ask me how I feel about this confession come January but I honestly get kind of bored just lying by the pool. I think this means I need to work on my relaxation techniques ;)

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6. Confession – I’m addicted to Dunkin’ Donuts. It’s happened y’all and it ain’t pretty. I was anticipating some delicious coffee here in Chicago but Dunkin’ has taken it to the next level.

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Thankfully, I drink my coffee black or I’d also need to be buying some new pants considering how much coffee I drink every day! I’m also addicted to lululemon and may have ridden my bike 10 miles in 100+ degree heat to get the last Sand to Savasana Duffel bag in the Chicago area yesterday. I needed it, obviously ;) I also got a new top to reward my biking efforts!

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And now for the announcement! I promise this will be my last announcement for a long, long time – I’ve just had so much change happening in my life that I have needed to have a life-changing announcement every other week ;)

Drum roll, please…………..

I was offered and accepted a new job in Chicago! (insert big, proud smile right here)

Although I’d do a great job playing the part, it isn’t to be part of the next Real Housewives of Chicago series ;)

I will be working for a large retailer (I’m not sure how they feel about blogs so I’m keeping the company private for now.) here in the Chicago area and will be doing something similar to what I was doing for Target. I’ll be between a few of their offices but when I am at their downtown office, I will be able to walk to work. YES – my downtown office is about the same distance as my old condo was to my Target office in Minneapolis – I am so freakin’ excited!

The company actually called me about 30 minutes before I was getting ready to board my one-way flight to Chicago. Talk about perfect timing! I was able to negotiate a later start date (and more vacation time – details on interview/negotiation tactics will be in a future post…) so I will be starting on September 23rd.

I am so excited to have a job and to have a little bit of time off to allow myself to learn my new city and to relax before jumping right back onto the 9-5 bandwagon.

I took my drug test last Thursday and as long as I pass it (I’ve never done a drug in my life so if I don’t pass, someone laced my pee!), I will be good to go :)

Mini-Confession – I actually felt guilty for a few seconds after receiving a job offer. (Ridiculous, right?) I know of SO many people my age (and other ages) that cannot find a job and there I was – just sorta looking and a perfect job falls into my lap. I quickly realized that I worked my tail off at Target and my resume reflected that. I also rocked my interviews and allowed myself to be relaxed about the entire situation so the guilt went away and I allowed myself to be happy and proud.

So, take this as a life lesson my fellow ladies – Do NOT feel guilty about your great accomplishments! YOU deserve them and you deserve to be happy about them.

Tell me one of your confessions. 

Jalapeno-Spiced Black Bean Burgers + A GIVEAWAY!

**The giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Sara – the Fitcupcaker – on winning! Please contact me at becky (at) olivesnwine (dot) com so we can work out the details!**

Grilling season is finally upon us… at least for now. Who knows what tonight will bring given the ups and downs in temperatures we’ve been having lately! For now, let’s pretend that it is going to be 72 and sunny this evening – The perfect patio grilling weather.

If you’re anything like me, you love everything that comes with grilling season – patio time, sangria, backyard parties, potato salad – except for the abundance of meat at every meal. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good burger every now and then but burger after brat after hot dog after ribs gets to be quite a bit of meat for this mostly-vegetarian gal!

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Thankfully, I’ve come up with a solution to all of this summer, meat-eatin’ business!

It’s spicy, it’s full of healthy, fiber-rich beans, it’s vegan and it contains only 5 – yes 5 – ingredients!

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My Jalapeno-Spiced Black Bean Burgers!

There’s a secret ingredient in here that I think you guys are going to love… Can you guess what it is?

Kretschmer Wheat Germ!

I’m always looking for ways to boost the nutritional content of my meals and wheat germ is a great option that has many nutritional benefits. With only 50 calories per 2-TBSP serving, it provides multiple vitamins and minerals including folic acid, magnesium and zinc – plus it is a great source of non-animal protein. A win for us vegetarians!

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Jalapeno-Spiced Black Bean Burgers

Makes 8 Burgers

Ingredients

  • 2-15 ounce cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 TBSP chia seeds
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 jalapenos
  • 1 cup Kretschmer Wheat Germ*

Directions

Roughly chop onions and jalapenos and place in food processor. Blend until mixture is composed of small pieces but not yet liquid. In a large bowl combine beans, chia seeds, onion-jalapeno mixture and wheat germ and mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Make 8 patties and place onto tin foil. Grill for approximately 20 minutes, turning halfway through. Serve atop a bed of greens with tomatoes and avocado or on a bun with the traditional mustard and ketchup! Enjoy!

*For those following a gluten-free diet, you can sub GF oatmeal for the wheat germ.

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These “burgers” could not be easier to make or healthier to enjoy! Bring these to your next backyard BBQ and I bet you’ll convince some of your carnivorous friends to partake in a meatless night.

If you have leftovers – although I doubt you will! – these burgers can be stored in the fridge for up to one week and in the freezer for up to one month! They make a MUCH better option for a quick meal than the store-bought veggie burgers that have over 30 ingredients.

Now, onto the exciting stuff!

Kretschmer has agreed to give one lucky ONW reader TWO jars of their wheat germ! Use the Rafflecopter entry link below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Open to U.S. residents, ages 18+ only. The giveaway will be open until Thursday at midnight – I will announce the winner on Sunday!

What is your favorite vegetarian option for summer grilling? Any awesome recipes you would like to share?

**Disclaimer: Kretschmer gave me two jars of their wheat germ for review. All opinions in this post are my own.**

Guest Post: Summer Essentials

Well, my friends, today is Day 2 of the Kentucky Derby! Since I’m off to enjoy another day of Southern fashion, people watching and mint juleps, I have another wonderful guest post for you to read :)

Today, Kate is here to share her summer favorites! I don’t know about you, but with the spring we’ve had in Minnesota, I am going to celebrate every single second of this summer! I can’t wait to get started with some of her ideas below :)

Here’s Kate!

Hey y’all! I’m Kate and I blog over at Quarter Century Southern Living. I was so excited when Becky asked if I would do a guest post when she headed down to the Kentucky Derby. So while she is out, wearing cute shoes and amazing hats, I will do my best to do Miss Olives n’ Wine proud.

In honor of Becky’s fun in the sun, I thought it would be fun to share my ‘Summer Essentials,’ the things that make the season amazing. First things first, a playlist. Excuse me while I pour myself a margarita and download these tunes.

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Vacation. Whether it’s a week long or weekend getaway, I love summer vacation. I am all about the beach, and especially love trips to the coast.

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Chick Lit. Reading is an escape all its own and I love to get lost in a good novel.  Jennifer Weiner is one of my favorite writers of beach reads.

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S’mores. This chocolate-graham cracker-marshmallow concoction is quite possibly my favorite combination in the world.  I am hoping to have a s’mores bar at my wedding in the fall if that gives any insight into my obsession.

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Pool Parties. My friends and I love to have themed pool parties in the summer. I am game for anything involving barbecuing, getting tan, Pinnacle Whipped+Orange Soda, and People magazine.

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Reader Question: What are your summer essentials?

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