Two Teens And Their Mama

Monday, August 14, 2017

Summertime Guilty Pleaures

Happy Monday and welcome to another Summertime Fun link up with my fabulous friends at The Blended Blog. After thinking about today's topic, I realized that I seriously need to add more guilty pleasures to my life.  Things are looking pretty boring over here!

My biggest guilty pleasure is reading, and in the summer I try to take as much time as I can with a good book.  We've had great weather for deck sitting, and with a beach vacation and a few road trips thrown in, I've been reading the days away.

Every single book I've read has been excellent, so I won't give individual reviews.  You can't go wrong with any of these choices, especially if you're looking for a "can't put it down" story!

I started the summer with The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah, which was my TBB Virtual Book Club choice. We'll be reviewing those picks on the 24th, and there's still time to join before we start our next round.  Let me know if you're interested and I'll send you all the info. 

I moved on to I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi, which was a recommend from my sister. Maddy is a devoted wife and mother who commits suicide, leaving her husband and daughter trying to figure out why.  This book is heartbreaking and beautiful.

After all the heavy subject matter, I needed something light, so I picked up Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan.  This is a really fun read about the insane life of the filthy rich in Singapore.  Plastic surgery for pet fish, million dollar shopping sprees in Paris, and private planes with spas on board - this story is the ultimate guilty pleasure.  So good, in fact, that I also finished the rest of the trilogy - China Rich Girlfriend, and Rich People Problems. \

My most recent read was Along The Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams.  The story alternates between the late 1930's and 1966, telling the love story of Annabelle.  By far the best book I've read all year, this one gave me chills at the end.  So, so good.

Hop over to The Blended Blog to see what the other ladies have to say about their guilty pleasures, and then link up with us below!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Beachy Friday Loves

Happy Friday, friends!  Last week I was looking at this...

And this. Sigh. Coming back from vacation is so hard and I'm still trying to get caught up. Today I'm at The Blended Blog sharing my favorites from the week, and there's a little something for everyone.  Hope you'll hop over and check it out!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Blended Blog Asks...August

Hello friends!  I apologize for my absence from the blogging world lately.  We just got back from vacation, and the spotty wi-fi gave me an excuse to unplug and be in the moment. College boy heads back to school in a few weeks, so I'm enjoying the summer we have left!

Luckily, my cohorts at The Blended Blog continue to be creative and amazing ladies, and they haven't kicked me out even though I keep dropping the ball.  Last month's TBB Asks was so popular, we've decided to make it a monthly series.  We hope you'll join in the fun and share your summertime answers.

Pool, lake or ocean?  I love to bob in the ocean waves, and float in the pool.  Lakes freak me out because you can't see what's below!

Camping, cottage or hotel?  Camping for a weekend, a hotel if it's longer than a few days.

Favorite ice cream flavor?  Chocolate chip mint.

PJ's, nightgown, or birthday suit?  PJ's, because I'm always cold.

Fave summer beverage?  Diet coke every time.

Would you rather be hot or cold?  HOT!  I'm so tired of being cold all the time.

Sandals with heels or flats?  Flats, because I'm too tall.

Shorts or skirts?  Skirts and dresses are my favorite summer wear.

Sit in the sun or the shade?  The sun, as long as I'm covered in sunscreen.

Water, tea or soda?  See Diet Coke above.  Need to drink more water.

Fave summer fruit, vegetable?  Peaches and zucchini.

Sunrise or sunset?  Sunrise, although I don't see them very often.

Bike ride or walk?  Walk.  I would love to get rid of my car and walk everywhere.

Winery or brewery?  Winery.

Garden or no garden?  They're a pain, but I love picking fresh veggies from the backyard.

Big summer concert or music in the park?  Music in the park.

Fave cookout food?  S'mores!

Dine indoors or patio?  I'd love to be able to eat outside every day.

Fave summer destination?  The beach.

Big theme park or local carnival?  Big theme park - Disney!

Drinks blended or on the rocks?  Blended.

Popsicle flavor of choice?  Cherry.

Hot dog or hamburger?  Umm...neither?  Although a hot dog sounds good right now.

Be sure to check out what my blogging friends had to say, and link up with us below!  Happy Monday!

Christy @ R Squared
Carrie @ A Stylish Fit
Shaunacey @ Simply Shaunacey
Lana @ My New Happy

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Christmas In July

It's the most wonderful time of the year - Christmas in July!  Welcome to the second annual gift exchange with my friends at The Blended Blog.  We had so much fun last year, we decided to do it again.  And who doesn't love peeking into other people's presents?  If you're hopping over from Shaunacey's blog, welcome to my holiday home!

I was so excited to get a package in the mail from Shaunacey.  If you don't already follow her blog, get yourself over there right now.  She has truly been one of the biggest blogging blessings, and I'm so thankful to have met her.  She's kind, witty, smart and beautiful - and also very pregnant with her third little baby.  She has a unique writing voice and I love her sense of humor.

Inside was a beautiful box.  Umm....sorry Sarah.  My gift wrapping/presentation was not this pretty.

I should have done an un-boxing sequence like a real blogger, but I'm too impatient for that. 

Look at all that wonderfulness!  Shaunacey's sweet card was lovely, plus she included a note on each item, explaining why she chose it.  Everything was perfect.

A cross body is my favorite kind of bag, and I love the size and color of this one.  That book - I've been meaning to pick it up, because I definitely need to work on my badass self.  It's coming on vacation with me next week, so you all better watch out when I get back! Coffee Crisp - WHY can't we get these in the states?

Love this.  I wonder if pineapples are on my new eating plan?

Also love.  Although it might be the opposite for me!

My very favorite gift from Shaunacey.  What a wonderful sentiment on this adorable bracelet. And it's my very first Stella & Dot piece!

Thank you, Shaunacey, for such thoughtful gifts. I'll think of you every time I use them!

Now, hop on over to Sarah's blog to see what I sent her.  And Merry Christmas!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Feeling Frumpy

Time to get real today, friends, and I need your help.  I've got a serious case of the frumps.  

It's happened before.  The college years were pretty frumpy.  It's hard to look cute in zero degrees and a 3/4 length poop-brown, down coat.  The late 90's were super frumpy.  I blame that on two small boys and no desire to get out of sweats.

And now here I am again, worse than ever.  This time the culprit is aging, metabolism, and hormones.  Turning 50 is no joke.

I've always been active and eaten healthy most of the time.  In the past, when things started to go in the wrong direction, I had proven strategies to get back on track.  Eating clean and exercising isn't working anymore.

I'm a big believer in body positivity and loving yourself no matter what.  I don't need or want to be super thin, but I do want to be fit and strong and as lean as I can be.  Right now I feel heavy and bloaty and unhealthy. My clothes fit, but they're tight and uncomfortable.  I don't feel like me, and I definitely feel frumpy.

In the past few weeks I've realized that it's time to do something different.  Things are a-changin, and that calls for a new strategy.  After a lot of research, and talking to several friends who've had success, I've decided to try Faster Way To Fat Loss.  I start in mid-August, and I'm excited and apprehensive.

The program is based around carb cycling (low carb and high carb days), intermittent fasting (not eating from 8pm until noon the next day), and targeted workouts to correspond to each day.  The fasting doesn't bother me, since I rarely get hungry in the morning.  But the carb cycling will be challenging.  I'm not a fan of meat, and fish is a no go.

So here's where I need your help.  Do you have any yummy low carb recipes?  Websites I should check out for ideas?  I love salads, chicken, fruits and veggies.  Hit me with your suggestions, please!

I'll keep you posted on my progress and do an depth review when I've completed the six week program.  Hopefully this will help get me over the hump....and the frump!


And speaking of exercising, PLEASE head over to The Blended Blog today for a special treat.  Deena, Sarah, Nicole and Whitney have teamed up to share their favorite fitness videos, featuring Fitness Marshall and a little Britney.  You won't want to miss their video, because it's awesome!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Blended Blog Style: Tenáz Athletics

Disclosure:  The top in this post was provided to me.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Welcome back to the new Blended Blog Style!  We hope you'll join us and link up your fashion posts below, and check back each week to see if you are featured!

I love to work out, but I don't love work out clothes.  They're often too tight, too short, and unflattering.  I know exercising isn't a beauty competition, but it's easier to get out there when you feel confident and comfy.

Tenáz Athletics to the rescue!

This California based women's athletic wear company designs products made to fit and flatter while still being functional.  Their mission is to inspire in women a tenacity for staying fit and healthy.  I love that!

This V-Neck Top is from the Breathe Collection.  With lightweight fabrics, and stretch-mesh sleeves, I can cover up without retaining heat, a bonus on those days I don't want to wear a tank top.

It's hard to choose my favorite thing about this top.  The quality is excellent, the black inset panel is slimming, and the pink piping adds a fun accent.  The sheer sleeves are flattering, and the top skims without being too tight.  It's perfect for working out or running errands. Two thumbs up!

If you'd like to try a top from the Breathe Collection, the lovely Jacqui is offering a discount code for 30% off and free shipping.  Just enter FRIEND30 at checkout.  I'm wearing my usual size, so if you'd prefer a looser fit, I'd recommend sizing up.  The V-neck top has a solid back, and it's also available with a scoop neck/racer back combo.

Linking up  with The Pleated PoppyThursday Fashion FilesFashion FridayFabulous FridayPumps and PushupsHow I Style ItNot Dead Yet StyleMy Refined StyleThursday ModaI do DeclaireAgeless StyleWednesday's Wardrobe , Get Your Pretty OnShelbee On The Edge

Time to link up!  I hope you'll join us again this week, and follow along with #theblendedblogstyle. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Keep Moving With Ted's Pain Cream

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf to Ted's Pain Cream.  All opinions are my own.

I love to exercise and I've tried it all.  Zumba, biking, weight training, yoga, cardio circuit. But this time of year, there's nothing better than getting outside to hike with family.

Last weekend my cousin was visiting from New York, and she wanted to explore and experience the beauty that is Washington in July.  We decided to spend the day on two very different trails.  

The first meandered along the Stillaguamish River, eventually ending with a rocky scramble and spooky abandoned railroad tunnels. 

Once that trail was conquered, we headed up the road to the Big Four Ice Caves.  After a short hike through old growth forest, we emerged into a beautiful valley with waterfalls and a huge snow field.

And because I live in a house of men, you know there had to be a big snowball fight.  It was pretty much the perfect day.

Until I got home, and my body started yelling at me.  Because the fact is, I'm 50, and I've had my share of injuries over the years.  A torn meniscus from a skiing accident years ago still gives my knee trouble, especially when venturing up hills and over rocks.

I may be the one slowly bringing up the rear, but I'm not going to quit hiking with my family any time soon. Instead, I'll keep moving with Ted's Pain Cream.

Ted is a neuroscientist who discovered a new kind of pain relief, using natural ingredients like resveratrol and wintergreen oil.  He published his findings, tested it on himself, and the rest is history.  The combination of ingredients appears to work by "turning down" the volume of your nerves back to normal levels.  If you're interested in the longer, more science-y story, you can read about it here.

The bottom line is...this cream works.  Within a few hours of applying it to my knee, I started to feel relief.  It's cool and refreshing, and smells exactly like a wintergreen Life Saver!  I've continued to use it three times a day, and my knee hasn't felt this good in years.

Ted's Pain Cream also works well on tendonitis, muscle strains, plantar fasciitis and bruises.  The effect seems to maximize after a week of use.

I love to use products that give back, and every purchase of Ted's Pain Cream supports neuroscience scholarships for worthy students.  Pain relief and helping future scientists? That's a win win!

I don't care if I'm 50.  I'm going to keep moving and exercising and working towards being the strongest me I can be. And when the pain hits, I'll definitely reach for Ted's Pain Cream every time!

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