Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thinking Out Loud

Happy Thinking Out Loud Thursday! I want to keep TOL Thursdays going because I have gotten such good feedback about sharing parts of my normal everyday life and I love reading other bloggers TOL posts so why not continue? There's a whole bunch of randomness, just like every other week- I'm talking presidential debates, sangrias and boots. Ready, let's go!

1. Is it Friday yet? I'm pretty sure I'm still exhausted from last weekend and it's just compounded into more tiredness. Staying up way too late and insomnia are not a good combo and naps just not cutting it anymore. I think I'm going to have to go full on grandma and go to bed at 8pm to get some extra sleep in. 

2. IT'S BOOT WEATHER! I'm super sad that summer is over but I do love fall because I have an excuse to wear all sorts of ridiculously adorable boots. The temperatures have been much cooler here this week and it's been raining a ton. When there was a break in the rain yesterday I headed out to pick up a few items and of course I had to wear a pair off gray booties I had stashed away. I found them on clearance at the end of last season for $6, I love finding a good deal. 

3. iSO10 is basically the bane of my existence. Since I updated the stopwatch on my phone no longer works, which I use every day at the gym. Also does anyone else keep swiping to unlock their phone?! I've been swiping to unlock my phone for 8(?) years I can't just automatically stop doing it. Please just let me swipe to unlock my dang phone. The only thing I do like about the update is the new emojis.

4. Pescience vegan protein is really good! I was skeptical about it, but I'm really glad I tried it. I wish they sold it in a 4 pound container as well as the 2 pound container. The chocolate flavor is sweet, but not in an artificial way. It's also a very thick protein powder, which I love and I can't wait to start using it in smoothies.

5. Can we talk about the presidential debate for a second? I'm a closet political junkie, but I knew the debate was going to turn into a crap show. I didn't even watch the debate but I did get a boatload of snapchats from people watching the debate and it was hilarious. So many face swaps, deer faces and flower crowns. 

6. Peach sangrias are my latest obsession. Ever since I had one in Grand Rapids I have been wanting another one. I am definitely not one to drink a lot or often, but that was delicious and I will be getting another one eventually. That was the first drink I've ever ordered. I just can't make myself pay for a drink because they're so expensive, but since it was my best friends birthday I justified the cost. 

7. It's been getting dark way too early and staying dark for way too long so I have been stuck running inside on the treadmill after my lifts. I have been playing around a lot with distance and speed and my runs have been feeling really, really good. I have been loving sprint intervals because they get my heart racing and the adrenaline pumping. 

I'll end things on seven because I am too tired to form coherent sentences at the moment. 

Do you have any fun weekend plans?
What is one thing you are currently loving or obsessed with? 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Birthday Shenanigans and Weekend Adventures

I know it's only Tuesday but this week already feels so long. I blame a ridiculously fun weekend packed with friends, food, a few drinks, and staying up WAY too late, so the struggle is real this week. There definitely needs to be a day between Sunday and Monday to catch up on sleep💤 I wanted to get caught up before sharing a few new posts this week and before things get crazy busy again.

Friday morning I hit the gym and got an awesome run and lift in before I headed out to Grand Rapids for the weekend. I knew there would be some indulging over the weekend so I wanted to start the day off on a good note. 

I'm always starving when I leave the gym, especially after a really hard lift. Post workout hanger is real! After cleaning up I made my staple breakfast of protein oats (recipe here) and topped it sliced banana, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, a drizzle of honey and course sprinkles😋 I also had one egg mixed with 6 Tablespoons egg whites for extra protein. I wanted a filling breakfast before I started driving because I knew it would be awhile before I ate again. After breakfast I quickly packed up my things and headed out. I never procrastinate and pack that late but the week had been crazy and I just never found motivation to pack. I listened to Sam Hunt while packing- I'm currently obsessed with the acoustic version of Come Over.

Kate's birthday was technically Thursday, but since she has classes I headed up Friday and spent the weekend hanging out with her. I had Friday afternoon and evening all planned out and full of surprises so she had no clue what I had planned😏 Since she just turned 21 I had to take her to a wine tasting. We are both wine lovers and there's a little apple house that's also a winery in Grand Rapids called Robinette's. Neither of us had ever been there but I had heard amazing things about it so we headed there. For 6 tastings it's $3 plus they give you a nice wine glass and if you bring it back you can have one free tasting a week! It's a steal and the wine is so good😍 My favorite wine of the day was passionate peach, it was so fruity and you couldn't even taste the alcohol. I couldn't resist so I bought a bottle and I'm hoarding it for later because I'm not sure it will last long. If anyone wants to buy me a dozen bottles of it for Christmas I would have ZERO complaints. 

After the wine tasting we hit up the corn maze, which is HUGE! Every year they have the corn maze in a different shape and this year it was in the shape of Snoopy and the Giant Pumpkin. At the beginning of the maze they give you a map if you want help getting through it but we opted to figure it out without the map. It took awhile, but we finally found our way out👍 

We grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading out to Kate's last surprise for the day, which was a trampoline park! A few of our other friends met us over at the trampoline park and it was a blast! There were areas just for jumping and doing flips, a giant foam pit, two dodgeball courts- one for adults and one for smaller kids, and a basketball area. The guys were all about the dodgeball court. Somehow it ended up being guys against girls and I'm not proud to say but I got impaled by a few balls, but cut me some slack it was my first time playing dodgeball. We got a Groupon for the trampoline park so we got admission for two for the price of one, so we bought a couple Groupons so everyone could get in. We jumped and played dodgeball for over an hour and by the time we sat down everyone was sweaty, hot, and very tired. It ended up being a really good workout between all the jumping and laughing💪

Despite being exhausted from the trampoline park I could not fall asleep when we got back. I ended up watching some of the guys play Rocket League for awhile and when I finally went to bed I didn't fall asleep until almost 5am and of course I woke up at 7am and was wide awake. I was totally exhausted but I hauled my butt out of bed and went for a run. It felt good to get moving and get the blood flowing early, but by the time I got back I was dead. Since I was away from home I couldn't have my usual breakfast so I picked up a few Bob's Red Mill oatmeal cups because they're perfect for traveling. I stopped at the grocery store and picked up some fruit that I could throw in while I waited for the oats to be ready. After eating I did something I never do I went back to bed for awhile. 

Since everyone was pretty dead from the night before Saturday was a very slow day. We finally got up and moving in the afternoon and hit up Main Street Pub for some late day grub. I used to hit up this spot with friends while I was up at school so it was strange being back as a graduate. I ordered my favorite salad, the fuji apple chicken salad. The salad had two kinds of lettuce, grapes, walnuts, apple slices, grilled chicken, blue cheese (which they happily left off for me) and raspberry vinaigrette dressing that I got on the side because I rarely like salad dressing. I also tried sweet potato fries for the first time and holy cow I've been missing out! I don't like and can't have regular french fries so I never bothered to try sweet potato fries, but they're so good! Since Kate just turned 21 we had to celebrate with a few drinks. I ordered a peach sangria and it was amazing- I couldn't taste the alcohol so I was super careful because those sort of drinks are always dangerous. We ended up calling it a night pretty early because everyone was still tired from the night before and Kate had to study for an exam on Monday. 

Sunday morning I got a very chilly run in and devoured all the food after. I hate wearing extra layers- hoodies, under armor, etc.- while running so I just opt to freeze my butt off until I warm up. It also motivates me to run faster so I heat up quicker😂 I changed into sweats to warm up when I got back but it ended up warming up and being a nice day. 

I ended up getting back later than I planned on Sunday due to lots of road construction and traffic being extra heavy from the construction. I was in the house no more than two minutes when the power went out. It was a perfectly sunny day, no winds, nothing but the power just went out. The laundry I planned on doing had to wait so I unpacked some and headed out to get a bite to eat with my parents. I got a harvest salad that had romaine lettuce, spinach, toasted walnuts, onions, tomatoes, dried cherries, grilled chicken and raspberry vinaigrette. I picked the onions off, I am not an onion lover, but other than that it was pretty good. I just has been looking forward to making a home cooked meal since I had eaten out basically all weekend. Thankfully by the time I got back from dinner with my parents the power came back on. 

It was an incredibly fun weekend and I'm already looking forward to going back soon to try out some new places downtown. 

What did you do over the weekend? 
What is your favorite outdoor fall activity?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thinking Out Loud

Happy Thinking Out Loud Thursday! I have been loving these TOL posts recently and I've gotten a lot of good feedback, so I'm going to continue with them. This weeks is longer than the previous weeks, but I guess I had to think about and share. Plus today's TOL falls on a very special day, which I talk about at the end of post. 

I'm all over the place again this week but that is kind of the point of these posts. I'm talking about fall, food, friends and of course Cora had to make an appearance. Are you ready for some randomness?  

1. Fall is officially here. Most people say fall starts after Labor Day, but technically the first day of fall is today. The leafs started changing ridiculously early (like middleish of August) this year. My neighbor said leafs can change color if the trees is stressed from lack of water. It has been a pretty dry summer in the midwest so it would make sense, but I have no clue if that is actually true. In any case I am loving the fall colors, but am not looking forward to raking and looking at naked trees for the next 6 months.

2. My obsession with sunsets continues. For the past week the sunsets have been absolutly stunning so I've been soaking them all in and of course capturing them. I've always wanted to live along the ocean so I could capture the sunset every night, plus I just love the ocean. A move to Cali or Hawaii is definitely in order 😉

3. Cora and I have been soaking up lots of sunshine because we know winter is right around the corner. It may be fall but the temperatures still feel like summer, it's been in the mid 80's all week, and I am going to enjoy every last second of it. If you have followed along on my instagram stories you have seen plenty pictures of Cora playing outside and swimming in the lake. She's such a ham for the camera<- not even kidding, she loves having her picture taken.

4. Ever since my boyfriend and I visited a cider mill last weekend I am dying to go back and take pictures. I didn't bring my camera when we went so I want to capture all the apples, fall colors and fall fun. Maybe one day I'll even get some pictures of us😄 When I travelled out to the west coast earlier this year people didn't know what a cider mill was and I was like WHAT?! Maybe it's a just a midwest or Michigan thing, but it's a must and I try to go every year. If you don't know what a cider mill is, it's basically an apple orchard where they make cider, you can pick your own apples, go on hay rides, go through a corn maze, drink lots of cider, and eat freshly made doughnuts (if you're not gluten intolerant). It's always a ton of fun and great place to go with family or friends, so if you're ever in the midwest go to a cider mill. 

5. Running has felt AMAZING recently! Monday I pounded out the most miles I have been able to since I tweaked my hip flexor awhile back. I have (not so patiently) been waiting for it heal while still running and let me tell you some days pounding out one mile has been hard. Tuesday I could tell it was bothered so I cut back on miles and pace but I hopped right back on board Wednesday and it felt amazing! I'm terrible at waiting for injuries to heal. I know I'm impatient, I've been told a few times. I also have a run streak going and I am not about to break it!! 

6. I don't like sweets but I must say Ben and Jerry's dairy free ice cream is pretty dang good😍 This is the only flavor I can have, the other ones contain gluten. I don't like coffee but this is ridiculously addicting, I may have had a few bites before lunch the other day and I have zero regrets😏

7. I may slightly obsessed with adding a sliver of Theo chocolate to my breakfast bowls😍 I don't add a sliver every morning but every once in awhile it's a great treat. The chocolate gets all melty because the oats are hot and then it runs over all the fruit and it's the BOMB! You must try it!  

8. Can I petition snapchat to bring the bunny filter back?! It was my favorite filter and I'm so sad that they took it away. I have been searching everywhere for a lip gloss/stick that is this color of pink. My best friend suggested a shade from Sephora but it's not made anymore so I'm back on the hunt😩 if you have any suggestions of where to look or shades please comment and let me know!

9. CAN IT PLEASE JUST BE FRIDAY!?!? I have been waiting for this weekend for a number of weeks because I am driving out to see my best friend for her birthday which is TODAY!! I have a whole day of surprises planned and I can't wait to celebrate with her!! She has been asking me to tell her what we are doing, but I refuse to- it's a surprise for a reason! I have been sending her hints on snapchat and she is not finding them nearly as amusing as I am😁

10. I'll end things here by saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATE!! I hope you have the most amazing birthday ever because you are the most amazing person I know. You are the kindest, happiest, most selfless person and I'm thankful every day to have you in my life. You're the best best friend a girl could ask for💜 I can't wait to spend the weekend celebrating YOU🎉

What are your plans for this weekend? 
How do you celebrate your birthday? 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Berry Breakfast Bowl

Happy Tuesday! I hope you had a terrific weekend, it rained for a little bit here, but as soon as it stopped my boyfriend and I headed to the cider mill for some fall fun. We did tons of walking through apple trees and I went through my first corn maze🌽 I'm not sure how I made it this long without going through a corn maze, but it was a ton of fun and I definitely want to do another one!  

I'm not ready to let go of summer just yet because then berries will be out of season😢 What fruit am I going to use for my breakfast bowls?! Speaking of breakfast, I get asked about my breakfast bowls a lot, so I figured why not tell you how to make them? They're super quick and easy to make and totally customizable. Fruit can be cut up ahead of time and oats packed in a bag or bowl and made at work if you're short on time in the morning. The addition of protein powder helps keep me full for much longer than just plain oatmeal. No one likes a hangry person or wants to be a hangry person by 10am😳 

Berry Breakfast Bowl
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oats
  • cinnamon, to taste
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons protein powder
  • fruit of choice
  • honey (optional)
  • sprinkles

In a microwave safe bowl combine oats and cinnamon. 

Pour water into bowl- use as much water as directed on the oat container- and microwave according to instructions. 

When oats are cooked stir in 2 Tablespoons protein powder, my favorite protein to use is Bob's Red Mill vanilla or chocolate or Vega protein

Once you've stirred in the protein add your favorite fruit on top- my go to's are strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. I like to add small drizzle of honey on top of the fruit, but that is optional. 

Finally add sprinkles on top because sprinkles are awesome :)

If you make a breakfast bowl take a picture, tag me on instagram, and use the hashtag #thesimplelife I'd love to see your creations! Don't forget to like my new Facebook page

Friday, September 16, 2016

Logging Off and Living Life

I have been spending a lot of time away from the blog recently and as strange as it may sound I'm 100% ok with it. 

I know I have talked about needing breaks before to just live life, but recently I have been stuck in a creativity rut. Every time I'd walk into the kitchen to work on a recipe I was not feeling the usual spark that I normally do. While I do have ideas for some new recipes to make the desire to get to work just is not there and that's not a feeling that I want to force. I want to want to be in the kitchen with my sleeves rolled up enjoying creating something for you guys. My dad always used to tell my brother and I that half hearted efforts produce half hearted results and I don't want to do anything half hearted. 

While the creativity bug has not been striking me I have been enjoying life away from the blog. I have gotten less screen time than I have in a very long time and I have ZERO complaints. I doubt anyone gets to the end of their life and wishes they could have spent more time on blogging or on social media. If someone said that that would be incredibly sad because there is so much more to life than social media. 

Instead of blogging I've been spending lots of time outside. I have been hiking some nearby trails, I hit up a local farm with a friend and I have been enjoying time with my boyfriend. I have only taken a handful of pictures while I have been out with friends but it is so liberating to be out and not take my phone out. 

I have laughed and smiled more in the past few weeks than I have in a long time. I have woken up genuinely happy and excited for a new day. It's no secret that the past few months have been a struggle for a me as I have been adjusting to post grad life and looking for a full time job. There have been a lot of days where I have woken up depressed because I felt like I didn't have a purpose. I am a goal chaser and a doer so not having anything to do has been a struggle. I hate mindlessly sitting around filling out job apps or scrolling through social media because I don't feel like I am accomplishing anything. I have been learning to find purpose by going to the gym and accomplishing running goals, but still it is difficult, especially when I see friends getting jobs and accomplishing big goals and sharing those moments on social media. I can't help but compare myself in those moments and I always feel like I don't measure up. Those moments helped me realize I needed time away.

Taking time away from the screens has felt so good and for the first time in awhile my soul feels refreshed. I have not felt pressure to post on social media, I have lost some followers but life is not all about gaining followers and likes. I have loved sharing some more personal posts on instagram, not just food posts. So what if the personal posts don't get as many likes? I like sharing glimpses of my real life because my life does not revolve around food. I love seeing other bloggers share glimpses into their real life because I love getting to learn new things about them that are not food or fitness related, so why not share a few of my own?

These past few weeks away from social media and all sorts of screens have been exactly what I needed. I needed time to focus on what really matters in life- people. I have been focusing on the friendships and relationships in my life and both are richer and fuller than before. So am I going to totally ditch social media and blogging? Of course not, but I have and continue to cut back. I spend less time scrolling through instagram and Facebook and more time having actual conversations. Social media is a fantastic tool to stay connected, make connections, and reach an audience but it's a double edged sword. 

Personally, I would not trade these past few weeks for anything. I love the memories I have made and all the friends I have gotten to spend time with. The simple moments of walking trails, watching farm animals and just interacting with other people have made my heart so incredibly full. My advice would be to intentionally close the laptop, put down the phone or whatever piece of technology you are using and go engage with other humans- friends, family, significant others, whoever it may be. Engage outside of social media because the nights you remember most will not be the ones you spent lounging around in your PJ's scrolling through instagram

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Thinking Out Loud

Happy Thursday! I know I have been MIA from the blog a LOT recently, but I wanted to get a Thinking Out Loud post in this week. I'll explain my absence more in a post tomorrow (I promise I'm ok) but sometimes you just need a break from being bombarded with so much screen time. 

This weeks TOL is all over the place, literally everywhere. I'm talking chickens, snapchat and love songs. Really it's a giant mishmosh of randomness, but that's exactly what TOL is for. I love reading everyone's TOL posts because you learn little things about other people that you wouldn't learn by following them on instagram or whatever social media platform. Are you ready for randomness? Here we go...

1. Go listen to this song right now. I cannot stop listening to it because it's one of the sweetest songs I've ever heard. I'm a hopeless romantic at heart so songs like these make my heart melt. The lyrics are so heartfelt and will make your heart swoon. Right now the song is 69 cents on iTunes so go buy it! There's also a stripped version of the song called the wedding edition that's really good for a slower version. 

2. I may be a romantic at heart but I cannot stand chick flicks. It's a total contradiction, trust me I know. If I'm going to see a movie I tend to stick more to comedy and action movies. My tastes range from Accepted <- if you have not seen that movie you are missing out on life- to Pineapple Express to Miracle. I do love a good sports movie too and Miracle is the single greatest sports event to ever take place, trust me it's an amazing movie go watch it.

3. I saw this random fact about the Mackinaw Bridge on Instagram yesterday and was pretty freaked out. Almost every year my family drives over the Mackinaw Bridge, but I NEVER EVER want to be on the bridge when it's moving 35 feet due to wind😳 

4. Are these not the fluffiest chickens you've ever seen!?!?! Last week my boyfriend surprised me and took me to dinner, afterward we went to a local park where they have all sorts of farm animals and I basically fell in love with these chickens. A few days later I brought my best friend to show her the chickens and she found them just as adorable as me. I know nothing about what kind of chickens they are all I know is that they're cute and so freaking fluffy. 

5. Maybe it's because I'm extremely late to join the snapchat game (rachaelminer<- add me) but I find the filters so amusing! If you saw the chipotle filter that stuck your head in an avocado I laughed way too hard at that one and if my best friend ever decided to blackmail me she'd have plenty to work with. My current favorite filter is the glittery bunny because even when I don't do my hair or makeup it still makes you look cute😁 and no I didn't cut my hair super short it's just pulled back and laying funky in this pic. I don't think I could ever pull off having my hair that short🤔

6. The weather is starting to change and I'm already missing summer. The sun sets so early now and rises so late and nights are a lot cooler ->aka I'm stuck running on the treadmill. I love fall because it means trips to the cider mill, chunky sweaters, football, scarves, and changing leaves but I miss summer days spent on the lake and warm nights spent outside with friends. I also happen to miss this extremely awesome chicka, please come home soon because I miss you Lindsay💜

7. I'm impatiently waiting for next weekend to arrive. I have been looking forward to next weekend for months because I am going to visit one of my best friends Kate to celebrate her birthday🎉 I love celebrating birthdays and have a few surprises planned for her so I am super pumped. Normally I'm not one to rush a week but next week please go by fast!!!

That's all I've got for now, so have a great Thursday and I'll see you tomorrow with a post!
What is one song you can listen to on repeat and never grow tired of?
Do you have any fun plans or vacations that you are not so patiently waiting for?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Thinking Out Loud

Happy pre-Friday! It's been a hot minute since I've joined in on the Thinking Out Loud Thursday so I figured I'd jump right back in because I'm lacking in the creativity department this week. I'm pretty sure my brain is still in vacation mode from the long weekend, but I'd appreciate it if it would wake up and decide to function properly. 

I've also been lacking inspiration for creating new recipes. For the past few weeks I've been eating pretty much the same thing so that's why there's been a lack of new recipes. Anyone else ever get in a creative rut? I'm hoping that some time in the kitchen tomorrow will help spark my creativity. If anyone has any suggestions of what they'd like to see comment and let me know! Anyway, onward to this weeks TOL!

I finally cracked and got a snapchat, I blame my best friend who sent me this snap. I have zero clue how it works and I don't send many snaps, but I like seeing everyone's snaps so if you want to add me my name is rachaelminer. On the rare occurrence that I do use it expect pictures of my dog or the lake.

Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market has become a sort of obsession. Their produce is so fresh and stays good for so long! I stopped in last week and they had all the goodies on sale so I stocked up. I got blueberries, Earth Balance coconut peanut butter (for a recipe I was making for a friend, PB is still a no go for this girl), goat cheese, avocados, gluten/dairy free trail mix, Vega protein pack (perfect size for traveling), sweet potatoes, a few snack bars, and daiya dairy free yogurt. Every single item was on sale so it was definitely a win!

Another recent obsession is Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst. Life has been so busy so I haven't been able to get through very much, but what I have gotten through is really good. I've loved every single book I've read of Lysa's so I definitely recommend checking this one out. I was able to get a few minutes of reading in while a little boy I babysit napped. The family cat even hopped up on the couch to join me. 

Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer so now that it's basically fall bring on ALL things pumpkin!! My pumpkin go to recently has been these pumpkin energy bites, I've even gotten requests to make them again. I'm sad to see summer go, but pumpkin is delicious and I'm excited for sweater weather. I am not excited for the snow that follows pumpkin season though. 

Guess what is still going strong?! My running streak. I talked a little about my running streak last week and I'm happy that it's still going (day 44). This week has been a much better running week for me. The biggest thing has been my hip flexor is finally getting better and I don't have horrific pain shooting down my side while I run. My times have gotten better too which I am so happy about, but I'm still being cautious because I don't want to push my hip flexor too much. On a side note I ate a bug while running yesterday and that was beyond gross! I was breathing and the thing flew in my mouth. I started coughing like a crazy lady but the dumb thing went down my throat. I never stopped running which made me look like even more of a crazy lady- I refuse to stop while running. I'm happy to say I finished my miles and the bug swallowing incident didn't even slow me down! 

I'll end things there, have a great Thursday!! Only one more day until it's the weekend!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

WIAW + Labor Day Recap

Is anyone else all messed up on what day it is this week? I'm super pumped it's already Wednesday but in my head it's still Tuesday because Monday was Labor Day. Maybe it's just me. I hope everyone had a fun Labor Day weekend, the weather here was PERFECT all weekend so I spent every possible second outside soaking up the sunshine because I know fall (and winter) are right around the corner. 

It's been a long time since I've done a WIAW so I wanted to get back on that boat, plus I wanted to share some photos from over the holiday weekend. I'll try not to make this post super long, no promises though😉 

I'm still going strong with the usual post workout breakfast of oats mixed with half a scoop of protein powder and topped with all the berries. Berries are almost out of season so I'm enjoying every last berry while I can. I love other fruits, but nothing beats fresh summer fruit. Recently I started adding a few Enjoy Life chocolate chips for an extra topping to spice things up, plus berries and chocolate is always a winning combo. I'm not even a sweets person, but I can fully get behind this combo😋

Lunch is more of the same, are you even surprised at this point? I've been having this lunch since I got back from Cali and I don't see that changing any time soon. It's a gluten free O'Dough's everything bagel- hands down the BEST gluten free bagel I've ever had, plus the macros are awesome- topped with avocado, romaine lettuce, organic free range turkey breast and goat cheese with a peach on the side. The peaches this season have been so good so I'm sad peach season is ending😢

Finally something new right?! Last week I had to travel one day so I got to try a new (to me) restaurant called Blue Water Grill in Grand Rapids. I got a superfood salad that had spinach, kale, dried cherries, pepitas, red onion, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and grilled chicken. The restaurant had everything labeled for gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, etc. It was so helpful and I'm hoping to go back again sometime! If you're ever in Grand Rapids definitely check this restaurant out, plus there's a coupon for 20% off if you check in to the restaurant on Yelp. 

Over the holiday weekend I treated myself to a few glasses of wine. I do not drink that much or that often, but I do enjoy having a drink with friends, especially when I can have a drink outside by the lake. Cupcake Vineyards has some really good wines and this pinot grigio is so good!!

Labor Day was a busy weekend and any extra macros I consumed in wine were sweated out at the gym, running, biking and working outside. My dad and I started rebuilding the deck railing. We bought wood at Home Depot Friday and set out to work. The deck is pretty big so it's a big project but we got two sections done and I'm not sure I've ever sweated so much in my life. It was really hot all weekend, but I enjoy working with my dad, plus I get to work on my carpentry skills. 

A few friends came over Sunday to hangout, grill and enjoy some time on the lake. Not everyone went tubing and there were a few good wipeouts but it was a blast! It was some much needed down time and nothing beats spending it with people you love. 

I'll end things here so this post doesn't get too massive. Have a great Wednesday and don't forget to comment and share your Labor Day weekend adventures with me! 

What did you do over Labor Day weekend?
Are you excited for fall to start or are you sad summer is over? 

Friday, September 2, 2016

August Favorites

Holy smokes it's already Friday and it's already September! August flew by but it was such a good month. I'm sad it's over but at the same time I'm excited for all September has in store- lots of pumpkin, new adventures and hopefully lots of new memories. Before I get the September ball rolling I wanted to share some of my favorites from last month.

August kicked off with a mini vacation! If only every month started this way. We explored some of Northern Michigan and made a stop at Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park. If you're ever in Michigan I highly recommend checking it out because you can climb the dunes and the view are incredible! Not to mention it's a ridiculous angle so you get a good workout. 

Biking was something I hadn't done in FOREVER so I dusted off my bike and started riding a decent amount. In the mornings on vacation I'd run and bike to get a workout in. Morning rides and run are my favorite because it was so quiet and I savored every minute of it. 

Eating breakfast on the patio by the lake. I was only really able to do this because it was so warm (mid-upper 90's every day). I love these Bob's Red Mill individual cups because they're so handy for traveling, which came in handy on vacation. I'd throw my berries in them and go and they'd stay warm for so long!

Cora enjoyed every second of vacation. She practically lived outside because there was so many critters for her to chase. Just look at her smile, melts my heart every time <3

Flourless chocolate peanut butter muffins, need I say more? These muffins became a huge hit on the blog. They are mighty delicious and I keep getting requests to make them which I don't mind because they are so easy to make and cleanup! 

I don't even like coffee but lemme tell you some mornings are a struggle so I found this tank top appropriate. Plus it's one of the softest tanks I have so I've been wearing it a ton. I found it at Target while there for mascara. Does anyone ever walk out of Target with ONLY the item(s) they came for?!?

My BF deserves the credit on this one because he surprised me with it. I love wine, but I don't drink it that much but I do try to fit at least one glass in my macros every week. Cupcake Vineyards is one of my wines (SkinnyGirl is forever my favorite) and he showed up at my house with a bottle one night. That's the way to a girls heart. 

As soon as Lysa TerKeurst's new book Uninvited came out I ordered a copy on Amazon. Sam got me started on her books and I've loved every book I've read from her. They have not been easy reads because they always show me stuff about myself that I'd rather not see, but I learn so much from her. I brought Uninvited and a GoMacro bar along babysitting with me for when the baby took a nap. As soon as he went down I dug out my book, GoMacro bar and cuddled up on the couch and the cat joined me. I highly recommend checking the book out because it's FANTASTIC!

I had to save the prettiest for last. I've been LOVING the beautiful sunrises lately. Since I lift then run and bike so early in the morning I get to see the world come to life. Nothing beats running and biking under these gorgeous skies. God's creation is pretty fantastic isn't it?! 

That's it for me, have a fantastic Labor Day weekend! Please stay safe whatever you're doing!

What was one of your favorite moments from August? 
What are you looking forward to about fall?