Loves The Find

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Easy Workout Plan for the busy holiday season

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CentrumFunFlavors #CollectiveBias
I'm a month out from completing my Bikram Yoga 30 Day Challenge and Whole30 eating plan and I'm noticing the lack of motivation, time and holiday social calendars are eating away at my healthy lifestyle! I'm on a mission to save myself from the holiday gains and get back on track! As a busy working mom, finding the time for workouts is normally after work and the ONLY way I make my workouts happen is having everything packed and being able to change at the gym. In order to meet my gym goal I pack a complete gym bag including my favorite essentials, post-workout snacks, and an on-the-go vitamin option.

Here is what's in my bag:
  1. Makeup - if I come from work the only thing I need to freshen up is my mascara and my lips, so red holiday lipstick and a good mascara is always in my bag
  2. Having the option for a shower - towel, cheap flip-flops, travel sized lotion, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, deordorant, and make-up remover wipes
  3. Post workout snacks - as a holiday tip, never go to a party hungry...ever. Have options to fuel your body immediately after your workout even if you only get a 20 minute workout in, save the calories on something with clean protein than on those delicious looking holiday appetizers and desserts. I always carry a shaker bottle (I use this during my workout for water as well) with travel protein powder (budget saver is to not buy the packets, but to make a ziplock portion of your protein powder from home). I also carry raw almonds, on-the-go vitamin option, and my favorite protein bars (either GoMacro or Vega). 
  4. Hair - dry shampoo, brush, ponytail bands, holiday headband, bobby pins
Post-workout hair:
Rocking post-workout hair can be so on trend! Here are 4 stunning looks that are fast and super easy to do after a great sweat!
If I can't find time for a full gym workout or time to get to the yoga studio, I complete a circuit at home or even at the playground if the weather is nice. My favorite no-equipment circuit workout you can do ANYWHERE and fit within the time constraints you have for the day. Do one round or five, this workout will be fun and energizing that will allow you to meet any holiday demand. Last night I did my full-body circuit along with my 12 days of Christmas ab sequence before I cuddled up and turned on the holiday music to decorate the Christmas tree. Here is my full-body and ab circuit:

Anywhere Full-Body Circuit:

  1. 5 minute run or jog-in-place
  2. 50 jump squats
  3. 50 crunches
  4. 50 push-ups (can modify to knees and incorporate diamond push-ups)
  5. 50 plyometric lunges
  6. 50 tricep dips (off a bench or you can do on ground with legs bent)
  7. 50 jumping jacks
  8. 50 donkey kicks (25 each leg)
  9. 50 standing knee to elbow (25 each side)
  10. 50 calf raises
  11. 50 (25 each side) leg side rasies
  12. 50 high knees
  13. 50 curtsy lunges (25 each side)
  14. 50 arm circles (25 front and 25 backwards)
  15. 1 minute plank
*Repeat as many times as you would like.

12 Days of Christmas Ab Sequence:
*So like the song you perform like a ladder - with one, then do two and one, then three, two and one, and keep building until you go all the way through the 12 movements.

  1. 1 15 second plank
  2. 2 super mans (lower back)
  3. 3 legs to ceiling
  4. 4 leg dips
  5. 5 knee-to-elbow crunches
  6. 6 cross crunches (knees bent and cross crunch 3 times to each side)
  7. 7 rollup full crunches
  8. 8 v-sit russian crunches (4 to each side)
  9. 9 reverse crunches
  10. 10 bicycle crunches (5 to each side)
  11. 11 straight leg crunches
  12. 12 regular crunches
Biggest tip is having fun and grabbing friends and family to motivate you during the holiday season. Put on a your favorite holiday movie and do your workout in front of the TV. Or plan a holiday meet-and-greet with your friends incorporating fitness...try a new dance class or yoga class and exchange gifts over a healthy post-meal or drink.

Lastly, if you can't make a formal workout happen at all burn some calories on holiday adventures! You will burn some major calories speed walking the put on comfy shoes and get that holiday shopping tackled in just one trip! Walk your neighborhood at night and enjoy the beautiful lights and decorations that everyone has put up. Or take your time picking out the perfect tree, walk the aisles and make sure your find the best one. And my favorite, find a walking home or light tour. We just went to one last weekend and it got us right in the holiday spirit.

I found my Centrum ® MultiGummies ® at my local Walmat. The MultiGummies come in three great flavors (berry, cherry, orange) and are gluten-free and have no artificial flavors or sweeteners. Oh and did I mention there is a fabulous coupon? Just follow this link to the coupons page and you are ready to go shopping for a super convenient multi-vitamin that makes it easy to support your health with a busy lifestyle during the hectic holiday season.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Monday, November 21, 2016

cheap and easy thanksgiving table

I cannot believe it's Thanksgiving week already! This weekend we had the pleasure of attending two fabulous Friendsgivings with the most amazing food and decor. I took charge of our Friday night Friendsgiving decorations by re-purposing a Halloween pumpkin, finding napkins from the thrift store, and creating super simple table accents. These are perfect ideas if you are on a budget but want your guests to feel extra special or just if you are short on time and need some cute finishing touches in a pinch.

Leftover Halloween Pumpkin = What Are You Thankful For? Centerpiece 

What you will need:
  • Pumpkin
  • Chalkpaint (I got a quart in the paint clearance section of Lowes for $5)
  • Cheap paint brush
  • Chalk Markers(We used gold and white)
Gold painted feathers and pinecones

What you will need:
  • Pinecones (nothing better than free and it made me giggle since we tricked the two toddlers into a game of pinecone pick-up)
  • White Feathers(I got two bags for $4)
  • Gold spray paint
  • Cardboard to spray on
  • Twine
  • The feathers we used as napkins rings with twine
  • The pinecones we used as seating assignments by just cutting some cheap greeting cards in half and using a marker to write everyones name

Chopped Firewood = Unique Lighting 

What you will need:
Table setting (side note- this table is a Habitat for Humanity find too! $40!)

What you will need:
  • Tablecloth (we used a white tablecloth she already had and used a plaid blanket scarfto add a little color and drama - always think of what you have before you buy and multi-purpose uses)
  • China & Flatware
  • Charger Plates(we had these available to us as wedding leftovers but if you don't have them, look for used ones or create fun placemats with kraft paper or another fabric choice)
  • Napkins (can you believe I got 10 cloth napkins at the thrift store for $4.50!!)
  • Extras - I bought 4 mini pumpkins and we had a little pilgram wine man

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fall Fashion Trends 2016

Fall is my favorite. Not only is it perfect cozy temperature but you get all the fun things that come along with fall, like wineries, beautiful leafs, gatherings around a fire, pumpkins, Halloween, comfort food, and of course fall fashion. Fall fashion is fabulous because I get to wear leggings, chunky knit sweaters, blanket scarfs,  and boots without anyone thinking I look frumpy!

What I look out for at the thrift store for fall looks:

  • Sweaters
    • These are bountiful in all colors, thickness, patterns – plaid is my favorite. The brown/black sweaterish jacket I have on in the photos is super unique and a great brand for $8. 
    • Not only wear alone but also think about layering options (turtlenecks and blazers is a stunning work look)
    • Hartley's adorable Gap sweater was also a thrift find at $3 and it matches everything!
  • Boots
    • Over the knee, lace-up/military, and ankle bootsare this years fashion craze, and good luck for you they are available at steep discounts if you are willing to hunt. I know not everyone is keen on the used shoe idea, but I will say at least with boots you can wear socks :)
    • Recently I found grey wedge ankle Franco Sarto boots for $9! They are super comfy and look great under bootcut jeans or with the leggingsand sweater dress I paired it with below.
  • Printed pants
    • I get so bored of my dress pants and jeans so finding fall prints like the leopard ones I’m wearing below to incorporate into my day or night selection makes me so happy! These leopard Anne Taylor Loft pants were only $7!
  • Jackets
    • If you step into a thrift store right now you will be OVERWHELMED with all the options you have.
    • Fur, leather, velvet and suede are HUGE trends right now, so rock it by finding an affordable option.
  • Special Occasion Dresses
    • Start looking for holiday looks now or get a special dress for any fall weddings you may have. This little black dress I have on above was $11...and yes, I questioned the price as my normal maximum at the thrift store is $10, but it is a fantastic wardrobe staple that will be perfect for any occasion. I wore this to an October wedding and paired it with a faux fur coat, which are about $15 from the thrift store. *remember your store clearance days and for higher priced items like designer labeled dresses or jackets, you can get for an even bigger steal*
Getting this evening to spend with Willie, Hartley and some fabulous friends along the waterfront was wonderful. A great pick-me-up to all the fall gatherings, demanding work schedules, and election frenzy. I hope you ROCK your fall looks, because sadly our season is flying by!

Friday, October 28, 2016

DIY rustic industrial pipe toilet paper holder

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TubeFree #CollectiveBias

As you may know from some of my more recent Instagram posts, I’ve challenged myself to a 30 day mind, body, spirit overhaul during the month of October. I was feeling run down and becoming aware of what I was fueling my body with and the products I was using throughout my home. I was on a mission to transform my way of living and to be more conscience of my actions that not only affected me and my peers but also the environment. Which brings me to Scott® Tube-Free Bath Tissue!

Did you that over 17 billion toilet paper tubes are used each year? That's enough to fill the Empire State Building…twice!! Per YEAR!  Scott Tube Free delivers unscented premium softness, without the wasteful cardboard tube. It’s also made with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) – certified fibers which promotes the practice of sustainable forestry for future generations.
As a budget DIY and lifestyle blog I am very in-tune with less waste and living a more eco-friendly life. Focusing on buying used to lessen our carbon footprint and recycle already made products decreases unwanted waste and the demand for new manufacturing. To store or display your tube-free toilet paper in your bathroom, think of using items from second-hand markets. Using finds from these markets and transforming them into something beautiful is upcycle friendly! Some starter ideas of what you can use are baskets, buckets, crates, vases, laterns, candle holders, or magazine racks. You can also use leftover wood from projects to create a fun family-friendly DIY industrial pipe toilet paper holder, just like this one!

This toilet paper storage option is fabulous for a kid's bathroom with the fun sayings (you can also make this without the sayings for more of a industrial/chic look in your bathroom). Here are the simple details on how to make one of your own:

  1. Wood board (I used a leftover 1"x6" board)
  2. Pen or Pencil
  3. Tape Measurer
  4. Stain (I used leftover miniwax red oak)
  5. Staining Rag and Rubber Gloves
  6. Sand Paper or Sanding Sponge
  7. Galvanized Pipe (3/4"X18"long)
  8. Galvanized Floor Flange (3/4")
  9. 6 screws (I used 4 hexagoal screws for the flange attachment and 2 regular 1" screws for the backing)
  10. Mitter Saw
  11. Screwdriver
  12. Optional - paint pen
  1. Cut the wood - base was cut to 6" and the stand was cut to 19"
  2. Sand the cut edges of the wood
  3. Stain the wood
  4. Optional - Measure even spacing to write sayings:
    • Top - "Good to Go"
    • Second - "Do A Chore Grab 2 More"
    • Thrid - "If You Have To Pee Grab 3"
    • Fourth - "Oh Crap"
  5. Attach flange to wood base with screws
  6. Screw on pipe to flange
  7. Attach wood backing to wood/pipe base with screws
Using the tube free roll is just the same as it fits and simply rolls on common toilet paper holders and storage options, like the one I created!

Lucky for me I am blessed with a Rite Aid right below my work building which is super convenient for quick necessity shopping. It also gets me in trouble because they always have great sales that I go in for one or two things and end up with a huge shopping bag I have to commute home with!

Toss the tube for good! Go tube free!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Small Bathroom Remodel on a Budget

I love bathroom remodels, but they aren’t always possible when you have to stick to a budget. I’ve learned that you don’t have to gut your entire bathroom to make it fabulous! A little TLC and working with the existing framework with some polishing can transform a bathroom. Both of these bathrooms in my new house were soooooo boring. They were the first rooms I tackled in the new house because I knew they would be a quick remodel with limited funding required. They both turned out fabulous that I can barely remember what I started with. So, here are my best tips to remodel your small bathroom on a budget.


#1: Examine the existing tile/vanity/hardware

If your foundation is ok, this will save you a TON. The tile on my daughter’s bathroom was disgusting and the grout was almost black against the stark white tile, but there were no major cracks or deficiencies. It just took a little elbow grease with bleach and baking soda to make them look brand new again! The vanity cabinet, although not my color of choice, the wood was good so I left it (for now...may change with a new vanity top). You can paint vanity cabinets with minimal cost by using a good primer and a semi-gloss latex paint. I did this in my old house, and it turned out beautifully! In the main floor bathroom it had a pedestal sink and hardwoods, so no need to change those big ticket items. I did remove and patch the holes from a towel rack above the toilet. I replaced the large towel rack with more appropriate sized hand towel holder.

#2: Paint or Wallpaper

Obvious I know, but adding some color or wall interest is HUGE! For my daughter's bathroom I used Sherwin Williams Watery and the main floor paint is Sherwin Williams Pewter Tankyard.  The wallpaper accent wall I choose in the main floor bath was a little pricy at $150 (with supplies), but doing the labor myself saved me so much and with the small space to make a statement, it was so worth it. In bathrooms you have so much accent wall ability – think about a wood wall, stripes, chevron, stencils, metallic paint, decals, bead board, wainscoting, or faux brick (I’m giving this one a try somewhere in my house).

#3: New fixtures

Not only thinking about changing the vanity/cabinet hardware, think about changing the faucet, towel/toilet paper holders, shower head, mirror, and lighting fixture. Pick and choose what you think will make the biggest impact. On both these bathrooms I did the lighting (same piece because we loved it) and the mirror. In my opinion, these are GAME CHANGERS in a bathroom. For the main floor bathroom I also removed the brass towel and toilet rack hardware and replaced with new brushed nickel hardware. My goal down the line is to change the countertops, sink and faucet in my daughter’s bathroom – but for now, it’s a start. I mean anywhere I can add marble or granite…I’m going to :)


#4: Add d├ęcor

In my daughter’s room I was inspired by the beautiful paint color I choose to go with a boho chic theme. I found a rug, shower curtain, towels and amazing quote art from HomeGoods that went perfectly with the color scheme and were on budget.  I added two custom Etsy prints with frames from HomeGoods. To save some money I also created DIY shelving units using wood and brackets I found.
In the main floor bathroom, I knew I wanted to stay with a metallic theme from the wallpaper and I remembered I had bought 3 Ikea frames (similar)at a yard sale for $1…yes ALL 3 for $1…so I rummaged in our packed boxes and found them!! Anytime you see frames or art you love on sale, buy them. If you don’t end up using them think of using them as gifts and inserting personalized photos for an engagement, wedding, graduation, etc.

#5: Go in phases

You don't have to do everyhting at once. Start with the basics and then save up for the dream renovation or adding new pieces.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Budget Friendly Travel Essentials For A Toddler

Traveling with toddler? Hold may be a bumpy ride, but these tips will surely help!

We have had two long trips the past five months. One to Jamaica (long flight, long shuttle) and one to Tennessee and North Carolina (extremely long car rides). Both trips were AMAZING and I thank it to being prepped and able to entertain and feed our raging toddler. I was so excited (and a little nervous) to go on these HUGE family adventures because the only real travel we had done before was when she younger and a 2 hour flight where we were staying with family who has a similar aged child, so all the toys, diapers, snacks, accessories they had readily available to us #lovepeoplewithbabies. But these trips, we had to think of EVERYTHING! How do we keep her happy, us sane, and the people around us happy??!!

After lots of blog reading I was ready to tackle these packing excursions. So here it is, the best budget friendly way to prepare for long travel with a toddler, but mainly it boils down to having lots of toys, lots of food, and LOTS of patience.

Tip 1: Go to a Dollar Store, thrift store, or discount market and get a bunch of small, new toys that your kid has never seen before. You can also create some fabulous DIY toys that will keep them just as entertained.

  • Here are some great examples of what I purchased at the Dollar Store:
    • Stickers (lots of them!) for the plane I also found gel stickers that could go on the window and tray table, which were so cool!! If your Dollar Store doesn't have them, try these.
    • Crayons and coloring books
    • Little animal figurines
    • Matchbox cars
    • Play-Doh (not really car friendly, but this was great on plane tray table and at restaurants)
    • Slinky
    • Bouncy ball
    • Large lizard and mini pony that my daughter thought was amazing
  • I also found a couple of  interactive booksat HomeGoods that were lifesavers and showed her noises for transportation, so helped her understand.
  • Some DIY toys and engaging ideas that our little girl LOVES:
    • String and cheerios
    • Ice in a cup, totally free and weird, but this is the best (straw+cup+ice=toddler fascinated)
    • Take a old plastic container and make holes to be able to poke pipecleaners or pom-poms through
    • Peek-a-boo or iSpy with family or travel mates
    • Learn your nursery rhymes! Willie and I were a musicial choir on our car trips. Those songs are hidden in your memory somewhere...go ahead and tap into that brain!

Tip 2: My diaper bag included: diapers, wipes, gallon sized Ziplocs (for toys or if a clothing accident occured), band aids, change of clothes, snacks and plastic straws (more detail below), hand wipes/spray, toy/area wipes, waterproof bib, sunscreen, and snacks (more below).

Tip 3: Pack sippy cups and plastic straws. I carry plastic straws everywhere since I know she can have a drink anywhere I go without the hassle of cleaning/finding my sippy cup.

Tip 4: Pack lots of different kinds of snacks (familiar and new) in small zipper bags or containers. This saves you so much since you don't have to pay the upcharge within the airport or even at the hotels.
  • A nifty trick for plane entertainment, grab a daily pill boxfrom the Dollar Store and hide snacks inside. You can also do this trick with plastic Easter eggs.
  • For the car ride since we had more baggage ability, I bought lots of treats that she normally doesn't get from the Dollar Store as a disraction and reward for good behavior. This bag of goodies on the long car ride was essential. What the magic of a Cheetos and M&Ms will do :)
  • For these longer trips I also brought a few easy meals in case of emergency.
    • Hartley loves granola bars and applesauce, have some in your diaper bag but also bring a box in your check-in for easy on-the-go meals.
    • These Annie'stravel pastas are wonderful to have for emergency meals. I put a few of these in our check-in bag to have at the hotel.
Tip 5: Make a plan with your partner and family (if traveling together) about the expectations for the flight and daily activities so everyone can enjoy the flight and vacation.

Tip 6: Take care of yourself or everyone will be miserable. If you are hungry, thirsty, or unhappy, everything your child does will be that much more annoying. I always pack snacks for us too. If your husband is anything like mine, they get HANGRY real fast and there is noooo turning back until they are satisfied. When I used to travel internationally for work with long flight times, my favorite essentials were protein bars, PB&J sandwiches, raw nuts, dried fruit, and a fresh banana or apple. I also always have an empty water bottle to fill once I pass security so I don’t have to pay the enormous upcharge for a water bottle at the airport stores.

Tip 7: If your child is soothed by a pacifier, make sure you have it. Hartley would be devastated if her “B” didn’t make the flight. We would be those parents running through the airport to find one or borrow one I’m sure. For the chance of further discomfort from a cold or earache, always pack a children’s pain/fever reducer.

Tip 8: Bring a baby carrier, wrap, or backpack. We brought our Ergobaby and a stroller for the trip. Hartley prefers the stroller, so that’s what we used most of the time and through the airport (along with chasing her around to get some energy out).

Tip 9: For the Jamaica flight, we checked our carseat at the boarding door, but if your child is small enough just make sure your car seat is flight compliant. Checking a carseat is free on almost all airlines, so it really is just more of a necessary hassle than anything.

Tip 10: Bring the iPad if your other distractions aren’t working. Hartley rarely watches TV but she is fascinated with "Elmo" aka the iPad and will watch him for hours.

Tip 11: For our Jamaica destination we packed some tropical essentials:
  • Bathing suits (a lot we've found at the thrift store for CHEAP)
  • Swim Shirt (these are bountiful at the thrift store)
  • Sun Hats and/or waterproof hat (again these are bountiful at the thrift store)
  • Puddle Jumper(found this at the thrift store, but we also saw at Costco for $15)
  • Sunscreen (Oxybenzone free) For Hartley we use The Honest Company Mineral Based Sunscreen and Arbonne’s sunscreen
  • Bug spray
Tip 12: The Jamaica hotel had a crib setup and most have an option for play-n-pack, so just make sure you have that confirmed before arrival (some may have applicable fees for this, so if you can carry a travel bed, that may be a good option). I also packed some crib stuffed animals, a nightlight, and her sleep sheep just to make sure she was comfortable. Anything you can bring to make sure they sleep on vacation is great!

Tip 13: We did not bring a travel highchair. She does not care for the small fabric seats and just ate her meals on our laps or next to the pool in a lounge chair (yes…already a diva). But if you are going a lot of places that wouldn’t have a chair option or you prefer sitting them in something, go ahead and pack it.

Tip 14: Find a way to exercise. When flying get to the airport a little early and find a non-crowded area to let your little one run and view the planes. Once safe in the air, you can also use the aisles to your advantage. As long as this isn't a red eye flight and everyone is trying to sleep, everyone will get a smile out of your curious baby. For the car rides, take breaks. Stop and use the restroom, scenic spots, coffee, etc. These little stops can help extend their patience and also get a little energy out.

Tip 15: Smile, laugh and enjoy your vacation!!!

Do you have any great tips to share?