Fabulous Fit Gear Swap AKA the #Fabulousfitswap

Fabulous Fit Gear Swap {Domesticated Academic}

 

Renee over at Bendiful organized a fabulous fit gear swap and I was “in” as soon as I saw it. I get in rut’s with my workout gear and knew I couldn’t go wrong by swapping out some workout goods with someone else in the world. I was thankful to get Aimee, who runs fortybyforty fitness and she sent me two amazing products.

Fabulous Fit Gear Swap {Domesticated Academic}

 

I love this water bottle from Orla Kiely! It’s so punchy and fun! Mine are all currently stainless steel and rather boring, not mention banged up, kicked around, and showing their age. I love the pattern on it and will enjoy using it.

Fabulous Fit Gear Swap {Domesticated Academic}

 

She also sent these socks that I’m super stoked to try out when it gets warmer. SwiftWick socks are thin and breathable. I’m a big fan of smartwool so maybe this will convince me to switch things up.

I cannot say “THANK YOU” enough to Aimee for being my match this month and Renee for organizing this great event. If you’d like to participate, there’s some details you’ll need below.

Each month you can sign up for the gear swap. You will be matched with another swapper. You will purchase $20 worth of gear that you think your swapper would like. (if they are into YOGA DO NOT buy them Crossfit gear, please)  It’s a great way to share your favorite items with people who are also interested in great gear.

  • You MUST sign up through the form by the 5th of the month, and agree to ship your gear out by the 15th of the month.
  • You will email your match and get an idea of their workout gear likes and dislikes, ask for sizing if you plan to look for apparel, no one wants gear that doesn’t fit.
  • The Best part YOU will also receive a package each month from your match!
  • Get great gear and meet some new friends throughout the month.
  • CURRENTLY ONLY open to people in the United States.
  • On the last day of the month, you can share (Blog, tweet, facebook, instagram) your new fit gear with the hashtag #fabulousfitgear
  • I will host a blog link up here at Bendifulblog.com for all the blog posts!
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Citrus Infused Spa Water & My Favorite Warm Weather Recipes

Citrus Infused Spa Water | Domesticated Academic

You’ll love this water because it’s refreshing and light tasting without being ‘boring,’ you can add some simple syrup, dress it up, or dress it down, and it feels like going to the spa. Serve this up with a garnish on the side or use it as the base for a great vodka tonic–add some club soda and vodka and you’ve got a great happy hour cocktail! I follow a detox water account on instagram and was inspired to pick up some fresh and cost effective citrus at the grocery store. I look forward to infusing my water with fresh berries as they come around this spring and summer, but for now, citrus and mint will have to do on my budget.

Citrus Infused Spa Water | Domesticated Academic

I used mason jar so I could mix up the flavors, but you’re smart–go ahead and make a big pitcher. I also cut the water when I drank it because it was quite strong from sitting overnight. It’s all a matter of preference. The mint gives it a light touch without being too much.

Citrus Infused Spa Water | Domesticated Academic

Mint tends to be a bit pricey in the store and many of us find that it wilts and goes bad within days. To keep it longer, use the leaves from the base of the stems for this and then submerge the rest in water, like flowers and cover with a plastic bag. Put it in the fridge and it will last for weeks. I do this with my cilantro and many fresh herbs to get the most bang for my buck.

Citrus Infused Spa Water | Domesticated Academic

You’ll need:

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 navel orange
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint (7-10 leaves worth)
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup cubed pineapple
  • container(s)
  1. Thinly slice the fruit and distribute in jars or container
  2. Muddle the mint: you can do this by breaking the leaves or smashing them a bit. Add them to the containers
  3. Fill with water and seal/put lids on, etc….
  4. Let sit in fridge overnight or at least an hour.
  5. If you make a large batch & want to keep it around, consider straining out the fruit/rinds. It will make the water start to turn bitter after about a day.
  6. Enjoy!

Infused Water | Domesticated Academic

Infused Water | Domesticated Academic

 

Grill season is here! Fresh produce, grilling out, and awesome summer fun is just around the corner-check out some of my personal favorites!

Bacon Wrapped Chicken | Domesticated Academic

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

balsamicturkeyburger1 (Small)

Balsamic Turkey Burgers

grilled peaches |domesticated academic

Grilled Peaches

Healthy Flatbread Pizza | Domesticated Academic

Grilled Flatbread Pizza

Cilantro Lime Skewers | Domesticated Academic

Cilantro Lime Skewers

Spring Green Smoothie

spring green smoothie | domesticated academic

Spring cleaning. Good for closets, goodwill, the salvation army, but what about our GI tract? It’s no secret that winter….winter has been extra long this year and months of comfort food are making us all sludgy on the inside. This smoothie is packed with those great nutrients from spinach plus some calcium and protein to keep you going and a touch of sweetness that isn’t over powering. The slightly sweet flavor of the honey really shines without making you think you’re going to have to chew all that spinach.

spring green smoothie | domesticated academic

I had been at brunch w friends and one mentioned that she had tried a ‘green juice’ of sorts, but noted it was too gross tasting and ‘stringy’ to finish. Ew….I like a smoothie as much as the next person, so I gave this one a whirl in my blender and trust me: it’s not stringy. I don’t want to chew my smoothie.

You’ll need:

5 minutes tops

  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup non-fat greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or use honey yogurt)
  • 1/2-1 cup milk of choice (depending on how thick you like things)
  1. In a blender, blend this up until it’s the consistency you like!

Black Cherry Chocolate Smoothie | Domesticated Academic

Black Cherry Chocolate Smoothie 

 

Homemade Brown Sugar Scrub

Brown Sugar Body Scrub | Domesticated Academic

Spring is coming. Time to slough off the dead stuff, reveal those legs (what I like to call “tree trunks that keep me upright”) and attack w a razor. I’ll also add that the pictures don’t do it justice and unfortunately, there’s not much I can do for you here. I don’t have fancy jars and didn’t have the time to make a fancy label to shove the container back in my bathroom cupboard until next time. You get it. It works great. Go make some. It’s super cheap to make compared to that stuff you buy at the body shop that’s $20+ for a tiny tub.

Brown Sugar Body Scrub | Domesticated Academic

I mean….no, I can’t even make a joke. I went to FL in January, and exposed my skin, I think it tried to crawl back inside itself. This winter was brutally cold and my skin is starving. While I will admit, my ‘asian-ness’ helps me NOT grow large amounts of hair, I do have some delightful patches of eczema that force me to take good care of my dermal layer and give me some awesome skin allergies that are usually amazing and require steroids.

That being said, I already make my own lotion and jammed out batches for myself and for gifts this winter. As luck would have it, I’m allergic to almost anything w fragrance, including cleaners and detergents. So, I also make my own shower cleaners, etc… b/c I’m extra needy like that. Not sure if it’s the contact w the hot water and chemicals that triggers it, but whatever it is, I usually make a big batch every other month and it lasts for a while. I keep coconut oil around for regular use. I make the lotion, I put it in my hair once every couple of weeks, leave it in for an hour and then wash (twice) for the shiniest, softest locks of your life. It’s always in my house.

So, back to exposing my naked, white, dry skin….(how am I doing painting a super sexy picture here?)

It needed the following things:

  • exfoliation
  • shaving
  • tanning
  • tanning
  • basically, the sun of some sort, not skin cancer sun, but a little pigment outside of ‘ghost white’

My friend had mentioned she dabbled in making some homemade scrub but the coconut oil was too hot and it melted the brown sugar.

Don’t be my friend 😛

I did what any respecting human did and I took to the Internetssssss. They know all the things!!!

You’ll need:

  • 2 parts brown sugar

to

  • 1 part softened (not melted) coconut oil–you can soften in a dish in the microwave for about 20 seconds

For example:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  1. Mix them together until crumbly (see pic)
  2. Use in delightful shower to slough off the 6 months of winter.

BE WARNED: this will make your tub floor slippery–it’s OIL

Don’t break a hip

Wash the tub floor b/c no handicap handle is going to save you.

Let everyone touch your legs (or where ever you exfoliate) but don’t come crying to me when you have to slap someone in the face b/c they loved it too.

Luxurious Lotion | Domesticated Academic

Luxurious Lotion

Cleaner for Pennies | Domesticated Academic

Cleaner for Pennies 

One Way I Increased My Happiness

One Way I Increased My Happiness | Domesticated Academic

Something funny happened a few weeks ago. I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family at Lake Norman in Charlotte. The first few days were beautiful, but then a nasty, rainy day showed up and we all were inside enjoying the lovely lake house. The house: pristine. Beautiful deck, ample space for four of us, full kitchen where I made Thanksgiving Dinner, docks with kayaks, etc…nothing left to be undone, even a massive 55 inch or bigger, TV and you know what we did?

We crowded around my 13 inch macbook to watch Christmas Vacation on Netflix…..I had forgot the VGA converter cable. I wish I had taken a photo. 

In my journey of self-reflection this year I had some life changes this year and one of them included:

shutting off my cable (dish network)

Why?

Not only was $60+ of my hard earned paycheck going out the door every month, but like you, I had 100 channels but nothing I WANTED to watch. I was not unhappy with my service, Dish isn’t in charge of quality programming. Their customer service had always been fair with me. I had no complaints of them as a company.

First world problems everywhere…..

I found over time though that turning on my tv meant:

  • a bad mood
  • some laughs
  • DVR dependency
  • hatred towards commercials
  • hatred towards the volume of commercials (isn’t that supposed to be illegal?)
  • mindless watching
  • time wasting

My bad mood stemmed from news, stupid shows, the ‘dumbing down’ of society.

The laughs came when I got sucked into the above comment. I also love me some Stewart & Colbert.

I hardly watched TV, I DVR’ed everything so I could skip through commercials.

Commercials. dontgetmestartedbitches…..where’s the ‘devil face’ emoji?

Mindless watching consumed me. I like the noise, but I found myself stopping what I was doing, even if it was a task like unloading the dishwasher, and two hours later, I’d awake from my TV coma to see the sun had set. Ugh!

Time wasting. TV is numbing. It’s a distraction. It was an escape. I used TV to ignore so many things.

So, I shut it down.

And started counting my money honey! 

I still have a TV. I saved the equivalent of what I wasn’t spending and bought a wireless blu-ray player to stream content. I restarted my subscription to Netflix. I have hulu (limited commercials at the SAME volume) that are tolerable. After saving another month or so, I bought one of those digital converter boxes because I like the news SOMETIMES. I will watch the Olympics A LOT.

I can get almost all of the content I watched before (and then some) online. In a decision of TV or Internet: Internet won.

What am I doing with my money?

  • Paying other bills
  • Treating myself once in a while
  • Not missing subtracting that $60+ each month from my account.
  • I’m reading more. I’m writing more. Which has nothing to do with money but it has added to the quality of my LIFE, which is priceless.

As you race through the holidays at warp speed and watch the Christmas Story marathon on TBS all day, what is ONE single way you can increase your happiness? As we unwrap a pile of consumer goods, what does that really mean to you and your family?

Do I miss TV/cable sometimes? Yes. When I travel somewhere with cable, I watch it. It’s fun, but it’s now considered a treat, just like that pint of Ben & Jerry’s in my freezer. But, there’s still not much on there I WANT to watch. I like to be entertained, but I also like being more peaceful and more money staying in my pocket.

Do I want you to cancel your cable? Nah, you do what you want, you’re an adult. But, sharing this can shed a light on forcing us to reflect.

I’m On Vacation…..

Fitness on Vacation | Domesticated Academic

And still working out! I spent the first two days in the car traveling and seeing friends–from VA to State College to see friends at Penn State and then to Ithaca to see other friends at my alma mater (Cornell), I finally landed at home Tuesday evening, just in time for wing night at the local bar! My favorite!

Like any good food-a-holic, I had eaten like a champion the previous two days with no working out, just some light stretching. I knew because my stomach was all, “what the french toast?”

Fitness on Vacation | Domesticated Academic

So, Wednesday, I got up, I slinked myself into some compression pants and took my faithful dogs out for a walk down the hill, back up the hill, and then for some moves to keep me stretched out and limber.

I didn’t clock my mile–it wasn’t super far, but the incline was massive for me. I sprinted once or twice but with a border collie thinking you’re a cow to herd, running isn’t really feasible unless you yell at the dog who’s guilty of ‘doing her job.’

I returned home to do some strength, some light plyo-like moves, and most importantly: stretch. I find for me that traveling tightens me up so if nothing else, a good stretching/yoga sequence makes all the difference.

My wallet got a good work out yesterday since some girlfriends and I went to the outlets and I stocked up on work clothes, some new winter boots, a pair of Chaco’s, and a super fun Coach purse.

I love vacation!

That’s Life

That's Life | New Faculty

I’ve found myself staring longingly at facebook and other social media this summer along with the dozens of blogs I subscribe to via feedly and bloglovin and I’ve determined one thing:

we’re making life look too pretty for our kids

We post these beautiful photos of food, scenery, family, and our vacations but never the stack of dirty dishes, crying children, the photo where our finger was in the field of the photo, or the 2847 hours it took to plan, book, and organize for the ‘perfect’ vacation.

That's Life | New Faculty

As I’ve gone on my own journey this summer, I’ve had to stop looking so longingly at these photos and put things into perspective.Behind that beautiful peach cobbler is a stack of pits, containers of ingredients, and likely some food props. Behind the scenery is probably some jerk who littered, behind those family photos are probably some tears (we won’t know from who-the parents orthe kids or both), and behind that vacation photo set is a large headache as someone planned it trying to offer their family a maximum experience in only a few short days. I’m not trying to rain on everyone’s parade, but I see larger implications for our future.

I’m an “adult.” I use the ” because I’m mostly fully formed but always a work in progress. I can think about that perfect situation, like a wedding, and know that it took an army of people to get that bride and groom or bride and bride or groom and groom down that aisle and onto their life. It did not happen in the ‘best 100 photos’ that they purchased from a photography service. If we don’t like it, we simply delete it, but that’s not how life works. We make mistakes, big and small, and instead of erasing it from our mind-we have to deal with it in order to grow.

I found myself super tired last week after personal and professional obligations had me burning life at both ends and last night: I crashed. I wanted nothing more than to veg out on my couch, watch some Netflix, and talk to my dad on the phone, since I’d been too busy to do it all week.

And then, I checked my phone. I’d been ‘invited’ to an event on facebook. I liked the people hosting it, it looked fun, and I knew I’d probably have a good time.

But I didn’t go.

I was just too pooped.

I’m taking the time to write this post and share it because I think our culture has trained us and more importantly, our children, that unless something is always perfect, fun, or shiny- it’s not worth sharing. We’ve been conditioned to always feel like we need to live a life competing against the “jones” but they’ve gone from our neighbors next door to 1,000 friends, connections, and otherwise virtual humans. Every time I log into a social media outlet, I see people having fun (which is great) and when I see someone who’s having a bad day, I don’t want to see it. It’s happened to me too! I’m so guilty!

This busy week I’m referring to involved doing something really unpleasant, I had to get police involved, and it’s not something that I would deem ‘fridge worthy’ for the public to see, but it is part of my life and it did happen.

As bloggers and humans, it’s ok to share some of the ‘messy stuff’ from time-to-time as long as it doesn’t violate your personal/private space. People who read you will appreciate it because it probably happened to more than half of your audience due to this thing I call “being human” which none of us seem to have the ability to escape. If we choose our words carefully, others can learn and grow.

That's Life | New Faculty

I’ll still be posting photos, recipes, and the like, but I might take a post a month and discuss things that DON’T make for the perfect pie because let’s face it:

it’s the messy stuff that makes a life too.

ps: all the photos are of my ‘life’ AKA: my mostly organized but somewhat disorganized house–my unmade bed, my tools, and my closet–the photos are mostly blurry, poor quality and not that great, but they show me one thing: LIFE!