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things I’m lovin’ Thursday

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This quote. I recently made a huge (both professional & personal) move to Chicago and this quote is what I’m trying to live by. No risk, no reward, right? As terrifying as it was to pick up and relocate to a new city half way across the country, there’s also something about it that makes you feel more alive. Anything is possible; you’ve just gotta be willing to take a crazy chance every once in a while and trust that what’s meant to be will be.

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Actually working out over winter break. I’m still home but I’ve already gotten in 4 killer workouts. I’m ashamed to admit it but usually I come home, stuff my face with ridiculously good holiday grub and drink too much vino with my family. While the vino part and DID happen and I may have eaten one too many Christmas cookies, at least I can live with myself at the end of the day knowing I burned some surrrrrious calories.

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Spending so much time with my family. You really don’t appreciate what you’ve got until it’s gone. AKA you move half way across the country and can’t see your family whenever you want to anymore. I’m a lucky girl. My siblings really are my best friends and I don’t know what I would have done without them these past few months. Much love goes out to them. Oh and thank GOD for facetime. It’s a beautiful thing.

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things I’m lovin’ thursday

Sorry I have been so MIA lately! This past week has been crazy. I spent last weekend down the shore in Avalon with my family. It was a lot of fun. I got my long run over with Saturday morning which made the rest of the weekend even more enjoyable.

Anyways, I’ve been cramming like crazy for a CPCU insurance exam that I have on Friday morning. Right after the exam I am heading straight to the airport and leaving for Portugal! Which leads me to…

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My bedtime reading lately. A friend of ours, jack, got me this book when he heard Antonio and I were going to Portugal this summer. So sweet. Antonio has been there since last week and I miss him like crazy. Feels like a part of me is missing! He has family over there and we’ll be staying at his grandmother’s for most of our time there. We also booked a few days in a resort in the south of Portugal. Ahhh, just thinking about it makes me smile. : ) We finally invested in a nice camera so I will have plenty of pictures to post on the blog after our trip.

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This cereal. Warning! It’s addicting. I had it for dinner tonight. It’s delicious with coconut almond milk.

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Statement necklaces. I picked this up last weekend at a jewelry shop on the boardwalk. It always pains me a little bit spending more than $20 on a necklace but I’m always so glad I did. Statement necklaces can make an outfit.

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Things I’m Lovin’ Thursday

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Lululemon Street to Studio Jacket

I’ve had my eye on this Lulu jacket for MONTHS! I love it. So much so that I aaaallllmost spent full price on it. And that says a lot because Lulu is always a little too pricey for my wallet. A few weeks ago I was in the store and It was on sale for $64. I was ecstatic but of course, they didn’t have my size in the color I wanted. Since then, I’ve been stalking the “Lululemon – We Made Too Much” sale page waiting for this beauty to go on sale. It finally happened! I snagged it in Black, size 6. I got the black because I’ll be wearing it to work and I don’t want to look too ridiculous walking into my office – especially because I carry my Lulu teal tote with me every day too. The other colors (which I’ve seen in person) are all super cute. If I wasn’t planning on wearing it to and from work, I would have gotten the ‘faded zap’ (shown above) or the ‘pop orange’. I usually go a size up in Lulu – in shorts, pants and most tops. Anyway… the 6 fits me perfectly and it’s pretty true to size for Lulu. I wanted to make sure I had room to wear a long sleeve or t-shirt underneath. It’s super comfy and water-resistant, so it’ll be perfect for my morning bike rides into the office when it’s drizzling. I also love the hood on it. Clearly, I’m obsessed. If you can find your size/color online, I’d snag it if I were you! It’s way too good of a deal to pass up.

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Avocados

Can’t get enough of them lately and according to Subway, it’s avocado season. The other night for dinner I made this salad and it was amazing. 1 avocado, 2 small tomatoes, ½ ball fresh mozzarella with EVOO and balsamic vinegar dressing. Makes 2 servings! It’s super easy to make and it tastes like something you’d order at a restaurant.

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Barney’s Almond Butter

I’ve tried a few different types of almond butter and Barney’s is one of my favorites. I just ordered another 16 oz. jar online from Vitacost.com for $8.81. Although it’s more expensive than peanut butter, it’s a really good price for almond butter. Some of the small containers at Whole Foods are over $10! Which is insane. While I do love peanut butter, I prefer almond butter with my fruit in the morning. One of my favorite breakfasts is a chopped up red apple, a sliced banana, Barney’s almond butter and maple pecan granola. YUM.

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Things I’m Lovin’ Thursday

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Dinner dates with Antonio on our roof. Seriously – I don’t think this view will ever get old. Tuesday night was a perfect night in the city to eat outside. (So glad the crazy heat wave is over!)

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National Girlfriends Day is today!! I was reading August’s Cosmopolitan and stumbled across this gem. I had to take a picture. As cheesy as ‘National Girlfriends Day’ may be, I really am blessed with the best girlfriends in the world and I don’t know what I’d do without them.

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Victoria’s Secret Satin PJs. Remember when I told you I splurged on a bunch of VS bathing suits? Well… I also got these babes. I have them in red too and they are so stinkin’ comfortable. They were on sale for $40 and I just couldn’t pass that up.

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Things I’m Lovin’ Thursday

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OPI’s “Mod About You” Polish
This week, I fell in love with this OPI color all over again. Usually I stick with Essie colors. I paint my own nails and I think the Essie brushes are easier to use. However, this OPI polish is by far my favorite light pink color. I love that it’s so opaque. I find that a lot of the Essie light pinks are translucent and you have to do 3+ coats to get a good color on your nails. “Mod About You” only takes 1 or 2 coats and the pastel pink color is a-ma-zing.

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This quote by Julia Child.
I printed this out and hung it up on my desk at work. It’s a great reminder to be passionately curious and to never stop learning. In my industry, there are professional insurance designations that you can obtain through taking a series of exams. While these exams aren’t exactly fun, I learn a lot studying for each one and I know it will be worth it in the long run once I have the designation. I’m currently 5/8 of the way done my CPCU exams and my goal is to finish this year. What does CPCU stand for? Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter. I told you… not too exciting!  I kind of equate these exams to the CPA exams people who work in accounting have to take. These days, you have to set yourself apart from the masses. Remember: you can never be overeducated or underdressed. Find some quotes or sayings on Pinterest that inspire you and hang them on your desk or in your room. As cheesy as it seems, every time I re-read this I’m inspired.

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Coconut Almond Milk
I can’t get enough of Blue Diamond’s coconut almond milk lately. It seriously tastes like a milkshake. Although I prefer the taste of the regular coconut almond milk, I try to buy the unsweetened coconut almond milk when I can. Less sugar, less calories. For some reason, I always have a hard time finding it at the grocery stores, though. My best friend/roomie Tori picked some up for me the other night because she knows I’ve been on a mission to find it; whatta babe. Anyways, it was hilarious because she sent me a picture of our fridge with 4 or 5 different almond milks in it and wrote, “I think we’re running low on almond milk….” Yeah, we’re a liiiiittle obsessed. Ever since I was young, I’ve never been able to drink plain milk. (Chocolate milk is a different story. I could probably drink half a gallon before getting sick of it.) Almond milk is a great alternative to dairy milk. It tastes great in cereal, oatmeal, smoothies or on its own. Not to mention, it’s 100% vegan and contains no animal byproducts, gluten or saturated fat. Wow… it sounds like I’m a salesperson for Blue Diamond. I promise, I’m not! Try it out & let me know what you think.

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Things I’m Lovin’ Thursday

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This note pad from anthropologie. How stinkin’ cute? When I pack Antonio lunch for work I usually hide a cute note inside to brighten up his day. This note pad is perfect for that. Although, I’m not gonna lie, the first note I wrote on this notepad was for my best friend Tori : )

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Elephant ring. I got this ring four years ago at a little boutique in the city and it’s been my ‘good luck ring’ ever since. A few weeks ago I lost this ring (along with one of my other favorites) and I was so upset. I went back to the store yesterday and they had the exact same one. Same size and everything. And they only had one of them; I couldn’t believe it! I’m thinking it’s a sign. Elephants are a symbol of good luck, which is why I love it so much. I’ve worn my elephant ring in every race that I’ve run in for the last 4 years. I’m a little superstitious… but hey, whatever works, right?

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Green Tea Mango green tea to be exact. I’ve been making big pitchers of this tea (5 tea bags for 2L of water) and leaving it in the fridge to drink as iced green tea. It’s so refreshing & tasty and I love that it has 0 calories. Add truvia to make it sweeter. Drink up!

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