Lifestyle

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

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One of my favorite ways to shop nowadays is through the curated emails I get that are thematically targeted for whatever holiday is approaching. Of all of the emails I received regarding Valentine’s Day gifts, Paper Source was definitely my favorite. I’ve always loved them, and adore their products. I wanted to post this completely because I think this store is adorable – not because I was asked to do so. These are some adorable and sweet gifts for that special person in your life! Below are some screen shots from their website:

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Blogiversary

I can’t believe I have been blogging for a year. 2015 was interesting – a lot of change, but a lot of really exciting things happened. I’m excited to open a new chapter on my blog, and try out some new ideas I’ve had. I want this to be a fun place where I can share and document what is going on in my life. For a little reflection, I thought it might be fun to look back on 2015 in pictures…

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Pneumonia…

So I’ve been sick for the past three weeks, and after many visits to the doctor, it turns out that I have pneumonia. Crazy, right? I haven’t been sick like this in years, so being stuck on the couch and unable to really get out and do anything really isn’t fun. FullSizeRender 44.jpg

What have I been doing while I’ve been out of commission for a while? Watching A LOT of YouTube videos. Below are a few links to my favorite YouTubers:

Alex Garza

Manny MUA

Mallory Ervin

 Elle Fowler

Please send other recommendations! My boyfriend and I also watched Pitch Perfect 2 – and it was SO cute. I’ll take movie recommendations too! I’m so crazy tired – I’ve been curled up in yoga pants, old t-shirts and my favorite blankets. [My leopard print one above is my absolute fav]. I have little desire to pull a cute outfit together. And since I can’t work out [insanity is on pause for a few weeks] I’ve been treating myself to some snacks… cue the whole bag of cherry m&ms…..

What helps you guys when you’re under the weather?

What’s on my iPad

I recently got an iPad mini because my regular iPad was a first gen and wasn’t working well. I didn’t realize how much more efficient the smaller size would be for every day use. There used to be days where I wouldn’t pick up my iPad, but now I always have it on hand. I wanted to share the apps I’m loving!

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Of course I have the obligatory Facebook, Twitter [Follow me: GVGP1989] and Pinterest right at the top. And I know I’ve already discussed my obsession with Audible. So we can start with Podcasts. Season two of Serial is pretty great. I’m about one episode behind, but I find the story intriguing. It seems to be heavy on jargon that I don’t understand, but given the nature of the case [Beau Bergdahl] I think it needs to be that way. My boyfriend and I also listen to Lore, which delves into the history behind certain folklore and superstitions. Skipping to the bottom – Colorfy is a new app I found that is like a digital coloring book. I’m still trying it out, but I think it would be fun if you had a stylus.

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I do have some iBooks and some digital books from the Nook app, but I honestly haven’t read them recently, so I can do a post once I’ve gotten through some of them. While I don’t read many books anymore, I do LOVE magazines. Cosmo, Glamour and Women’s Health happen to be my favorite – especially when country music stars are on the cover. I’ve been home sick and having these on hand has been great.

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I love to binge watch things. YouTube videos, tv shows, movies, etc – it doesn’t matter, I love it all. So naturally I have every possible app (Hulu should be there, but I must have forgot to add it). On Netflix I’m patiently waiting on Fuller House to drop, while I binge watch seasons 3 and 4 of The Mindy Project on Hulu. I know it sounds weird I subscribe to both, but I love them for different reasons! Amazon Video works with my Amazon Prime account, so on occasion I’ll check out what is new on there.

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These two apps are more informational than anything. MSA is the app for MySubscriptionAddiction.com, a website dedicated to trying out and reviewing subscription boxes. I like to check out spoilers for my boxes, so I keep this on my iPad and iPhone too. I keep the Ebates app on both as well because I like to keep tabs on how much money I’ll be getting back from my purchases. Many people think this is a scam, but it is honestly great and has proven to be very much legit. You get a percentage of your purchase back through them if you shop using their add on in your Google Chrome browser. [I discovered Ebates on my own, and signed up on my own – I have no affiliation with them]

I do have two games on my phone as well – one is an app where you put together puzzles, and one is the Simpon’s Tapped Out game I’ve had forever.

What apps are you loving?  Please share – I’d love to discover some new ones!

 

I LOVE Love With Food

After being diagnosed with stomach problems a few years back I’ve gotten used to having to hunt for fun new gluten free foods. I came across Love with Food a while back, and was so excited to find that I could get a box of gluten free foods delivered to my door monthly. I stopped for a bit, but picked back up again after grabbing a deal on Black Friday. I’m SO glad I did. Since coming back to the box I’ve had amazing snacks in my boxes and I just had to share. They also make boxes that aren’t gluten free as well. Plus for every box, a meal is donated to feed a hungry child in the US. That is awesome! EVERYONE should check out this box! Click here to go to their website.

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Not all items are pictured in the box above, because I ate them already!!

Included in my box:

Dried garcinia Indica Superfruit by Sant – you add this to water. I haven’t tried it yet but should be good!

Corn and Sea Salt Chips by The Better Chip

Oat Chocolate Chip Coconut Whenever Bars by Pamela’s Products

Gluten Free Brown Sugar & Maple Oatmeal Cup by Bob’s Red Mill

Handmade Sea Salt Caramel by Annie B’s

Dark Chocolate Toffee by Dave’s Sweet Tooth – SO. GOOD.

Snickerdoodle by Cybele’s Free to Eat

Baked Mac N’ Cheese Puffs by Snikiddy – I HAVE to buy more of these. They are the best thing ever.

Rosemary Truffle Gourmet Popcorn by Pop Art

Almond Butter and Cashew Pecan Energy Balls by Betty Lou’s

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These are my new favorite!

Obsessed with Audible

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I’m not one to love reading. I want to love to read, but when I sit down and try, I either get bored or distracted. But then I found Audible and I fell in love. I’m not at all affiliated with the company nor asked to talk about them. But this app has made such a difference in helping me make strides in getting through books.

Most people think that audio books are lame. I get it, because frankly, I did too. I prefer to read books that are biographical in nature, and therefore are often read by the author. This helps BIG TIME. Amy Poehler’s book is a great example of this. Just reading the book you don’t get to hear her read it along with Seth Meyers and Carol Burnett.

40 minutes a day is all it takes. I use my 20 minute (each way) drive to work as my listening time. I don’t have to focus on directions, and I can just listen to the story.

I encourage everyone to check it out! Below are the books I’ve listened to and enjoyed:

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Going INSANE

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When 2016 rolled around I knew I wanted to make some big changes. I wanted to follow through on all of the things that I hadn’t in prior years. I want this to be MY year. So, I decided I’d make small changes. I wanted to finally (and properly) use my GLO teeth whitening system, and follow through on it. I made small diet changes to eliminate the massive amount of sugar I was eating. I finally cleaned out my makeup, and got proper storage. All small things, but the results do make an impact.

I was working out pretty consistently last year with my kick boxing classes, and I plan to maintain that. But I want to not only be able to work out consistently, but have the option to do so at home. I was recently diagnosed with Raynaud’s – a condition where hands and feet turn white/blue and go numb – and so going out at night to work out during the winter has resulted in several painful nights of numb feet. On the nights when its 20 degrees, I wanted an at home option.

So, I decided to try Insanity. Tonight will be night one, and I’m on a 60 day journey to get healthy. I’m terrified, but I hate feeling fluffy and out of shape. I purchased the Insanity Max: 30 version because I wanted to try the Tabata training. Has anyone else tried this version? Here’s to hoping I’ll fall in love with the program.

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Ringing in 2016

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I know I already posted goals for 2016, but I wanted to do a post about how I spent my NYE 2015. My boyfriend and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary that day, so it wound up being extra special. We both took the week of New Year’s off from work, and decided to drive down to Myrtle Beach for the week.

It was a BLAST. I had been planning our trip for months, and made sure we hit every groupon/deal we possibly could. It definitely paid off. For NYE, we both wanted something chill. Brookgreen Gardens does a candle light event, complete with christmas lights and hot chocolate. You walk through it and enjoy the beauty of the night. They are only open from 6-9, but it was gorgeous! (pics below).

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I also made reservations at a place called Croissants, which has an amazing chef and some of the best food I’ve ever had. And I was thrilled that it was food that I could actually eat with my gluten free diet! Many places name Croissants as the #1 place for g-free foods in Myrtle Beach. I didn’t realize before I made the reservations, but was thrilled when I later found that out. Check out their NYE menu!

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I really wanted to wear something super sparkly and partyish, but the reality was that we were going to a garden and to dinner – not to a club. So I was happy to wear a fun slightly sequined dress I scored for $10 (!!) at Express with tights and black flats. The photos came out so dark though it really didn’t matter what I wore!

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Regardless we wound up back at home before midnight and watched the ball drop while sitting on the couch with a glass of champagne ready for midnight to hit. We then watched a movie and I of course fell asleep. But it made it so special to be able to spend NYE together – just the two of us – and ring in the New Year together. Writing this now 7 days later it seems like it was forever ago, but I’m ready for 2016 to be the best, most amazing year ever.

New Year, New Outlook

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I was SO excited for 2016 to get here. While last year started off better than I could have ever imagined, it brought a series of rough patches that I never want to relive. I am thrilled to be kicking off the new year with a new mind set and a number of goals. Sharing them and making them public can have a positive effect, and I wanted to share mine for my own accountability.

  • Commit to living healthy. I have a number of health issues with my stomach, and I really want to start to heal myself from the inside out.
  • Get fit. Of course this is on everyone’s list, but I’m quite serious about not just losing weight, but building muscle and toning my body.
  • Find life balance. After I got a new job in 2015 my life balance went out the window. I became obsessed with doing well in my career, and many things fell by the wayside. Now that I’m settling in, its time to re-balance everything.
  • Build my blog. I really love blogging and coming up with fun ideas for posts. I can’t wait to get them all going!

What are your goals for 2016??