Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Five: The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

The four day week has come to a close and I am so ready for the weekend. The weather is going to be gorgeous, a nice break from the cold drizzle that characterized the past couple of days.

I had never heard of this trick before Breck's post. I have yet to try it, but definitely will at some point! Thanks for sharing this, girl!
...if you can call it that. Seriously, what was that? I am pretty sure he is more athletic than that, I mean has he ever thrown a ball before? On the plus side, you can probably pitch better than him 
I thought this article was really interesting and while I am not super adamant about all of these, there are definitely a few that I would like to bring back. 
Five: Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cup Flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 sticks butter (or Crisco!)
2 large eggs
2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine baking soda, flour, and salt in a small bowl. Then combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and butter in a large bowl and beat until well mixed. Then beat in eggs one at a time. Once that is mixed, gradual beat in the dry mixture. Finally, add chocolate chips. Then place drop cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes.
*i hand-beat the batter and use Crisco instead of butter

Have a  fantastic weekend!
Sugar Snap Pearls

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Summertime Hiking

Those of you who follow along on Instagram already know that I crossed another item off my 22 by 22 list on Sunday. I am really behind on this list, so I am super excited that I got to cross this off and that I had so much fun doing it!
I hadn't hiked Old Rag in easily 10 years before Sunday. It used to be a regular hike for my family, but with the divorce and my one incident up there, it really lost it's appeal and we just didn't go back. Honestly, I was totally nervous about having to conquer the mountain again, but the trip was so much fun! For those of you who haven't been before, it is a pretty strenuous 8 mile hike with a lot of rock scrambling towards the top. I was definitely feeling the burn after that hike, in large part because I decided to pace myself with one of my brothers who apparently wanted to treat the hike as a sprint, not a marathon.
Regardless, it was such a wonderful hike and if you are looking for some sort of weekend activity or alternative exercise, the summer is the perfect time to hike! This hike was largely in the shade so we didn't feel the midday sun and the views are absolutely spectacular!

Displaying photo.JPG

Displaying photo 2.JPG

And of course we had to stop at Moo Thru on the way back! (we totally earned it) Seriously, the best Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream ever...
Displaying photo.JPG
If you are looking for places to hike in your area, check the NPS site or just a google search will show other local and state parks! Also, always be sure to check if you can bring pets before you leave for the park because some (including Old Rag) don't allow pets for various reasons.

Sugar Snap Pearls

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What's In my (Gym) Bag

I am writing this post at 10pm on a Tuesday night...this may not seem late to you, but to the girl who has to wake up at 4:30 to go to spin class, this is a big no-no. That being said, I just couldn't fall asleep until I shared what I pack in my gym bag (woohoo)! 
Preparing to go to the gym is half of the battle, whether you go before or after work. Having a gym bag sitting there, waiting to be used, makes it that much harder to come up with an excuse not to go. I always pack my bag the night before as I lay out my outfit for the day so that it is all together and ready to go. My work bag is also packed the night before, but that is a different post for a later date.
Since I go to the gym before I go to work, I am the biggest fan of those showers at the gym. I finish with class, head to the showers, change for work, and am in the office at 7am. Sure it sounds sort of insane to workout at 5:15am, but having that out of the way and having your whole day ahead of you is the greatest feeling, plus I am noticeably less antsy at work.
-My Gym Bag is a Lesportsac Overnight Bag they sent me last summer and I absolutely love it, and it is even better as a gym bag. The nylon is easy to clean and remove odor from! Be careful not to pick a cotton bag that will smell when choosing a gym bag!
-The Nike Gear Bag is for my sweaty gym clothes to go in after class so that they don't stink up my normal gym bag and the rest of the stuff I bring with me.
-The toiletry kit I have packed includes makeup and face wash, etc. and I leave it stored in there all the time so that I can just grab it off my bathroom counter and go in the morning.
-My Venus Snap Razor was sent to me by Influenster and, while I was a bit skeptical at first, I have come to absolutely love it! It is a small travel razor that uses Venus Embrace blades so you don't need shaving cream, just water! This is perfect for when I forget to shave the night before but bring a dress to wear to work, especially if I am going out after work!
-A Change of Clothes is a necessity and it is nice to not be rushing around in the morning trying to get everything together
-Shower Shoes and Shampoo for my shower at the gym, but honestly, I just use the shampoo that they have at the gym because it is just as good!
-Each night I put my Water Bottle in the fridge to chill and leave a note on my bag so that I don't forget it!
-I have actually started keeping my Gym Card in the back of my phone so that I have it with me at all times and hopefully I don't leave it in my locker (again...)
-Breakfast isn't pictured, but I always bring it to the office with me because I get hungry about an hour after I work out

What do you keep in your gym bag? What other fitness-inspired posts do you want to see?
Sugar Snap Pearls

update: I didn't make it to spin class...but I did work out! I got to the gym and rewlIzed that I had left my phone (with gym card) at home and so I had to turn around to get it! The struggle is real...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Matching the Flowers

Three day weekends are never long enough, but it's back to reality for me! Today's outfit is all about making me happy and staying I match the hydrangea in our yard! Seriously, every element of this outfit is perfect for me. I have this theory that if you can, you should make anything you have to do as appealing as possible. Sure I don't want to spend 8 hours in an office, but I do want to wear pink, navy, and polka dots, so it's not all a loss (oh, and I want to make money...)

  Dress- Lilly Pulitzer // Cardigan- Talbots // Shoes- Target

Okay, and a moment of honesty from y'all please, what do you want to be reading and seeing on this blog this summer? I love reading your emails and comments with suggestions and your thoughts on posts and how they relate to you!

Sugar Snap Pearls

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day Whites

Happy Memorial Day! For all you traditional fashionistas, this weekend signifies the beginning of summer and the emergence of your whites from storage. Personally, I have no problem with winter whites (though there are some qualifiers to that) so I have actually had my white jeans available for use these last couple of weeks!

Top- J. Crew Factory // Jeans- Talbots // Shoes- DSW // Purse- H&M // Earrings- Lou Lou
I used to be so afraid of buying white jeans. My butt and thighs have always been my heaviest part of me so why would I ever want to emphasize them more? Actually, as it turns out, the right fit of white jeans can be decently flattering on anyone, plus they are just so great for summer that it was impossible to pass on them! Mine are from Talbots since I worked there last summer, but around this time of year, you can get them from so many different brands and in styles that will work for you.
If you are looking to pick up a pair in a Memorial Day sale:

One last thing before I go and enjoy the last leg of my three day weekend, remember what this holiday is all about please!

Sugar Snap Pearls

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saturday Outfit Shooting

This morning I tried to take outfit shots with Photo Booth on my computer and totally failed! I love wearing wedges and shorts in the summer, probably because I can't wear either to work during the week. I am definitely going to have to ask my family and friends to help me with the full body shots in the future, but for now, here is my favorite summer day outfit and some outtakes, many of which include Luther...he's such a ham!

Have a great Saturday!
Sugar Snap Pearls

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Friday Five: Make Your Bed

Well this is a bit of a struggle because I totally spaced on putting up my Five on Friday until I was in the car on my way to the office...I guess that's what a 5;15am spin class does to you! Anyways, I still have links for you, I just can't remember one or two of the originals I had planned!

Maybe it's because I am about to enter my last year of college this summer, but I am all about positive change this summer. There is always room for improvement and while the climb isn't easy, it is definitely worth it!

Two: Boozy Watermelon Mint Lemonade
Happy Three Day Weekend!!! Celebrate Memorial Day weekend with this fun summer cocktail! Thanks, Pinterest!

First of all, if you have not already checked out Southern Curls & Pearls, you need to! It is such a cute blog and I am constantly envious of Caitlin's wardrobe! This week, she has been at the beach and I am so envious of all these pics as I am sitting at my desk!

The entire speech is inspiring, but I really like the takeaway about how much of a difference making your bed can have on your day. With my early morning workout, I am really starting to appreciate getting my day started early and the increased productivity associated with taking everything one step at a time.

Five: Morgan Moses and the Redskins
I totally forgot to talk about HOO the Redskins got in the draft! For those of you who don't already know, the skins are a bit short on draft picks after trading to get the pick for RGIII, but in the third round they chose a UVA grad!

Sugar Snap Pearls

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Celebrity Fitspiration

If I had really thought this through, I probably would have posted this yesterday as a "Woman Crush Wednesday" post, so let's just pretend I did. Actually, the thought did cross my mind, but then I had to go to bed in preparation for a 5:15am Spin Class...yeah, that happened. Anyways...
How awesome are Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert? I mean seriously, they are my girl crushes all the time (someone please teach me to sing like them!), but they also have really inspiring fitness stories. For the record, both Carrie and Miranda are awesome, no matter what their weight. They are gorgeous, talented, and genuine. Oh, and both got their start on reality singing shows (yes, Miranda too).  
While they have always been inspiring, their weight loss and fitness stories also inspire me, especially Miranda's. I always loved that Miranda was an average girl and was not especially concerned with her weight, then one day, she decided that she was going to make some lifestyle changes. How many of us can relate to that story? 
Both women credit healthier diet choices and exercise for getting the bodies they have now. While I may never have Carrie's legs (a girl can dream right?), I can aspire to get in shape the same way they did. These are two women who girls can look up to because they did not do some crazy fad diet or get surgery, they lost weight the old-fashioned way. It is so easy to get caught up in all the crazy hollywood fads, but to recognize what is at the core of all of those movements is to understand what is going to make you succeed. Sure, I could follow the crazy lemonade diet, or I could bust my butt at the gym before I go to work every day and get stronger while I am doing it.
We don't all want Carrie's legs or Miranda's slimmed down figure because it looks like they need to be force-fed some chicken, we aspire for them because they are toned and could kick some butt if they were given the chance.

Getting in shape is a personal journey with personal milestones and that means that weight loss is gradual and that you are also striving to replace that fat with muscle. Yes, I realize that these women can afford trainers and dietitians that some of us can't, but that does not mean that we can't have success in our journey too, and to focus on that is to harp on an insignificant issue. The process would be so much easier if it could happen overnight, but with a little determination, it can be achieved over time and just look, the results are totally worth it! 

Who inspires you? I would love to know!
Sugar Snap Pearls

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Summer Blazers

Summer is here! That means it's time to get ready for the beach, roll your windows down, and get ready for those summer jobs and internships. Going from norts and an oversized tshirt to professional can be a rough transition. However, black norts and a tuxedo t-shirt are not going to cut it come time to head into an office. Personally, I love dressing up (shocker), but I also love investing in pieces that I can dress up and down. Since I am going to be graduating a year from now (a reality I refuse to fully grasp yet), I am thinking about the items I buy and how they will transition into the next stage of life. 

Plus, a blazer can allow you to wear the same outfit to the office as you will later that evening for a Girls Night Out. Obviously, you have to still make sure your hemline is long enough and that it is a modest outfit overall, but a light blazer and accessories dress up basic sundresses and pants.
Of course, a blazer doesn't have to mean that the outfit will go to the office. In fact, shorts and a blazer can be a super cute combo for those cloudy or breezy days when you are milling about town!

If you are looking for blazers on a budget, Target has a good selection, but you can find blazers through so many retailers. Keep in mind, when shopping for a blazer, the fit should be flattering, but comfortable. There is nothing cute about a blazer that is too small or one that swallows you whole.

Sugar Snap Pearls

Monday, May 19, 2014

Summer Soles

I so wish I could wear sandals to the office over the summer. I mean, it just doesn't seem fair that I only get to show off my pedicure on the weekends! I have a great pair of close-toed espadrilles that I got last year and are perfect for days when I want to wear heels to the office, but most days I just opt for flats. I don't really have any summer flats, but after looking around on the internet, I am loving some of the fun colors and prints:
Addie Loafers
Printed Anya Flat
Peep-toe Flats
Cutout Ballet Flats
Lainey Perforated Flats
What is your go-to summer shoe for the office?
Sugar Snap Pearls