Fourth Wedding Anniversary Gift Guide

Ok, I have to admit the four year wedding anniversary gift is kinda weird and kinda of boring. Up until year four, the gifts have been fun and make you think outside of the box – but fruit or flowers? Yes, fruit or flowers is the traditional wedding gift for year four, which traditionally, is what B and I like to stick too. But ironically, the modern gift for year four is appliances. Ironic, because we’re in the process of a kitchen remodel and the only thing we’ve actually done is order our appliances, which are an upgrade and major splurge.

“Your relationship has fully bloomed by your fourth anniversary, making flowers or ripe fruit an appropriate gift.”

“A more practical gift, sure, but electrical appliances also embody how settled you feel in your relationship by the fourth year.”

The Knot
Photo Credit: Marina Claire Photography

TRADITIONAL: FRUIT OR FLOWERS

Fruit and Flowers just seem like every day normal things to me – which in my opinion make this ‘theme’ a little less-special, especially when celebrating something so special as a marriage and your commitment. I also do research when I’m putting this together to provide unique gifts and ideas for my readers, because otherwise what’s the point?! So here are some twists/turns on this oddly normal gift theme.

Lemon Tree. A fruit tree can be a clever way to give the gift of fruit (and flowers) without letting it be eaten up or temporary. A lemon tree can grow and produce lemons year after year — of course some research may need to be done based on your climate, and/or keeping this inside. But I personally, would love a lemon tree!

Hydrangea Bush. In the same vein, this is something that you can plant together AND it will come back each year as a perfect reminder of your marriage – and each year it’ll grow bigger and stronger just like your relationship does. Of course, any sort of flower bush or plant would be a great gift, so finding something that fits into your climate and landscape will definitely be the best bet and may require a bit of research!

Flower Inspired Jewelry. If you’re not really a plant person – get something that never dies! These birth month flower gold necklaces are simple, delicate and meaningful. Or this option is a little more bold and trendy (B, if you’re reading this, winky winky on this second link!). You could even get the flower of the month you were married to make it a little more special and tie it into your anniversary more! There are so many options to choose from on Etsy, plus then you’re also supporting a local business.

MODERN: APPLIANCES

I definitely don’t recommend surprisingly your spouse with a brand new expensive fridge, unless you’ve already consulted each other on the purchase. Otherwise my beef with appliances as a gift is, it feels sort of boring and generic and bad-Christmas gifty — unless that is your thing! But that’s why I dug deep for a few more price-friendly and unique “appliances” if you’re shopping for a modern fourth wedding anniversary gift. The key for thinking of a more personalized appliance, is what’re things you enjoy doing together? Here is some inspiration from B and I.

Adult-Level Toaster. First of all, if you don’t have a four slice toaster, get one! Also four sliced toaster for your four year anniversary… dare I say, genius? Now, upgrade to a nice looking toaster that has style and function. B and I always like making breakfast together – so this makes sense and is something we’ll both enjoy using. Also, if you ever host you’ll be able to toast four slices, instead of two.

Gourmet Coffee at Home. B and I love to drink coffee, we also love getting coffee. You too? Bring the barista to your home! Even if it’s just getting a single serve espresso maker – this can instantly up your at home coffee game, especially if it’s something you both enjoy together!

A Glammed Up Air Fryer. We haven’t jumped on the air fryer train, but Drew Barrymore’s Beautiful line, exclusive to Wal-Mart (ugh!) is SUPER cute and kinda of makes me want an air fryer. The color options are so fun and you can get a few other matching pieces or appliances that all match and will make your kitchen looking high-end but at a much nicer price tag!

Shop Links: Black Air Fryer | Teal Four Slot Toaster | White Nespresso Maker

Here’s hoping that the appliances we ordered in June actually get here and that we can make this kitchen renovation a reality this year! So, backorder pending – we have our four year anniversary gifts already picked out, but I know we will find another way and something small to celebrate and spoil each other come November.

Celebrating a different anniversary milestone? Read my Two Year Gift Guide & Three Year Gift Guide.

Weekend Recap – A Perfect Weekend Away

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve shared a weekend highlight. One, because last year it felt like a cardinal sin if you had an ounce of fun or socialized with anyone — and this year, is just an awkward light-switch back to normal, so you better be prepared to live life like last year never happened! Sorry, not quite there – and have been taking baby paired with big steps into trying to get back to live pre-19.

But we had the most perfect weekend away, so I just had to share a few highlights from our time away.

Our annual STBC trip. A trip to the cabin means an automatic trip to our favorite spot, Southern Tier Brewing Co. We first went to STBC in 2013, and have made it back almost every year since as it’s our annual tradition. We usually make it there in the fall so that we can enjoy their fall seasonal beers, but we got there a little earlier this year! Luckily they had their fall beers on tap – so I was able to have my fave Warlock. The forecast for the weekend, specifically Saturday was looking like a wash, but we were going to try and arrive to STBC when they opened at 11am, so we could snag an optimal covered outdoor spot since we brought Moz. Well, when we were heading out, the forecast looked like it was clearing up, at least for our morning timeframe. It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly. We got our prime covered, outdoor seat – avoided the crowds – and splurged on some yummy eats and brews! And by the time we left, it was a crazy downpour, so it was seriously the definition of perfect timing.

Homemade, local ice cream! I wanna scream right now — I ate real ice cream… in a cone… and didn’t die! After being diagnosed lactose intolerant almost 6-years ago, I just came to grips that I needed to opt for dairy-free or yogurt-based ice creams to avoid a problem. BUT after going on this gut cleanse, I was interested in trying out ice cream again, I think a big thing that helped is we went to a homemade local ice cream spot near the cabin. I really wanted cookie dough, but they didn’t have the flavor (can you even believe?) so I opted for buckeye and thin mint. Thin mint was definitely where it was at – I wish I had a whole cone of thin mint. It was basically amazing.

Cabin life. Our cabin getaway is a family home, so we are so lucky to be able to enjoy our time away, make memories with a quick drive to the middle of nowhere. Once you arrive at the cabin, you’re just welcomed with a sense of relief — the real world is so far away, even when you’re scanning work emails or posting something for a client. The covered deck is perfect for early morning breakfast and late night game nights with fun lights, tiki torches and quiet ambiance of nature. Even with the rain, being “stuck” inside is welcomed, because either way it’s a retreat and a break from the real world. We love our walks around the grounds, our morning coffee, sleeping in, and making breakfasts.

Between the rain working out with our schedule and being able to get our STBC trip in – to enjoying some ice cream – having a fun game night – and then meeting some fun farm animals at a neighboring farm, the weekend was simply perfect.

My Gut Health Journey – Phase 3

My “official” gut health journey is wrapping up, which means the start of the official life as we know it gut health lifestyle — this three part journey has only just been the start. In Phase 1, we took 30-hard days of cleansing our gut with a keto-like approach, which helped drop serious pounds and also clean out the bad gut bugs. In Phase 2, we focused on fertilizing and re-planting the good gut bugs back into our gut by adding in fermented foods and probiotics. Phase 3 has been all about maintaining and easing into “life as we know it” – and I have to say, I’ve been pretty pleased with Phase 3, as I’ve been able to give and take a bit more while still maintaining my weight over the last few weeks – which is the ultimate goal on top of having a healthy gut!

THE GIST OF PHASE 3

Phase 3 is basically life as we know it – with a primary focus on food that is closely related to and inspired by the Mediterranean Diet. Phase 3 is about achieving and maintaining the ultimate healthy lifestyle – with a good balance of healthy, natural foods, paired with exercise, ways to reduce stress, better sleep and even enjoying the finer things in life every now and again. That last part, was something that also made me realize I’ve picked the right thing to help switch up my overall health — being able to enjoy sweets and other tasty things. As we are reminded throughout the book the poison is in the dose. So many ‘diets’ are about being super strict and eliminating this whole food group or that whole food group – and this really offers a nice variety – it’s just focusing on cutting out the fake foods our society has normalized and made so easily accessible overtime.

Also, so many diets focus on the food only – and not the well-rounded being beyond saying you should “work out.” Here is another powerful quote that represents what this lifestyle change is really all about. Another gut-health resource on Instagram is Dr. Mark Hyman – he shares a lot of great gut health information.

“Environmental influencers do impact the expression of certain parts of your genetic code. Diet, exercise, stress levels, toxins, and more can trigger receptors in your genes that will alter the messages they send to your body. That means what you do, what you eat, how you exercise, how much stress you have, and how you behave everyday actually affects you at the deepest possible biological and physiological levels.”

The Gut Balance Revolution

MY PHASE 3 RESULTS

This 85 day journey has proven crazy results, including obvious physical ones and then mental and other health benefits. I’m actually below my initial goal weight of 154 and weighing 149, which is a total loss of 25lbs. And, as I mentioned since Phase 3 has started, we have been able to maintain that weight steadily for the last couple weeks — even with a cheat day thrown in here and there.

Let’s talk more numbers! I’ve lost 6% of my body fat since the start – which is incredible in and of itself. I’ve even lost over 7-inches around my upper thigh, 5.5-inches around my belly and my breast width is down 2-inches. The physical transformation, has also helped my mental well-being, I just feel better. I’m more confident, more happy when I put clothes on — the weight has literally been lifted.

As I mentioned in my Phase 2 update, I’ve been able to eat a few things that I haven’t in over 6-years, like yogurt (pretty regularly, soft cheeses). My cough that was lingering since October has even gone away, whether it was acid reflex related or not, my cough and congestion have become much more tolerable and pinpointed to actual natural elements (even though I don’t have any technical allergies).

WHAT’S NEXT?

We will continue to make recipes and utilize everything we’ve learned from a healthy diet perspective, what to favor and what to have fewer into our everyday diet. We’ll continue to integrate wild caught fish like salmon and shrimp and even focusing on making sure we’re buying grass-fed meats (oh hey, Meatboxlocal!) And we will continue to severely limit those processed foods that do our bodies no good. And yes, I look forward to integrating a few more cheat days into the mix – especially as we’re getting back into a workout routine along with our better eating habits. I did enjoy a frosted cookie and piece of my mom’s apple pie over the weekend – totally worth it, but also worth reeling it in the rest of the weekend!

Here’s to maintaining a healthy and happy gut!

Miss the first parts of my Gut Health Journey? Catch up on my Phase 1, 30-day cleanse recap here and my Phase 2, gut reboot here!

3 Ingredient Frozen Dog Treat Recipe

I love to make my little Moz homemade dog treats – that way we know exactly what she is eating! And although I make these easy pumpkin and peanut butter treats throughout the year – I thought finding something frozen with some other ingredients for Moz would be easy and fun to have all Summer long.

ingredients & directions

These frozen dog treats are so easy and simple because of the ingredients! Also, if you don’t have silicone molds, you can easily make smaller one off treats using cookie cutters on a plate to freeze as well – I just did that before making this batch to help celebrate Moz’s 8th birthday – it was perfect for a larger special treat in a pinch!

Ingredients:
– 2 Ripe Bananas
– Peanut Butter – not containing Xylitol
– Ground Cinnamon
Silicone Molds

Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. Using a mini food processor, first mash up your bananas – they can still be a little chunky. Next, add in 3 large spoonfuls of peanut butter and sprinkle some cinnamon overtop.
2. Continue to mash in the food processor until it’s thick and creamy. Once it’s well mixed, pour into the molds.
3. Fill up the molds, almost to the top and place in the freezer. Freeze for a minimum of 3-hours, if not over night.
4. Push out of molds and store for those hot summer days, to treat your pup! (or yourself!)

Seriously, so easy! And they’re Moz approved — they’re not to thick that she can bite them (although it gives me a brain freeze just watching her eat them) or she can lick them as they melt away. They’re easy to store away, plus the molds were seamless for taking them out and it was no fuss at all, easy clean up and ready for the next batch.

I definitely am going to try a few other flavors – keeping it simple with a couple ingredients will make other options just as easy to make and throw into the rotation. Other, easy dog friendly ingredients with berries or pumpkin can also be mixed with peanut butter or bananas as other flavor alternatives.

Now your pups can stay cool on those hot days and be happy Summer pups! ☀️

Kitchen Renovation – The Plan

Pretty much since we bought our house, the kitchen was always the worst offender. In fact, B was sold on this house and had to convince me — the kitchen being one of my sticking points for the price of the house (which was over our budget). Also, the kitchen was green when we bought it, so that was another strike against it. So it’s very exciting to finally be in the process of planning out our kitchen renovation. Unfortunately our kitchen doesn’t have an ideal footprint where we would just be updating cabinets, countertops or flooring. In fact, we’re moving walls to extend the footprint to create an actual kitchen!

The Plan

As you can see above, we have a tiny little alcove with all of our cabinets, sink and stove… and then a larger room for our fridge and a bunch of other random pieces of furniture… our fridge used to be in a different spot when we got the house, but moved it to be less in the way… yeah it’s an odd configuration with a lot of wasted space in our “larger part” of the kitchen. Oh and did I mention, zero counter space?

The layout and our initial plan of what we thought we could do versus what is more practical have changed as we’ve worked through the logistics with my Uncle whose a contractor. He gave us some really good things that added space to our design, but also made us think through some practical and more functional design layouts which we took to heart and have incorporated into the final plans. One of my must-haves was quickly smashed with reality based on the space limitations we still have, so my kitchen sink will not be facing a window looking out into our backyard… 😢 Mainly because, we weren’t accounting on having a door still in our kitchen space, instead we would be putting a slider door out of our dinning room onto our patio. Unfortunately we quickly vetoed that because it would be about $5k, need HVAC reworking, and eat up about 2-feet or more of our patio for nice walk out steps. My uncle also felt from a functionality perspective, having a door in the kitchen to go in and out to grab stuff made more sense and the more we thought about it the more we agreed.

Another big part in this planning, is tempering expectations – we have a tiny footprint currently, so the updates and expansions we’re planning feel like we are going to be getting this massive and more open space… which we are, but not as much as we think. I’ve also been dreaming of a cozy little breakfast nook, but have even been doubting my initial vision for that, because I’m afraid we won’t have as much space as I’m thinking/hoping.

Also, don’t worry – we have actual cad plans of the space besides my poor measuring and rough sketch!

The inspiration

I must admit, I am usually one that has a vision and everything planned out – especially for our house projects, but this one is making me super indecisive and unconfident about what to choose. On one hand, I want to make some bold choices with flooring, or a cool backsplash… and on the other hand, I feel like I know I’ll end up keeping it pretty classic and timeless with simple and safer choices. But I want to push myself to picking at least one bold thing. The vibe I’m going for is glam, yet classic and cozy. We also will not be skimping on the finishes, from appliances (already half ordered🤞) to the hardware, lighting and faucets… oh! and heated floors.

I’m fairly confident we will end up going all white cabinets, although I do love a light blue/grey color – but I’m also in a green obsession (Thanks, Ashley Brooke!) so we shall see. Definitely going with gold finishes and maybe leaning towards a rich butcher block counter top and tile floors. But if we do end up picking a stone countertop, it sounds like Quartz is the resounding and durable choice.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Soooo many things to decide! B and I are planning to go do some window shopping at a few different spots to scope out flooring, backsplash and maybe even a direction on cabinets. For now, we are still working on finalizing the actual floor plans with our amazing friend and then we’ll be getting our contractor in here to talk numbers and timing. We’re hoping we won’t have to do anything structurally, but there is that chance still. We are also really hoping we can get this done in 2021 — but are also realistic that we may need to push to 2022. Here’s to hoping we have a brand new kitchen in time for Christmas!

Lastly, if you’ve made it this far – what do you love/hate with your kitchen remodel? What do you wish you would’ve done differently or can’t live without? Comment below, or shoot me a private message!


#EmnBtoDE – Rehoboth Beach Recap

B and I are fresh off a family trip to the beaches of the East Coast – but more specifically Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Typically with my vacation recaps I love to share mini guides of things to do, food recaps and other fun more touristy tidbits, but since this was a family trip to celebrate my MIL’s 60th – we ended up going with the flow vs. planning out every meal and our days like we typically do for trips. So, here is my mini highlight reel of our trip – which happens to include some food and drinks.

Heirloom

Heirloom was an Instagram find that turned out to be one of the nicest and most delicious dining experiences we have ever had – it also happens to be a James Beard Mid-Atlantic Award Winner. Seated right in the heart of downtown Lewes in an old house – this is a darling place inside and out. I was so glad we were able to get there with B’s brother and SIL for a much enjoyed dinner. We even got a nice shaded patio spot, although the interior of Heirloom was so quaint and cute. The silverware and dishes were vintage and mix-matched and the service was impeccable. When it came time to ordering, we all enjoyed a starter – I got the Baywater Farm Field Greens Salad and B ordered the Atlantic Octopus a la Plancha. For dinner we both ended up getting the Crispy Skin New Jersey Tilefish, not only was everything platted beautifully but everything tasted divine. I truly didn’t want to leave! B even splurged on dessert and ordered the Dark Chocolate Budino mouse – which was also delicious – at least I am told! The four of us all enjoyed our dining experience and were happy we went.

Henlopen State park beach

We lucked out for our second beach day with a warm, yet overcast day so we were truly able to enjoy the weather, sun, sand and surf for a nice long chunk of time! It was perfect for the whole family, and there was even a mini competition of who could find the coolest sea shells from the ocean. The State Park is a $10 day pass admission, but definitely worth the entry fee and extra drive for a super clean beach and a lot more space from all of the other beach goers. Not to mention, the extensive beach made for a lovely long walk away from the crowd making it feel like a bit of an escape and like you were on your own private beach! B of course especially loved it because he is the true pieces in this family, loves the water and the waves and definitely got his water kick. We even got to see two different schools of dolphins out in the distance which made this day a little extra magical.

dogfish head brewery

Another highlight that was a must during the week was going to Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, DE. B and fam went to Rehoboth about eight years ago and made a stop at the brewery too – so ever since then I’ve had some minor FOMO about wanting to experience one of B’s favorite beer breweries myself. Plus, we’re always down for a brewery visit, filled with chats, sips and snacks.

The experience at Dogfish was overall a good one, there were some technical difficulties ordering and getting our bevies when we first got there, as they’re still keeping a few of their safety precautions in place throughout the dine-in experience. Once that was figured out, the guys were able to taste a few new beers and we all enjoyed some of their yummy eats. One of B and I’s things whenever we’re at a brewery, no matter what is to order the pretzel — welp, we splurged and cheated big time on our diet, but it was so worth it and so delicious! For the record, I did eat a delicious salad before, so they did a good job on all kinds of foods.

We of course snagged a photo in front of the famous Tree House – the entire campus is impressive and massive and apparently has grown significantly, but not surprisingly since B last visited!

lots of family time

The pros and cons of living near family is you get to see them more often, but not always for long periods of time. This was our first family vacay with B’s family, so we definitely had a lot of family time throughout the various activities during the week – beach days, pool days, putt putt, dinners in, dinners out and morning coffee. We made sure to celebrate my MIL’s 60th with surprise decorations that stayed up all week around the beautiful house we stayed in. We also treated her, to her favorite Key Lime pie accompanied with some singing and birthday wishes and custom beach themed cookies. We enjoyed afternoons in the hot tub, had a fun and competitive night playing LRC, and even let the guys cook for us a few nights which was just as good as eating out!

It’s always great being able to visit a new place with B and have more of a beach vacation – one of my first in my later years. The weather was nice and warm, so it really felt like Summer as we kicked off the season at the beach — now we just have to keep those Summer vibes going!

Are you vacaying to the beach this year?

My Gut Health Journey – Phase 2

ICYMI – I started my own Gut Health Journey, after diving into the Gut Balance Revolution book. The first phase was a 30-day cleanse that showed major improvements with a keto-like approach to cleanse my gut. It was wildly successful, but only the first part of this journey.

The Gist Of it.

This Phase 2 is rolled out as “do it until you reach your goal weight.” When I ended the first Phase I was still 5-6lbs away from my goal weight, but was 15lbs down already. The focus of Phase 2 was adding prebiotics and probiotics back into our diet to add the good gut florals back after being cleansed. I thought we would be on this for a quick two weeks, but we’ve been working through Phase 2 for almost four weeks now. I was also nervous about this phase since a lot of the ways prebiotics and probiotics are added back in during this phase is through yogurt, kefir, and a few other typically not so dairy friendly diet options. This phase also adds in a variety of fermented items like pickles, sauerkraut and beets, yum!

Our portions for Phase 2 seemed a lot bigger than Phase 1 – so we were a bit shocked, and questioned if we were portioning correctly, although didn’t complain. We also were adding in more good carbs, like black beans, garbanzo beans, steal oats and buckwheat porridge, just to name a few — this also had me a bit hesitate as they aren’t only filling (while is great), but they’re also carbs!! As I’ve continued reading, I’ve learned that picking good carbs and controlling the portion better are OK to incorporate into the diet.

my phase 2 results

I finally hit my goal weight of 154 at the start of week three in this phase for a total weight loss of 20lbs, which was conveniently right before our beach vacation. And I’m down nearly 7.4% in total body fat since the start of this journey. I also had little to no side effects on eating those foods that I was nervous about and typically avoid like the plague, like greek yogurt, kefir and even a coleslaw we made was delicious! We quickly fell into a good eating pattern, mixing up the recipes for breakfast, snacks, lunches and our dinners making Phase 2 somewhat of a breeze after learning the meal options. Greek yogurt with fresh or frozen berries has been my new favorite breakfast, and I haven’t ate yogurt in probably 6+ years.

Another part of Phase 2, I’ve been trying to navigate responsibly is being able to have some alcohol again. After going nearly 40-days of not drinking, I enjoyed a glass of champagne – this may be my main “cheat.” The book only really talks about red wine and beer, which I don’t drink or haven’t been able too drink so I was sticking to my safe bubble route. It definitely came for good timing with a few more social functions happening now that Summer is in full swing. I’m still trying to be strict, but also enjoy myself and I’ve been pretty good at finding that balance so far! I did learn that recovering with a hangover on this diet is a little harder than before – since I’d normally just consume a bunch of carbs and greasy food. Whoops 🙃!

what’s nexT?

We will most likely stay on Phase 2 a little bit longer since we’re coming off of a week long vacation – although I’ve been sticking too the diet pretty well still. From there we will be starting Phase 3 which is the final phase and maintenance mode. I’m looking forward to finalizing this initial journey, while kicking off the ongoing phase in order to maintain this goal weight — while also being able to enjoy a few more cheat-like things from time to time. More to come as we continue into Phase 3 and work towards maintenance mode and sustaining all this hard work we’ve done in the last almost 60 days.

Miss the first part of my Gut Health Journey? Catch up on my Phase 1, 30-day cleanse recap here!

Old Navy Summer Haul – Latest Obsessions

The weather has been full on Summer and with Memorial Day and an upcoming vacay to the beach on the horizon – we have been on full Summer mode, which meant giving our wardrobe a little upgrade! Yes, I’m going to share some of my hubby B’s Old Navy Summer pieces too, cause they’re super fun. From the beach or pool, to exploring the town or lounging at home – we’re beach vacation ready thanks to Old Navy. #NotSponsored

his & her swim

For Her: I always love to get a few new separates each summer season, I also love Old Navy’s high-rise bikini bottoms, so when I saw this floral pattern and leopard print, I ordered both immediately. The floral is no longer available, but they have so many cute colors and prints! Fun bottoms are an easy way to mix up your suit with your favorite neutral top! Although, I feel like I need these pink bottoms now – they would look super cute with B’s flamingo print bottoms.

For Him: I couldn’t resist upgrading B with some fun suits, the prints offered for the men are also fun! Plus, Old Navy is our go-to, especially for B because he is 6’6″ and we are able to order in Tall for a majority of pieces, including their swim trunks. We got these black and white palm print and then a fun pink flamingo print.

Shop: Leopard High-Rise Bottom, Pink High-Rise Bottoms, Black & White Men’s Palm Trees, Men’s Pink Flamingo

his & her daywear & Date Night

For Her: I got a few high-waisted shorts last year from Old Navy, so this year I focused on adding in some more tops and other pieces – like a white jean skirt. I was having some flashbacks to my adolescence when jean skirts were a thing, and I love this new addition to the wardrobe and it can be dressed up or down from day to night. I also ordered the Oversized Boyfriend Shirt in Pink (no longer available in pink) – as it would be great over a bathing suit, tank or even a dress at dinner. Finally, I love the linen-blend maxi t-shirt shift dress in black, the mountain dusk color is also stunning. This is another great piece to dress up and down as you transfer from shopping to cocktails.

For Him: For B, we kept it simple but love to add a few button down t-shirts into his rotation, especially for vacation! Whether you like some a little more bold or subtle – the printed short sleeve shirts offer both and again we’re able to order these in a Large Tall, which fit B perfectly. We added a fun Lobster print tee to the rotation and then a brighter multicolor palm tree print, he can rock both of them.

Shop: Linen-Blend Maxi T-Shirt Shift Dress, High-Waisted Button Fly Cut Off Jean Skirt, Oversized Boyfriend Shirt, Everyday Printed Short-Sleeve for Men, Built-In Flex Everyday Printed Short-Sleeve Shirt for Men

his & her loungewear

It wouldn’t be vacay without a little lounging! These are also just classic pieces that we love to get from Old Navy each year.

For Her: The crewneck sweatshirts are a favorite year round – as soon as I saw this tan sweatshirt with pink and green palm trees, I was instantly swooning and wishing we were on a plane to Palm Springs. I immediately Added to Cart. I also love the ‘Be The Love’ gear, and had to grab the crop tank top to match the sweatshirt I already have. I ordered a Large and love how this crop is roomy and fits so nicely. The everyday tank is just a basic piece that you need in every color – so comfy and just works for everything.

For Him: Again, we love Old Navy’s tank tops for me – no farmer’s tans are allowed in this house! Plus, they’re perfect for a beach vacay and can be dressed up or perfect for lounging around post pool and before dinner. The flamingo print was too fun and subtle not to pass up, we also snagged a plain black and a black and white palm print for B. And not to be TMI, but we grabbed B some fun Summer patterned boxer briefs – again we couldn’t pass up the flamingos and even a fun lemon print!

Shop: Vintage Crewneck Women’s Sweatshirt, Be the Love Crop Tank, Everyday Women’s Tank, Soft-Washed Boxer Briefs, Soft-Washed Men’s Tank Top

A few other finishing pieces that we got were flip flops, dressy and casual – some fun pairs of sunglasses and a few other nice tops that just scream Summer! It’s fun to actually shop for going places vs. a dooming future of no plans and staying at home.

Fitness Friday 05.21 – Mental Health Edition

#ICYMI: May is Mental Health Awareness Month! A year ago, I was reflecting on the state of the world – and my growing state of my mental health, and not in a good way. But it has been interesting to reflect back at moments of this past year when I allowed my anxiety to get the best of me, whether that was being bed ridden, constant chest pains, sobbing fits or panic attacks. I went threw the gambit of emotions that were amplified by the world this past year.

I have always tried to be open and honest about my anxiety, because I think it’s (1) important, (2) it’s reassuring to know you’re not alone, and (3) to show how we all react and feel anxiety and stress differently. I’ve worked really hard, especially in the last few months to push myself out of certain comfort zones to deal with my anxiety and stress head on – because let’s face it, that is sometimes the most direct way in overcoming or managing it. I’d like to emphasis the managing part — because some times it doesn’t go away, or it does but can come right back in a flash, that’s the funny thing with anxiety, stress and everything in between, it’s always sort of just hiding in the shadows waiting to come out. One of my goals this year was making my health a priority – mentally and physically, and I finally started talking to someone again in February.

For me, I have always had some social anxiety to a certain extent, whether that’s drinks at a bar with friends, a night out with mutual acquaintances or walking into a room where I may only know the person I’m standing next too. I like to be around people who I trust, make me feel safe and I’m able to be my authentic self around — I blame that on getting burned a few times in high school, but I’m also OK with that. So imagine that “normal” social anxiety and then you add this past shit show of a year on top of it, with an added layer of social expectations and family pressures and you get a hot mess of anxiety and fear – aka, Me.

In addition to that, I’ve been in fear of getting or being sick (literally since March 2020). I’ve started to become better at rationalizing how I’m feeling and realizing that I’m not sick — but it’s taken a long time for me to get to this point. But that has been helpful for me, rationalizing things and feelings that can be, while also making sure I’m aware and acknowledging my feelings whether they’re rationale or not. I’ve come to realize I can do normal things and not get sick — a fear, I think that was beat into our brains throughout this past year.

So without getting too much into the weeds — that is what my therapist is for — I just wanted to shed some light into one part of my anxiety-ridden world that I live and deal with. I’m so beyond thankful for our friends, who have been open and accepting of my excuse for not wanting to hang out being “I’m paranoid and just don’t feel comfortable, can we FaceTime for 4-hours instead?” I’m so beyond thankful for those friends who have checked in on my progress of finding a therapist, for those who shared their struggles, wants and successes in finding their own therapist (you know who you are!). I’m also thankful for B for helping me through my panic attacks, letting me cry, yell and share all my rollercoaster feelings when I‘ve been feeling them – and most importantly for being my rock when I needed an ally in my feelings or justifying my actions.

If you’ve been struggling, I can tell you 100% that it is worth fighting through the fear of what that person, friend or loved one might think of you asking for help or sharing your emotions and feelings — because on the other side is relief and an ally to help you get through the tough times, while celebrating the milestones and successes. And if you’re on the other side and may not understand everything, just try to show love, empathy and compassion – it goes a long way.

xox

Mental Health Resources, Tools & Reminders: Mental Health America, @yourmomcares, @selfcareisforeveryone, @selfloveblossom