Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Quick & Healthy Breakfast; a great alternative to fast food!

I have partnered with belVita and Dannon to help promote the belVita and Dannon partnership. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program, which includes writing about the promotion and product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Happy Easter, friends! He is risen! The weather is gorgeous here in Delaware and I am spending the day with my husband and our sweet fur-kids. It is a nice, quiet, relaxed day and for that I am so thankful. I have been running around like a crazy person the last few weeks and am looking forward to a day of quiet, book-reading, relaxation!

The day started off like any other Sunday. Polo and I took a walk around the neighborhood, chatted with some of our neighbors, and picked up the Sunday paper from the end of the driveway. D wanted to go out to brunch but I have been struggling with my weight lately and I knew that we would be going out to dinner so I didn't want to do brunch as well.

I am really trying to make smarter choices when it comes to food and this has become a very big challenge for me since I have let myself go. I often find myself skipping breakfast in the morning because I am in a hurry or simply have no idea what to eat. I struggle to choose healthy options over what my mind is telling me I really want.

This morning I accomplished a small step in the right direction. I picked up a bagel sandwich and strawberry croissant from our favorite local cafe for Dave and I stuck with my plan of eating Oikos yogurt and Belvita cookies for breakfast with a side of fresh strawberries.

Dannon Oikos is greek yogurt made from a traditional greek straining process that provides great taste and creamy, thick, yogurt. Greek yogurt contains twice the amount of protein compared to regular lowfast yogurt and is about 80 to 130 calories per 5.3 oz, depending on the flavor.
Dannon Oikos greek yogurt comes in a gazillion flavors. I picked up apple pie flavor as a special treat. It was so thick, creamy, and delicious that I felt like I was eating dessert for breakfast! Paired with the apple cinnamon flavored belvita cookies, my breakfast was filling, tasty, and delicious. Both Dannon Oikos greek yogurt and belvita cookies are also weight watchers friendly options for a quick breakfast or snack on the go.

While shopping at my local grocer, I was suprised that the Belvita cookies were not in the breakfast aisle. I found them in the cookie aisle. Your local grocer may have them located in the cookie aisle as well.
belVita breakfast cookies are versatile. What I mean is that you can eat them for breakfast, but I also like to grab a pack and take them with me to snack on in the late afternoon before dinner. They satisfy the 2pm candy craving that is continuously a challenge for me.

By trying out belVita, I realize that eating breakfast every day does not have to be complex. It can be as simple as grabbing a pack of breakfast cookies while running out the door and snacking on them on the drive to work or throughout the morning. Laura Stack, the Productivity Pro has partnered with Oikos and belVita to share some great tips on how to get the most out of your morning:
*The secret to a smooth, sane morning is to prepare and do as much as you can the night before. 
*Spend 20 minutes at the end of each day planning your to-do list. 
*Remember to start your morning with a nutritious breakfast that will help you sustain energy.
Laura says specifically that, "Together, the nutritious steady energy of belVita and 12 grams of protein in Dannon Oikos Greek nonfat yogurt, along with a piece of fruit will help you get more out of your morning."

Will you give Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt and belVita cookies a try?

Learn more about Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt & belVita by visiting their websites, chatting with them on twitter, or facebook. 
Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt WebsiteFacebook & Twitter
belVita Breakfast Cookies WebsiteFacebook & Twitter 
Disclaimer: I have partnered with belVita and Dannon to help promote the belVita and Dannon partnership. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program, which includes writing about the promotion and product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Reebok Style Never Stops

Reebok Style Never Stops
The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.
Every now and then I find something that I just LOVE and I have to have it in every color. That is how I feel about the Reebok Skyscape shoe. They are the MOST comfortable show that I have ever owned. 

The other day I laid down on my bed just long enough to read an email and next thing I know I am waking up from a nap. I slept in my shoes. That NEVER happens. I sincerely forgot that I had them on. And that email I had been reading must have been a snoozefest! No wonder the brand tagline boasts that they are "So lightweight and comfortable, you’ll forget you have them on!" I can totally attest to this as I experienced it first hand!  

The Reebok Skyscape shoe is made of foam material in the upper sole area which creates flexibility and comfort. I felt like I was walking on a cloud all day in these shoes. 10pm came around and I didn't want to take these shoes off. I find myself trying to find outfits to wear to go with these shoes.

What makes these shoes so comfortable is that they are made with a low-cut design which provides the utmost in mobility. Additionally, the Skyscapes are made with a seamless construction which provides minimal rub and irritation of the foot and lower ankle. Skyspring technology supports the foot, making these shoes wearable all day long. Lastly, these shoes are machine washable. 

The Reebok Skyscape shoes are made in a variety of colors: black, purple, pink, gray, navy, and black with a pink sole. At an affordable $64, you can buy more than one!

You can purchase Reebok Skyscape shoes from here or your local Kohls Department Store. 

H M skater skirt
$25 -

Reebok shoes

Kate Spade scarve

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What's In My Purse

Recently I was invited to partake in a fun blog series called "What's in My Purse" by my friend Allison of A Glimpse Inside Blog. In case you missed it, you can now see the post here!

I am a wife, fur mama to 1 pup and 2 kitties, lover of college sports, and runner. I enjoy being physically active, lead a busy life, work 3 jobs, and am always trying to improve myself. I love to learn and am always looking for ways to enrich my life through new experiences.

I am excited to be sharing my messy purse with you today and really appreciate Allison inviting me to partake in such a fun blog series! Purses are typically so private. Nobody wants to go in somebody else's purse---> even a close friend's or family member's so this was particularly fun to write!

First, I carry quite a large bag. I am a Thirty-One consultant on the side and have a bazillion bags. The Cindy Tote is my go-to-every day work bag and I love that it holds so much and has pockets for little things and medium sized things like my check book. As you will see when I dump out my purse, I carry a lot around with me on a daily basis.
Complete with a lobster hairclip on the strap, my swiss dot Cindy Tote is ready to GO!
 I typically have my planner, iPad, iPad charger, notebook, pens, pens, and more pens, as well as other things stuffed in this bag! It is a wonder my shoulder doesn't fall off!

I really try hard to be organized. Sometimes I think I try too hard because I have so much with me at any given moment that is is very difficult to find what I am looking for swiftly.
1. This pouch carries iPad or iPhone chargers, hand sanitizer, lip gloss, parking validations for the parking garage at work, hair pins, and sun tan lotion. The sun tan lotion is leftover from the summer. I should probably clean that out. hmmm.
2. This pouch holds all my pens. I like pens and prefer to have them in many colors so I can write with whatever color strikes my fancy. I also carry highlighters with me. There are also a couple of Avon Glitterstick eyeliners in this bag as I forgot to take them out after receiving them. I tend to put things places; again thinking that I am organized, and then forget about them. 
3. The Fold & Go Organizer has made my life so much easier. Inside, you will find a notepad that holds our weekly grocery lists, pockets full of coupons, and a zipper pouch filled with pens. I'm telling you, I really like pens apparently! Ha! I carry this with me everywhere. I never know when I am going to have some extra time to swing by the store and grab something on our grocery list. I also try to keep sale ads or other important money saving materials such as coupons in this organizer. It is all in one place and keeps me from going crazy trying to find coupons while in the middle of the check out line at the grocery.
4. My wallet. Nothing exciting. I never carry cash. I go through it waaayyyy toooooo fast. AND I do not remember what I spend cash on. I of course have my debit card, credit cards, loyalty/reward program cards, and business cards in this wallet. It really does hold a lot and often times I feel like it is a filing cabinet because I tend to hold on to receipts. I am trying not to keep receipts as long as I have in the past. When I can, I request an email or text message receipt to eliminate so much paper. 
5. I used to be a shop-a-holic which made this check book cover fitting. I have always liked it and thought it was cute. Ever since I married a CPA, I haven't really been the shop-a-holic type. We are on a budget trying to pay off my student loans and credit card debt. We are hoping to be debt free in the next year or so and that would be such an accomplishment!
6. This white envelope is pretty special! It holds my airplane ticket and trip itinerary for Paris. My grandma and I are visiting Paris for a week and we leave on FRIDAY! I am so excited!
These are probably a couple of my favorite items in my LIFE right now. 
A. My iPad is just fantastic. I love having it with me so that I can check email, blog, surf the web, engage in conversation over various social media channels, or google something. It really is a great tool to have on you at any given moment. 
B. Erin Condren Planner. Need I say more? I adore this planner. If anything keeps me organized, it is this beast of a planner. I keep a lot of things documented in this planner. For example, the contents of my planner could range from my full-time job work schedule, Thirty-One parties, blog posts, fitness activities, and even meals to upcoming appointments, date night ideas, and birthday reminders. The Erin Condren planner is worth every penny.
C. As much as I love pens, I love this notebook by Cambridge Limited. The pages are all marked with a "To Do" section and I enjoy checking things off my list each day. It makes me feel productive!
D. I always carry a hostess packet along with me wherever I go. You never know when you may run in to someone who loves Thirty-One and wants to earn FREE products! 
Just for fun, I thought I would show you inside my zipper pouch. Pens, highlighters, Avon Glittersticks eyeliner, and 2 containers of Advil. Apparently I am afraid I will get a headache and not have Advil handy. Ha! That is funny! Perhaps I should get it together! 
Thanks for having fun with me today! I hope you enjoyed taking a little peak at my life through the contents in my purse! A little sneak peak into my purse probably revealed that I am far from as organized as I front and that I may be even a bit scatterbrained. I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at my handbag which also gives you an idea of the fast-moving, busy life I lead.

I would love to see what's in YOUR purse! What do you carry around with you every day?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sick & Tired.

Back to regular scheduled programming soon enough. I went to Paris for Spring Break and had a wonderful time. While away, I reflected on how privileged I am to have even had the opportunity to travel abroad for a week. It was quite magical and such an amazing experience. I told D before I left for Paris that by going abroad I was going to get the itch to travel more often. This could not be more true. I came home with a greater appreciation for Paris and French culture and want to continue to learn more about other cultures. Traveling abroad challenges me to step outside my comfort zone and I end up growing beyond my wildest dreams.

I plan to write several posts on my Paris excursions but first I am on the mend. I felt great, although tired, the first couple of days back in the states but now I have caught a virus. I have a sore, scratchy throat, headache, and stuffy nose. I hope that these symptoms will pass soon enough so I can get back to my regular schedule.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

currently + a giveaway

what I'm doing: sitting on the couch. contemplating giving up using capital letters out of pure laziness. thinking about how on earth is it almost 8pm?

Reading: I tend to read more than one book at a time and turn to whatever suits my fancy in the moment. Currently I am reading the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer. Dark. Crazy. Sad. Unreal how politics can turn ugly with a splash of influence.

Watching: The Philadelphia 76ers play the Indiana Pacers. I have always enjoyed basketball and do so even more so now that Dave and I go to the 76ers games every now and then. The other night we went to the game and sat in the front row, on the actual basketball court. It was so much fun.
Being silly at the Sixers game
On my mind: Work. Thirty-One. Paris. Running. My weight. My long list of to-dos. Feels like everything is on my mind...
SHOP the Flash Sale

Looking forward to: Paris in a couple of weeks! I am so excited to be visiting Paris for a week! I feel so lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to go to Europe with my grandma. We are bound to have a fantastic time.

Hosting: An amazing giveaway! My friend Rebecca from The Roo Pouch has partnered with me to give one lucky Hiya Luv reader one of her newest handmade items; a handmade leather key chain. I just adore my handmade one of a kind canvas and my leather heart Hiya Luv key chain. Check out the giveaway and win something for yourself!
Personalized Key Chain from the Roo Pouch

Friday, March 14, 2014

OOAK Art by the Roo Pouch + a giveaway

Friends! I have a treat for you today! My dear friend Rebecca, handmade shop owner of The Roo Pouch has generously agreed to team up with me to offer a lucky Hiya Luv reader one of her newest creations! I have always been in awe of Rebecca's creativity and crafty talents and am so pleased that she is taking time out of her busy schedule to spend some time with the Hiya Luv community! I of course asked Rebecca to introduce herself and share a little bit about her with us!


Well hello! My name is Rebecca  - Mother to Joey (3) and Emil (2), and Wife to Joe, a Philosophy PhD student at Purdue. Each day a new adventure awaits, but not without coffee first, lots and lots of coffee :) 
Rebecca, handmade shop owner of the Roo Pouch

Words are powerful. Ive always been inspired and motivated by quotes, both in times of victory, as well as during more challenging times. 

One of a kind canvases by the Roo Pouch
My mixed media canvases share a message of inspiration, joy, or welcome a new loved one. Each piece is unique and completely handmade. 

You Are Loved Canvas by the Roo Pouch, $5
 I recently decided to dive into the world of stamping and I am loving this new challenge! 

Personalized leather heart key chain by the Roo Pouch, $15
Currently, I'm stamping pre-cut leather heart shapes, and preparing them as key fobs. I made one with each of my sons' initials and each time I see it I get a huge smile. My role as a Mother and Wife create many daily moments of pride, but to be able to look around my home and say "I made that", or to prepare something to ship to a customer, fills me with an immense amount of pride. 

I am honored to share my small shop with you, perhaps you might find some handmade cheer to brighten your soul. Finally, a huge thanks to my dear friend Regina for her continued love and support, xo.
Isn't Rebecca lovely? She is truly very talented. I have one of her canvases hanging in my office and it is a constant reminder to try to be the best self that I can be. When I am having a bad day, I look up and it makes me smile. When I am having a good day, I look up and it makes me smile. It is always a great reminder to work hard, be kind, and be the best self everyday.

Rebecca always inspires me with her creativity and ability to think outside the box. I look forward to seeing her new products and she continues to raise the bar! When she first posted the leather personalized key chain, I had to write to her and let her know that I wanted one specifically with Hiya Luv on it! She sent me one and it is gorgeous! I promptly put it on my key ring and have been so happy with it! Do you want one?! Rebecca has teamed up with me to offer one lucky Hiya Luv reader a heart shaped leather personalized key chain or a key fob personalized leather key chain! So exciting!
Can't wait?! Rebecca is offering 15% off your purchase from NOW until TUESDAY with code LUCKY15
Visit the Roo Pouch NOW!

Enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hiya Luv's New Look + What I Wore

I recently realized that it has been quite some time since I invested in the appearance of my blog. I tried over and over to design a new look that would be clean and professional. After hours of watching youtube video tutorials, reading html articles, and messing around with picmonkey to not get anywhere I wanted to be, I finally hired a professional to recreate and redesign my blog. Jane from Poppiness Designs did a lovely job, don't you think?

While brainstorming, doodling, and generating ideas for what I wanted Hiya Luv to look like, I was also working on my self confidence. It has been quite some time since I have felt comfortable in my skin with my weight and appearance. My mom once told me that "weight is something that I will battle my entire life." She could not have been more right.

After gaining a great amount of weight in 2010 because of a stressful job, I joined Weight Watchers and over a year I lost just shy of 30 pounds. Now, happily married and loving my job, I have gained a big portion of that back.

Most people say they can't tell, but I can. I can tell in my face and in the way that my clothes fit me or don't fit me for that matter. I dread the summer months coming because I fear that my weight is going to challenge me in how I feel about myself.
Black Top by Love & Haight :: Red Velvet Pants by Lauren Conrad :: Boots by Dana Buchman :: Leopard Belt from Kohl's
A coworker has helped me get more comfortable with my body and how I look in my clothes by encouraging me to take photos and blog with them. Whether I am wearing an adorable sweater, a cozy warm coat, or breaking in new running shoes, I am starting to feel content with the weight I am at and not fret about the scale. Granted, this is easier said than done, but I am making baby steps.

Photo Credit: Caress McKenzie

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