Five Fabulous Finds

I’m always calling these blog post series a new thing (most recently “on the hunt”). So here a five recent finds that I’d love to share with you:

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Waterproof Birkenstocks for kids. I’ve always been a devotee to Saltwater Sandals for my kids but for this summer they just weren’t cutting it for my little guy so I hunted and researched for new options. I wanted something practical, waterproof, comfortable, and stylish. There are SO many options that fit every bill but the stylish one, ha! Although I guess that’s the only subjective quality I listed so to each his own. But, I love the look of these Birks. I’m a fan of them for myself if you recall, so I knew they’d be good for his feet and since they’re plastic they’re totally waterproof for spray parks, puddles, and the like. They’re hard to find for kids but I found them at Famous Footwear (and linked to them above).

2. Tan Towel Self Tanner. With shorts season suddenly upon us I thought it was time I find a good self tanner (nothing worse than legs in shorts that haven’t seen the light of day in months!).I found these Tan Towels had great reviews raving about the fact that they exfoliate as you self tan. It’s essentially a wet nap wipe that you use on whatever you want to have a bit of color and in an hour or so the tan shows up. It’s just a hint so you don’t look orange or anything. I wash my hands immediately following application and have no odd-color-hand problem either. Get these!

3. Minimal Off Shoulder Top in Crepe from ASOS. Off the shoulder tops are just SO in season right now and if you have any nights out planned for the summer I suggest you get one! I bought this one and just love it. The fit is a little boxy but that makes it pair well with a pair of skinny jeans or white pants. Here it is in blue and it comes in plus size, too.

4. Shoes by Dune London. Anything you can get on Amazon Prime is a friend of mine. I always need things at the last minute urgently. I was looking for sandals for M (see #1 on this list) and somehow came upon these fabulous Dune London Lemins Espadrille Sandal that were reminiscent of the J. Crew bejeweled sandals from a couple summers ago that were super pricey and sold out super quickly.

5. Nike Lightweight No-Show Socks. I love these socks! I had been looking for good no-show socks forever that actually stayed on my foot and these are just the best. I usually get them in white but this bright, colorful image was more fun to share!

Healthier Banana Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

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As I wrote about last week, I’ve eliminated all added sugar (for the most part) from what I eat but occasionally you just need a muffin, right? And if I want something sweet like a muffin, I might as well bake them using an all natural sweetener like honey instead of white sugar so at least I’m on the healthy side of a treat…plus there’s only 1/4C honey in this entire recipe making 12 regular size and 4 mini muffins.

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I headed out of town with a couple friends over the weekend for a little girls bachelorette party weekend. I decided to make some muffins for not only us to eat while we were away but as a little leave-behind treat for my kiddos. After some recipe research, I came across this great recipe for Skinny Banana Chocolate Muffins on Ambitious Kitchen and decided to try it. I liked the use of honey in place of white sugar, the use of Greek yogurt for added protein, and of course using whole wheat flour instead of white flour – all much smarter options to make these a healthier muffin choice in place of your standard banana muffin.

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I followed the recipe for the most part but did have a few edits:
– I only had regular whole wheat flour so I used that in place of the whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour the recipe calls for.
– The recipe calls for almond milk but I didn’t have that on hand so I used regular cow’s whole milk.
– I thought dark chocolate would be better in the muffins and used large dark chocolate chips.
– Also, just make sure to use ripened or even better over-ripe bananas to add to the natural sweetness.
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My kids gobbled them up (and so did my friends, actually). These were so good there was only one left by the time I wanted to take another photo for the blog.

Where Have You Been?

I feel like the title of this post needs to be said in a mean mommy tone with a finger shaking and pointed right at you, ha!

Hello! I haven’t blogged since the day before the first day of this year, oops. Honestly, so much has changed since then but then again everything is still the same. I have so much to share, recipes to urge you to make, and a few new fashion finds to mention…but for now I thought I’d give you the top 5 reasons (excuses?) to answer the question: Where Have You Been?

Where Have You Been

5. Our winter was so mild we were actually sad about how little snow we had (and how poor the ski conditions were!). We were able to be out and about as usual, no winter slow down here!

4. I’ve lost 15 pounds! Sort of on purpose – I kick-started the weight loss doing that crazy 21 day fix program which worked but was a nightmare when I was living through it, I’m not going to lie, but obviously if you follow their plan, you will see results. But mostly the weight loss was a way of life change of how and what I eat (and how much, let’s be honest) and I’m happy about it nonetheless.

3. Speaking of weight loss I have also given up added sugar (I should probably dedicate an entire post to this). In 2015 I gave up sugar in my coffee (which I never thought I could do) and when I started the 21 Day Fix I decided to give up sugar while I was at it. Since 1/1/16 I’ve had sugar a handful of times (including one of these bad boys). I miss it, but I feel so much better now without sugar that I think I’ll stick with it. I know this is where a lot of the weight loss comes from because when you don’t eat added sugar you are also basically giving up all processed food (crackers, cereal, energy bars, bottled salad dressing, etc…) and focus more on whole foods. And that made me lose even more weight after the 21 Day Fix was over.

2. I am officially a Baby Boot Camp Instructor. So. Much. Studying (oh the anatomy I had to learn…)! So. Many. Exams (including a practical that I had to do over webcam, pretty humiliating…)! But now that it’s over I can say it was worth because I love it! And when you get a text from your mom friend saying she can’t walk down the stairs because her quads are so sore fromĀ  your workout – success!

And the number answer to the question: Where Have You Been?

1. Styling children’s clothing! Remember when I told you about my new job at Mac & Mia? Well, bam! No time left to blog. Any spare time I spent blogging is now spent getting, styling, and retaining customers. And I love every second of it! In fact, here is a link for you to get a box of clothes for your kids and get $20 toward your first purchase. And use code JESSJ to be styled by me.

Where have you been? I have so many posts planned in my head, I hope to be back here soon!