May 17, 2014

I Woke Up Like This


I have a confession...

I'm not a morning person.

When I was younger, I would wake up and grumble my way through a bowl of cereal without acknowledging anyone in the room. Fast forward to present day and I’m still that person. There’s just something about the weekday alarm clock that gets under my skin. A Nespresso, hot shower and a morning smoothie help me fake authentic morning person-ness. If I’m struggling, especially on an important day, I blast obnoxious music to put a little pep in my step. On the other hand, when my internal clock wakes me during the weekend, usually around 8:00 a.m., I feel great. 

I fully acknowledge that I need to be a better morning person. When you think about it, the morning is a beautiful thing. It’s a fresh start, allowing you to do better than the day before. Isn't the morning after a terrible day a relief?

As temperatures warm up, I’m reminded why I love hazy southern mornings. It’s warm but the oppressive heat and humidity hasn't set in. Summer walks in my local park or early visits to the Peachtree Road Farmer’s Market for fresh coffee and almond croissants are the best ways to start the day. Early a.m. indulgences make the world a happier place.  

This spring and summer, I plan on improving my morning funk. I may not get it right every day, but I’m going to try. One day, I’ll have kids (aka – human alarm clocks) that will undoubtedly wake me anytime they please. Before that day comes, I should embrace being a happier, more content person every day of the week - even before the sun comes up. 

Sweet dreams and sweeter mornings! 


May 14, 2014

Love Never Felt So Good

Every once in awhile, I fall in love with a song. I'll find any excuse to habitually listen on repeat while visualizing myself dancing with a cluster of friends, drinks in hand. My latest obsession, Love Never Felt So Good, is a collaboration between Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake.

I.am.obsessed.

The video is spot on. Throw back clips pay homage to the King of Pop while the reigning Prince of Pop, Justin Timberlake, oozes charm with a cast of free-spirited young people.

Lately, I've been in an exceptional mood thanks to fun news on the personal front. This song couldn't have entered my life at a better time.

Cheers to Love!



May 10, 2014

Straight Up Smoothie Heaven

A few months ago, I became interested in creating smoothies as a morning meal replacement or a healthy mid-day snack. However, I lacked an actual blender, which was critical to my success. After a lot of research (actually, about 30 minutes) we purchased a Ninja Professional Blender. Thanks to an amazing Macys.com sale and Christmas gift card, we paid all of $30.

Since then I've been experimenting with different flavor combinations. Straight up smoothie heaven. Along the way, I created the 5 commandments of smoothie making. Behold.

1. Thou shall use frozen, ripe bananas. Every week I buy two bunches of bananas. One for snacking and one for ripening. Once they're brown, I pop the entire bunch in the freezer. When I'm ready to whip up a smoothie, I snap off a banana and leave it at room temperature for 30 min. Afterwards, its the perfect cold, creamy consistency. I add a peeled frozen banana to every smoothie, no exceptions.

2. Thou shall buy frozen fruit in bulk. I buy frozen fruit at Costco, my most favorite store ever. The price is right and Costco has great organic options. I'm partial to their frozen blueberries and black cherries.

3. Thou shall sweeten naturally. Put the processed white sugar down. Try honey or a splash of fruit juice.

4. Thou shall add protein. I add a scoop of vanilla or chocolate protein powder and a heaping tablespoon or two of Greek yogurt. My morning smoothies keep me full until lunch and I credit the added protein.

5. Thou shall experiment and have fun. Some of my most delicious smoothies have come into fruition when I added something on a whim. Lately, I've been adding a packet of GoGo Squeez applesauce. It delicious and creates a silky consistency. Try different yogurt flavors, spinach, pomegranate juice, nut butters, cocoa powder, flavored coffee creamer...if it sounds tasty, it probably is!

----

Allison's Go-To Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie. 

Ingredients
One frozen banana
1/2 c. frozen blueberries
3/4 c. milk or almond milk
1 heaping tbsp Greek vanilla yogurt
1 packet of GoGo Squeez applesauce, any flavor
1 scoop vanilla protein

Instructions
Place frozen fruit on the counter for 30 minutes
After 30 minutes, place the contents in the blender and blend until smooth
Serve immediately
Enjoy

I'd love to know what kinds of smoothie recipes you love. Leave a comment and spill the details.

April 16, 2014

What I'm Loving Lately

To kick off my first post on my long awaited blog, I'm documenting my latest faves. I'm no Oprah Winfrey, but I love sharing my hodgepodge of favorites with girlfriends, or anyone willing to listen. Enjoy!

Nespresso Citiz | Bodum Glasses | Revlon Lip Stain |  Urban Decay Naked2  | Pharrel William's Album

1. This Christmas, we received a Nespresso Citiz machine and officially said goodbye to traditional drip coffee. This sleek, sexy machine comes with a milk frother and a sampler pack of espresso flavors featuring complicated Italian names that make me feel super fancy. Lately I'm loving a Lungo Ciocattino with foamed milk, a little raw sugar and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. See? Fancy. 

2. Speaking of coffee, I've been enjoying my morning indulgence in my new Bodum Glasses. I scored a gold-flecked set from a Starbucks clearance rack for $8 each. Score! Bodum glasses are insulated so your hot drinks stay hot and your cold drinks cold. They're dishwasher safe so clean up is a breeze. 

3. I recently stepped up my make up game and added lip color into my normal routine. I stumbled upon Revlon's Colorburst Lip Stain & Colorburst Matte Balm and I'm in love. They're a steal at $6-ish dollars and can be found at Target, CVS, etc. Before you apply, make sure to exfoliate and moisturize your lips for long-lasting wear. My go-to shades are Smitten and Standout. 

4. I'm obsessed with Urban Decay's Naked2 palette thanks to a Sephora gift card from Mr. Santa Clause & Mrs. Clause (my parents). The palette features a dozen day-to-night shades allowing you to craft the perfect smokey or shimmery neutral eye. Tip: there are tons of beauty vlogger tutorials on YouTube featuring the Naked2 to inspire multiple looks. 

5. I can't get enough of gauzy, tassel-trim scarves. It's an unusual addiction. They're functional and add a little somethin-somethin to an outfit. I purchased two from J.Crew during an unbelievable sale combined with an online code (the online and in-store price is always changing...). I wore my favorite gray version on recent trips to Greece and Albania so it forever reminds me of beautiful memories.

Tassel-trimmed adventures in Thessaloniki, Greece
6. Pharrell's new album, Girls, is everything. It's the perfect driving-working-exercising-booty-shaking album. Download it. Dance. Thank me later. 
 

design + development by fabulous k