5 Outdoor Workouts

June 29, 2015

Summer can get busy with cookouts, vacation, parties and more but that's no excuse to skip a workout. If you don't have time to hit the gym - or if you don't have a gym membership - you can take your workout outside pretty much anywhere!

Here are some of my favorite outdoor workouts that target your glutes, legs, arms and shoulders - and might even have you breaking a sweat.... all you need are your favorite dumbbells!


LUNGE

lunge, workout, outdoor workout, easy workout, dumbbells, active wear, up vibe

lunge, workout, outdoor workout, easy workout, dumbbells, active wear, up vibe

I do lunges all. the. time. They're great for targeting the glutes and building those leg muscles. To do a basic lunge, start with your feet together then take a big step forward with one foot and bed the other leg. Be sure the leg out in front is at a 90 degree angle (no knee over your toes)!

3 sets // 12-15 reps

Need more of a challenge? Try static lunges or walking lunges! You can also do a bicep curl each for each lunge (picture below).

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CURTSY LUNGE

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curtsy lunge, workout, outdoor workout, easy workout, dumbbells, active wear, up vibe

Curtsy lunges are my new favorite variation of the regular lunges above. Your back leg should bend behind you and out to the side so your thighs cross, bending both knees. (Just like a curtsy!) See how I work them into my routine here!

3 sets // 12-15 reps


SQUATS

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The good old squat. My faaavorite! There are tons of variations but I think it's best to learn how to do a basic squat before you go any farther. They're a GREAT way to target the glutes, legs and even abs.

Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Inhale and start to bring your hips back and bend your knees. Make sure your chest and shoulders stay upright while your back stays straight. To keep a neutral spine (and avoid back pain), keep your head facing forward and eyes straight ahead. Check out this article for more help!

In this variation, as you are coming out of the squat and standing straight up, lift your arms straight into a shoulder press at the same time to make it more challenging!

3 sets // 12-15 reps


SINGLE LEG DEAD LIFT

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Time to test your balance! With your back straight, kick your leg back and lower your body down as close to the ground as possible then go back to standing.

3 sets // 12-15 reps


SIDE LATERAL RAISE

side lateral raise, workout, outdoor workout, easy workout, dumbbells, active wear, up vibe

side lateral raise, workout, outdoor workout, easy workout, dumbbells, active wear, up vibe

We can't just focus ALL on glutes, so here's a killer shoulder/arm work out. Trust me, you'll start to feel the burn in no time! In a standing position with arms at your side (palms facing you) raise your arms straight out to the sides and with a slight bend in the elbow, pause and hold for a few seconds then drop your arms slowly to your side.

3 sets // 12-15 reps

Outfit:
TOP: c/o Up Vibe // LEGGINGS: c/o Up Vibe //  

If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that active wear is a big motivator for me, so I was really excited when Up Vibe contacted me to try an outfit.

If you haven't heard of the company - it's a Brazilian active wear company with so many killer items and lots of celeb favorites! I was so excited when they sent me these mesh capris - I've been wanting a pair for so long. And remember my rant about how much I adore strappy workout tops? It's like they just knew that I was dying to get my hands on one!

What's so interesting about Up Vibe is that each item is designed to fit a wide range of sizes - and last through any workout. The top and leggings were perfect for an outdoor workout and I'll definitely be throwing on this outfit to practice yoga! Active wear you can count on for any type of workout to handle all the movement is always a win. Definitely check them out!


Up Vibe gifted me the outfit, however all opinions are my own.

My Style: Fit & Flare

June 26, 2015

Maryland, Frederick, Express, green dress, Express green dress, Target denim vest, light denim vest, Shoemint sandals, summer, summertime, summer outfit, warm weather outfit, statement necklace, Pearly Kate Photography, fit & flare dress

DRESS: Express // VEST: Target [similar] //
NECKLACE: Baublebar [love this one] // SANDALS: Shoemint [similar] //

Now that I'm gaining muscle, I've had to get rid of a lot of clothes - especially dresses that wouldn't zip up anymore. (You can shop all my unwanted items here!)

I'm a little hesitant to shop online for dresses so I popped in Express a few months ago where I found this fit and flare dress and I've already worn it so many times! I love that it can be dressed up with heels for dinner, or dressed down a bit more with the addition of a chambray vest. It's time to build my closet back up with versatile pieces, and this dress definitely works!

P.S. If you ever need head shots, engagement photos, wedding photos and beyond... the talented Kate from Pearly Kate Photography is your girl! Seriously, she is SO talented and was such a joy to work with! ;)

Maryland, Frederick, Express, green dress, Express green dress, Target denim vest, light denim vest, Shoemint sandals, summer, summertime, summer outfit, warm weather outfit, fit & flare dress, statement necklace, Pearly Kate Photography

Maryland, Frederick, Express, green dress, Express green dress, Target denim vest, light denim vest, Shoemint sandals, summer, summertime, summer outfit, fit & flare dress, warm weather outfit, statement necklace, Pearly Kate Photography

Maryland, Frederick, Express, green dress, Express green dress, Target denim vest, light denim vest, Shoemint sandals, summer, summertime, summer outfit, fit & flare dress, warm weather outfit, statement necklace, Pearly Kate Photography

Maryland, Frederick, Express, green dress, Express green dress, Target denim vest, light denim vest, Shoemint sandals, summer, summertime, summer outfit, fit & flare dress, warm weather outfit, statement necklace, Pearly Kate Photography


Shop My Fit & Flare Picks Here!




A New Skincare Routine

June 23, 2015

How are we in another work week? I had such a fun weekend I wasn't totally prepared with a blog post yesterday - oops - so happy Tuesday!

Before we know it, June will be over which means we are getting sooo close to my birthday. And this isn't just any birthday - it's the big 3-0. Which has got me thinking about wrinkles, blemishes, lotions and potions and (duh) getting old. Those are some scary thoughts but I've realized I need to make changes when it comes to taking care of myself..... beyond the gym.

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When I shared my birthday wishlist, I included a cleansing face brush system because one of my goals is to take better care of my skin. I've always been pretty good with cleansing - but I definitely don't do it enough and I know I haven't been using the right tools. It's sad to say, but I've gotten pretty good at 'washing' my face with a cleansing towel before bed (ok ok, when I remember or feel like it) then each morning in the shower, washing my face with whatever product I find on sale at Target. I'll tell ya, that routine hasn't been helping my skin at all. Yikes!

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I came across the Spin for Perfect Skin brush and decided it's waaay past time I start investing in my skincare routine just as I have invested in living a healthy life. Better late than never right?? Plus, in the last 2 years I've been battling some breakout issues and I'm not sure if it's tied to sweat, my shampoo, stress, gluten.... I've read so many articles on what it could be and I'm overwhelmed. I also talked to my doctor and she suggested switching to oil-free products for my skin (even down to my body wash). That seems to be helping a bit - but I'm not exactly thrilled with the results and neither is my skin.

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I'm also a little embarrassed to admit I've had this Vanity Planet set just sitting in the box, unopened, for far too long. So, it's time I brush up on this new skincare tool (pun intended), and start taking the necessary steps to clearer skin. Hopefully I will see some great results!

Do you use a cleansing brush? Any tips/tricks?

Healthy Oatmeal Scotchies

June 11, 2015

For the most part, I don't eat sweets - even though I love to bake. (Crazy, I know!) But ever since I started making Taylor's Blondies, I love having a little sweet treat every once in a while. I am certainly not bored with those tasty bars, but I decided to put my baking skills to the test to see what kind of of healthy sweet treats I could come up with. Plus, it's way past time that I share a recipe on here! I can't just hoard them on Instagram...


Oatmeal Scotchies are my faaavorite cookie. I remember my mom making them a lot and everyone else loved them, too. They totally bring me back to those days... it's just something about butterscotch and ooey gooey cookies baked perfectly. (NOT crunchy, ew.) I decided to try to recreate my favorite cookie recipe - but with a healthy twist. These babies are made with chick peas! Yep. Kind of weird, but trust me they taste just like the real thing.






Healthy Oatmeal Scotchies

Ingredients:

1 (15oz.) can of chick peas
1/3 c. honey
1/4 c. peanut butter (you can also use whipped peanut butter)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
4 tbsp. butterscotch chips (plus a few extra for topping)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Drain and rinse chick peas
3. Add to a food processor and blend well
4. Add other ingredients (except the oats and butterscotch chips) and blend together
5. Transfer to a bowl; fold in the oats and butterscotch chips
6. Pour mixture into a greased 8x8 pan (I use a cooking spray that has a little flour in it) and spread evenly
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes; let the pan cool completely before cutting

Note: I baked them for 15 minutes and, while they are still good, they could've been cooked just a teeny bit more.

Enjoy!

CALIA By Carrie: Summer Picks

June 8, 2015

Not too long after a Dick's Sporting Goods opened up a few miles from me, Carrie Underwood's active wear line came out. Talk about good and bad timing! I wanted to stop and buy one of everything several times. That won't change anytime soon because the summer items are now available and it's really hard not to break my spending freeze.


I have a pair of the capris (seen here) and they are the most comfortable pair I own. They're very lightweight, too which is perfect for any kind of workout. I've worn them for yoga and weight training, and I'm itching to grab another pair (or 2) from the summer collection. You can never have too many right?!

The infusion water bottle is quickly moving to the top of my radar, too! For the past couple of weeks I've been trying an anti-bloat water mixture and this bottle would be great to hold my morning drink. And it's pink! Sold. Have you grabbed any of the summer items yet?

Shop the full line here!

My Style: Express Striped Shorts

June 5, 2015

Express striped shorts, Nordstrom blouse, Mars Vida, summer outfit, old navy wedges

BLOUSE: Nordstrom [similar] // SHORTS: Express // WEDGES: Old Navy [similar] // 
CUFF: Tory Burch // EARRINGS: Lou Lou // TATTOO: Flash Tattoos //

It doesn't get much better than a rooftop event on the most beautiful DC day! I decided to break out my new Express shorts and I can already tell I'll be wearing them all summer long (you've been warned). In my opinion, they're the perfect summer staple and if you've been reading this blog long you know I have a thing for stripes!

Have a great weekend loves!

Express striped shorts, Nordstrom blouse, Mars Vida, summer outfit, old navy wedges

Express striped shorts, Nordstrom blouse, Mars Vida, summer outfit, old navy wedges

Express striped shorts, Nordstrom blouse, Mars Vida, summer outfit, old navy wedges

Express striped shorts, Nordstrom blouse, Mars Vida, summer outfit, old navy wedges

Express striped shorts, Nordstrom blouse, Mars Vida, summer outfit, old navy wedges, flash tattoos

My Birthday Wishlist

June 4, 2015

Just 1 month from today you can find me in a corner crying. I'll be turning the big 3-0 and I dare you to ask me how excited I am about it. In order to try to keep my mind off of this milestone, I'm going to dream about buying all the goodies on my wishlist (darn spending freeze) while anticipating a very tropical birthday celebration.

my birthday wishlist, activewear, Alex & Ani, crab, Om, Loft sandals

Oh and I would just like to thank my parents for getting me furniture a few months ago as a very early birthday gift. Thirty cheers for not sitting on the floor to watch tv... which was sitting on a tote. Ah, the joys of being an adult.

I guess it's a good thing I don't feel 30, right??

P.S. The face and body brush can be found here!


Shop My Picks!


Sugarloaf Mountain

June 2, 2015

Sundays are my "rest days" but I am definitely not sitting around watching tv. Now that the sun is out and weather is much warmer, I plan on enjoying the outdoors as much as possible.

When I moved to Maryland, I was amazed at how many parks there are. I love to escape to the woods where you hear nothing but birds chirping. It's so peaceful! Over the next several weeks, I'll be sharing my favorite spots for hiking, biking and adventure. First up is one of my favorite spots: Sugarloaf Mountain in the town of Dickerson. So, keep your hands and arms inside the car as we take a tour of this historic mountain.

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Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland, Sugarloaf Mountain Maryland, outdoor hiking, outdoor recreation, trails, trail hiking

Seriously, I just love it here. Even the drive up the mountain to the parking area is so cool! It totally reminds me of home and makes me happy. I don't live too far away so I'm here a lot on the weekends during the summer (it is open all year long though). There are several places to park but I park in the East View area. There is a beautiful overlook just a few feet away, and a few of the trails start right there, too.

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History lesson: General Braddock, commander of British troops during the French and Indian War, marched his men past the mountain in 1755. Fun fact: it was named Sugarloaf Mountain because its shape reminded early hunters and pioneers of the sugar loaves common in those days. Cool huh?

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There are 4 hiking trails that will give you a workout and so. many. views of Maryland:

Northern Peaks Trail (Blue) - 5 miles of beautiful scenery and hiking

Purple - a 1.5 mile trail

Mountain Loop Trail (White) - A 2.5 mile loop around the summit

Saddleback Horse Trail (Yellow) - a 7 mile loop around the base of the mountain (it's open to horses, too!)

Every few feet, the trees are marked with the specific trail color. However, that didn't stop me from getting lost several times. I've thought about leaving breadcrumbs for extra assurance I make it back to my car.

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I've been on several of the trails and I think the white trail is the 'easiest'. (Pictured above) You can easily see the trail the whole way and it doesn't require climbing/jumping over rocks like some of the other trails. I highly recommend this one if you're hiking there for the first time.

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Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland, Sugarloaf Mountain Maryland, outdoor hiking, outdoor recreation, trails, trail hiking

There's even an unmarked 'trail' that takes you down hundreds of steps (I counted #OCD) down into another wooded area. It's so cool! Literally, a lot cooler than the other trails because there's no sun. I was hiking for over 2 hours this past Sunday and my legs felt like jello so I didn't go that route this time - but trust me you'll want to try it out!

Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland, Sugarloaf Mountain Maryland, outdoor hiking, outdoor recreation, trails, trail hiking

As you leave Sugarloaf and make your way down windy, small roads (I hope you're not reading this, Grandma!) you'll pass the Strong Mansion. I am so fascinated by houses - especially mansions - so I'm that person driving and staring... wondering what it looks like inside. It's not open to the public (tear) but it'd be a perfect wedding venue! Sugarloaf even has it's own winery that I'm dying to spend an afternoon at.

Bonus: I made this granola recipe and took a bag of it for my hiking trip. It's the perfect snack!

Mars Vida Summer Swim Line Launch

June 1, 2015

Over the weekend, I attended the Mars Vida summer swim line launch at the Embassy Row Hotel and it was amazing! The weather was perfect for a rooftop pool party sipping cocktails and checking out the new line of swim wear and I want one of everything.

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I have yet to decide on a new swim suit this summer (ok, I haven't looked much) and these are serious contenders. The bold colors and patterns are eye-catching and they are also really good quality which is important in swim wear. Plus, I love supporting local businesses. My two favorites: the royal blue cutout swim suit and crimson wrap bikini.

You can shop the new collection online now!

First image via Mars Vida