Monday, February 23, 2015

A Childhood Favorite..Revamped!

Growing up my mom always packed our lunches. I can hardly remember buying lunch in Elementary or Grade school. The best lunches always involved Doritos, Cosmic Brownies, Oatmeal Cream Pies or a Lunchable.

Don't get me wrong, my mom taught us the importance of healthy and balanced eating from a very young age but she definitely didn't skimp out on the delicious, less nutritious snacks.

Last week I came across the new Applegate Farms "Half Time" lunches which comes in Turkey & Cheese, Ham & Cheese or Bologna & Cheese. I was immediately reminiscent of my childhood Lunchable lunches and began my search to find one.

While this lunch is still filled with processed foods (which I don't mind but I know many do) I found it appealing because Applegate's cold cuts are antibiotic free and both Annie's and Stonyfield's products are organic.

It was a well rounded "snack lunch" for myself (310 calories!) and if I had children it is something I would like to give them on occasion. This is a perfect go-to lunch for travel or if you're out running errands and hunger strikes, something I will definitely be picking up again!

FYI: This is not a sponsored post, just something I found, loved and wanted to share.

What was your favorite childhood lunch?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Recent Target Finds

Yesterday Eddie and I went to our local Target bright and early, like before I had my first cup of coffee early. With him working overnights the morning is "our time" so we make the best of our situation and have breakfast or Target dates.

As always we went in for 2 things: Pancake mix for him and Almond milk for me, but we left a cart full of new things. I figured I would share some of our Target finds because who doesn't love a good haul?

These oatmeal packets are gluten free, dairy free, non-gmo and high fiber PLUS they come in a bunch of flavors so I had to have Eddie decide for me and I was happy with his choice of strawberry shortcake. I had it yesterday with a scoop of Cellucor cinnamon roll protein mixed in and it was breakfast perfection.

On the complete opposite side of the healthy food spectrum we have Sprinkled Donut Crunch. This is not something we would usually have in our house, I keep Special K on hand for the times I have a cereal craving (which is usually twice a year) but something about sprinkles and donuts in a miniature size dragged me in. I'll report back on Instagram when I give them a try.

I have been a long time fan of La Croix sparkling waters and when I saw they had released a Mango flavor I had to have it. I drank two of these yesterday and it's safe to say I am obsessed, I even pictured myself having one mixed with pineapple vodka sitting by the pool on a warm summer day. HURRY UP WARM WEATHER!

I simply couldn't resist this little bag of sugar cookie kettle corn from Boom Chicka Pop. When I got home I checked the nutrition label (this is a small bag) and there are 3 servings, so I definitely need to be mindful of that when I dive in this weekend during the Oscars.

Moving out of the food aisle and into the clothing....



Pink is my favorite color but lately I am obsessing over everything mint. I saw this sweater as I was leaving the store and couldn't resist it. It's perfect for spring as it's lightweight and pastel and I love that it's slightly over sized, win!

This skirt is very out of my comfort zone with the mix of textures and patterns but something about it screamed you need this. You may not be able to tell but there are little hints of mint throughout it which is also why I had to have it.

Surprise surprise another mint shirt but this time with pink! Target t-shirts are my favorite, they don't shrink and they get more comfortable with every wash and for $7 you really can't go wrong.

Target I love you but my wallet hates you.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My First Stitch Fix!

It took me almost a year but I have finally hopped on the Stitch Fix bandwagon!

Before I get to the items I received I wanted to give you a few tidbits of information:

1. Stitch Fix is a $20 subscription service that sends you 5 pieces of clothing/accessories hand picked by your stylist
2. You choose how often you want to receive your box, whether it's monthly, every other month or every 3
3. Your items are picked for you based on a style quiz, which I found to be very thorough, as well as your Pinterest boards and the notes you leave for your stylist
4. You only buy the items you want to keep and mail back the rest (they send you a prepaid mailing envelope)

I am in no way a fashion blogger but in an effort to change things up around here I figured I would share my first "fix" and if it is something you would like me to continue sharing, leave a comment below telling me so!

Oh, and I love taking selfies but having someone else photograph me, even if it's my own husband is pure torture so forgive me for the awkward pics below.

Okay, lets get into my February Stitch Fix!

I told my stylist Kristen I was traveling to Jamaica in the beginning of March and would like some pieces for my trip. In the note she wrote me she not only told me how to style my pieces but when they would be most appropriate to wear on our trip.

1. 41Hawthorn- Dita Sleeveless Ponte Dress (Kept)
This dress fit me perfectly. It hugs in the right places and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion, I have nothing like it in my closet currently so it was a very welcome addition!

2. Romolo-Starla Ornate Collar Necklace (Returned)

I loved the colors and design of this statement necklace but I have too many similar pieces on my jewelry wall already, so back it went.

3. 41Hawthorn- Teresa Colorblocked Sleeveless Blouse (Returned)
I LOVED this tank, again I don't have anything like it in my closet but it was a little too small and the slits on the side showed my skin which wasn't very flattering. Had it been a little longer I definitely would have kept it.

4. THML- Haleburg Knit Tank (Returned)

I went back and forth on keeping this tank top over the last few days. When I paired it with this bright yellow cardigan I loved it but for the price tag I felt it was better to let it go (let it go, can't hold me back anymoreeee..sorry Frozen just follows me everywhere)

5. Mavi- Ruxin Distressed Boyfriend Jean (Returned)

I loved these jeans but again they were just a little too small for me. #ThickThighsProblems I loved the color as well as the distressed look so it was unfortunate they didn't fit. However, jeans is just one of those things I don't think someone can pick for me, I am extremely picky in that department and I have a decent amount of junk in trunk... just sayin'

Overall I loved my first Stitch Fix box and I am getting another one in March. My stylist definitely listened to my requests and paid attention to my Pinterest boards which I appreciate. I can't wait to see what comes next month!

Click here if you would like to try Stitch Fix, this is not a sponsored review but I will get a referral credit if you do sign up. 
(Everyone gets one)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Feeling The Love

I hope you all had (or for some, are still having) a great weekend!


(Snapchat: carlynngrace)

I got a call from my Optometrist bright and early that my new glasses were ready so Eddie and I took a little trip down to Woodbridge [30 minutes south of Alexandria] to pick them up and while we were there we stopped at Wegman's. I have done our food shopping there a few times but it was Eddie's first time and he loved it as much as I do. It seems silly to have a favorite food store but Long Island doesn't have the greatness that is Wegman's therefore we have fallen in love.
While we were there I came across a new-to-me veggie, Kalettes, which are a mash up of brussels sprouts and kale. I am having these this week along side my mini buffalo chicken meatloaves I made during meal prep on Sunday.

When we returned home from our mini AM adventure my very first Stitch Fix was waiting for me!

Stay tuned for a full review of the box later this week!
I spent my Friday night like any rockstar would, in bed reading the new issue of InStyle magazine (Kerry Washington is pure perfection FYI) while listening to the Peaceful Piano playlist on spotify.
I know, I am the coolest human.


I got my booty in the gym nice and early for a marathon workout. I started out with a Spin class which was by far the WORST class I have ever taken. Since moving to VA I have definitely made myself try many different workouts with different instructors and in my 6 years of consistent fitness classes I can honestly say this woman was the worst instructor I have ever encountered. 

I clearly hate the color pink

For starters she left the lights on, not a big deal but I've become accustomed to the blacklight spin life and I am addicted to it. Secondly, she spent more time off of the bike than on it. That time she spent off if it she was going around the room pointing people out and telling them what they were doing wrong. Some people may find this helpful but she came over to me within the first five minutes and told me my arms were bouncing to much while we were out of the saddle ( forgetting the fact that I told her before class the bike was not only broken but the handlebar was shaky because the screw couldn't be tightened enough to stabilize it)  and it completely threw me out of my desire to be there.

I got through 45 of the 60 minutes before walking out. After the Spin Disaster of 2015 I spent a few minutes stretching in the sauna before taking a 30 minute ab class followed by boxing. I ended up burning almost 1,400 calories and left the gym feeling very accomplished.

So accomplished that I decided a trip to Ulta was well deserved. I haven't tried new makeup in a long time and I decided to stock up on a bunch of new items.

I used the Urban Decay NAKED foundation and concealer later that night for Valentine's Date night and it was incredible. Full, weightless coverage that didn't make my skin look like I had any makeup on it at all. Even Eddie complimented how great it looked.

Clearly I needed another nail polish so I picked up "This Color's Making Waves" from the new OPI Hawaii line, simply because I have nothing like it in my ever-growing collection and because Ulta doesn't have the Essie spring line out yet. P.S if your a polish addict and you haven't seen it yet, don't look it up for your wallets sake.

I was starving after Ulta so I made my way over to Trader Joe's,  because shopping on an empty stomach is always a good decision as you can see.

After errands and a much needed shower it was time to get ready for our date night!

Working from home + working out all the time I rarely put real clothes on anymore. It was fun to get "dressed up" and put makeup on and do my hair for once, you know, like a real girl?

Every Valentine's Day Eddie and I make cards, it's a tradition we started when we were first dating and although I hate crafts I look forward to it every year.

 Eddie may have the crafty side of the family but I've got the puns.


For the first time in years I overslept and missed my gym class. My body must have known it was -16 degrees out in addition to a nagging hip flexor pain I was glad it happened.

I took advantage of the extra sleep and used the pent up energy to clean the house, do laundry, meal prep and finish up my planner pages for last week/ pre-prep next weeks pages.

I will admit I was slightly bummed when I calculated last weeks calorie burn and realized I would have broken 5,000 if I had in fact gone to spin this morning but quickly got over it because my body needed the rest and more importantly, there is always this week!

I don't pre-plan too much for the current week because most of it is ever changing but appointments I know I am attending or can't change I put in on Sundays as well as my weekly "To Do" list.

VA Bloggers: Is anyone attending the Paint Nite in DC on Thursday? I'd like to but want to make sure there are others going before I sign up!

In hopes of Spring coming earlier than expected (we're getting our first major snow storm of the season here tonight) I did some spring cleaning in my closet.



It felt really good to give away a bag full of clothes and shoes and see my closet floor again!

We spent the night having Chinese take out on the couch while watching the SNL 40 special. For those of you who watched, what did you think? We absolutely loved it, the opening monologue was perfection and we laughed our entire way through until the very end.

How was your weekend?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Getting Beach Body Ready

Today marks 30 days until our trip to Jamaica for my sisters wedding which means Operation LOCK IT UP has officially started.

This morning while Eddie made us breakfast I got to work on my motivation/countdown wall which happily resides in our kitchen. When I first did Operation LOCK IT UP I had my countdown down wall in my bedroom and it worked great but I think having it in the kitchen as a constant reminder to make healthy meals will kick things up a notch.

In addition to my countdown I purchased the Tone It Up Beach Babe 2 DVD (digital download version) on Sunday. I've decided to add one workout to my daily fitness routine to not only spice things up but to help myself get beach ready for Jamaica.

I have always felt better when I worked out first thing in the morning, it energized me for my day whether I wanted to workout or not I was always happier when I did. My current gym has classes at 6 am and then not again until 9 am, once the weather warms up I'll have no problem rolling out of bed at an ungodly hour to workout but right now ain't nobody got time for that, so working out at home it is.

Yesterday I kicked my new routine off with the "Summer Arms" routine and I'll admit I didn't think it would be challenging because "I'm in great shape," but I was wrong. By the end of the 20 minute workout I was sweating with shaky arms AKA win!

For lunch I made my moms kale salad recipe: Shredded/chopped kale massaged with lemon vinaigrette (or lemon juice and olive oil) topped with grilled chicken, avocado, onion and sunflower seeds. It was perfect.

Last night was Tabata class which is definitely my favorite of all of my classes here in NoVa. We are always doing something different and the instructor is pretty much my favorite human. Last night he played the last song from Pitch Perfect for our cool down/stretch, it doesn't get much better than that if you ask me!

I ended my first Operation LOCK IT UP  day with a protein shake: Cellucor PB Marshmallow, small banana, ice and almond milk and a Parks & Rec marathon.

Not bad for day 1 if you ask me!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dealing WIth Lack of Motivation

Warning: This post is pretty much me rambling on and on....

Up until recently I hadn't noticed or realized just how out of my routine I was. Moving really threw me through a loop in every aspect of my life which I was well aware of but it didn't occur to me just how much it had affected my diet and fitness routine.

I had become much more lax about my "diet" in recent months. I use the term diet loosely because I do not follow any specific plan, I focus more on eating as healthy/clean as possible but I don't restrict myself from burgers and fries if that's something I am craving that particular day. 

I have changed my fitness routine drastically over the last 6 months, I went from kickboxing 4x a week, plus lifting to boxing, tabata and spin classes without much lifting and when I tell you I see the difference I mean it.  Lifting not only helped me tone up but it helped me loose inches. It was never something I fell in love with but now that I have stopped doing it consistently I am realizing the importance of balance between cardio and lifting.

This week is the first week since moving back in September that I have meal prepped and got back into the habit of making green juices. I took four consecutive days out of the gym, which was the first time I've done that since I had my knee surgery last June, simply because I didn't feel like working out. This was something I struggled with because it didn't feel like me to NOT want to work out but at the same time 4 days off in a row after 10 months isn't that big of a deal. 

My focus is back and a lot of that comes from the fact I will be going to Jamaica in March for my sisters wedding. I think most of us are motivated by goals/deadlines, I have never had a "goal weight" or "ideal body" because I just want to be happy in my clothes and strong in the gym. Right now I feel as though I am neither of these things and I am bringing back "Operation LOCK IT UP" which was something I did before my bridal shower. 

I focused on eating clean, working hard in the gym and for some reason I put a post-it note countdown on my wall and took a post it off everyday that I was on track with my eating and fitness and to remind myself I was one day closer to my event. As a visual person this really helped keep me focused and motivated so I am hoping this will be that extra push I need.

What do you do when you lose your focus or motivation?