Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Five

Happy Friday to you all! Hope everyone has had a great week and as ready for the weekend as I am. Today has already started on a good foot as I was able to get in a early morning Pure Barre workout. My parents are coming into town today and we are headed to dinner right after work so I needed to squeeze in my workout this morning. I am growing to love the 6am class since it is less crowded than the evening classes. Also, you get to watch the sunrise through the window during class which is so peaceful.  Hope your morning has gotten off to a good start as well.

{One} Lust List.  Keeping on with the Pure Barre talk... my local studio just got these tanks in this week and I am in love. The tanks were so popular at the studio that they are already sold out in two days! Looking forward to getting my hands on one come February. 


{Two} Healthy Superbowl Snacks.  When it comes to party food I am all about moderation. Make healthy choices when you can and enjoy treats when you want. Sometimes that is hard to put into practice when faced with a tray of addicting buffalo bites. Truth. I don't even like spicy food. But if I just have one bite I can't stop. Anyone else have the same problem? I'm excited to try this healthy spin on the fried buffalo bites we typically munch on.



{Three} Currently Watching.  So excited that Thursday nights are back on ABC. Enjoying a little mini marathon of Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder with a cup of tea is the perfect end to the evening. It also takes me back to college days when we would catch up on Grey's Anatomy before going out. 

{Four} Restaurant Week. This week started Triangle Restaurant Week. The event features restaurants across the triangle including Cary, Durham and Raleigh. I am excited for our date night Saturday to check out a new-to-us Italian restaurant nearby!\


{Five} Coming Up.  We have a full weekend planned complete with dinner with my family, visiting with friends (and meeting their new baby!!), date night and of course the SuperBowl! Do you have any exciting plans this weekend?



Linking up with TiffClareKarliAmanda & April .

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

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Workout Wednesday: Shakeology

I hope everyone is staying warm in this winter weather.  Unfortunately, North Carolina did not see any of the beautiful snow. (Fortunately… I guess depending on how you view it.) I have been battling a horrible cold for the last few weeks and am finally feeling on the up and up. This year has been horrible for me catching every bug the students bring into school. I need to invest in some lysol for my office like yesterday!

Being sick brings out the junk eater in me. I have never been the type to get sick and lose my appetite. This always leads to gaining a few extra unwanted pounds. Since I am finally feeling better, I know it is time to get back on track. I thought that a cleanse is a great way to get rid of this pesky bloat and jumpstart my weight loss. So, I have decided to complete the Shakeology 3 day cleanse! 


I have been enjoying Shakeology for my breakfast for the past month. I truly enjoy the richness and flavor of the shake. Shakeology shakes are very filling and, if blended with plenty of ice and fruit, they almost taste like dessert. A bonus is that the mix tastes great on it’s own - you can mix it with water and go! So, what is all the hype with Shakeology? It is an all natural protein mix created from whole food ingredients that contains 23 essential vitamins in minerals per serving. I like knowing if I enjoy a shake for breakfast that I am not missing any nutrients or vitamins.  

The Shakeology 3 Day Cleanse is a great way to refresh your cravings and reduce bloat. An added benefit is losing a few pounds! The cleanse keeps your calories up and your not restricting yourself so your not starving.  The three day cleanse encourages you to enjoy vegetables, fruits, lean proteins along with Shakeology shakes.



Foods and beverages on the shopping list:
Shakeology shake mix
Green tea
Salad ingredients (lettuce, tomato, broccoli, celery, bell peppers, spinach and any leafy greens)
Low fat dressing or homemade oil and vinegar dressing
Lean proteins including fish, white meat chicken or white meat turkey
Fruits 
Foods and beverages to avoid:
Dairy
Added sugars
Breads
Starches (rice, corn, potatoes, etc)
Processed or canned foods

During the three days on the cleanse, you eat three meals per day, with two snacks in between. Breakfast and lunch consists of Shakeology shakes and dinner includes a salad with your choice of lean protein. I'll be sharing my thoughts next week on how it goes! 

Signature

Disclaimer: I purchased Shakeology personally and am not compensated for this post. I am not associated with Beachbody products. This is an honest review about the products I purchased on my own. 

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

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Workout Wednesday: Class Pass

Good afternoon loves! My week is getting quite a late start as I have been off work Monday and Tuesday. I took the opportunity to enjoy the long weekend visiting family back home. Today I am popping in to share with you all exciting fitness news for the Raleigh/Durham area. ClassPass is opening this week!



What's class pass?  ClassPass is a fitness start up that helps people discover the best fitness classes in their city. It is a monthly membership to the best boutique fitness classes in your city. There are thousands of classes available to ClassPass members, including cycling, pilates, yoga, strength training, dance, martial arts, and more. ClassPass members get unlimited classes to studios in the ClassPass network. While members can take as many classes per month as they’d like, they can visit the same studio up to 3 times per monthly membership cycle.


For or $99/month you are able to visit unlimited classes at multiple studios.  Studios featured on ClassPass for Raleigh/Durham include locations in the Raleigh, Durham, Cary and Morrisville.  The list of participating studios include Flywheel, Bikram Yoga, Box-2B-Fit, CrossFit, Pure Barre and more! I'm excited to try new-to-me studios especially Flywheel! If you are local I highly encourage you to give ClassPass. If your interested please out my referral link {Here}! This enables you to sign up for classes immediately and skip the line.

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

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Five

Hello cold front! I hope you all are bundled up and keeping warm today. I am not a cold weather girl at all. All I wish is that there was a little snow to go with this cold weather. I am sure we will se some by the end of winter! Let's get this Friday started with five of my favorite things this week.

{One} Currently Reading.  This week I have been on a search for a good personal development book that isn't too preachy. I want to read tips on how to be more successful without making me feel awful about my life- you know what I mean?! I would greatly appreciate any personal recommendations.



{Two} Currently Eating.  As part of my partnership with Influenster, received a jar of Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread few weeks ago. This is something I would never purchase for myself especially when I am trying to eat clean. The main ingredient is sugar so it is not even pretending to be healthy.  The calories per serving is similar to peanut butter but without all the health benefits. Since I needed to give it a try, I decided to give it a go one night as a frosting for protein mug cake. It was a perfect topping for the mug cake. Now that I have given it a try it's going to work with Joe for him to enjoy with his snack. Because I know I would eat way to much if it was sitting in our pantry! 




{Three} Currently Watching.  I am thrilled that my favorite shows are back this week. My favorite being Parks and Recreation. I am a huge fan of Chris Pratt (Did you know before Parks and Rec he was on The OC for a season. I had no idea!). I am interested to see how the writers wrap up the series. 

{Four} Wishlist Worthy. This cold front has me craving sunshine and warmer weather. Since we still have months to go until summer and I am on a spending freeze I am mentally building my summer wishlist. At the top of the list this amazing suit from Anthropologie. AKA My workout motivation

{Five} Coming Up.  Speaking of warmer weather, I am headed to Florida in 4 weeks!! The National Association for School Psychologists holds a convention every year and our cohort from graduate school always try and go. This year we are lucky enough to be headed to Orlando. I don't think it will be warm enough to rock a swim suit but I am excited to break out the shorts and sandals. We will be visiting Disney while we are there. Any Disney tips or recommendations on where to eat are greatly appreciated!! 



Linking up with TiffClareKarliAmanda & April .

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

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Workout Wednesday: Rock Your Fitness Resolution

When it comes to setting and reaching goals I am a firm believer of dressing the part. Personally when I am wearing an outfit that makes me feel great I am more confident and driven. When I got my first job someone told me dress for the job you want not the job you have. This can truly apply to any goal in you may have made in 2015.

When it comes to working out wear what makes you comfortable and confident. I feel best in loose tops paired with capris or tights. So typically that is what you will find me rocking to the gym.  When first starting on a new fitness goal, I love the idea of a new outfit or shoes to make you feel great while setting out to reach your goals. Going to a new gym or starting a new class can be intimidating so rocking a outfit you feel great in can help ease your anxiety.

Here are a few of my favorite workout gear right now. I love the style of the razorback tanks and have several of them in different colors. Lululemon wunder under pants are my go to for Pure Barre as well as the perfect legging for layering.

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

Monday, January 12, 2015

January Goals


Hope everyone has a great start to their week. The skies have been filled with clouds and rain these past two days which has started to make me feel a bit stir crazy. Today I am sharing my goals for the month of January. I know I am a little late on my game this month but wanted to share in case anyone else had similar intentions. 

The start of a new year is a perfect time to start fresh and plan for the year ahead. This year instead of focusing on making overarching yearly goals I plan to set time limited focused goals.  Monthly goals help set a defined time limit to prevent procrastination. I also like the idea of monthly goals because as things change throughout the year my goals can transform. This encourages growth and development.  I’m a little late on setting goals for January since it is almost the middle of the month.  I have had a lot of these ideas floating around in my head since January 1st.

1. Reduce the amount of sweets I eat in a week. – The holiday indulgence did a number on my willpower(or lack thereof) and I crave sweets constantly. My goal for January is to listen to my hunger cues. Only indulging in sweets on special occasions.
2. Plan a group outing with friends. – I am an introvert at heart. I love cuddling up on the couch with my pup and a good book. The cold winter weather just adds to my lack of motivation. Once I am out and about hanging out with friends I have a blast. It is just getting up the motivation.
3. Read one good book. -  Beyond what I read for work, I rarely read during the week. This year I want to grow my personal development beyond psychology. So, this weekend I’m headed to the library to see what I can find.
4. Take Charlie on a long walk 3 days a week. – When it is warm, Charlie and I go on long walks almost daily. Now that it is cold walks are just not happening. We play fetch a lot more indoors to burn off some energy. But nothing beats a long walk and fresh air. Just going to bundle up and watch the weather.
5. Limit extra purchases. – No impulse buys at Target, no scooping up sales at Loft, no Lilly Pulitzer Annual sale... I am mainly focused on needless clothing, accessory and makeup purchases (especially Target!). I knew going into January that I wanted it to do a freeze on shopping. After the Holidays it is nice to take a pause from indulging and just enjoy what you have. Believe me my closet and makeup drawer is full. This little freeze is forcing me to shop my closet more.

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

Friday, January 9, 2015

Friday Five

Hello cold front! I hope you all are bundled up and keeping warm today. I am not a cold weather girl at all. All I wish is that there was a little snow to go with this cold weather. I am sure we will se some by the end of winter! Let's get this Friday started with five of my favorite things this week.

{One} Currently Reading. Yes Please by Amy Poehler. My waiting patiently at the library wait list has paid off and I have a one week digital copy of the book. So I have been tearing through this book every evening before I go to bed. A quick summary from Amazon-   "Full of the comedic skill that makes us all love Amy, Yes Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery Haiku, to be specific), photographs, mantras and advice. With chapters like "Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend," "Plain Girl Versus the Demon" and "The Robots Will Kill Us All" Yes Please will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Honest, personal, real, and righteous, Yes Please is full of words to live by."




{Two} Currently Eating.  Joe and I started the New years off with a resolution to eat clean. I had planned on following the diet plan that comes with the 21 Day Fix and Joe decided to join in and be supportive. For dinner this week, I made Baked Ziti with whole wheat pasta and ground turkey. It was a huge hit with both of us!

{Three} Currently Watching.  Netflix, Netflix and more Netflix. While at the gym, I have been catching up on missed episodes of Friends on the treadmill. I never watched the entire series before so I've been watching them while on the treadmill which makes the time fly by! 

{Four} Currently Loving.  This week I shared about my latest Stitch Fix box and my tips for Pure Barre newbies. As always I am LOVING Pure Barre and am looking forward to seeing my strength and flexibility grow this year. Also, you can't go wrong with clothing chosen specifically for you delivered to your door every month. I love being able to try on things in the comfort of home. You can check out these posts below if you missed them! 



{via}

{Five} Coming Up.  I am looking forward to reading and relaxing this weekend. The weather is not looking too good for spending time outside so I am planning a fun indoors date night for us Saturday night! 

Any ideas for an unique date night?


Linking up with Lauren ElizabethClareKarliAmanda & April .

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

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

January Stitch Fix


After several misses with Stitch Fix over the past year I took a break from the subscription. This month they drew me back in with a store credit that covered the price of the styling so I figured it wouldn't hurt to give them a second chance. Overall, I liked this box a lot more than the ones in the past.  The overall style of this box reflected my style pretty well.  I also really enjoy the style cards and the personal note from the stylist. 

Tart Noriega Boat Neck Knit Top- Small {$58}
I knew I would love this top the minute I pulled it out of the box. Navy and stripes are my jam. The fabric is so soft and lays very flattering. Verdict- Keep

Mavi Hiedi Skinny Jean- 4 {$98}

When I first pulled these out of the box I was sure they would not fit. The waist band looks like it would barely fit around my leg. I figured I should at least give them a chance and I am glad I did! Thanks to the extreme stretch of the fabric they were actually flattering and very comfortable. Almost like wearing pajama jeans! I love a deep rinse on jeans as well. The price was a bit high but I loved them enough to keep them. Verdict- Keep 

Dee Elle Talbot Split Neck Top- Small {$54}
My stylist noted that she saw on my Pinterest board I had a few checkered tops. So I appreciated the thought but this top is not my style at all. The neck of the top was cut way too low. Also, the top was poorly made for the price. Verdict- Return

Eight Sixty Ella V-Neck Abstract Print Dress- Small {$58}
The overall theme of this box was blue. I had asked for dresses this box which are aways a  hot or miss. First, I did not like the print of this dress. Abstract prints are just not my thing. Second, the cut is awful for my body shape. The low drop waist is very unflattering on my hips. Third, the fit was way off the dress was too big in the top and way too small in the hips. Verdict- Return 

Jill Michael Gracie Stone & Bead Nugget Bar Necklace {$42}
I thought the necklace was really cute. But the price was way too high for the necklace. After a quick google search I realized you can find similar styles for $20 or less. Verdict- Return

These are the styling cards and note I was speaking about. I loved the tips with the top and skinny jean. You can tell they are featuring a lot of deep reds since marsala is the color of the year. Honestly, not my color but I appreciate them trying to make in "in-trend." 


If you are interested in giving Stitch Fix a try you can check it out here {referral link}.  

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

Monday, January 5, 2015

5 Pure Barre Tips for Newbies

A month ago, I started my Pure Barre journey. My goal with my unlimited month was to attend as often as possible. In that month, I averaged 4-5 classes a week. I am by far no expert after a month of classes. I can share a few tips and tricks gleaned from my first month…


1. What to wear. I recommend tights or capris and loose tank top.  I am a firm believer in investing in a pair of grippy socks which keeps you from sliding around. Any pair of black socks will do if you’re unsure if you want to make the investment.
2. Find a spot. For the first few classes it is important to make sure you can see the instructor to follow her moves. They explain it aloud as well but can be confusing to put together all at once without a visual.  “Feet together, toes apart, slide your legs toward the bar, tuck your hips under…” It will feel like strange contortion moves at first, after a few classes the positions become more natural.
3. What to expect. Lots of shaking and stretching. You will hear the instructor say it a lot in class “Embrace the shake.” Sometimes it is harder to put that into practice when you feel like your legs may collapse beneath you. Believe me they won’t so hold on for another 10 seconds. Also, no one will judge you for your shaking legs. That’s the goal! Afterwards there is lots of stretching which feel amazing. One of the goals of Pure Barre is to increase flexibility so don’t worry if you can’t slide into a split. It will come with practice.
4. Focus on the muscle. The class is broken down into sections which focus on different large muscle groups with a stretch break in between . Classes typically follow the same pattern: Warm-up, Core, Upper Body, Thighs, Booty or ”Seat”, Core and finish with Seat and Thigh combo. Try to focus on the contraction of the muscle you’re working in each move.  The instructor might say lift your leg, then you should focus on squeezing and contracting your glute muscle to make the leg lift.  The lift may only be an inch. If you are unsure if you have it right, place your hand on the muscle that is supposed to be working and see if you can feel it contracting. I find that this is really helpful during seat and ab work.
5. Relax.  Pure Barre is unlike any other workout class I have taken and I always leave relaxed and refreshed afterwards. Don’t stress about being perfect just do the best you can. Remember everyone was new to class at one point and it takes a while to learn the moves. Don’t be embarrassed to come out of a move and shake it out if it is too intense. Take a break and get right back to it.

I hope these tips help unveil some of the mystery of Pure Barre. New Year Resolutions may be on your mind with goals to tone up, lose weight or just live a healthier lifestyle. I highly encourage you to give a Pure Barre class a try .


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