Book Review: The Nest

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As soon as I saw The Nest, I wanted to read it. Truth – it was because of the awesome cover. I didn’t even know what it was about, which really tells you how important book covers are to me.

And the inside of the book did not disappoint.

The Plumbs are extremely dysfunctional.  In fact, they barely speak to each other. But the one thing they have in common is the four Plumb siblings – Leo, Bea, Jack and Melody – have all been anxiously awaiting the day they would receive their trust fund (The Nest). Though their father died years ago, he set it up so that when the youngest Melody turned 40, they would all receive their shares.

But when the oldest Leo gets into trouble (think drunk driving with a young woman who isn’t his wife, a hefty payoff and a trip to rehab), their mother decides to spend the Nest on aiding Leo, which does not please the other siblings. The three other siblings plead that Leo repay them, though he claims he doesn’t have the money. Two of the four Plumbs really need the money, and the other is really only wanting Leo’s approval.

The Nest is really funny and smart and a fast read. It is a really interesting look at the dynamics of this super dysfunctional family, and the ways that the one brother’s actions really impact the other 3 siblings (in more ways than just the money).

 

I highly recommend The Nest. I know it sounds like it is all about the money, but it really isn’t.

Running Shoes

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Shirt / Pants / Shoes

*I am not a doctor or an authority on shoes (although I do consider myself an amateur shoe specialist… but that is another story) . This is just my personal experience. 

 

I have been running (on and off) for over 15 years. I used to HATE to run. But I joined the dance team in high school, and it was part of the package. In high school, everyone wore the same shoes – New Balance 990s. It didn’t matter how good the shoes were, we all wore them. And I wore them for probably 12 years. It was what I was used to. So I just kept buying them.

 

When I was in middle school, I learned that I don’t have a lot of arch in my foot (actually very little arch at all). I have always worn insoles the gave my foot a lot of arch support in my running shoes. If I don’t have enough support, I have a lot of pain in my feet and my legs. But then a few years ago, I tried a pair of Brooks running shoes that gave more support, and I didn’t have to wear the insoles. It was great.

 

Sometimes, you don’t realize how important something is until you find the right thing. For example, I didn’t realize what a difference a yoga mat could make on my practice until I got my Lululemon mat. Running shoes are REALLY important – whether it is running or working out or other more intense physical activity. Your shoes are important.

 

A few things that are important –

Support– this is number one. Good support no matter what your needs are is important. I personally don’t like the ones that are practically socks. Those do not give good support, in my personal opinion.

Comfort – they also need to be comfortable.

Weight – It was such a difference for me when I went from New Balance 990s to Brooks. They are so much more light weight! With that being said, I also have a pair of New Balances (these) that I don’t work out in and they are light weight too. I love these too, they just don’t work for me for running.

Quality – Running shoes can be really expensive. But it is worth the money because you have to wear good shoes.

 

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I am wearing the Brooks Adrenaline GTS (but the 16 not the 17). They offer great support, are light weight and comfortable.

 

Just remember that what works for some people doesn’t work for everyone. Running / fitness shoes are all about personal preference and what meets your needs. I can say that I have worn Brooks my last 2 pairs of shoes and they have been great.

 

Sizing note- did you know you should go up a half to a whole size bigger in your running shoes? Your feet swell when you work out, and the swelling + shoes that are tight can cause problems like losing toe nails. I learned all this when I bought my last pair. So I went up a whole size.

 

What brand do you prefer for your running / fitness shoes?

 

Have a great day!

Spring Favorites

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Happy Thursday everyone! I don’t know about you, but I am ready for the weekend. I have grand plans to binge watch Big Little Lies tonight, and I can’t wait.

 

So Tuesday, I shared some of my favorite shoes for Spring. And today it is all about some of my favorite spring trends + pieces!

 

Pink

Pink is EVERYWHERE. Have you noticed? Especially baby pink. I am not complaining at all.

 

Off the Shoulder / One Shoulder

The cold shoulder was everywhere for fall, and continues to be popular for spring.

 

Gingham

I LOVE gingham! It is one of my very favorite prints. So seeing it everywhere for spring makes me really happy!

 

Bell Sleeves

Another trend from fall that is sticking around for spring.  I love the short sleeve blouses with the bell sleeves!

 

So what are you loving for spring? What are your favorite trends?

 

PS: Check the SHOP tab for more of my favorites for Spring!

Tuesday Shoesday: Week 157

Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope you survived Monday unharmed. So even though it doesn’t feel like spring, it is the middle of March, and therefore absolutely time to look ahead to spring shoes!

 

I am always so ready to ditch the winter clothing and shoes. After months of blacks, browns and greys, I am happy to sport my lights and brights again!

 

So here are a few shoes I have my eye on for Spring:

 

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1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Have a great day!

Striped Sweater

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Happy Monday, everyone. I hope you had a good weekend. Mine was … COLD. Remember when it was supposed to be cold, but it was in the 70s? And now it is getting close to spring and it is suppose to be warming up, and I woke up yesterday morning and there was snow on the ground. Not much snow, but still snow. I can’t even keep up any more.

 

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So this is pretty much an “I have no idea what I am suppose to wear any more” look. Lose the tights and it works for spring. Add a scarf and an overcoat and call it winter.

 

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Jacket: Gap (similar); Sweater: Target (similar); Skirt: Gap (similar); Shoes: Kate Spade; Necklace: Target (similar)

 

I don’t know about you, but I am ready for spring.

 

Have a great day!

Fireplace Before & After

I am super excited to share our fireplace before and after!! This was the first big project we tackled in the #hodumfixerupper. And it was a process. The hubs is handy, but we have never done anything like this before. And since the living room was pretty much un-livable until it was done, it was our first project.

 

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This is what the fireplace looked like before.

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The tile was cracked. The people that lived there before us had three small children. I was afraid for my dogs to get hurt by the broken tile.

Plus it was ugly and the mantle was too small. It all had to go.

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The mirror that was GLUED to the wall left a lot of damage. So the hubs had to redo a lot of it. Pretty bad, right?

 

Here is the after:

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I am so pleased with the way it came out! I had seen two ideas on Pinterest that I wanted to combine, but I was a little nervous. Truthfully, I told the hubs I really just wanted Joanna’s (as in Gaines, as in Fixer Upper) approval. Oddly enough, the next episode of Fixer Upper that we watched she did something similar! (Please don’t judge me, this kind of stuff really isn’t my thing).

 

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Vase  / Topiaries / Flower Box (similar – mine came from HomeGoods) / Candle Stick Holder

 

So after tearing everything out (a frightening experience), we put in the brick. (we had someone come do the brick since neither of us have brick experience and we were not messing that up). The bottom is regular brick, and around the fireplace are brick pavers that is about an inch thick. We left the original glass doors, but we did spray paint them black. Then I white washed the brick (I am going to do a how to post on that soon. It is super easy!)

 

We ordered the mantle from Mantles Direct. The fireplace surround came from Lowes (unfortunately I don’t see it online anymore).

 

Since we have vaulted ceilings, I really wanted to do something to give the space above the fireplace some interest, but we were planning to put our tv there, so it couldn’t be too much. So we did shiplap (have I mentioned how much I love Fixer Uppers?). The hubs installed the shiplap himself (with some help from my dad).

 

So that is the first of our many, many projects! Hopefully everything turns out as good as the fireplace.

 

Have a great day!

February Workout Recap

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a good weekend.

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Pants (I also have them in navy and white) / Shirt / Shoes

So today I am recapping my February fitness.  In my January workout recap, I mentioned I wanted to focus on upping my running milage, doing more yoga, doing more arm weights and maybe some HIIT.  2 out 4 isn’t too bad.

 

Here is a look at my February workouts:

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Week 1:

Wed: BBG week 5 arms & abs + arm weights & jump rope / Thurs: Run 2.0 mi / Fri: BBG week 5 full body + yoga / Sat: OFF / Sun: Run 2.5 mi

*(Monday and Tuesday were part of January). I was really excited to run more on Sunday. I love running outside, so I am trying to do more running on the weekends.

 

Week 2:

Mon: BBG week 6 arms & abs / Tues: Run 2.0 mi / Wed:  BBG week 6 abs & cardio

Thurs: OFF / Fri: BBG legs & cardo / Sat: Run 2.3 mi / Sun: OFF

*This was a rough week. I had issues with both my right wrist and my right ankle, so I had to take it easy and modify some workouts. I had to skip my Sunday run because of the ankle, and skip the yoga because of both.

 

Week 3:

Mon: BBG week 7 legs & cardio / Tues: Run 2.0 mi / Wed: BBG week 7 arms & abs

Thurs: Run 2.0 mi / Fri: BBG week 7 full body, yoga / Sat: Run 2.5 mi / Sun: Yoga

 

Week 4: 

Mon: BBG week 8 arms & abs / Tues: Run 2.0 mi / Wed: BBG week 7 abs & cardio / Thurs: OFF

Fri: BBG week 8 legs & cardio + arm weights and jump rope + yoga / Sat: Run 3.1 mi / Sun: Run 2.3 mi + yoga

 

Week 5:

Mon: BBG week 9 legs  / Tues: OFF

 

All in all, it wasn’t a bad month. I completed all of my BBG workouts and increased my weekend running milage (I am sticking with 2 miles during the week on the treadmill for now). 3 out of 4 weeks I did yoga twice a week.

 

I ran a total of 22.7 miles this month, which wasn’t as much as I had hoped for, but I had to go easy the one week because of my ankle, so I am OK with it.

 

For March, I hope to continue increasing my running milage. I also want to work on the foam rolling, which I didn’t do more of in February (oops). Hopefully I can add some more arm weights + jump rope and some HIIT, but we will see how it goes.

 

How are you doing on your fitness goals? What are you working on this month?

 

Have a great day!

Recent Recipes

I love to cook, and I’ve been trying really hard to try a new recipe a week. Some weeks I actually accomplish this, and some weeks I don’t. But I am trying!

So here are a few new recipes I have made that are quite delicious.

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Three Cheese Zucchini Lasagna rolls

 

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Tuna Zucchini Cakes (I also did them with leftover grilled salmon and they were just as good).

 

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Salmon and Veggies in foil

 

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One Pan Chicken, Potatoes and Spinach

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Spinach Chicken Parmesan Meatballs in Creamy Tomato Sauce

 

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The Best Pork Marinade (suggestion – double the marinade)

 

I can tell you that all of these recipes are fantastic! In fact we have had them all several times. So what have you been cooking lately? I am always looking for good recipes!

Hunter Boot Guide

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I recently got a email asking me about my Hunter boots. And although I am no expert, I thought I might put together a little guide in case any of you were thinking about buying them (we are about to get into the spring shower season!)

 

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I have 2 pair – the original tall gloss boots in Red and the original short matte boots in pink. And I love them both. In fact, I got my mom a pair and we just got my cousin a pair for Christmas. I highly recommend Hunter boots if you are looking for rain boots and think you will wear them more than once a year.

 

Fit : To me, they run pretty true to size.  They only come in whole sizes, so it can be a little tricky. I am an 8.5 but more on the 8/8.5 side, so I got an 8, which fit great. But if you are worried about them being small, I would size up. That way you have plenty of room to wear cute boot socks (I love the Hunter boot socks!) If you have issues with your calves and boots, then definitely go with the adjustable boots.

 

Comfort : I think they are super comfortable! They aren’t too heavy but they are sturdy enough that you don’t feel like they are going to give out on you. Also, my feet don’t get hot in them. Some rain boots can get really hot for some reason, but I haven’t had an issue with these.

 

Color : There are SO many colors to choose from! And I love them all. I have red and pink, but I am dying to get the mint green. My cousin got the grey, and those were gorgeous. Of course, you can’t go wrong with black  or army green. I also really love the baby pink.

 

Height : This is a personal preference to me. I love my short and tall ones! Most people get the tall ones, which is nice when it is really wet then your legs don’t get splashed if you walk through a puddle, but there is something really cute and easy about the short boots. Also the short ones are another good option for larger calves (they even have super short boots – the Chelsea).

 

Durability : I have had my red boots for about 3 years now, and they still look pretty much brand new. The good thing about rain boots is that you can just wash them off and they are good as new!

 

Price : I know that Hunter boots are expensive. But they are worth the money if you think you will wear them. If you don’t want to buy them full price, they do have some on sale (how cute is the peppercorn color??). Unfortunately they are often a brand that are excluded from sales, but you may can get them on sale during friends and family sales or around Black Friday.

 

So if you have been wanting Hunter boots, my suggestion is to go for it! They make rainy days so much cuter!

Navy and Mint

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So what do you do when it feels like spring but it actually the middle of February? You dress somewhere in the middle. We have been having 70 + degree days recently, and although I am not going to be breaking out the sandals, I love being able to ditch the tights.

 

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Truth – I have had my eye on this sweater for a really long time. Not just because I love anything navy or mint (and together is perfection) but hello cute little bow!! And another reason it is so very perfect? It is the perfect weight for a winter that feels like spring. It is light weight which makes it ideal for transitioning into spring, and the colors work for any season.

 

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The other great news about it? It is on sale now!

 

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Sweater: J. Crew; Skirt: Banana Republic (similar); Boots: Frye (similar)

Have a great day!