Terrier Shirt

If you follow me on any other forms of social media, you may know I really love dogs. I grew up with 2 dogs at home, and although I do not have a dog in my small apartment, I get so excited when I see other dogs around the building. So when I saw this shirt, I needed it! It is also on sale, so get it while you still can! I paired with these white jeans from James Jeans (last seen here) that I have been wearing on repeat lately. Also, can we talk about how Deeana killed it on these photos?! We did a shoot at a park on Lake Norman, and we found this amazing lighting!

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Fitness Friday III

Welcome back to Fitness Friday! The beginning of April was off to a slow start, because I had dental surgery, and I was not allowed to exercise for a few days. The surgery also limited my food intake, because I could only eat soft food for almost two weeks. But throughout the rest of April, I tried to make up for the lack of workouts and ended up discovering some new food from what I was able to eat post-dental surgery. I also was able to take advantage of quite a few free workouts offered around Charlotte this month! And in case you missed them, are my first two Fitness Friday posts from February and March.

Week of April 1st-7th
H3 (yoga flow to rap music) at Vibe5 Yoga and Fitness
Air Flow (aerial yoga) at AIR Aerial Fitness
Barre at First Wind Cycling and Fitness

Week of April 8th-14th
Air Flow at AIR Aerial Fitness (free)
Another Air Flow at AIR Aerial Fitness (free)
modelFit at JSF Southend via Fit Atelier (This class was a lot of fun, and had the best playlist!)
Pop-up barre class from First Wind Cycling and Fitness in Fabletics (free)

Week of April 15th-21st
Floor lab (barre) at AIR Aerial Fitness
Air at AIR Aerial Fitness
Pop-up class from Orange Theory at Fityoulous (free)
Flybarre 60 at Flywheel Sports
Hot yoga at VIBE5 Yoga and Fitness
Arm balance and inversion workshop at VIBE5 (a big challenge, but learned a lot!)

Week of April 22nd-yesterday
Pop-up FlyBarre class at Athleta (free)
Power 45 at FlyWheel Sports
Adult Open Ballet at Charlotte Ballet
Air at AIR Aerial Fitness
Hot yoga at VIBE5

I ended up with 18 workouts, which I packed most of into the last two weeks. If you are in Charlotte, you can get exclusive discounts to most of these studios (and many more) by becoming a member of SweatNET Charlotte!

  1. A majority of my post-dental surgery diet was soup, soft pasta, and eggs. However, I had never really been into making smoothies or protein shakes, until my mom made me some when she was staying with me for the day of my surgery. She makes post-workout smoothies daily, using Vega protein powder, almond milk, greek yogurt, a banana, and frozen mixed berries. I was not allowed to have the berries just after surgery, but I ended up making modified shakes as my breakfast for the next week or so. I also tried a matcha smoothie, which got me into making this recipe (with chocolate instead of vanilla) after workouts!
  2. I am a big fan of KIND bars, I usually eat a dark chocolate or dark chocolate peanut butter granola bar almost every day. And their strawberry apple chia fruit bars, are quickly becoming my new favorite snack! They also come in a chocolate dipped version, that makes them even  better! 
  3. I did not get around to much cooking this month. But I have kept up with my progress last month of eating more fruit! 
Activewear Picks

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Yellow Floral Dress

Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

Yellow floral dress c/o | Similar striped heels | Similar navy bag | Kendra Scott earrings | Prada sunglasses

Spring workwear is the best, because it is so easy to put together! I could wake up 10 minutes before I need to be at work, grab a comfy dress like this one out of my closet, but still feel like I actually put effort into my outfit. I also love the yellow floral and fun sleeves on this dress. As much as I love a good bell sleeve, these shorter fluted sleeves are so much more practical sitting at my desk. Also, if you liked my Winter Workwear Capsule Wardrobe, I have a summer version in the works. Stay tuned!

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Easy Weeknight Dinner: Pesto Pasta Recipe with Barilla Ready Pasta

This post was sponsored by Barilla, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!

I have recently mentioned in my Fitness Friday posts (in February and March) that I have been looking for some easy weeknight dinners to cook, and incorporating some healthier foods into my diet.  I had gotten into a bad habit of making frozen meals or occasionally picking up takeout on the way home. As a result of trying to change that, I have been eating a lot of pasta. It is easy to make, versatile in how it can be cooked, and is available in a variety of options.
One of the easiest solutions I have recently found is Barilla Ready Pasta at Walmart. You are just 60 seconds away from perfect pasta! I am breaking down a very simple (but very tasty!) recipe that only took me a little less than 15 minutes to make. This new option from Barilla is available in several types of pasta, can be cooked in the microwave, is non-GMO, and simply made with just pasta, sea salt, and olive oil.  Each package is 2 servings, which is perfect to make yourself dinner and lunch, a solo dinner for 2 nights, or a meal to share! As an adult that is still a bit of a picky eater, I like to incorporate vegetables I may not typically eat into recipes made up of ingredients I do like to eat. In this case, I added grape tomatoes (that I am slowly starting to like) to the recipe with pasta, pesto sauce, cooked spinach, and rotisserie chicken.

You will need:
1/2 bag of Barilla Ready Pasta (I used penne)
1/4 cup of Barilla Basil Pesto sauce
1/2 cup of rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup of grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup of baby spinach
1 tbsp of olive oil

1. Open the bag and place Barilla Ready Pasta in the microwave for 60 seconds.
2. Heat up a skillet to medium heat to lightly cook the spinach with a tablespoon of olive oil.
3. Add the pasta, chicken, and tomatoes to the skillet, stirring to combine.
4. Turn heat down to low, add pesto sauce, and stir until desired temperature.
5. Enjoy!

I think this the perfect weeknight dinner recipe for any time of year. There is also plenty of room to include more vegetables or some extra seasoning, if desired. Next time you are at Walmart, check out the pasta aisle for Barilla Ready Pasta to combine convenience and quality into one meal! Interested in more inspirational Barilla recipes? Click here to register for their weekly email newsletter.

Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

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April Finds Under $50

Striped jumpsuit ($49) | Gingham top ($28) | Tortoise sunglasses ($16) | Straw bag ($45) | Gingham maxi dress ($38) | Tassel earrings ($13) | Straw loafers ($18) | Scallop cover up ($35) | One-piece swimsuit ($35)

It's that time again, my monthly roundup of affordable finds! I am so excited that this scallop coverup is now at J. Crew Factory. I loved the retail version last year, but I think it sold out quickly. I am not normally a fan of maxi dresses (they are always too long on me), but I am definitely considering this gingham one. I also am clearly loving straw with these loafers and this crossbody bag. And in case you missed them, here are my Finds Under $50 for February and March!

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Favorite Activewear Pieces

I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite activewear pieces. These are the pieces I always tend to grab first when I am getting ready for a workout. They don't come from retailers you would probably first consider for activewear, but I think they also represent my personal style, even while working out. When I first started getting into workout classes, I was not really into paying a lot for my activewear pieces. Mostly because I did not know if I would get much wear out of them. About a year and a half later, I have been able to find some great prices on some more expensive pieces, and have been surprised how well some very affordable pieces have held up!

Lilly Pulitzer Luxletic leggings
 I think these leggings were my first splurge piece in the activewear category, I doubt anyone is surprised that they are from Lilly Pulitzer! I did end up finding them discounted (I think around $70), but they sell for $108. I just couldn't resist the fun print, and they are so soft. I found another pair during the last After Party Sale for $59 (that I posted about here) to add another fun print to my collection. A few pairs of my cheaper leggings have extra length and do not fit very well, but these are a perfect fit. They have also held up so well! Depending on the top I wear them with, I sometimes wish they were high waisted. But they have started making a high waisted style recently! Or if you prefer cropped length, those are also available.

New Balance for J. Crew leggings
This exact style isn't available anymore, but this style is super similar. They are priced at $95 but I believe I found this pair for around $40 about this time last year. I think they are very nice material that still looks brand new after a lot of wear. They are a great fit and they wick moisture well in classes like hot yoga. I also love having solid navy as an alternative to the basic black workout leggings.

New Balance for J. Crew Racerback tank
I am a big fan of 2-in-1 tops, especially on days where I change at work to head straight to a workout, because it is 1 less piece to bring with me. I have this top in both the stripes shown above and the solid navy. I like that it is fitted (but not "too fitted") and a slightly shorter length. I also think the higher cut on the neck is very flattering. Similar to the New Balance for J. Crew leggings, I mentioned above, it is made of a really nice material that still looks new after lots of wear. I also found a pretty good deal on this top, I found both the striped (last year) and solid version (this year) for around $25 each. I do have to say I don't think the sizing is very consistent though. The solid version I recently bought was a little tight compared to the striped version from last year, but I'm hoping it will loosen up as a I wear it more.

Old Navy Go-Dry Top
I have been pleasantly surprised at how well Old Navy's activewear tops hold up for the price I paid for them! I bought something very similar to this style in 2 colors when I first got into taking classes for about $10 each. They are both still in great shape after a lot of wear. So I recently bought 2 more of their tops, including this fun print (for I think $8 each). I cannot say the same for the leggings from Old Navy, but again, I did not expect them to last very long for the price.

Nike Roshe sneaker
I don't wear these shoes to actually run, but I liked them enough to get them in another color! I usually just wear them to walk into the studio for my workouts, sometimes to walk around a park or my neighborhood. However I have worn them for a few classes that were a little different from my typical barre/yoga/aerial routine, and I really liked them. I have mentioned this before, but I wear a size 5.5 in women's which is the same as a size 4 in kid's size. Which is also about half the price as the adult version!

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Navy Ruffle Dress

Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

Navy ruffle dress c/o | Similar block heels here and here | Lauren Ralph Lauren bag c/o (old color) | Stella and Dot "Parker" sunglasses c/o | Kendra Scott earrings

Navy, ruffles, and a cute star print, what more could you want in a dress? I think this dress is great for a nice dinner or a night at the theater. It runs a little small on the small side, I typically wear an XS in most brands. But, the XS in this dress is a little tight in the waist for me. The neckline is also a little low for me, so I have it pinned just a little to keep it in place where the ruffles on the neckline meet. I've also paired it with my old favorite J. Crew Etta pumps from a  few years ago, but I found a few similar pairs for you to shop!

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