Hello all and happy FIRST of July! I hope that you all have fun holiday plans -- here in MN, my big plans consist of a week off, filled with many house projects, lots of exercise, lots of sleep, and staying cool -- I should have assumed, when we were blessed with such a mild winter, that a HOT summer was coming.
We had an absolutely beautiful few weeks in May and June, and this past week things have been heating up to this:
It is 7:25 on Sunday morning as I write this, and the temp is already 75 degrees.
I know some people love this weather, but it isn't for me -- when it is this hot, I tend to get pretty lazy, not wanting to leave the A/C... I get headaches from humidity, and I just feel an overall lack of energy. BUT - I am determined to beat the heat this week - to keep the house cold, and hit the treadmill despite my lack of energy. I'm up and at 'em early this morning, already clad in workout clothes, and I'll be heading downstairs shortly.
In honor of the heat and the start of a new month, I thought I'd share with you a few cool things -- products / things / ideas I'm currently in love with.
Presenting: What I'm Loving; July Edition
1. C9 by Target Premium 1/4 zip jacket.
Ya'll know that I work for Target, and until recently in the apparel department, but my love for C9 long predates my professional relationship with Tarzhay Boutique. C9 is Target's "owned brand" of Champion product, and frankly, I think it is some of the best workout wear on the planet. I probably own 6 pair of the yoga pants (hey, I used to work at home!), and the Premium line rivals that of Lululemon and Lucy and other upscale athletic brands. I present my newest obsession:
2. Marie's Reduced Fat Yogurt Feta Dressing
(Please ignore the lack of manicure - that's next on my list today!)
8 Grams of fat, 80 calories, and 0 carbs per 2 tablespoons -- it isn't exactly LOW fat, but better than a full fat creamy dressing, because it is made with yogurt! I think it makes a fantastic vegetable dip, and last night I used it as a condiment on the beef and vegetable kebabs that we grilled. I am a big fan of feta cheese and greek food in general, and this gave it a very Greek flavor.
3. Vlasic Reduced Sodium Stackers
The website isn't very helpful so I'm not sure why I bothered linking it - but basically, these stackers have just a slight zing of spice to them, so I have really been enjoying them on sandwiches this past week. The shape makes them great to layer onto a pile of ham and cheese, and the crunch is very satisfying. I've long been a fan of pickles (just ask my mother), and in adulthood I've found them to be a great cure for a salt / crunch craving, but of course, in adulthood we also have to worry about pesky things like sodium. While these are by no means LOW in sodium, they are LOWER -- 150 mg per slice as compared to 200 -- and every little bit helps.
4. The dutch braided headband.
I'm hardly what you'd call a flower child, in fact, I usually run in horror from anything 70s inspired, but lately I've been really into braids. French braids, fishtail braids, dutch braids... in fact, I started wearing this little bracelet last week, which is doubly weird, because the only thing I hate more than hippies is the color orange:
Sidenote: a co-worker actually asked me if my niece had made this "friendship bracelet" for me -- it is hard to tell from the picture but it is fairly intricately beaded,and has a slipknot closure. I was sad to have to tell her, uh, I bought it at the Gap. So, an almost-4 year old may have made it, but not one that was related to me.
But I digress.
The other braids I've been really into lately are those in my hair -- although, I'm not QUITE coordinated yet to be able to do this to myself, I had a lovely tutorial yesterday from my stylist, Tayler, who cut the dead ends off my super long hair and freshened up my color a bit.
(Tayler, FYI, is what we call "a magician," as I always leave her care feeling polished and pretty and put together, and as though she's solved all my problems. She is the artist behind my wedding hair, a project that took over 2 hours to complete, and almost as long to take down at the end of the night.)
Without further ado, I give you the braided headband. It might look really simple, but it is deceptively hard, because not only is this a french braid of sorts, but it is a backwards / upside down french braid, meaning that you are layering the plaits of hair UNDER each other instead of OVER -- holy muscle memory, batman, that is something hard to unlearn / relearn.
Anyway, I love this look because it keeps the hair out of my face, and looks cute and styled without appearing overly fussy or "done." You can wear your hair down with it, but if you also pull your hair into a low pony, it still looks more polished. I'm sure that by 2015 I'll have figured out how to do this to myself, until then, I'm contemplating asking Tay to come over every morning and style me.
(Aside - who do I think I am in those sunglasses, J-Lo?)
On that note - I hope you have a happy first day of the month. I always love the first day of a new month, especially one in which I have a whole renewed commitment to my goals. My plan for today consists of a workout, a trip to the grocery, a manicure / pedicure (my reward for a week of sticking to my exercise / food intentions), laundry, yard work, and a trip to buy some paint for the bathroom walls.
Off and running,