Blogger Collab + Cute Athleisure Looks

Hello friends!

It’s been awhile since my last blogger post and a lot has happened!

I have been busy wedding planning because… Travis and I are engaged!!! We are so excited. After lots of venue shopping, we now have a date and venue chosen. I also had an amazing trip to Ireland – look for a post on that soon!

More recently, I met a new friend and Minneapolis blogger and teamed up for a fun collaboration!

Andrea is the cutie behind the Nere Blog focusing on fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Oddly enough, when I started blogging I envisioned myself hiding behind a computer creating posts but it turns out, one of my favorite things about blogging is getting involved in the community and meeting other bloggers, foodies and fitness lovers! Andrea and I met at Urban Bean and chatted over lattes about all kinds of things – being engaged, wedding planning, health, blogging and so our collaboration was born!

Minneapolis Blogger Collaboration on Athleisure and Working out

Minneapolis Blogger Collaboration on Athleisure and Working out

We both enjoy working out, fashion and supporting local businesses. So we put together some athletic wear pieces from local stores here in Minneapolis. These are pieces that are great for both working out, but also can transition into the rest of your day as athleisure outfits as well.

My favorite way to start the weekend is to go to a Saturday morning class and then go to the farmer’s market (with a pit stop for a latte of course).  I use Class Pass, which I love because it allows me to get a variety of workouts and try all the fun studios in Minneapolis! Some of my favorites: Alchemy, The Barre and The Firm – all kick-butt workouts! Since I go right from working out to other activities, I need to be wearing something that can keep up. The fabric needs to wick away sweat, be functional for the workout but also transition to the rest of the day (and be cute of course!) I basically LIVE in athleisure style clothing. It’s so comfortable and cute!

Minneapolis Blogger Collaboration on Athleisure and Working out

Zuma Blu is a newly launched brand that creates athletic clothing with the goal of looking good and feeling good. Bonus: they support bully-prevention in school programs by donating 10% of their profits! I love their prints, especially this subtle camo and the small details that add to this top. I am wearing an x-small and it fits true to size. The material is great for a kick your butt type of sweaty workout. The small zipper pocket on the back makes it great for a run outside too.

Minneapolis Blogger Collaboration on Athleisure and Working out

Lole is actually a Canadian company with stores all over the country, but Minneapolis has the only one in the area. Their approach is simple, modern and functional. The store is on Washington Ave in the North Loop right next to Dunn Bros. The boutique is super cute and the girls were so friendly and helpful. I found this white top on sale and I can’t wait to wear it to my spin class!

Minneapolis Blogger Collaboration and Giveaway - Athleiure and workouts

Part of The Nutty Pear + Nere collab is a giveaway! Elite Fitness makes this adorable grey tank. It’s super soft and comfortable. Wear it for a workout and then throw a jacket over it for a put-together athleisure look.

 

The GIVEAWAY happens on instagram so check it out!

Winner will be announced Thursday night at 8pm!

Tidbits from this post:

Nere Blog (Andrea’s blog)

Zuma Blu (camo tank)

Lole (white crop top)

Class Pass (Get $30 off)

Minneapolis Blogger Collaboration on Athleisure and Working out

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Natural DIY Lip Balm with Essential Oils

Lip balms and chapsticks from the store can have tons of unnecessary and potentially harmful chemicals in them. That’s why I’ve decided to make my own! I love DIY recipes that are super simple (who doesn’t?) and save you money! It’s so nice to know exactly what’s in your personal products. Did you know that there are very little regulations on what chemicals can be used in our personal care products? The numbers are mind-blowing. They also don’t even have to disclose what’s in them! Which is why a lot of people are using these simple diy recipes.

If you use essential oils already, then you probably know about their amazing health benefits. If not, let me enlighten you!

Benefits of Essential Oils

-Strong antimicrobial properties

-Anti-inflammatory

-Reduce anxiety and elevate mood

-Boost Immunity

-Anti-aging properties

Therapeutic essential oils for diy homemade natural lip balmA couple drops of pure therapeutic grade essential oils is plenty and powerful! I use Young Living essential oils because the quality is unbeatable. How the oils are extracted and processed is extremely important in keeping their healing properties intact. YL has a seed to seal promise and they are the only company I trust when it comes to oils.

Essential Oils have SO MANY uses around the house, in personal care and cleaning. I offer resources that can help you learn how to use them in your life daily. To get started with 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils click here!

I called these Bri’s Wax (hehe) and Trav made me these adorable little labels! I gave these out as Christmas gifts for friends and coworkers the last couple years and people loved them! The coconut oil gives it a little shine so it can wear almost like a clear lip gloss. It soothes your lips and keeps them moisturized.

DIY Homemade natural lip balm made with beeswax and coconut oil

 

What you’ll need to make these lip balms:

1/2 oz tin containers – where to get

Beeswax – where to get

Coconut Oil – where to get

Essential Oils of your choice – where to get

Natural Homemade Lip Balm with Essential Oils
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Recipe type: DIY
Ingredients
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 5 Tablespoons beeswax, melted
  • 12 drops essential oils
Instructions
  1. Microwave coconut oil and beeswax in a glass bowl. Stir every 30 seconds or so.
  2. Add essential oils
  3. Stir gently and pour into containers.
  4. Let set (10 min or so).
  5. Screw on tops.
  6. I made little labels on the computer and cut them out to glue on tops.

DIY Natural Lip Balm made with 3 Ingredients. Plus where to get 100% pure grade therapeutic essential oils!

Living a Fit Lifestyle – Health Tips + Workout Swag

What do the lives of fit and healthy people look like?

Do they work out twice a day and drink liquid kale?

How do they have the time to be fit?

All valid questions.

Good news: I consider myself a fit person and I’ve never drank liquid kale.

But really, we are all SO busy. How can we make being fit and active part of our lifestyle? I’m not here to give you some secret magical trick that will instantly change your life without you having to lift a finger. But, I do want to offer some practical and simple health tips that work for me.

And I do believe that being fit and active DOES change your life. You know what else changes your life?

BALANCE.

I’m over counting calories and weighing myself every morning. I’m over feeling guilty for missing a workout and for eating a cookie. Let’s just do what makes us feel good.

Learn to listen to your body. Maybe you don’t even realize that you’re not operating at 100%. Or even 75%. Our bodies learn to adapt and work with what they have. They’re pretty good at it too. But we’re not actually meant to feel exhausted all the time, stressed, bloated or sluggish.

Self Care, Living a Fit Lifestyle, Be Active, We cannot be of help to others if we don't care for ourselves

Living a Fit Lifestyle. Health Tips. How to Stay motivated working out. How to stick to a fitness routine.

Living a Fit Lifestyle. Health Tips. How to Stay motivated working out. How to stick to a fitness routine.

WHAT’S YOUR WHY?

If any of this is resonating with you and you want to make some changes, this is the most important step. Finding your why is the best health tip I can offer you as far as motivation goes. So why are you doing this? You’re not doing this for someone else. This is for YOU. It’s your story. 

Maybe you want to be more fit so you can play with your kids. Maybe you want to have the stamina to travel and see the world. Maybe it’s weight loss. Maybe it’s for your psychological health and stress relief. Maybe it’s just so that you can feel good.

Take a minute and think about what it is. Write it down!

STAYING MOTIVATED

At first, making a change in your lifestyle requires some motivation. Eventually, your goal is to turn these health tips into habits; to make it almost effortless.

#1: Have a plan

Doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Could be as simple as walking for 20 minutes 3 times per week. Could be going on pinterest and finding a no-equipment, home workout you can do. PS – mama’s, have you seen those home workouts using your baby as weight?? I love it!

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are - Theodore Roosevelt. Self care and living a fit lifestyle. How to stay motivated in your workout

Most importantly, make it realistic. Don’t make too much of a drastic change all at once. Give yourself some time to adjust to the changes in your lifestyle before furthering your goals. That’s how you’ll make it stick.

Personally, I love going to classes. Barre, circuit training, spin, yoga etc. They offer a variety and I love the community. Sometimes it takes a little more time out of my day, but since I love it so much, I make time for it. It’s become a priority in my life and it makes me happy! That’s the goal here. A lot of boutique studios will offer you a free week or free class if you’re a new customer. Another benefit of group classes: you’ll learn good form and learn exercises you can do at home on days you don’t feel like going to a class.

#2: Tell someone

Or a few people. Especially friends or family that are also making it a priority to live active lifestyles. Bounce ideas off each other and hold each other accountable. Sometimes simply talking about it out loud is motivation enough.

#3: Remember your WHY

Whenever I’m slacking a bit or having a stressful week and I’m tempted to get off track, the most powerful way to stick with my plan is to think about why I’m doing it in the first place. Literally envision yourself running around with your kids, hiking the Grand Canyon, going on a bike ride with your family, or simply feeling good. It’s a powerful tool and it works. Don’t underestimate the power of the mind!

Lifestyle blogger, fit lifestyle, workout motivation, fitness inspiration, activewear

Living a Fit Lifestyle. Health Tips. How to Stay motivated working out. How to stick to a fitness routine.

Living a Fit Lifestyle. How to Stay motivated working out. How to stick to a fitness routine.

Fit Lifestyle, Workout Motivation, Fitness Inspiration, Athleisure

Living a fit lifestyle, workout motivation, be active, athleisure, fitness inspiration

USEFUL TOOLS & SWAG

Seconds Timer App

Allows you to set up intervals on a timer for however many seconds you want and then a rest period. It will repeat for however many sets you choose. It’s perfect for HIIT or tabata workouts (which are in my opinion the best bang for your buck when you only have a few minutes).

*Use pinterest or youtube for HIIT exercise ideas. My faves: high knees, mountain climbers, jump squats, burpees, lunge jumps.

Group Classes

I already mentioned how much I LOVE group fitness classes. To me, being in a group class is the most motivating and fun way to work out.

-Check out groupon in your city for discounted classes

-Try new studios in your city and ask about a new client offer

Try out ClassPass

My Favorite Workout Swag

Don’t underestimate the power of a great workout outfit! :) I’ve linked some of my favorite gear.

 

Check out my RECIPES page for healthy meal ideas!

I’d love to hear what works for you! What’s your why to live a fit lifestyle? Comment below!

Living a fit lifestyle: health tips and workout swag. Fitness Motivation

Living a fit lifestyle, how to stay motivated with health tips + workout swag. Workout Motivation & fitness inspiration

Travelogue: Cinque Terre, Italy 2016

This little stretch along the Italian Riviera is stunning. Cinque terre means “five villages.” Which is exactly what it is. Mountains and ocean come together for amazing scenery. It’s dramatic cliff-side villages, ocean views, hiking, swimming, charming little streets, and awesome seafood and pesto. We had just 2 nights here and it left us wanting more. We’d definitely come back here some day! The 5 villages are: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. No cars are allowed in the villages and they are connected by a train that comes every 30 minutes. Just past Monterosso is a less touristy town called Levanto, but the best views are on the 5 villages. We visited 4 of the 5 during our stay.

Cinque Terre Italy Travelogue by The Nutty PearCinque Terre Italy Sunset on Riomaggiore - Travelogue by The Nutty Pear

Cinque Terre, Italy Travelogue by The Nutty Pear

 

Cinque Terre, Italy - Corniglia Travelogue by The Nutty PearThese are some of our photos from our hike from Corniglia to Vernazza, sunset in Riomaggiore, seafood and pasta meals, charming streets in Vernazza and cliff-side buildings in Manarola. I don’t have much to say because the photos speak for themselves! Until next time Cinque Terre <3

Next stop: London

 

Travelogue: Florence, Italy 2016

He said, “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live”

-Dalai Lama

 

TRIP ITINERARY  (15 days total)

Prague, Czech Republic – 3 nights

Rome, Italy – 3 nights

Florence, Italy – 3 nights

Cinque Terre, Italy – 2 nights

London, England – 3 nights

Florence, Italy Travelogue by The Nutty Pear

Florence, Italy Travelogue by The Nutty Pear

We arrived in Firenze (as the Italians call Florence) by train. The train station isn’t too far from where we stayed in San Lorenzo. Our airbnb was an adorable little apartment with a rooftop terrace overlooking the Duomo. The photo just above this is our view from the terrace! There are quite a bit of tourists in Florence but the vibe is already different than in Rome. Much less crazy, even though we’re right in the heart of the city.

Florence, Italy Travelogue - Mercato Centrale by The Nutty Pear

It’s lunch time and we’re getting hungry so our first stop is the Mercato Centrale. Hands down the coolest, most colorful and interesting market we’ve ever been in. I always like looking through the seafood since we don’t have much of that in Minnesota. I’m looking at the underside of a fish trying to figure out what it is and the Italian man behind the counter sees me. He flips that huge fish over and it’s staring me down!

Florence, Italy Travelogue - duomo by The Nutty PearFlorence’s Duomo is the center of the city. Once again the detail of the architecture is beautiful. Inside the actual dome part is painted all the up to the point and I have to say I thought it was maybe even more impressive than the sistine chapel. We climbed the 465 tiny, steep, spirally stairs to the top of the Duomo for an amazing view of Firenze.

Florence, Italy Foodie Travelogue - Steak by The Nutty Pear

Lovin’ the food scene in Florence. It was much easier for us to find good, non-touristy restaurants than in Rome. Cute little wine bars, lunch cafes, bakeries, and trattorias are everywhere. Most have adorable outdoor patios with fresh flower baskets and even if they don’t, the people drink their wine outside lining the cobblestone streets in front of the bar.

Florence is known for their Tuscan cattle which produces awesome steaks and leather goods. We popped into a little family owned restaurant called Pandemonio for a bistecca Florentina. We have a 9pm reservation and good thing, because the place is packed! We can tell a lot of locals like this spot, a good sign! The owner is a little 73 yr old Italian woman. I called her signora and she instantly corrected me saying “No no no, I am Mama.” Love it!! I hear other guests calling her Mama. The food here was the best we had in Italy. We ordered a tortellacci filled with fresh ricotta and pesto and covered in a red meat sauce…to die for! When you order your steak, they bring it out raw to show you the cut and tell you the weight (ours was 1.3 kg)! It’s always cooked medium rare and it would be a sin to ask for it medium-well. We almost finished the entire thing!

Florence, Italy - Tuscany vineyards by The Nutty Pear

Florence, Italy Travelogue -Tuscany rainbow by The Nutty Pear

The few hours we got to spend in Tuscany were HEAVENLY. Like, literally. Take a look at that rainbow! It was a rainy day and while we were inside doing our wine tasting, it down poured. We came outside to see the most amazing rainbow we have EVER seen. The rain and wet landscape in the hills and vineyards was beautiful. The photos don’t do it justice. Within the first few minutes we decided we’d definitely be spending more time here on our next trip to Italy.

Next stop: Cinque Terre

Travelogue: Rome, Italy 2016

 

“I’ll look back on this and smile because it was life and I decided to live it”

 

TRIP ITINERARY  (15 days total)

Prague, Czech Republic – 3 nights

Rome, Italy – 3 nights

Florence, Italy – 3 nights

Cinque Terre, Italy – 2 nights

London, England – 3 nights

Rome Travelogue - The Vatican by The Nutty Pear

Rome Travelogue - Trevi Fountain by The Nutty Pear

Italia! At first sight, it’s even more magical than we imagined. The huge building columns, statues and fountains left us awe-struck. It’s just mind-blowing to imagine the ancient Romans building all of it thousands of years ago. Right away there’s definitely a different vibe than in Prague. A steady hustle and bustle, passionate people, plenty of pasta and wine, and all surrounded by a backdrop of scenes we’d only seen in school books before a few weeks ago!

The streets of Rome are so charming I can’t even stand it! Every corner we turned, cafe we passed and adorable doorway we walked through I was whipping out my phone to snap photo after photo. Outdoor cafes, fresh flowers, cobblestone streets, old rustic doors, pasta, cheese, wine…it’s pretty obvious why I was instantly in love with the city.

 

A food tour in Rome was a necessity. We definitely did a lot of exploring on our own but the help of an expert was nice, especially when there are so many touristy restaurants to get caught in. This tour was in the neighborhood Trastevere, which literally means “across the river.” It’s much less touristy and full of Trattorias (family-run restaurants). We visited something like 8 different restaurants for a little taste of something in each. From left to right and down:

1. Burrata is a super fresh creamy mozzarella cheese that is usually paired with fresh tomatoes, basil and olive oil on bread. Delightful!

2. Gnocchi with mussels and a Roman classic: carbonara. Some of the best pasta we had.

3 & 4. Porchetta Sandwich. Porchetta is a savory pork roast paired with fresh gorgonzola on bread. This was one of my favorites!

5. It was hard to get a good photo of this dark wine cellar, but definitely one of the coolest things on the tour. This cellar is below a restaurant and was discovered to have been built in 80 AD! We had an appetizer inside with a local red wine.

6. Veal with bacon on top (!) and potatoes in a delicious sauce.

7. Roman style pizza has a very thin crispy crust. This is a Pizza Rosso with sausage and mushrooms.

8. Can’t forget about the gelato! Stracciatella was my go-to flavor. A creamy white with specs of chocolate.

9. The funny (and awesome) thing about Italians, is that they structure everything around eating and figure out how to maximize how much they can eat! Aperitivo is a pre-dinner cocktail the Italians have to “open the stomach” and get the juices flowing so that you can really enjoy the upcoming meal. That cocktail is typically an Aperol Spritz, which is this orange drink pictured. It has prosecco, aperol and a spritz of soda water, although the Italians make it pretty strong!

10. After dinner, the Italians have a cocktail like Limoncello or Grappa in order to help digest the meal you’ve just eaten. It really works!

I’d definitely recommend a food tour while traveling. Finding the non-touristy places off the beaten path is a must for a great food experience. Eating Europe does a great job!

Next stop: Florence!

Travelogue: Prague, Czech Republic 2016

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us”

 

Ahh Europe!!!

This has been one of our dream vacation destinations for a while. Neither of us had ever been, making it all the more exciting to experience together. There is so much history to see, new cultures to immerse ourselves in and of course, AMAZING food! This post is all about Prague, our first stop.

TRIP ITINERARY  (15 days total)

Prague, Czech Republic – 3 nights

Rome, Italy – 3 nights

Florence, Italy – 3 nights

Cinque Terre, Italy – 2 nights

London, England – 3 nights

Italy was top of our list so we decided to spend an entire week of the two there. We’d heard so many people say that Prague is one of their favorite European cities so we made that a priority as well. Lastly, London was appealing because of the diversity, English-speakers and ease of location for flying out of Europe back home.

Planning started in February when we decided to take the trip. Fall is a great time to go because the weather is more comfortable than summer, but still very nice. It’s also a bit less touristy than during the Summer, when a lot of Europeans are taking their holidays, as they call it.

Take a look at these photos, which highlight our favorite experiences in each location with descriptions and useful tidbits in case you are planning a trip of your own. We hope you enjoy these little snippets of our travel adventure together!

Prague Travelogue by The Nutty Pear

Prague Travelogue by The Nutty Pear

The Prague skyline along the Vltava river is stunning. We enjoyed its views walking along the river and across the Charles bridge and by taking a night boat-ride along the Vltava.

The St. Vitus Cathedral is our favorite architectural piece of Prague. This gothic church is located within the Prague Castle. The detail is absolutely amazing!

The Kampa island on the Vltava river has these charming little canals that they nickname, “Prague’s Venice.” There are some restaurants along the canal so we popped in for a “take away” beer to enjoy outdoors :)

In order to really experience the food of the Czechs, we booked a food tour through “Eating Europe Tours.” Traditional Czech food is very heavy and they don’t use a lot of fresh vegetables, making it not the most appealing to me. The food tour was a great way to learn about and try their traditional Czech foods, but also get into some of their modern, fresher takes on meals.

1. Maso (meats) from a local butcher shop were awesome! Some of the best sausages and hams.

2. Chlebicky (open-faced sandwiches) with a gourmet twist. Trav’s favorite.

3. Classic bohemian/Eastern European soup made with fermented sauerkraut, potato and mushrooms in a venison sausage broth. This was my favorite!

4. Svickova (beef sirloin in a cream sauce with dumplings). This is a very typical Czech meal. And yes that is whipped cream on top!

Of course Czechs are famous for their beer, so we had a local beer with every meal, which were super fresh!

We stayed in the Vinorhady neighborhood near a metro station. It was perfect location. Lots of cute pubs and cafes in the neighborhood and easy access to transportation for getting around. We would stay there again.

Next stop is Rome!