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Nadine

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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!!! We had such a crazy last few weeks…I want to quickly recap a few major events for Zoe! She graduated 4K last Thursday. It was so fun to see all the kiddos up there that we started daycare with at 8 months still together and going strong. They sang a few songs, said the pledge of allegiance and recited a bible verse. They exited the stage dancing to Can’t Stop the Feeling and now every time I hear that song, I will be flooded of memories watching my little girl dance her way off stage so proudly with the first set of friends she ever made. No, you’re crying.

Last Saturday was recital day! This was Zoe’s third year of dance, and she received her first trophy! It was a very late night, and we might have broken down towards the end….but I am so proud of these girls. They did so well on stage with their routines and it was so fun getting to see the older girls dance in between running Zoe back and forth back stage for costume changes/line up.

Today, Zoe goes on her first ever field trip! I signed up to be a chaperone. What was I thinking?? Haha. I can’t wait to watch her run around and have fun with her friends though. The kids have been talking about their trip for weeks and I am excited for them.

Favorite Finds: I had some returns to make to H&M this week. I decided to do them in store, and after I walked around and found a few things I fell in love with. First up are these easy, pull on pants. They are a light weight/summer appropriate material and come right to the ankle and perfect to pair with your sandals. They are so comfortable and can really be dressed up or down. They fit true to size (size down if you are between sizes), and you cannot beat the price.

I also grabbed this tshirt. The color blue is gorgeous and I love the fit of it. It has an oversized fit, I got my usual size.

Printed T-shirt - Blue/Amalfi - Ladies | H&M US

I walked around so many stores that day, and I couldn’t even find anything to try on to even maybe consider. Sad, isn’t it? I don’t know who is doing the buying or setting the fashions this year…but it is not my jam at all.

Favorite Workout: I have been very much enjoying the Faster Way to Fat Loss workouts and haven’t missed a single one. If you follow me on Instagram, you will notice in my stories I am tagging #1mileadayinMay with Heather from My Life Well Loved. I have very much enjoyed getting out and getting those morning walks in. This next week, she is teaming up with another influencer to spread awareness about the true meaning of Memorial Day and asking people to walk or workout in patriotic or camo clothes. Love the idea behind this and its never too late to join in the fun!

Favorite Health Find: I am scraping bottom of my collagen powder and wanted to report back with my thoughts after switching. I think Vital Proteins is complete garbage. I noticed no difference when I used it, my knees were hurting, my nails were peeling, etc. I switched to Ancient Nutrition and after using an entire bottle, my knee pain is gone and my nails are strong and growing fast. My skin looks better and my hair isn’t brittle and dry. Definitely found my new go to.

Linking up for Friday Favorites. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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Weekend Shenanigans

It has been a long time since I did a weekend post on a Monday. Probably because for the longest time, there wasn’t much to report. But there have been several weekends these last few months I really wish I wrote about, they hold so many little memories. Figured this weekend was as good as any to jump back in!

Saturday morning when Zoe and I took Mac outside, we realized how nice it felt. I looked up the weather for the day and realized the high was 72. What?? A little while later I came and sat on the couch next to Chris and said, “We should have gone to the strawberry patch or something today.” Chris said, “Well, we still can.” And just like that, our plans formed.

We headed to Deloach Farms. It sits between Pell City and Vincent, right on the St Clair County/Shelby County line. We were worried it was going to be crowded since the weather was gorgeous, but there weren’t many people there at all. We got our baskets and got to picking. Zoe LOVED it and said several times how fun it was and when can we come back. After we were done picking, Chris asked the owner if he could fly his drone over the field and they happily agreed and asked that if he got good footage, could he send it to them. They were so sweet. I definitely hope to go back one more time during the season.

When we left, Zoe had to go potty and I quickly looked on Google for a gas station. I noticed that there was a large body of water near us so I zoomed out….and realized we were right next to Logan Martin! Since Chris had his drone, I asked if he wanted to go fly it over the lake and maybe find somewhere to eat. We went to Pier 59 first. While we didn’t really have a desire to eat there, Chris did fly his drone around. We hopped back in the car and skipped down to the next pier where Coosa Island Grill is. They had the best deck that sat right on the lake. It was such a gorgeous day, we had a leisurely lunch while we watched boats zip on by.

For Mother’s Day, Chris surprised me with a Cricut! I am not even sure what all it can do, but I can’t wait to find out! He also ordered me some shoes from my wish list that are coming today. Chris and Zoe took me out to La Cazuela for lunch. After, we went to Michael’s to grab some vinyl for my Cricut, and then walked around Ollie’s.

The sweet items Zoe made me at school for Mother’s Day

We made homemade strawberry ice cream from the berries we picked at DeLoach and played Mario Party. Zoe and I took a walk, and then we went and picked up Jim n Nick’s for dinner. It was such a lovely day.

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Friday Favorites + Life Catch Up

Hey there! I have been wanting to write sort of a life update post, and I just haven’t sat down to do it. I have been getting a lot of messages on Instagram asking me if I have started a new diet or program recently. The truth is, I am almost two full weeks into it, and I haven’t yet talked about it. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I started seeing a functional medicine doctor. During that visit, I had a lot of blood taken to run labs. She ran everything from vitamin levels, hormones, cholesterol, iron, glucose, thyroid, inflammatory markers, etc. I went back two weeks ago, the day before we left for the beach actually, and got my results. She gave me pages and pages of print outs of my labs. The good news is a lot of my stuff came back great.

The main thing I need to work on is my hormone levels. They are soooooo out of wack. I am very estrogen dominant, and lacking in progestogen. I also have an elevated inflammatory marker. Neither of these things was all that surprising. My doctor said that the best way to regulate hormones is to do intermittent fasting, and make sure I am hitting the correct macronutrients with whole foods. She suggested that I sign up for a round of Faster Way to Fast Loss. As this program does intermittent fasting, carb cycling, macros and fitness. I was already following someone who does rounds of FWTFL so I signed up with her coach and it started the day we were traveling back from the beach. (Last Monday)

I will be honest and say that I lacked planning last week as I tried to reacclimate myself back into work and our routines after a few fabulous days at the beach. I didn’t quite hit my macros those days. I did get in all the FWTFL workouts, and this week I have been killing it on all fronts. I also committed to doing a mile a day in May with Heather from My Life Well Loved.

I will definitely come back and share my thoughts on the whole program after I have completed the six weeks. So far, I am really enjoying it, I have already seen results, and I like the workouts way more than I thought I would. I am happy to answer any questions in my DMs about it.

Amazon.com: NutriBullet 8-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System Gray: Home  & Kitchen

Favorite Finds: Since I am striving to hit all the macros, I am basically having a smoothie every day. There are so many combinations, so you don’t get bored. I didn’t want to clean out the huge Ninja blender every day, so I grabbed this one. It has been perfect and I highly recommend if you are in the market. It is on sale right now here, this is how much I paid for it.

I really want some platform sneakers for summer, and I saw these styled several ways. Love the espadrille look of them, and they are such a great price! They just really elevate any outfit.

I grabbed this sports bra and plan to get more from them. Really holds the girls in place and perfect for my strength days to keep everything divided and comfortable, especially when I am doing upper body. I also love them for walking/jogging. I cant do the regular sports bras that squish everything into a uniboob. You big chested ladies know what I mean! Bonus for certain colors being on sale! But worth it full price too. I am slowly replacing all my old ones with this type.

Favorite Listen: I really enjoyed this episode on the Well Fed Women podcast. She interviews Dr. Aviva Romm, who I follow on Instagram and have listened to on other podcasts. There is so much good information in this one on hormones, PCOS, endometriosis, and other nuggets pertaining to women’s health. There are a lot episodes that are on this podcast I want to go back to listen to. But if you are having any issues with your period, hormones, etc, I would definitely check out this specific episode.

Favorite Recipe: This recipe for chocolate peanut butter chia seed pudding has been going strong for something extra to hit my macros. A throw back from when we used to swap recipes on Tuesdays with Kate and Emily!

Favorite Funnies:

Linking up for Friday Favorites! I want to wish all your ladies out there who are moms a very Happy Mother’s Day! No matter what stage of motherhood you are rocking, you are a superstar to your kiddo(s) and I hope you have someone in your life telling you that on the regular.

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Books – April 2022

Coming at you with some book reviews! I went through a rut of not reading for a solid two weeks, but still managed to finish out April strong. I can take or leave Love Your Life….but the rest I suggest adding to your list!

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth

The Younger Wife

Sally Hepworth has become a must read for me over the last few years. Her characters are always so well written, and this book is no exception. It was hard to put down, as the book alternates between the three main women. A lot of heavy topics are covered in this book from domestic abuse, rape, miscarriage, binge eating, alcoholism, murder. It was all handled really well.

My only gripe is that I had an early ARC edition, and my ending did not match with the rest of my book club. I think they got off better than I did. As my ending was very open ended with not as much closure. I can only assume that early feedback made her change it? Either way, this book was still enjoyable and I can’t wait for more from Hepworth.

Bottom Line: Read it!!!

**I received a copy of The Younger Wife from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella

Love Your Life

I am not sure what I want to say about this one? Overall, I liked the story. But there were a lot of things that bothered me about it. The insta-love was not believable for me. Honestly, I never really felt the chemistry between Ava and Matt. There were so many red flags that were ignored, and Ava felt very immature to me. I did love Matt and Ava’s friends though. Nell and Topher crackers me up. I think I wanted this book to be My Not So Perfect Life. I enjoyed that one so much!!!! This one just fell flat in a lot of ways. The middle was a little dull and boring. I really like the way the book ended though. The timing there felt right, the characters seemed to grow, and I just love how it all turned out. So that makes it hard for me to rate this one.

Bottom Line: If you are a fan of Sophie Kinsella, I would check it out. Overall though, it was just ok for me.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

It Ends with Us

I was instantly hooked on this book. I didn’t know much about it going into it, and that is the way I think it is best to approach this one. So I am not going to say much about it, incase there are other people reading this who haven’t gotten to this one yet. I am just going to leave you with, it covers a hard topic…but it was done so well. This book made me smile, but it was also very raw and heartbreaking. I am glad it ended the way it did, even though part of me was like but but but. I could hardly put it down.

Bottom Line: Read it!!

The Friend Zone by Abby

The Friend Zone (The Friend Zone, #1)

I loved this book! I read books two and three in the series first, but I loved them so much I knew I had to go back and read the start of it all. I loved that Kristen dealt with a lot of the female problems I do. It was so relatable for me. There are so many books about girls with anxiety, I think there should be more about girls with PCOS, endometriosis, etc. But anyways, Kristen and Josh. Swoon!!!! Their banter was so good and the connection felt real. I loved how badass Kristen was…in almost every way but one. I think it would help if you read these books in order, but it is ok if you don’t. It was 100% worth it for me to go back and read this one, I enjoyed it so much!

Bottom Line: Definitely recommend this series. Love it!

Starry-Eyed Love by Helen Hunting

Starry-Eyed Love (Spark House, #2)

This is the second book in the series, though it could be read as a stand alone. I loved getting to visit with the Spark sisters again. I feel differently about Avery (the sister from the first book) after reading this one, though. I hope there is a book for Harley, I just loved her relationship with London. They seem very close. As for London and Jackson? So cute! I really appreciated the realness of the way London felt about her position at Spark House and the things she struggled with. I like that both Jackson and London had some baggage from the past, and they really dealt with it well throughout the book. It just felt realistic to me as far as the pacing went.

The audio version was done well. I like that we have a male for the Jackson parts of the book. Both narrators are captivating.

Bottom Line: Read it!

**I received an audio copy of Starry-Eyed Love from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Game On: Tempting Twenty-Eight by Janet Evanovich

Game On: Tempting Twenty-Eight (Stephanie Plum, #28)

Diesel is back! I always love the books that have Diesel in them. This is one of my favorite series, and I never miss a book. Stephanie Plum, Joe Morelli, Ranger, Lula, Grandma Mazur…the whole gang is back for another. This time we get some crazy hackers, which I really enjoyed. Stephanie still hasn’t completely committed to one of our guys, and I am shocked that Rex is still kicking in his soup can. I just love the wacky characters and Stephanie’s antics. I never get bored.

Bottom Line: Love this series. If you are looking for a cozy mystery series with fun characters, this is for you.

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Amazon Purchases

Linking up with Tanya to bring you our Amazon purchases for April. We didn’t have a ton this time.

Food Scale

I am tracking macros and had to whip out my food scale. I haven’t used it in so long, I realized it didn’t work anymore. A friend recommended this one to me, and they are currently running a coupon for it! Very affordable.

Mixed-Up Salt

My coach had this in her recommendations for salads. I love seasoning my salad, it makes such a difference and makes it closer to restaurant quality.

Pill Container

I have had to add some supplements to my daily lineup, and there are so many to keep up with now I decided the best way was to set myself up each week. This has been working great and was the perfect size to take on vacation with us as well. All my bottles live in a container in the pantry so they aren’t taking up valuable counter space and I pull them out Sunday mornings and do the lineup for the week.

Tap Shoes

Zoe goes through dance shoes so quickly. I usually have to buy several pairs of both tap and ballet shoes each season. One day she woke up and didn’t fit in her old ones anymore, so I ran to Target to buy some before class that night. Worst mistake ever. She got about 4-5 classes out of them before the taps fell off BOTH shoes. Such junk. Target has been a major disappointment for a lot of things this year. Enter Amazon. I usually get her tap shoes from here and they last as long as they fit her feet. I have never had the taps come off before.

Shower Gel

This has become a regular purchase for me. Love this scent and the clean ingredients. I no longer use any synthetic fragrance products on my skin. Bath & Body Works and other brands like that are total garbage and full of hormone and endocrine disrupters. It is amazing how much of a difference I have seen since changing over to cleaner products.