Friday Finds, Update On My Top Secret Goal, and Transitioning To The Fit Farm Wife

Friday Fav’s

Self-Care for SeptemberScreen Shot 2013-09-04 at 5.42.22 PM

Fellow bloggers Kristi of Life Sprinkles and Erin of Neater Your Nest have teamed up to create this great challenge for September. It a great reminder this month to make sure you are taking care of yourself not only physically but mentally and spiritually. Don’t put yourself on the back burner! These ladies will be sending out a weekly newsletter with daily mini challenges. Sign up for the newsletter and commit to at least trying a few of their suggestions each week. Why? Because you are worth it and you have to invest in yourself to be able to invest in others.

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photo from Amazon

Foam Rollers

After Wednesday’s Lululemon Sweat On Us sponsored class at Spark Barre, Pilates and Yoga I have come to the conclusion that I definitely need to invest in a foam roller. I’d only used a foam roller once before during a barre class, and if I wasn’t smitten before I definitely am now.

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photo from Amazon

Thursday night as I lie in bed after a class that combined kettlebells, body bars and TRX, I was wishing I had roller of my own so I could roll that soreness right out. Look for a blog post as I determine which roller to buy and find some resources for stretches with the foam roller.

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 1.21.37 PMInfluenster

Love the idea of trying out new products before they are available to others? With Influenster you fill out information about yourself and the social networks you participate on to earn points and be selected for their VoxBoxes. Once you receive a VoxBox, which is usually themed as the last one I received was the Something Blue VoxBox, you review the Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 1.23.07 PMproducts and share your thoughts via your social channels. There are even opportunities to compete to win giveaways of the products you enjoy the most. Best part of all? Super fun and super free you just have to qualify! Check it out or comment with your email and I’ll send you an invite!

Curious about that top-secret goal of mine?

While I can’t yet reveal my top-secret dream goal, I can say I have been working hard on it these past two weeks, and the work has only made me want this goal even more. Right now I’m working hard to remain patient and confident as I wait to see the next steps ahead for me. I really think achieving this goal would go a long way in helping me achieve my journey to healthy, happy and balanced. I’ll keep you posted!

Last but not least transitioning to the Fit Farm Wife

You may have noticed changes over on my Facebook page and the header here on my blog. I have decided to transition from my original blog name, The Unexpected Farm Wife, to the Fit Farm Wife. Why the change?

  • I’m discovering that fitness is one of my main topics and Fit Farm Wife illustrates that from the get go
  • In reserving my social channels, I realized that “The Unexpected Farm Wife” was really too long if I wanted to keep my branding consist across social media

What does the change mean for my readers? Not much, except there is now one name to remember FitFarmWife. You will find me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all at FitFarmWife. Also, I am in the process of moving my blog to my new domain fitfarmwife.com and hope to have the switch complete by the end of the month.

More Online Discount Shopping Sites to Love

Hey All,

So a few weeks back I did a blog post on Discount Shopping Sites You Should Know About – Tips From An Expert. I decided to follow up because I have even more shopping sites to share, so without further ado here is roundup number two!

Open Sky Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 4.58.16 PM

Open Sky is a social shopping site where you can shop by category, stores or products, and by best sellers or new arrivals. Shoppers can favorite stores and/or products or people to help Open Sky suggest products they will love in their tailored feed. Find everything from cooking gadgets to office supplies to accessories and workout equipment from up and coming brands.

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Joss & Main

Joss & Main is your flash sale for all things home. Think furniture, accessories, throw pillows, wall art, dishes, linens and more all at discounted prices offered throughout their limited time events. While I have yet to make my first purchase from Joss & Main yet myself, I always love looking at the site and find that it offers me plenty of inspiration for projects around my home.

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Fit Frosting

Fit Frosting is a sales site for active women’s clothing and accessories. They also have a great blog, and their cute name doesn’t hurt either : ). Check them out the next time your workout wear needs a boost. You’ll find brands you love and discover new brands to love as well.

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 5.17.19 PMFab

Sign up for Fab to find those fun and funny sometimes kooky cool gifts for those people in your life that have it all! Fab is sure to supply you with the unexpected and a pop of color to brighten your day.

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 5.19.56 PMJoyus

Joyus is like the super cool grandchild of television shopping. Joyus combines deals and social shopping together with videos to easily display the features and capabilities of all of their products, usually complete with model demonstrating or modeling said product. Super helpful when you are trying to get an idea for sizing.

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 5.24.26 PMActive Gear Up

Active gear up is another great site for active gear and apparel at a discount. They offer gear for those gym rats as well as for those who enjoy getting out and hiking, biking or camping. Check them out for both men’s and women’s footwear and apparel.

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 5.28.31 PMZulily

Zulily calls itself the daily deals site for Mom, babies and kids. I am not a Mom, so you may be wondering what drew me to this site. While the site does offer a lot of deals for the kiddos, occasionally they offer some sales on active wear (I know you are shocked right?). Brands I’ve seen featured on Zulily include Lucy, Ellie and Manduka.

Where do you find the best deals?

I was so excited to visit the outlet mall over my Labor Day weekend, but I was super bummed by their selection. Guess I’ll be sticking to the web!

Running Naked

Tonight I ran naked in 100 degree weather with a group of what I guess you could now call friends I mean we ran naked together, I mean bare we ran bare. Got your attention did I?

Merrell shoes put on a demo for the Lemon Sole Run Club at the Lululemon Des Moines Showroom. I stopped by and learned an awful lot considering I’m not much of a runner! It was a small turnout but that just meant I got to ask more questions and get to know everyone a little bit better.

Two reps where there from Merrell shoes who gave us all the low down on the different styles and specs of each shoe as well as a small clinic on what barefoot running is.

The first pair of shoes I tried on were the

Women’s Barefoot Trail Run Ascend Glove

Merrell Women's Barefoot Trail Run Ascend Glove (photo from Merrell site)

Merrell Women’s Barefoot Trail Run Ascend Glove (photo from Merrell site)

  • 0mm Drop – meaning no drop from heel to toe
  • 6mm cushion
  • TrailProtect pad in the forefoot and heel offers support for rough terrains
  • Vibram® outsole- same outsole used on Five Fingers Shoes
  • Vegan friendly

The second pair where

Women’s Barefoot Run Bare Access Arc 2

Women's Barefoot Run Bare Access Arc 2 (photo from Merrell site)

Women’s Barefoot Run Bare Access Arc 2 (photo from Merrell site)

  • 0mm Drop – meaning no drop from heal to toe
  • 8mm cushion
  • Vibram® Pods

These were the pair I ended up taking out for a spin a.k.a. mini run. They were nice and light (really every pair was!). From talking with the Merrell reps I discovered that many people enjoying wearing these shoes for other activities in addition to running including weight lifting and CrossFit as well as elliptical training and casual wear. Hmmm I would love to put a pair through a Kosama class or two! I know I would feel it in my calves.

The third pair I tried on where Merrell’s original barefoot shoe called something Pace. I couldn’t find the exact pair I tried on tonight on their website. This pair was definitely the lightest and most minimalist pair I tried. I wasn’t really feeling them maybe after I gradually graduated down I would be ready, but my ankle I had injured earlier this summer felt funny just putting them on. Who knows could just be me. Also, I’m no running expert or even a runner. Though I hope one day I’ll learn. Any tips for learning this whole pacing thing? Oh ya, and that whole breathing thing too?

Cool specs about all of the shoes; they can be worn barefoot or with socks and are machine washable.

Do you wear Merrell’s?

What kind of shoes do you run in? 

What kind of shoes do you lift in?

Friday Finds And Favorites

Happy Friday All! Here are some of my favorites and finds for the week.

FAVORITES

My sis and I ready to get our sweat on

My sis and I ready to get our sweat on

Sister Time

Last night after work I met up with my sister for hot barre! It was fun, it had been too long since I had visited the studio. I was missing it and needed the stretch. We followed up barre with dinner and sister talk, just what I needed!

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The cute email invites we sent out

Girls Night In

Remember how I told you all about my top picks from the new Stella & Dot fall collection? Well I loved it so much, I decided to have a party of my own. It was a great excuse to make me clean my place, invite others to my home, see family and friends and of course shop! Lauren, my Stella & Dot stylist of choice was such a sweetheart. Make sure you visit her page. Don’t forget to check out the super cool versatile pieces like the 5-way Sutton necklace, too cool!

Sorry I don't have a better photo!

Sorry I don’t have a better photo!

Cowboy Caviar

At girls night, I wanted to serve light, refreshing relatively easy snacks so I decided to give this recipe for Cowboy Caviar a go. It was delish. I’ve had other variations before, but I think this is probably the healthiest. The leftovers were also a winner at the office the next day. Pictured above is my lunch along with some of said leftovers! I was too busy to remember to take a picture Monday night.

IMG_1006The Mat by Lululemon

Last night at hot barre I finally got the chance to try out my new mat. I got The Mat by Lululemon for my birthday and just hadn’t gotten a chance to test it out yet. Let me tell you I was not disappointed. It is ever bit as good and wonderful as the reviews say. Can’t wait to take it to hot yoga this weekend!

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Don’t you love their motivational packaging?

Cookie Dough Quest Bars

Thank goodness I was able to get restocked on the delicious protein packed cookie dough bars yesterday. They’ve been selling out all over in my neck of the woods. I was hooked after my first one! Definitely my favorite so far Quest, keep em’ coming. I couldn’t have found them at a better time either because I’m working on my diet and trying to get 40% of my daily calories from protein. Easier said then done, but I like a challenge!

Photos from jcrew.com

Photos from jcrew.com

J Crew T’s – on Sale!

These super cute wear with anything tees are on sale in stores and online. I love the button detail, vibrant colors and the ability to pair them with slacks, a skirt or jeans and killer Stella & Dot statement necklace. Available in stripes and solids you can’t go wrong. Happy shopping!

FINDS

Tabata

I know I can’t be the only one who has been wondering what tabata was. Thanks to Erin at Fit Bottomed Girls for the downlow and tips for first timers. I’ll be trying tabata soon, don’t worry I’ll let you know how it goes.

Make sure to check out Fit Bottomed Girls blog, I love their tag line “Keeping a lid on the junk in the trunk”. Made me smile

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Picture from questproteinbar.com, check em’ out

White Chocolate Raspberry Quest Bar

I finally came across one of these yesterday when I was stocking up on my Cookie Dough flavored Quest Bars. This is another new flavor for Quest. I haven’t tried it yet but I’m super excited too.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 11.20.15 AMSpecial Edition Must Have Fall Style Box by Pop Sugar

I love me some Pop Sugar! Especially FitSugar, but all those ladies know whats going on. Anyways, I’ve seen them offer these boxes before, there are both month and special edition options, to sample products they recommend for the upcoming season and this time I just decided to go for it. I can’t wait for it to come and to give you guys the full scoop on everything it contained and how I liked it. If you want to order too visit their site before they sell out.

What are you finding and favoriting this week?

Fashion Dilemmas Solved

I got a good one for you today kids, fashion dilemmas solved! Alright so while I can’t fix all of your fashion woes here are a few of my go to tools on the web that help me when I’m in a pickle.

Dilemma #1: After catching the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars, The Bachelor, or whatever your guilty pleasure T.V. show of choice may be, you can’t seem to get your mind off those killer boots the lead character was rocking or the necklace she was sporting on her blind date that went horriblly wrong. What is a girl to do? Enter Possessionista.com this girl is a fashion saint! She watches all your shows and hunts down the duds they sport so you don’t have to.

Photos from Possessionista

Photos from Possessionista

photo from Possessionista

photo from Possessionista

Last summer I searched the web for the dress and earrings Emily Maynard is pictured wearing above. I thought they would be perfect for my rehearsal dinner. I was sure they would be out of my budget but thought there would be no harm in checking to make sure. Guess what? Thanks to Possessionista, I tracked down both the dress and the earrings. The dress was even on sale! It was a fashion miracle.

The Mr. and I at our rehearsal dinner

The Mr. and I at our rehearsal dinner

Dilemma #2: You roll out of bed, wonder what the temperature is as you pick out your ensemble for the day. If you are an Iowan, seasons mean very little to the temperature. Our weather has a mind of its own. Enter your new best friend, Style Up. Style Up delivers fashion advice daily to your email inbox based on preferences you select such as office dress code. Set your location and Style Up will give you weather appropriate suggestions. Rate looks and let Style Up get to know your fashion preferences. Need help picking an outfit for a special event? Submit a request and Style Up will provide you with three suggestions. Dressing drama solved. Now if only the computer could do my hair…

Here's what my email looked like today

Here’s what my email looked like today

Birthday Weekend Getaway

Last weekend, Mr. surprised me with a weekend getaway to Minneapolis to celebrate my birthday. It was just what I needed! Here are the highlights in photos. Sorry, I didn’t take better pics or more of them!

Where we stayed: Westin Galleria, stay tuned for a post on why I love Westin hotels

relaxing at the Westin in their comfy robe

relaxing at the Westin in their comfy robe

Where we ate: Twin City Grill, Tucci Benucch (my all time favorite restraunt) and Big Bowl

Always a must stop when in MN

Always a must stop when in MN

Best Marinara Sauce Ever

Best Marinara Sauce Ever

Mr. and his Chicken Sostanza

Mr. and his Chicken Sostanza

yummy Pinkberry for dessert

yummy Pinkberry for dessert

potato dumplings at Big Bowl

potato dumplings at Big Bowl

Me eating my chicked pad thai

Me eating my chicked pad thai

Mr. and his Kung Pow Noodles

Mr. and his Kung Pow Noodles

Where we shopped: Mall of America – Lululemon, H&M, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Lush, Athleta

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Galleria – Ampersand, Crate & Barrel, Lucy

pretty fountain at the spa in the Galleria

pretty fountain at the spa in the Galleria

What I wonderful weekend.

Do you have any weekend getaways planned?

 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and Stella & Dot Fall Collection Picks

I can’t lie, I was pretty excited today because the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opened up to non-cardholders and Stella & Dot released their Fall Collection.

Screen Shot 2013-07-19 at 2.10.59 PMCozy Chic Throw : Don’t these blankets look so cozy? They make me want to snuggle up with a book and a nap right now.

Screen Shot 2013-07-19 at 2.12.58 PMBP Darbie Boot – Grey : Grey boots, need I say more. I love me some grey and think these boots would carry you well through Fall and Winter. Best part about grey? Black, brown, navy – whatever grey goes!

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happy shoes

‘Free TR Fit 3’ Training Shoe : Just looking at the color of these shoes makes me happy. Who wouldn’t want to go to the gym just to show them off?

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you’ll feel like a teddy bear

 

 

‘Osito’ Fleece Jacket : I have this jacket in black and I love it. It is the coziest, warmest thing ever. You won’t want to take it off all winter long!

 

I’ve been following Stella & Dot stylists all week at #SDHoopla on Twitter and Instagram trying to catch sneak peeks! Here are my favorites from their new collection.

Screen Shot 2013-07-19 at 2.03.10 PMPhoebe Stretch Bracelet : Love how this bracelet incorporates both silver and gold. Perfect piece to add to a stack where you are mixing metals.

Screen Shot 2013-07-19 at 2.03.38 PMUrbane Bracelet : Rough and pretty. Love the contrast.

 

 

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bling bling

Somervell Necklace : Crystal necklaces are going to be big this fall. They are great to layer with other statement pieces, and they instantly dress up any outfit. Pair it with your chambray shirt and some colored skinny’s with a top knot in your hair and you are ready for casual Friday.

Fun way to style your crystal necklace

Fun way to style your crystal necklace

Get on my arm now

Get on my arm now

Madison Tech Bag – Poppy : Love the pop of color and the side zips are so cool.

If you are interested in ordering Stella & Dot products or hosting a party contact Lauren if you are in the area. I met her at a Women’s Expo in Des Moines and she was the sweetest!