Friday, February 21, 2014

Fitness Friday-Disney Princess Half Marathon!

I am SO happy it's Friday.  Although I am terrified because I'm trying my very first spinning class this evening! #nervous!

Today's Fitness Friday is about the Disney Princess Half Marathon! In case you didn't know, it's this weekend! No, there is no way in HECK I'm running it-seeing as I can only run about 15 minutes on a good day...embarrassing/true.  But (announcement time!) I do plan to run it next year! I've heard so much about it and I think it would be so much fun, and such a huge accomplishment!!

On the runDisney website, they have several training programs for all of their races, and for all levels of athletes.  Jeff Galloway-the runDisney spokesperson, makes it sounds so easy...
I'll obviously be following the beginner's plan :)

I'm just so excited for this race! I'm going to register as soon as it opens (July 2014) so there's no backing out!  I absolutely cannot wait already!!  It'll be just 2 months before our wedding, our last "dating" anniversary, and a month after I turn 25-what a great celebration!    

Now to find some other races to enter this year!
Have you ever run this race?? Tips, tricks, inspiration?? 


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cheap Valentine's Day Party Ideas

 Heyo! So have I mentioned how much I  Valentine's Day?! Well it's coming right up and this year I am hosting my "second annual" GALentine's Day! 
This is just when all my girlfriends come over and enjoy treats, pink wine, and great company.  Remember all of those healthy treats I shared? Yeah no-not last year.  Here's some things I did for the party last year-it was so much fun!  And literally Pretty [&] Cheap.  
see what I did there ;)

Melted Almond Bark was legit my best friend. It's only $2.50 at Walmart.
 Oreos! I love the little heart sprinkles (also from Walmart).  These were SO easy to make! Just dip and sprinkle :)
*Can you tell those are Walmart brand Oreos?  When you're dipping them in delicious almond bark, who cares? :) #savingmoney

 Pretzels! Just dipped 'em and added sprinkles. Would be so fun to do with kiddos!
 Also, pink wafers.  Any chance to add pink-obviously. 
*rolls eyes at self
I put everything in adorable heart bowls that I got for $1 at the Dollar Store!
 This precious candy heart box was $1 at the Target Buck Stop-score!! 
Obviously had to fill it with candy hearts (my fave!!!)
I just put the long pretzels in one of our (conveniently) red cups.  That cup went into a bowl filled with even more pretzels.  
Which I made like this: Step 1) spread them out on a cookie sheet
 Step 2) Slice almond bark and into the oven. Literally no work. Done.  
Here's what our table looked like:
 [napkins from the Dollar Store]

 I love this shot! The adorable wreath around the bowl is from the Dollar Store as well.  

Honestly, this party was SO much fun to host!  We had a blast and I spent maybe $20, including the adorable decorations, which I'll be using again this year.  
I can't wait for Friday's party!  What are your plans? :)

♥, courtney

Monday, February 10, 2014

Healthy Holiday: Valentine's Day

So...I may have mentioned [again, and again, and AGAIN] I am trying to be really healthy!
[I swear I'm not trying to make this a health blog...]
 The holidays can be such a difficult time to keep up with a diet, and if you're anything like me, you can't limit yourself to ONE cookie-that's just crazy!
I thought I'd share some of my favorite treats that you can enjoy until your heart's [no pun intended] content!  Delicious and guilt free! 

Peppers are an amazing snack, aren't these just adorable?!

This pepper is adorably stuffed.  I love how nature gives us the color we want for Valentine's Day! :)

This idea is SO easy, but healthy and cheap! WIN WIN WIN!

Another simple fruit idea:

How adorable are these little Valentines for a class?

Or maybe for a special cutie in your life :)

I need to find a heart cookie cutter STAT!

Again, SO unbelievably simple, delicious AND healthy!  Even add a little whip cream-YUMMY!

Who else loves avocados? Power food!

I've also been obsessed with cherry tomatoes! This one might take a little more time, but definitely worth it!

What's your favorite way to stay healthy during the holidays? Please share!

, court

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fitness Friday: 10 Things to Know Before Your First Hot Yoga Class

First of all, HAPPY FRIDAY!! & welcome to what I hope becomes a more regular "series" on my blog!  
SOO I may have mentioned that I'm doing this thing next April called getting married!

I really want to lose weight and get toned for our wedding.  It's important for me on several levels (something I can talk about another time) but mostly I want to feel like I've done everything I could do to enter into marriage as "my best self".  

I've recently changed my diet and started incorporating exercise into my regular routine.  Growing up, I was a dancer so I never really needed to "workout"-it was built into my dance.  In fact, until about my junior year in high school I didn't even realize kids my own age worked out, like went to a gym.  It shocked me, and when I went to college/stopped dancing, I realized how important it is!

Last week, two of my coworkers invited me to attend a Hot Yoga class with them.  It was free so I figured, why not?  Now, I've only done yoga a few times before...Would I recommend Hot yoga for a beginner like me? Nope! Did I do Hot Yoga as a beginner? Yup.

I'll tell you a little bit about my experience, and share some tips.  

1) First of all, it was early.  Our class started at 6am, we had to be there at 5:45, so I left my house at 5:25.  I normally wake up at 6, so it wasn't terrible but my tip #1 is:
Especially for first timers [like me], lay out your outfit the night before!  Try everything on, make sure it fits and you're going to be comfortable in front of other people.  This saved me time, and stress, in the morning.

2) Speaking of clothing...The website for my studio said "wear as little as you feel comfortable in" and people did! There were men Speedo-like shorts and women in sports bras, so honestly-wear what you feel comfortable in, but obviously be respectful, people take it very seriously. 
*note, Lululemon not required to practice yoga.
Choose your outfit carefully.  Tight leggings or shorts, tanktop, no socks.  I wouldn't recommend anything of sweatshirt material-nope, too sweaty.   

3) YOU ARE GOING TO SWEAT! a lot. Like unreal amounts of sweat. 
[^^see they all have towels^^]
Bring at least one hand towel to have in the room with you .  There was literally sweat dripping in my eyes (gross/true) and I'm so glad I had a towel with me during class!

4) Also...
Bring a big *bleep* water bottle into the class with you [everyone does]. 

5) And more water...
and more, and more, and more.  My instructor was so amazing and told us the importance of staying hydrated the 24 hours after a hot yoga class. Honestly, I could not drink enough water that day.

6) Take it easy and don't push yourself too far. 
^^she was a beginner once too^^
Everyone had a first class.  I definitely couldn't do all the poses but I still got a GREAT workout.  Do what you can and focus on the experience.  It's not a competition and no one expects you to master yoga in one day.  You can also use stretch bands or straps, or even your towel, to help you with some poses.    
7)  My instructor also warned us not to over exert ourselves.  She said to just STOP if we felt lightheaded or dizzy.  Also, do not crouch/squat down.  This interferes with your circulation and when you stand, blood will rush to your head and people faint.
Just be still if you need to.  I stopped when I felt like I was crossing "that line" and it was perfectly fine.  Just be aware.

8)  I personally got a headache later in the afternoon (around 3pm).  Several things could have caused it (lack of sleep), but I'm just throwing it out there.  That being said, I would still definitely do it again because I felt SO AMAZING after the class. 

9) On the morning of my class, it was 1° outside.  It was 101° in the studio.  And for all you math geniuses out there, that's a 100° difference.  
Bring extra clothes to layer (remember, you'll be WET you're so sweaty) and bundle up! Take time to adjust to the cooler temperature as you exit the class.     

10) I had a WONDERFUL experience.  Honestly, just enjoy yourself and be refreshed.    

I personally didn't have any time to research Hot Yoga before attending my first class, but here are some articles I've found since that I've really liked:  

The health benefits of practicing hot yoga

Sweating out Toxins 

10 Things No One Will Tell You About Hot Yoga 

Thanks and have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

CHEEZ-y Valentines

After my last post, I got really excited for my work Valentines!  Again, here is my inspiration:

 I literally could not wait any longer and whipped up this quick note: 
I still have to go and buy Cheez-Its, so I'll have to customize the size.  I'll be sure to post pictures :)

 But anyway, here's yours!

Be sure to share photos if you do use it! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Okay so here's the deal, I LOVE Valentine's Day, I really do! And not only because my favorite color is pink and it's EVERYWHERE this time of year :) I just think it's such a nice opportunity to give thoughtful little gifts and let the people in your life know how much you care about them.  I've listed a few of mine below.  What are your plans for LOVE DAY? :) 

For Him:
This is definitely what I'm getting my mister on February 14th.  He's been talking about how he wishes he could make his own breakfast sandwiches before work, and this one was only $25 at Walmart!  I think gifts are really special when you listen and remember things the other person said :)  

I actually made this Beer Cake for my fiance for Christmas.  He thought it was hilarious and thoughtful.  It was SO easy to make, maybe I'll do a tutorial someday.
I think he'd like this better than a bouquet of roses.
I also homemade a similar basket for my man's Christmas gift.  He loves spicy food so I included jalapeno peppers, Flamin' Hot Cheetos, Cholula, Salsa, Hot Chili, Spicy V8 and Hot Tamales.  I made a sign that said "You're HOT" and he loved it :)
My guy isn't really into sweet things (see above) but I bet anyone would love these super soft, Valentine's themed cookies.

For Her:
I have always thought this was such a cute idea! Pre-planned dates for each month in a basket.  Takes the thought out of it but is still a surprise.  Precious.  She even has date ideas on her blog!

Peanut Butter & Chocolate.  'Nuff said. 

Another cute yet very cheap idea.  What a great keepsake!

This gift idea is SO cute, and she did it on the cheap! I would love to get this thoughtful gift, and you can put as much or as little time into this DIY as you want.  

I purchased necklaces from Eliza Jay for Christmas and they were SUCH a hit (literally, tears were shed).  They arrived so quickly for a custom piece and I love the quality.  Anything customized will win her heart!

For Parents:
It would be so fun to help a little one create this colorful work of art!

Embarrassing but true, I made this card for my own mom just a few years ago (it's kind of "our saying").  She loved it and it was super easy!

I also made this for my mom! Another super easy, and deliciously simple, DIY.

Fun for teachers or babysitters to do with kids.  Would be cute to see how each kid creates different patterns :) I remember doing this as a kid myself!

Adorable coupon book for parents (or anyone really).  Cute keepsake and the kiddos can make up their own "coupons"!

For Teachers:
Simple but I'm almost positive they'd love (and use) it!

Another simple idea-

A different take on those silly popcorn tins!

I know you can get these cups cheap and the flag on the straw really makes it special.

Okay but really, who wouldn't love to get a s'more kit?? This would be great it you had several teachers to give gifts to.  

For Classmates:
Bringing Valentine's to class and exchanging used to be so much fun! These will be sure to get the other students talking :)

Stop by the dollar store for some of these critters.

We all know how much we love Twinkies (especially given the recent scare!) and minions.  Put the two together.... 

Dollar Store saves the day again! These cute shovels and printable make for a great little gift!

Takes a little bit of advanced planning, but totally worth it! Super cute. 

CEREAL-sly, could this be cuter? And I can't get over those awesome pink spoons!

For Coworkers:
It really livens and brightens up the office when holidays are celebrated (appropriately).  So much fun to show your coworkers how much you appreciate them!  Here are some simple and easy ideas for all my hard workers out there with no extra time to make treats (like me!) 

Luckily (unluckily??), they just opened a Dunkin' Donuts near my house :)  I'm sure you could customize this little sleeve with whatever language you'd like-so cute!

I made this for a coworker last Christmas after I noticed she was always drinking Mt. Dew.  I would be great for your team members and this site has printables-score!

Another super creative yet inexpensive gift.  Literally takes almost no time but will show your gratitude. 

I am totally making these for my coworkers, no lie.  I think it's hilarious and would make everyone laugh.  Again, very simple and not at all time consuming! 

It really says something when this is the most time consuming gift idea of all at about 10 minutes. These are cute, festive and could be bagged up individually, or left out in a bowl with cute little dixie cups.  

 So there it is-30 great gift ideas for everyone in your life.  Which ones are you thinking about making?  Happy Valentine's Day! <3