Friday, February 28, 2020

Life Lately | February

For a short month, I feel like I still got a lot done! When I was putting this post together, I was shocked at how many different recipes I'd tried that were new to me. I also did some crafting and continued with my running. It was a great month overall! 

Books I've Read

  • The House Girl by Tara Conklin- This story alternates between Lina, a lawyer in present day NYC as she puts together a reparations case and Josefine, a house slave in the south during the 1800s for the Bell family. As Lina searches for a plaintiff for her case, we learn more of Josefine's story and her outcome. This story was fascinating and exactly the type of historical fiction I enjoy reading. It's a wonderful book. It was well written and both Lina's and Josefine's stories held my interest. 4.5/5

Recipes I've Tried
Top L to R: Chocolate Tres Leches Cake, Breakfast Bake, Parmesan Tilapia with Ranch Bacon Green Beans
Bottom: Slow Cooker Chili Mac, Slow Cooker Corn Chowder 
  • Crockpot Balsamic Pork Tenderloin- I saw this on Shea's blog and made it this past week. Yum!! I finished it in the oven to get a glaze and added more glaze on each portion. So easy and delicious! 
  • Ranch Bacon Green Beans- This recipe from Lisa is a wonderful and delicious side dish! The kids and hubby gobbled it up!
  • Ham and Cheese Breakfast Bars- I don't often make things for breakfast, but I do make breakfast for dinner! So I made these bars for dinner and we had some leftovers for breakfast the next day. They were easy and very tasty. My oldest daughter really liked them. 
  • Ham & Bean Soup- I made this soup to use up the last of the ham I had purchase for the breakfast bars. I was able to turn this into a slow cooker recipe so it was ready when we came home from Saturday night church. I really liked it! 
  • Slow Cooker Chili Mac- I actually used some leftover smoked pork to make this and it was AMAZING! We all loved it and I had enough to freeze for later, too. I love making doubles of recipes so I can freeze them and use them later when Matt is traveling. 
  • Condensed Milk Frosting- Avie and I made cupcakes and used this to frost them. My husband approves and Claire called them the 'best cupcakes she's ever had.' 
  • Mexican Tres Leches Cake- This is super rich, but incredibly delicious. Claire is a big fan! I omitted the cayenne to make it kid-friendly. 
  • Red Pepper & Parmesan Tilapia- I had this on our meal planner and my husband actually made it. It was delicious! 
  • Parmesan Crusted Salmon- We loved the tilapia so much we tried a version with salmon. Two thumbs up from this family! Everyone enjoyed it and it was easy and quick to make. 
  • Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Chowder- Super easy to put together and delicious, especially topped with bacon and cheese! I didn't even cut the chicken into chunks, I just put a chicken breast in frozen then shredded it once cooked. 
Products I've Been Using

Over the years I have added more and more supplements to my morning and nightly routine. I take them for a variety of reasons, mostly to feel better, help my immune system, and help my skin. I figure if it doesn't hurt and it could help, why not? So when Lumity approached me and asked if I would be interested in trying and reviewing their morning and nighttime supplements I agreed. After looking into their products and benefits and taking them for a few weeks, I'm glad I did. Lumity was developed with a multi-dimensional purpose; to provide visible results seen in your skin, hair, and nails as well as improve your wellness, energy, and vitality. It helps your skin from the inside out. I love that Lumity isn't focusing on one area like bone health or immunity. They are have a multi-faceted approach to positively support your lifestyle in several different ways. In a clinical study, over 90% of participants taking Lumity reported significant improvement in their hair, skin, and nails after a 12 week period as compared to a placebo (they asked about skin smoothness, radiance, firmness, hydration, and overall appearance). That's impressive. 

I haven't taken Lumity supplements that long, but I can speak to some of the effects I've noticed after 3 weeks. My energy levels seem to have improved. I still have a mid-afternoon slump, but it isn't as bad as it was before. Most noticeably I am sleeping better and waking less during the night. I feel that the quality of sleep is better and I am falling asleep faster, too. I like having so many vitamins combined in one serving to benefit me and that I am not trying to figure it out myself and buy them separately. It can be exhausting and involve taking SO. MANY. PILLS! I also appreciate that there are morning pills and night pills to work most efficiently with your body. In addition, I appreciate the focus on sustainability. Lumity has refillable jars and comes in packets for each order. They are focused on using environmentally friendly product packaging whenever possible and does not test on animals. They are committed to protecting the planet. 

In my opinion there are many positive aspects to these supplements including the results and the commitment to the environment. Are there any downsides? The main ones I can think of are that the pills are a little on the larger side as many daily vitamins are. You need to take 3 in the morning and 3 at night. The price for a month's supply is $99, but $85 when done as a monthly subscription. That can be a little pricey, but given the clinical results you may actually end up saving money on your skin care routine because you will most likely need less products! I did not experience any negative side effects from these supplements and they had no aftertaste. Overall, I feel the positives far outweigh the small drawbacks! AND you can get 20% off Lumity products including their morning and night supplements by using code LUMITYX20. That really helps with the bottom line! 

  • Fixing- I did a bit of sewing this month and fixed a pair of leggings that were 'straight leg' style to more fitted and I altered a jumper I received from Shein months ago to fit Claire. It's so cute on her! 
  • Hearing-Sure it's snowy one day and sunny and in the 50s the next, but I swear those birds are chirping more and more each morning. Hopefully spring is on its way! 
  • Borrowing- I've been borrowing my husband's iphone 11 to take instagram or quick photos for the blog. I'm seriously impressed with the photo capabilities. 
  • Feeling- I'm feeling a bit blah lately. I hate this part of winter and it seems to drag on forever so I think that is why I've been trying to distract myself with crafting and cooking/baking lately. Due to insane flight prices (like $1,000+ per ticket) we aren't heading to AZ for spring break like we typically do. So hopefully we can make the most of it and maybe even go downtown with the kids for a day! 
  • Recommending- I've been refreshing all my running gear. That includes SOCKS! You wouldn't always think of socks when buying workout gear, but you should. Your feet bear your weight all day long and when working out that is hard on them. Shoes are important, but socks can make a big difference, too. I have tried 5 brands of running socks over the years and by far my favorite is Feetures. I personally purchased them and the support, moisture wicking, and stretch makes them incredibly comfortable and worth the price. Their website says they are America's #1 Running Sock and I can see why. There is even a right and left sock they are so specialized. Their arch support is phenomenal and feels like a hug for my foot! They kindly gifted me a few pairs of their no-show socks to wear during the day with shoes. I hate that sweaty foot feeling of going barefoot in shoes, but I also hate seeing the top of my socks peeking out of my shoes. I've tried no-show socks before, but they always come off and get bunched up so I have to stop and remove them. Even ones with a ridge on the heel that is supposed to help them stay put. Feetures did it again! Their no-show socks are super cute (what's the use of no-show socks if you can't make them in fun colors and patterns?). They also have the support and comfort I'm used to with the Feetures brand. Aren't they cute?!
  • Family Updates 
    • Claire and Avie have been loving their swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School. I'm amazed at how welcoming they are and how their facility is so equipped with everything you could need for swim lessons, to get ready afterwards, and for your children to have fun. 
    • Claire has been busy delivering all her Girl Scout cookies! That girl kicked butt and sold over 200! We've gotten all of the neighbors' cookies delivered, now we just need to bring the rest to Easter for our family. Our neighborhood was SO welcoming! Only 1 person in our subdivision said no. It made me feel really good to have such sweet, wonderful families as neighbors! 

    • Avie has learned to do somersaults and is now practicing them all over the house! It's hilarious. She also insists on playing doctor with her baby who she claims is 'sick' all the time. Her favorite books currently are Sleep Like a Tiger, All Better, and Peppa Pig
February Goals Recap 
  1. Create landing page on instagram from my blog- All set! I've got it live with links to my blog, Shop my Outfits, and Weekly Menu ideas. Since the recipes section of my Life Lately post always seems to be pretty popular, I am including my weekly menu here, too. I do weekly meal planning to help reduce food waste, keep to a budget, and help answer, "What the heck are we having for dinner?" So I'm including 5-6 meals that I am actually making each week here. I'll keep around 3 weeks up at a time with links to recipes, where applicable. Generally I try to pick a variety of proteins, some slow cooker meals, different flavors, and sometimes suggestions for vegetables as a side dish. Let me know what you think of this and if you find it helpful! 
  2. Make a Valentine's Day wreath- Done! I finished it the week before Valentine's Day and I also made a fun felt succulent wreath for spring! 
  3. Sign up for a March race- Done! I am signed up for the Shamrock Shuffle. 
  4. Read a book in print- I finished The House Girl. It was the only book I read, but I finished it! 
  5. Make an appointment for a haircut- Done! And I love the fresh highlights!

March Goals
  1. Practice running with supplements- I'm so bad at eating things like Gu or even drinking water when I run, but since I've been increasing my mileage on the weekends, I really need to get my stomach used to it. I think it will really help my energy levels and maintain my pace at the end of my runs. 
  2. Find a new running route- I have my set 7, 9.5, 11.5 mile routes, but they are all pretty similar so I'd like to figure out a least 1 new route in a different direction with around that mileage. Got to mix it up! 
  3. Wear false lashes- I've successfully put on false lashes once. I'd love to get better at putting them on for date nights or special occasions. 
  4. Complete 5 more CEUs- I need to motivate myself to keep working on my CEUs for this next 3 year span. 
  5. Get started with carpet replacement- We got quotes to get wood flooring in our living room and sunroom this past fall, but put it on hold until after we were done refinancing our house. Now that is out of the way I can't wait to move forward with getting the carpet replaced with wood. It's going to be amazing! I need to call the company we've chosen to get on the schedule. 
linking up with Anne & Gretchen + KristenWhat's Up Wednesday

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