Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Mornings= Coffee Please!

First off- Happy National Coffee Day! I am not sure who makes a holiday for everything, but I always jump at the chance to party so I am a fan. Celebrating this morning with a delicious cup of donut house hazelnut coffee. If anyone has any recommendations for a great flavor of K cup pods send them my way!


Since I am still holding on to the weekend this morning I thought I would take the chance to share my weekend with you! Joe and I had a great date night Friday night. We visited a local Italian restaurant called Serena and enjoyed dinner and drinks on the patio. I am still obsessed with Italian food and this restaurant did not disappoint. My favorite was the capanota which is an eggplant spread served with crostini. Which is unpictured because I devoured it too quickly!



Caprese Sandwich

After dinner we headed home with tiramisu to go and picked up Transcendence from a Redbox. I love getting dessert to go because I feel too full to enjoy it after a nice dinner but am always in the mood for dessert something sweet about an hour after dinner. Transcendence was not a big hit with us. It was filled with a list actors but the script was full of plot holes. I had not watched a Johnny Depp movie in a while so that was about the only plus.

Saturday morning I went on a 10 mile run with my training group. It ended up being the best long run for me  this training season. I am not sure if it was the cooler weather,  the Italian carb loading or my fuel choice but I felt great!  Finger crossed I feel this way next Saturday when I run 12 miles.


 After the run, I quickly got ready to head to Fayetteville. Joe and I drove up and spend the day with his family. They hosted a huge cookout and thankfully the cooler weather made for a great day.
Sunday morning we took Charlie and took a long walk on the Tobacco Trail. I loved the Tobacco Trail on weekends it is motivating to see lots of families, individuals and even pets getting out and enjoying the outdoors. The rest of the afternoon we relaxed and enjoyed NFL football. After the Panthers loss, I snuck away to catch up on TV shows I missed last week.  I’m not quite sure about How to Get Away With Murder yet based on the pilot. Murder thrillers just really aren’t my thing. I loved the new episode of The Mindy Project and The Big Bang Theory. I love Kaley Cuoco’s new hair and wish I could pull off a short hairstyle.

Linking up with three wonderful ladies MegKatie & Tara

Happy Monday Y'all! 

Signature
Like what you're reading?
Follow Sweet Carolina Belle on BloglovinInstagram, Twitter, & Facebook!


Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Five

Around these parts it feels like we have skipped over fall and went straight to winter. That is the one thing that can be irritating about the south- no consistent seasons.  It looks like it will be back in the 80’s by next week so I’m going to enjoy the coolness as much as I can! Here are a few thing that I am loving this week.

{One} Watching. Scandal is back on! I am interested in where they take the show this season. I truly hope they mix it up and look into the main characters lives vs solving a problem every week.

{Two} Munching On. I saw this delicious popcorn by  pop up on Julie’s blog this week.  I am happy to report it is just as good as it sounds. I am not into pumpkin flavored everything but I could get onboard with candy corn flavored treats. Pumpkin Mellocremes are my favorite Halloween treat.

{Three} Wishlist Worthy.  I am in love with the trend of 360 earrings. I snagged a pair at Baublebar for under $25 when they were having a flash sale last week. I just got them in the mail today and they included the cutest bar necklace with it! Do yourself a favor and pick these up ASAP!


{Four} Currently Laughing. Buzzfeed articles are always popping up on my newsfeed this one on short girl problems I could completely relate to. If I want something on a high shelf at a store and it is in the very back- it’s not happening just going to have to wait till next trip! I am secretly jealous of tall girls but have been trying to embrace my petite status.

{Five} Coming Up. This weekend we are headed to visit Joe’s family for a mini family reunion. His extended family is coming in from all over the US for a cookout at his Aunt’s house.  As long as the weather cooperates I’ll be completing a long run Saturday morning before we head out.  Only 3 weeks until the Bull City Half!



Signature
Like what you're reading?
Follow Sweet Carolina Belle on BloglovinInstagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fitness Gear

Here is a little honestly for you all- I have been in quite a rut lately when it comes to working out. I am still getting in my miles for my half-marathon training but have felt unmotivated to do anything beyond that. This is not good for my goal of reaching and maintaining my happy weight by the end of the year. (I’m aiming for Thanksgiving.) When I am in a fitness rut, one thing that puts pep in my step as I head out the door is a great fitting outfit or a new cute top.  I don’t have a huge collection of workout gear  (maybe 4-5 tops, shorts and crops) but I make sure the items I have are ones that I love.

I recently received Victoria's Secret new line of sport bras through Influenster to test. The sports bra was Incredible by Victoria's Secret Sport Bra. Along with the bra, they sent a pair of compression leggings.  These are the Knockout by Victoria's Secret Tight Leggings in Black Marl. Also, inside the box was a packet of 25% off coupons (email me sweetcarolinabelle@gmail.com) if you want one.
 
{via}
I have worn this sports bra on several long training runs and am so impressed. The bra is very well made with thick straps and underwire support. I don’t need much support  but can tell this bra provides it for others that are well endowed. It has a bit of padding and shaping which is great for gals like me who become flat chested when wearing sports bras. The leggings are okay but the sports bra stole the show for me. The design of the bra is excellent and there are lots of color/pattern variety to choose from.

A tried a true favorite for workout gear is Luluemon. I know I am one in thousands that just love this brand. Being short I have to pick and choose what works since their brand is made for tall, leggy yogis. My favorite capris for running are Luluemon’s  run inspire crop and illumina crop. The illumina crop has a perfect pocket to store your phone or fuel on runs.
{here & here}

This Brooks tank has been my go to workout tank this summer. I wore it during my marathon and loved the loose but flattering fit. Even after 26 miles the tank did not stretch out one bit. It is on sale right now and comes in a ton of different colors you just have to search around to find them. My favorite is the berry color from REI. 

Fabletics is a recent discovery of mine. It’s an online boutique that features high quality, fashion forward fitness gear. My first outfit was the Lima Capri and the Adventura Tank. Both pieces are great high quality items. I really enjoy wearing these when doing toning or lifting exercises. I also think these pieces would be great for Pure Barre! 


Well, there you go if you are in the market for new, cute and functional workout clothes I encourage you give these a try! Hope y’all have a great Wednesday.

Signature
Like what you're reading?
Follow Sweet Carolina Belle on BloglovinInstagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Starting to Feel Like Fall

Saturday morning I headed out on a long run with Fleet Feet. This was the first Saturday enjoying cool air with low humidity. Compared to last weeks run of 100% humidity it was amazing! We ran 9 hilly miles through beautiful old neighborhoods. This was my first time running through these neighborhoods and was quite enamored with the houses. It was street after street of exquisite mansions complete with perfectly manicured lawns. Enjoying new scenery always make the run go by faster because I love exploring new to me neighborhoods. 

That afternoon Joe and I headed out to watch the Pirates play. I was alone in my rooting for ECU since Joe decided to pull for Carolina. I was thrilled to see the Pirates pull out a huge win against the TarHeels!

Sunday we enjoyed watching lots of football and cheering on out fantasy draft team. Which I still know little about but am slowly learning! I ventured out of the apartment to take Charlie & Chloe on a long walk. We are dog sitting my parent's dog Chloe this week and it has been so much fun to see the two interact.

The cooler mornings have me itching for fall. I'm ready to wear jeans without profusely sweating and break out my favorite pair of boots! I stumbled upon this perfect list of things to do this fall and am looking forward to tackling every one of them!

Weeknight Menu
 





Friday- Date Night 

Signature
Like what you're reading?
Follow Sweet Carolina Belle on BloglovinInstagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Stretching Out Summer

This past weekend Joe and I headed to the beach to visit my family. We were able to stretch out summer and get in one more beach trip on the boat! Even though the forecast called for storms most of the weekend, we crossed our fingers that the rain would stay inland. Thankfully we were given a hot & sunshine filled day for most of Saturday! That morning I hit the pavement early and got in 10 miles for my half marathon training. It was one of the most humid runs I have been through this fall and was soaking wet once I returned to the house! Once we all got ready, mom, dad, Joe and I headed to the beach with Charlie and Chloe in tow! So thankful for the beautiful skies we enjoyed until around 2 when the storm headed our way. 


Here's a little flashback- last year vs this year. Charlie has grown!

Sunday we headed to Britt's Donut Shop in Carolina Beach for breakfast. We were not the only ones with this idea. The line for these delicious treats was almost 30 minutes. The wait was well worth it and I was happy to indulge in a delicious hot donut.  We split 2 dozen between the four of us and ended up having plenty to share!
 


Mom enjoying her one of many donuts!

After our late breakfast, Joe and I packed up and headed back to the triangle. We are dog sitting Chloe for a few weeks so we had a car full of pups and dog toys! It is going to be an interesting time in out apartment with these two buddies! 

Weeknight Menu





Linking up with three wonderful ladies MegKatie & Tara
Signature
Like what you're reading?
Follow Sweet Carolina Belle on BloglovinInstagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Five

Welcome back Friday! I am always thankful for the weekend to roll around. Lets get this Friday started with five things that I am loving this week. This week I'm throwing a bit of educational facts in as well. Hope you enjoy!

{One} Reading.Vaccine Myth Working with students that have autism on a daily basis has made me very passionate about proper education on autism. This article by PBS explains that it is very clear that vaccines are not among the environmental factors that cause autism. Scientists are still examining how genetic and environmental influences and how these factors play a role in the broad spectrum of symptoms that occur with autism.

{Two} Munching On. In our house (well, apartment) Sundays have become game day! Instead of fighting it I thought I would take the opportunity to make some healthy game watching treats! These buffalo chicken meatballs look like the perfect snack or meal. 

{Three} Wishlist Worthy.  Zara's checked blanket scarf was extremely popular last fall. They have updated this favorite with a new color combo for this season. For $29 it's a steal in my book! 
 

{Four} Currently Loving. This quote summarizes one of my biggest pet peeves. I love technology but if I am taking time to hang out with you then I want to talk to you not your phone.

{Five} Coming Up. Today at 5pm Joe, Charlie and I are hitting the road for the beach! I have family visiting at Topsail Beach and am looking forward to catching up and spending some time on the water. I also will be completing my long run Saturday morning back home sans hills. Looking forward to logging some easy and flat miles! 
Linking up with Lauren ElizabethClareKarli & Amanda
Signature
Like what you're reading?
Follow Sweet Carolina Belle on BloglovinInstagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Running & Nutrition

It’s hard to believe that I have been running for almost five years now. My first half-marathon was November 2009 when I ran the Battleship Half Marathon. You can read all about my running story here. I ran all my long runs by myself in the early mornings through downtown Greenville. I ran many miles around ECU’s campus enjoying the quiet and laughing at the wreckage of the parties the night before. Over these last five years, I have learned a routine and what works for me when I run. I always try and mix it up but end up going back to my tried and true favorites.  

Before any long run, I enjoy a snack of a banana and a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter. On really long runs (13+ miles), I add a slice of bread and make a PB & banana sandwich.

My drink of choice to sip while running is water mixed with Nuun Energy.  It helps keep electrolytes in balance and keeps my energy up during my run.  It also has a boost of Caffeine which helps when you hit a wall.  

Getting extra nutrition while completing long runs is very important to ensure your body can preform it's best. When I run more than 60 minutes, I make sure I take in extra fuel. It's different for everyone so make sure to find what works for you. The important thing is to eat before you get hungry.  My favorite brand of race fuel is Cliff.  Cliff Shot is my go to fuel for long runs. The flavors actually taste like their names and their products and they are 95% organic. When it is really hot outside, I eat Cliff shot bloks in Margarita flavor.They have salt to help equalize your electrolytes from sweating so much and prevent cramping.


After a run, I enjoy a protein smoothie or Hammer’s recovery drink Recoverite. This drink has a ton of carbs in it to help your body refuel after training.  I have found drinking this after long runs helps minimize post-exercise muscle soreness.   It is also made with natural ingredients. 

I hope these tips help keep you at your best on your next long run or any endurance activity! 

Signature
Like what you're reading?
Follow Sweet Carolina Belle on BloglovinInstagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Gossip & Snacks

Hope your Monday went by quickly. Work has come back in full swing and I am loving it. I am also loving the announcement of a second royal baby.  I may be a bit obsessed with the Duchess of Cambridge’s style and am looking forward to seeing how she styles baby bump number 2.  

Onto today's post which has nothing to do with pregnancy! Instead today I'm talking about losing weight instead of gaining it. I am constantly working on making healthier choices. This is a lifestyle for me not just a diet regimen. I am pretty open about my diet and making healthy choices being the stumbling block in my weight loss. I have learned that the key to ensuring I make healthy choices throughout the day is to be prepared.  Y’all already know I map out dinners on Sunday to help with planning. I also make sure my pantry is stocked with healthy choices. This helps when I am in a hurry and need to grab something on the go.  When I am in a hurry I reach for whole ingredient snack bars that help curb hunger until I can sit down and enjoy a meal. 

One of my favorite bars is the Kind Bar. They are made of all natural whole ingredients including nuts, fruits and whole grains.  They are a good source of protein and healthy fats with 7g protein.

Lara Bars were one of the first snack bars I tried when I decided to start eating healthier in college. I love that their bars only contain fruit and nuts. My favorite flavor is the Key Lime Pie. I love the fresh tang of the limes. It has 4g of natural protein and is under 250 calories.


Perfectly Simple Bars are a new find to me.  They only contain only 10 wholesome ingredients which are all recognizable. If I am running late in the morning this bar is my go to snack.  My favorite flavor is the oatmeal chocolate chip. These bars have 10g of protein and are under 200 calories.

If you are craving something sweet as a snack I highly recommend Clif Z Protein bars. Yes, these are for kids but they also make a delicious snack for adults. The bars feature only organic ingredients, have 5g of protein and are under 150 calories. 



What is your go to snack when your in a rush?

Signature
Like what you're reading?
Follow Sweet Carolina Belle on BloglovinInstagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Weekend Rewind

Monday, Monday.  I had a great relaxing weekend hanging out with friends and watching football with Joe Sunday. We are participating in a fantasy football league this year so it has made me a bit more invested in NFL games.
Saturday morning started off with another training run. I’m 6 weeks out from the Bull City Race Fest. This week was a back down week in my training plan to help prevent injury and burnout. I ran an hilly 7 miles with Fleet Feet.
After my run, I stopped by Chick-Fil-A to pick up Chicken nuggets for a girl’s brunch that day. I was inspired by Southern Living’s  mini chicken and waffle appetizers and made my own with Chick-Fil-A nuggets and mini Eggo waffles. I topped them with Southern Living's peach-horseradishmaple syrup which made it over the top delicious. I had a hard time limiting myself to just a few.


After brunch, I enjoyed a bit of down time browsing at my favorite store TJ Maxx & Target. I love meandering the isles with nothing in mind just searching for great deals. Saturday night, we tried a new restaurant in Cary, Blackfinn Ameripub. With it being opening weekend as well as college football night the place was packed! After waiting an entirely long time for dinner, we enjoyed  an amazing appetizer of blackened brie. We kept it simple for our entrees with a salad for me and a burger for Joe. The brie stole the show and we both agreed we would be back for another date night soon.

Sunday’s have become our grocery run days.  After church we stop by Target or Harris Teeter and pick up produce and meat for the week.  Since we are keeping to a budget, I have been trying to base our dinners off the meat that is on sale currently. After our grocery store run, I took Charlie on a long walk around our neighborhood taking advantage of the passing clouds. We ended the night cheering on the Panthers against Tampa Bay. I am thankful for the chance to unwind with my boys and get recharged for another work week. 
Weeknight Menu

Tuesday- Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken with sauteed green beans

Wednesday- Grilled Pork Chops with roasted corn

Thursday- Girls Night- I'm bringing Watermelon & Feta Salad

Friday- Dinner Out

 Linking up with three wonderful ladies Meg, Katie & Tara
Signature
Like what you're reading?
Follow Sweet Carolina Belle on BloglovinInstagram, Twitter, & Facebook!