Posts Tagged ‘Random’

Twelve Things Tuesday

**The comments are now open on my last two posts: my first StitchFix recap and Adeline’s 15 month recap (with an update on how night-weaning is going)! I don’t know why they were closed in the first place, but they’re open now!**

Hello friends! I thought a random list of happenings around the Cooper house was in order for this chilly Tuesday! Enjoy!

1. I’m so over the cold weather. The days when the temperature is above 20 feel SO NICE! I’m also ready for the snow to be GONE so that I don’t have to keep mopping up salty spots on our floors. I blame the cold weather on the fact that I just watched ALL FIVE SEASONS of Friday Night Lights in a shamefully short period of time.

Weather.bmp

2. My sweet friend Brittany at Delights and Delectables just became a MOTHER!!! Yay Adoption!

3. I’ve been loving coffee creamers lately. Mmmm. I’m trying to stick with Natural Bliss creamers (no funky ingredients) but I do like the Italian Sweet Cream creamer from CoffeeMate. I keep finding creamers at a great discount at the grocery, so that’s why they’ve been sneaking into my shopping cart! After we finish the creamers in the fridge, I’m going back to using milk or soymilk- I get plenty of sugar from chocolate, no need for extra sweets in my morning cup of joe!

Image13

(You’re welcome for the super awesome WebCam selfie that I took while writing this post)

4. Our home is on the market (we rent a unit in a 2-family building). It’s been really stressful trying to keep the house tidy for showings and such. There was an offer on the house last week, but it fell through after the inspection. There’s another offer now, and my fingers are CROSSED that our current landlord accepts the offer so that we can be finished with these showings! We *should* be able to stay where we are, but you never know! Toddlers really really like to un-do any type of cleaning/organizing that you attempt.

5. I’ve been in a workout rut. I blame the cold weather and dark nights. Also, Adeline’s toddler antics have been keeping me much busier in general! I’m STOKED because I won a giveaway from Lindsay at Running with Tongs for a new workout plan- Michelle Bridges’ Twelve Week Body Transformation, here I come! I’m not really looking to *transform* my body, but I definitely would like a kick in the pants to get back to working out more regularly! I’ll definitely do a recap of the program with “progress pics” as well! Maybe Michelle will even let me host my own giveaway? I’m kind of excited because everyone who signs up goes through the program at the same time! I love that there’s a community aspect built in!

12week3

6. My dear friend Ashley recapped the birth of her second daughter, Nora. She is AMAZING. Get some tissues, I totally cried.

7. Our church, Missio Dei, is awesome. Each week, we leave feeling challenged. One of my favorite aspects of our church is that the teaching is directly from scripture. We are also reminded of the gospel at EVERY gathering. God created the world -> sin entered the world (and we were separated from God) -> Jesus Christ was born -> Jesus died on the cross to cover ALL of our sins -> Three days later, Jesus rose to conquer sin and death and give the gift of salvation to all who believe in Him alone for eternal life. AMEN! I am so so glad that we get to hear the gospel message each week- this is what our family believes!

8. So many friends are expecting babies, my heart is about to explode! And I have so many friends who are on their journey to conceive as well! I love seeing how God moves to grow families :)

9. I love my husband! He rocks! He works so hard for us, and he and Adeline are the best of friends. We had a “date night” in the other night, and it was so nice to just snuggle on the couch. He’s definitely on the top of my list for #MCM (man-crush Monday)

20130727_163620

10. My heart is also sad because my aunt Helen passed away last week. We were unable to attend the funeral due to the copious amounts of snow that showed up on Saturday. She will be dearly missed by us all. My mom has 8 sisters and 7 brothers- to say that Helen will be missed by many people is an understatement. (Helen is in the middle, my beautiful mother is on the right!)

11. I’m super excited about getting back into the kitchen! Last night, I made a TON of enchiladas (just simple, black bean enchiladas). My blogging buddy, Nicole at Making Good Choices, has also been getting back into the kitchen, check out what she’s making! I’m also hoping to try out this Soft Wheat Sandwich Bread for Daniel from Heather at Fit Mama Real Food.

12. I do meal planning each week! We set a pretty rigid budget for our groceries, and I do my best to prepare us wholesome, nutritious and delicious food while respecting our finances. Turns out, my blog-friend Brittany from A Healthy Slice of Life and I do our meal planning in almost the same way! Check out her Anatomy of a Weekly Meal Plan post!

the anatomy of a weekly meal plan thumb The Anatomy of a Weekly Meal Plan {How To}(source)

Do you meal plan? Are you doing any training/workout program right now? Share a recipe you LOVE!

First StitchFix Review: Liked, but not Loved


FirstStitchFix-002
Yesterday, I received my first StitchFix delivery! I put StitchFix gift cetificates on my Christmas/birthday list and I decided to schedule my first delivery! StitchFix is a company with stylists who send you clothing items based on your preferences. I filled out my survey and scheduled my “fix”, and yesterday, a pretty box showed up at my front door! And here is my StitchFix Review! *Note- all StitchFix links in this post are my personal referral link- if you decide to make a purchase, I’ll get StitchFix credit!*

FirstStitchFix

I found out about StitchFix from some fellow bloggers and thought it would be fun to try out since I am severely fashion-challenged. I get shopping anxiety, so this was a fun way for me to try on new styles without attempting a shopping trip with a toddler in tow.

I’ll start off by saying this- I didn’t love anything in my first box. There were a few items I liked, but not enough to purchase them. Price point was one area that influenced my decision. The jeans I’m wearing in most of the photos are $8 from Forever21, I’m used to spending as little money as possible on clothing. But, I do want to slowly introduce good, quality pieces into my wardrobe, which is why I chose to get my first StitchFix! Let’s start off with the least favorite items.

This is the Alexander Aztec Knit Drape Front Cardigan (($68).
StitchFixAlexanderAztecCardigan-002
I’ll be honest, this felt like wearing a blanket (which means it was SUPER cozy). However, there are no buttons or clasps, and I felt like the colors washed me out. It just felt too bulky, and I could never imagine myself wearing this cardigan anywhere. Looking at this picture though, maybe it wasn’t as huge and bulky as I was thinking?

Next up, these fun magenta-colored pants. These are the Collen High Rise Straight Leg jean ($68).
StitchFixCollenHighRise-003The material on these was awesome, stretchy yet structured. The color was fun too, but I feel like I don’t have many items in my closet that would go with these pants. They were also a little baggy in the butt and they were too long. I did like the high rise (although I didn’t snap a pic, sorry!) I think that might make them “mom jeans” since they nearly went up to my bellybutton? I would have kept these if the fit had been a tiny bit better, and if the color wasn’t quite so difficult to coordinate with.

This is a top I really liked- the Teo Solid Side-Gathered Longsleeve Top in Olive ($58). And check out Adeline, how cute is she?
StitchFixTeoSideGathered-002

This would make a great early maternity top! The front panels are super stretchy, and it would be a great top to wear for nursing mothers as well! The material felt SO LUXURIOUS! It was fantastic. I’m used to wearing cheap cotton, so this was a welcome change :) Since I’m not pregnant (but still nursing!), the fit in the chest was a little bit too baggy. I debated a long time about keeping this, because we’ll hopefully get pregnant again, and this would be a great piece to have. But- I think I can probably find a similar top on my own, for less $$.

Next up are my two favorite pieces in the box! This is the Mission 3/4 Sleeve V-Neck Blouse ($48)
StitchFixMissionVNeck-002This top made me feel a little bit fancy! I can definitely see myself grabbing this out of the closet when I want to feel a little “dressier”. The fit was great and I liked the detail at the neck. My “go-to” nicer shirts are black, so it would be fun to have a different color. I liked that the top was sheer, and I think it would pair really well with colorful accents! The main reason I’m not keeping this is because I don’t really have any of those colorful accents, and I kind of want to branch out more into the wonderful world of COLOR!

Finally, the piece that i liked the most is the Zoa Tab-Sleeve Emboridered Blouse ($48).
StitchFixZoaEmbroidered\I liked that this was similar to the shirt above in the sheerness and in the sleeve length. The embroidering and v-cut at the neckline are what made this top take first place. I feel fancy in this top, and I think I can make it work for multiple seasons!

StitchFixZoaEmbroidered-002I still have a few days to decide on what I’m going to keep, but I think the cream colored top is my winner! I’m also considering sending EVERYTHING back and ordering another fix… decisions, decisions! I am really thankful that I was sent a few new styles of clothing- hopefully I can be a bit bolder when I go to look for new clothes in the future! Thanks, StitchFix!

Have you ever tried StitchFix? Have you ever done a StitchFix Review?
What is your favorite piece of clothing above?
Should I keep anything (even if I’m not “in love” with it?

 

 

 

Things I’m Loving- October Edition

Hope your week has been great! I thought I’d hop on to share some of the products, websites, recipes and ideas I’ve been loving this month.

1. Fitness Blender is an awesome resource for at-home workouts! Here is a playlist of the full length workout videos on YouTube.

Site Home

I did two of the yoga videos this week, and I’ve sampled a handful of other videos in the past! The videos have great timing (no struggling to keep up), and the routines are easy to follow. I wish Kelli didn’t make the workouts look so easy because they can be TOUGH! Kelli and Daniel always give modifications (knees on ground for push ups, for example), so this is a great resource for anyone looking to get in a good workout! Plus, you can easily search for your perfect workout with numerous choices:

Full Length Workouts - Fitness Blender - Google Chrome 10162013 102839 AMYou can search by time, by muscle group (upper body, total body, etc.) or by equipment. I love that it is EASY to find a workout. True story- sometimes I spend WAY TOO LONG browsing online for a good workout that I don’t get in a good sweat session before the baby wakes up from her nap. FitnessBlender solves that issue!

Full Length Workouts - Fitness Blender - Google Chrome 10162013 103113 AM

Just a sampling of the workouts that came up when I searched for a “30 minute, low impact, cardio routine with no equipment”. Pretty great, huh?

2. Breastmilk storage bottles are fantastic for making and storing homemade salad dressings! I don’t mind making a big batch of dressing to store in a mason jar, but sometimes I just want to make enough fresh vinaigrette for just Daniel and myself.

Breast milk storage containers bottles

(source)
These little bottles are perfect because they have ounce markings on the outside which are handy when you’re prepping your dressing and, for portion control, you can see how much you’ve poured out! Another bonus- the bottles (with the screw-on lids) are spill proof- so you could slip your dressing into your lunch bag knowing that they won’t leak!

3. Trips to the Pumpkin Patch with this nugget. We had a blast visiting Blooms & Berries Farm in Loveland, OH.

BloomsandBerriesPumpkin-3 BloomsandBerriesPumpkin-4 BloomsandBerriesPumpkin-10BloomsandBerriesPumpkin-11

BloomsandBerriesPumpkin-9

BloomsandBerriesPumpkin-13

BloomsandBerriesPumpkin-7

4. This recipe for (gluten free) Butternut Baked Ziti from Nicole. This recipe has squash, pasta, kale and cheese. I used 3 different GF pastas and subbed in 1 delicata squash for the butternut.

DelicataBakedPasta.bmp

Next time, I’d rather use butternut as the delicata was quite… squashy? It was more similar to acorn squash in texture and flavor. It was still really, REALLY good. Even Adeline loved it!

5. Liberté yogurt. I know, you’ve heard me talk about Liberté a lot. It’s not just because I’m a Brand Ambassador, it’s because I really do love their yogurt! Daniel and I had a very special date night (on Adeline’s birthday) to have a meal at the Orchids at Palm Court here in Cincinnati. This restaurant is a no-elbows-on-the-table place. You have to know which fork to use. Have I ever mentioned how bad I am at table manners?

LiberteDessert

There was supposed to be another brand ambassador and their plus one joining us for this dinner, but they never showed. Oh well! We had a fantastic “happy first year as parents” dinner. The best part of the dinner was the DESSERT! Chef Megan Ketover made us some amazing desserts featuring Liberté yogurt.

Liberte

She even made my plate totally gluten-free. Amazing. Did I mention that Megan was on Top Chef Desserts? Yep, she’s pretty cool. And she made some phenomenal pairings with Liberté . My favorite pairing was probably the Blackberry Mediterranee with a “granola” with pistachios. There was just the right balance of sweet and salty and I didn’t want that little cup of yogurt to end. Of course, I loved the chocolate too, but there’s just something about the sweet and salty combo that is totally satisfying.

Liberte-001

6. I’m excited for the weekend ahead! My sister-in-law and her husband are running the Columbus Marathon, and we’re going to cheer them on! The running bug has bitten- I’m following Hal Higdon’s 8 week 10k training program. I’m gearing up to run the10k Turkey Trot, yippee! Hopefully my body (ahem, and my milk production) agrees with this training plan- I’m looking forward to my first postpartum race!

7. This mineral makeup from E.L.F. I got the “fair’ shade and it works great. It’s not quite as fantastic as Bare Minerals, but the price is awesome. It’s paraben-free and doesn’t contain any artificial dyes or preservatives. The foundation also has SPF 15.

ELFMineralMakeup. Mineral Foundation Set, Fair - Free Shipping - Google Chrome 10162013 41943 PM.bmp

I purchased my E.L.F. Mineral Makeup from Soap.com, and if you use my referral code HXLL8377, you can save 20% off of your first order from Soap.com.

use code: HXLL8377
Shop health & beauty products, household essentials and more Buy Health & Beauty Products at Soap.com
New customers to Soap.com, Look.com or other Quidsi sites only. $20 maximum discount. Subject to change or cancellation.

 

What are some thing that YOU have been loving lately? Any new products you have tried?

*Disclaimer* I was provided the dinner at Orchids at Palm Court at no charge. I wasn’t under any sort of contract to write a review, I just though I’d share some of the fantastic desserts we had! I was also not approached by FitnessBlender to review their website, it’s just a site that I use regularly so I thought I’d pass it along! I will receive a $5 credit for each purchase made with my referral code for Soap.com*

From A to Z!

 

Happy Friday! I thought I’d take a minute to complete a fun little survey that Char tagged me in! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, we’ve got a few things planned and I am SO excited for some time with friends and our little family!

A. Attached or Single? Attached! I’ve ben married to this hunk for a little over 3 years now!

B. Best Friend? It’s fun to think about the best friends that I’ve had in different stages of life. My BFF from high school is Kristen:

35302_548853471366_1449408_n

My BFF from college is Ashley:

And one of my newer BFF’s is Kaitlyn (her daughter and Adeline are 6 weeks apart- bound to be BFF’s for sure!) (P.S. Kaitlyn, we don’t have any photos together!!!)

C. Cake or Pie? Well, being gluten free doesn’t really afford me the opportunity to eat cakes and pies too often (which is probably a good thing). But I LOVE frosting, so I’ll say cake! Although I really need to make a GF almond crust for a pumpkin pie this fall. YUMMY

cupcake-2

D. Day of choice? I like Wednesdays! We usually have something going on (mommy group or a playdate) and it’s just nice to know that there are only a couple of days until the weekend!

E. Essential Item? I suppose I always have my phone with me! And I should always have a water bottle, but I forget it 90% of the time.

F. Favorite color? I really like gray and blue!

G. Gummy Bears or Worms?  Worms are disgusting, but slightly less disgusting when in gummy form. I’d have to say gummy bears, any citrus flavor! I do not support those who put gummy bears on their frozen yogurt (*coughmyhusbandcough*)

H. Home Town?  We moved a lot as kids (about every 4 years), but I’d have to say that my hometown is Crestwood, KY (outside of Louisville). I lived in Crestwood from 6th grade through high school!

I. Favorite Indulgence? I love anything chocolate, but I’d say that really good ice cream (like Jeni’s) is probably at the top of my list! (Doesn’t this Wildberry Lavender look scrumptious?)

Wildberry Lavender
(link)

J. January or July?  July, for sure. I do not love being cold (I don’t love being hot either, but I’d rather be warm!)

K. Kids? A sweet daughter, Adeline, who will be 9 months old in just a few days! And a dog (who needs as much attention as a child sometimes).

IMG_7365

L. Life isn’t complete without?  God, coffee and sunshine.

M. Marriage date? May 28, 2010

N. Number of brothers/sisters? I’m the oldest of four, I have two younger sisters (Maggie and Catherine) and one younger brother (Matthew).

O. Oranges or Apples? Apples! Although sometimes I’ll get a random craving for an orange!

P. Phobias? Worms. I really don’t like worms (although I can appreciate what they do for the soil)

Q. Quotes?  I have a HORRIBLE time with remembering phrases and quotes, but my favorite Bible verse is:

R. Reasons to Smile? Remembering that each day is a gift, when Adeline gives me “kisses” and when I think about how utterly blessed I am.

S. Season of Choice? I really love fall and spring! Fall means pumpkins (and all things pumpkin flavored), jeans, camping and more!

T. Tag 5 People

1. Maggie @ Breathe the World In
2. Ashley @ Balancing the Beautiful
3. Nicole @ Making Good Choices
4. Kaitlyn @ Our Wild Rumpus
5. Michelle @ Crazy Running Legs

U.  Unknown Fact About Me? This is tough… oh! I rode an ostrich during my summer in Kenya! I have also lived in 12 different houses (not including dorms in college)!

V. Vegetable? I love zucchini, and I’m head over heels for sweet potatoes!

W. Worst habit? I’m really bad about hanging up wet towels after I get out of the shower. I usually leave them on the bed :/ I also don’t floss my teeth very often even though I know it is a good thing to do!

X. X-ray or Ultrasound? I’ve only had a handful of x-rays (dentist, when I had a stress fracture). I did really like seeing our little nugget on the ultrasound though when I was pregnant!

Y. Your Favorite Food? Peanut butter. And bananas. Together. I usually eat 2 bananas a day, both with plenty of PB!

Z. Zodiac Sign? Capricorn- although I don’t really know much about my sign. I’m also a Rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac!

Letter U was the most difficult for me, so tell me an unknown fact about yourself!

Top Five Recipes

Happy Friday! Thanks to The Lean Green Bean for hosting another “Pin It” party! Today, I’m sharing 5 of my favorite RECIPE posts! Click on over to Lindsay’s blog to see all of the other posts that bloggers have created. Pin away!

pin it party Pin It Party 2

3 Minute Microwave Granola

Super easy granola made in your MICROWAVE! Great base for customized granola based on what YOU want!

3 minute microwave granola

Simple Asian-Style Pork Chops

A quick and easy marinade for pork chops, could also be used on chicken, tofu (YUM!) or beef. Ginger, garlic and soy sauce form the base for this yummy marinade!

AsianStyleGrilledPork-001

Easy Plum Jam

If you have plums, sugar and water, you can make this “jam”. It has the consistency of apple butter, and doesn’t require any pectin. It is tart and sweet, and we plowed through our first jar in a week!

PlumJam

Quick Fire-Roasted Tomato and Black Bean Soup

A perfect soup for nights when you need something simple for dinner. The fire roasted tomatoes really bring a great depth of flavor to this soup, and it’s ready in under an hour with minimal preparation. Just open a few cans, add some spices and you’re ready to have a wholesome meal in no time.

Roasted Tomato and Black Bean Soup

Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Now that Adeline is chowing down on sweet potatoes, I don’t make them with honey anymore (babies under 2 aren’t supposed to have honey). BUT- this is one of my favorite ways of making roasted sweet potatoes!

HoneyRoastedSweetPotatoesThere you have it! Some of our favorite recipes :) Happy Pinning!

What is your Pinterest handle? Can I follow you?

1 2 3 10