With the New Year almost upon us, it's time to set some new goals and look at what we'd like to accomplish in 2018! For me, it's starting a new routine. Of course, most of us make the resolution to get in shape, go to the gym more and eat healthier. All great goals, but once January comes to an end, the gym doesn't seem quite as packed as it was at the start of the month. So, yes, I'd like to go to the gym more and eat healthier, but really, I'll be working on developing a better eat/sleep schedule and incorporating the best workout routine for me.
For me, group workouts are best and having an instructor that challenges me. I also know that if I don't go to the gym right after work, it ain't happening! I like to have accountability too, so prearranging dates and times to go with a friend or knowing the instructor is expecting me, makes skipping no longer an option. So I've been trying out a few different classes and places to find the best one for me that I can make work with my new routine.
Recently, I gave CycleBar a try. It is no joke! It's a great group setting, the instructors are incredible, the music pumps you up and it definitely leaves you a sweaty mess!
Here's how it works - reserve your spot online, when you show up, check in and they have cycle shoes and a water bottle waiting for you. Change your shoes, fill your bottle, head inside and start warming up. The staff is super friendly and helpful with answering any questions. I needed some help the first time trying to figure out how in the world to lock the shoes into the bike!
What I have really enjoyed about these classes, is that it isn't just cycling. They incorporate a full body workout into the class. You're doing push ups on the bike, you're lifting weights while cycling, you're doing crunches, it keeps you moving and using a lot of different muscles.
Plus, on Sunday's they host a brunch after your ride and on Friday's they have a TGIF Party Ride and host happy hour afterwards. Each class has a different theme from a Beyonce to Ed Sheeran music video series to a Glow Ride party. It's always something different and entertaining.
So, let's try this thing out together. I talked with Chris, the franchise owner, and he agreed to offer a special discount to our readers!
First Ride FREE: RSRider - This code works for your first FREE ride at CycleBar Leawood. Visit Leawood.Cyclebar.com and select "drop-in ride." Enter RSRider as the promo code and your first ride will be FREE!
New Rider Promotion Code: Rachel10 - If you want to sign up for a few classes, this code will work for 10% OFF the New Rider 10 Pack (discounted currently to $99) AND New Rider Unlimited for 3 months. The discount would make the new price $89. That is less than $9/ride for the 10 Pack and $7/ride for Unlimited if you ride at least 3x per week. Great deal for new riders! FYI this code is only valid for rider's first time purchase at CycleBar Leawood.
I've only tried out a few classes so far, but I'm loving them and it's been awesome motivation! So find a buddy, sign up and keep each other accountable and working together on accomplishing our goals (all the way through December, 2018!).
What are your new year's resolution? Share with me in the comments!
Happy Friday! Hope you all had a very merry Christmas and wishing you a very happy New Year!
The perfect holiday outfit. :)
Good morning, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas spent with family and close friends. New Years Eve is right around the corner, and I'm sure you are all trying to figure out the perfect outfit if you have plans to go out! So, I thought I would share some of my favorite Pinterest outfit ideas for you to find some inspiration. Enjoy!
I love little slip-dresses! I think they are (typically) always flattering and this one is just adorable! I love how the sparkle dresses it up. Pair it with a wide velvet choker and some strappy heels! You will be sure to be comfortable and fabulous all night long. An effortless look for sure! I love this one from H&M.
Ok, this one is super simple and will not cost you hardly anything. Grab your favorite black dress and pair it with a snazzy blazer (you most likely already have one for work attire!). Or if not, head over to H&M, because they have some adorable holiday blazers!
These high waisted pants with this sparkly crop top...I mean...Come on! I am in love. This is such a sassy and sophisticated look all in one outfit. I loveeee all of the dress pants that Express sells, so head over there if you need a good pair!
If you are going to be somewhere warm this NYE, then I suggest a sparkly, flouncy romper. You don't have to dress it up much and can be comfortable in warmer weather. I love the shape of this particular one. Here is a similar look from Shein!
What's your favorite NYE look? Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you!
Merry Christmas y'all! We hope you have a magical Christmas day celebrating the birth of our Savior!
Rachel had to work on Christmas morning so her parents and husband came to see her in action!
Merry Christmas to you all! Enjoy!
It's the Friday before Christmas! Finally! We are so excited to be enjoying time with family and friends. We've each had plenty of holiday parties this month, so here are our Holiday Party Fashion Friday picks!
This is my favorite time of year! It can be stressful, super busy and sometimes a little crazy, but I just love it. There's nothing better than pulling out the Christmas decorations, listening to holiday tunes and lighting the Christmas tree. It's a time to gather with family, be a little more generous and people are just a bit more jolly.
Traditions, particularly holiday traditions, are an incredible way to tie your family together and is a custom that you share with loved ones. I recently heard someone describe family traditions as "a family's love language". Isn't that the sweetest?
Well, I'm here today to share a few of my family's Christmas traditions with you. I'd also enjoy hearing what your family does year after year. Please share them with me in the comments. Don't be surprised if we like them so much, we incorporate them into ours!
The Christmas traditions start for the Santschis as soon as Thanksgiving is over! It is, by far, my brother's absolute favorite day of the year. On Black Friday, we climb into the attic to retrieve all the boxes loaded with holiday decorations and lights. It's a day dedicated to decorating the Christmas tree, drinking hot cocoa and eggnog by a roaring fire and, of course, watching Home Alone.
I swear, I think our family can quote the entire movie beginning to end. It is one of our all time favorites and is an absolute must every Christmas. The best part is that my dad laughs so hard, like abs hurt the next day hard, that it makes all of us crack up even more!
Christmas Eve Church & Dinner
Another one of my favorite traditions is how we spend Christmas Eve. We get all dressed up, pile into the car and go to church. As a family, we worship our Lord and Savior and celebrate the birth of Jesus. It's always a beautiful service and after church, we head over to Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen (one of our favorite restaurants in Dallas). They don't have a location in the KC area, so when I go home, it is such a treat and one of our favorite meals! Afterwards, we drive around a few neighborhoods and enjoy the beauty of the Christmas lights.
There is a house near our old neighborhood that we still go back to see year after year because it is always phenomenal! They go all out and even turn their garage into a winter wonderland. As kids, it was our all-time favorite house to see and when we go back to visit, it's like we're five years old oohhing and aahhing over it!
Once we're back from our Christmas Eve extravaganza, it's time for one present. Dad starts a fire in the fireplace, mom and I make hot cocoa for everyone, and my brother turns on the holiday music. Finally, my brother and I were allowed to open one gift, but not just any gift. We could only open the present we got for each other. We never had any other gifts under the tree until Santa had visited and when we got up on Christmas morning, we were always amazed. As young kids, it was the most spectacular sight to see how the family room was transformed between the time we went to bed and the time we got up. Kudos to my mom and dad for always making this special.
Now that we're married, we save all of our gifts for Christmas day, but as kids, we loved this tradition! Plus, I'm sure it was a way that my mom could get us to stop constantly asking about our presents.
This one is probably a more common tradition. Each year, on Christmas Eve, mom gives us all matching pajamas! Now that we're both married, our spouses get in on the fun as well. :)
Christmas morning is a big to-do at the Santschi home. The holiday music is on, we each have our spots in the living room and we dig into our stockings first, then move to the wrapped gifts. As kids, it was, of course, all about the presents that we got. Now, it's so much more fun watching each family member's reaction to the special gifts we choose for them.
Once all the gifts are opened and the wrapping paper is cleaned up, we're all starving, so dad starts cooking. He makes a huge Christmas morning spread, which always includes his famous breakfast burritos. Yum! We gather around the table and chow down, sip mimosas and share lots of laughs.
After the kitchen is cleaned, we flip on some football or maybe a movie and enjoy the rest of the day together. There's usually a nap somewhere in the day along with snacking, rooting for our favorite team, playing card games and, if the weather is nice, there's some backyard football too. That evening though we'll all gather 'round the table again for a big dinner. We eat, we drink, we laugh and we love. Always a very special day with my favorite people.
The holidays are just the best time of year! I love this time with my family and now sharing it with my husband's family too. This year, we'll be starting some of our own traditions as a newly married couple. Any suggestions on traditions we should start? I'm excited and I'd love to hear what your family traditions are.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
It's the week before Christmas! We are so excited about all of the fun, festive things going on. It's the best time of the year spent with family, anticipating the joy of Christmas Day. For some, it's their first Christmas as newlyweds. For others, it may be their first Christmas with a newborn baby. Whatever it is, we know that these types of "First Christmas" are typically very special. For others, it may be your first Christmas without a loved one and the anticipation of that first Christmas without feels more like dread. Dread of how you will feel that morning waking up without that loved one you held so close to your heart. Dread of going through the motions and replacing joy with sadness.
You are who I am writing to today. I am writing to you today because I think in the midst of all of the festivities, gift giving, and preparation we forget to turn our hearts towards those who are experiencing something very new and painful for the first time.
My mother is experiencing her first Christmas without her mother this year. I know that this will not be an easy Christmas for her and I want to lean in to her specifically. I want to be more sensitive, understanding, and hug her a lot more. I want to let it go when she gets flustered. I want to just lean in to where her heart is that day. I want to wake up that morning and be present for her.
In my work we talk a lot about the beautiful state vs. the suffering state. The beautiful state represents happiness, love, peace. This state feels almost automatic because it's when things are just right. The suffering state represents depression, anger, loss. We talk about moving between those two states and making it a choice. This doesn't mean the pain disappears. This doesn't mean that grief isn't real and shouldn't be dealt with. This means allowing yourself to still enjoy life. To still look forward to beautiful things. To choose joy.
Choosing joy is not easy and often frustrating, but we can choose it. For me, this looks like shifting my focus. Shifting my eyes towards heaven and the coming of my Savior when He alone will make all things right. For me, it's choosing to look heavenward at the anticipation of the second coming.
I recently spoke with my mom about how my grandfather is handling the festivities without his wife, his better half. She was so encouraged by him because he chose to decorate their home, even though his best friend wasn't there to help him. He chose to go Christmas shopping for all of his grandchildren. He chose to send out Christmas cards signing only his name. At first, this made me so sad thinking of him doing all of it alone. But then, I was immediately filled with pride for him. He chose a beautiful state. He chose to enjoy the season even in the midst of his pain and grief. Please hear me. I am not diminishing your grief and your pain. My words are only here to offer encouragement for you in this season. We often think we can't do certain things when we can. We can do more than we could ever imagine, especially with the power and help of Jesus.
If this is you, then my prayer for you this Christmas is that you see glimmers of Christ's glory. I pray that you would have incredibly special moments with family and friends. I pray that you would enjoy the little things. I pray that you would cry when you need to cry and laugh when you need to laugh. Please know that it is Christ who mourns with us and so we mourn together. But with great anticipation and joy, we look heavenward for the second coming when all will be made right. And when you make that choice to choose joy, I pray that you would be blessed tremendously with the power to do so in that moment.
If this is a Christmas that is joyful for you this year because of so many fun firsts, I am so excited for you. I pray you make many sweet memories that last a lifetime. I ask that you lean into those around you who are dreading Christmas because of loss. Send a text, write a note or just give a hug. Whatever it is that you do, just remember that leaning in is sometimes the most powerful thing you can do for someone.
Hope you had a fantastic week and are ready to relax and have a fun weekend.
Check out our Fashion Friday picks for today!
We've all been there - the holidays have snuck up on us and we still need to grab a few last minute gifts before the big day! Well, we are just a few weeks away and I've got you covered. Here are five gift ideas that will be a big hit and won't break the bank. Plus, I've included some specials for you as well! There's also a big giveaway to receive a FREE item at the end of this post!
Note: I do not receive compensation for any sales or any posts on this website. I only post my opinion.
5. Mugs from Sassy Pearls of Wisdom
Amy Kate, owner of Sassy Pearls of Wisdom is just a sweetheart and is as talented as can be. I ordered custom mugs from her when I asked my girlfriends to be my bridesmaids. They were perfect! She even included a special tag that read, "Will you be my bridesmaid?." They were each unique and custom made to fit their personalities and the girls loved them.
She doesn't just design mugs though. She also creates t-shirts, home decor, bags, name plates, and the list goes on. She has fun, loving, family friendly items, as well as some hilarious, adult approved items...I'll let you poke around her Instagram for those. Ha! She has some ready to go - browse here - or you can request a custom order with you choice of saying or name.
Currently, she is holding a last call for custom mugs and shirts, so if you would like to order something special, get in touch with her as soon as possible so you can have your gifts in time for Christmas! You won't regret it.
--> Sassy Pearls of Wisdom
4. Easy Wine Opener
For all my fellow wine lovers out there, I have found the hands down, absolute best and easiest wine opener out there. We received it as a wedding gift and let me tell you, it is a game changer. Plus, it's only $29.99! It was one of our favorite gifts and now we are giving it to our friends and family for weddings, birthday, the holidays, etc.
It's the Brookstone Connoisseurs Compact Wine Opener from Bed Bath & Beyond. No tugging, no struggle, and no hoping and praying the cork doesn't crumble. It makes opening a bottle of wine effortless and smooth and only takes a matter of seconds.
--> Brookstone Connoisseurs Compact Wine Opener
3. The Glam Room
Show photo below for $20 off your first service of $50 or more!
Grab a gift card from The Glam Room and I promise it won't disappoint! Who doesn't want to be treated at a relaxing spa and beauty bar? This place has it all too. From hair cuts to waxing, to massages and facials, plus lash lifts and extensions. It has all your beauty needs. Click here for a full list of services offered. I am at The Glam Room on a regular basis and get everything done here. I highly recommend their services. My favorites are The Glam Facial and the 80 minute Swedish Massage with hot stones - fantastic!
This would be a wonderful gift for a girlfriend, co-worker, or invite mom to make it a mother/daughter spa day and try a few services! Or surprise the hubby with a romantic evening for two and book a couples massage.
Because I am at The Glam Room so often, I asked the owner if I could treat our readers to a special this holiday season. They graciously offered to take $20 off your first service of $50 or more if you show them the photo below when booking your appointment! If you are making an appointment over the phone, just let them know you have this.
--> 816-605-1949 or Book Online at The Glam Room
Located at 308 Delaware Street, Kansas City, MO 64105
Mention this post to receive $5 your order!
Earlier this week, I posted about my experience with Lipsense. Overall, it has been phenomenal. I truly love this stuff. It is so easy, it lasts through the day, and I never have to reapply or worry if my lipstick still looks fresh. I was skeptical, but after trying it for myself, I'm onboard 100%.
You can read my full post here--> Lipsense - Does it really work?
This would be a great stocking stuffer or the perfect gift for a gal pal. I ordered my colors and gloss fromTara's Style lounge. I asked Tara if I could feature her page here on the blog and offer a discount to our readers! She agreed, so be sure to mention this post and you'll get $5 off of your order.
There are hundreds of colors to chose from, I am loving Roseberry and Pink Champagne!
--> Tara's Style Lounge
1. Smart Devices
The Google Home Mini or the Amazon Echo Dot - both are hot commodities right now. We have an Amazon Echo Dot and it is incredible. You say, "Alexa," and then ask her to stream music, create a running list of needed grocery items, or just ask about the forecast for the day or use it as a timer. Its really convenient.
Since I don't have the Google Home Mini, here's an excerpt on how it works - "Just start with “Ok Google” to get answers from Google, tackle your day, enjoy your entertainment, and control your smart home. And when you ask for help, it can tell your voice from others for a more personalized experience."
To me, they seem about the same, plus they are each available for $30. Do some research and figure out which one you like best, but either way, you can't go wrong. This really is a perfect gift for anyone on your list!
Take a look at my Instagram page to win a FREE Amazon Echo Dot!
--> Google Home Mini or Amazon Echo Dot
Hope this gives you some great ideas for your holiday shopping this year!
Let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions!
My best friend recently invited me to a wreath making class. She told me I HAD to go and that I would love it. I'm constantly surrounded by incredibly creative people and there is a wide gap between their ability and mine, so I was hesitant to go and even more hesitant that I would enjoy it. I expected it might be very frustrating for this non-creative human and maybe even a lot of work, however, I was wrong on all levels!
Hosted by the Perfect Little Store, this wreath making class took place on a Friday night in Germantown. Abbey, the owner of the Perfect Little Store, did a wonderful job making everyone feel like they were capable of making something really beautiful. She had a table full of yummy treats, like cheese plates and macarons, along with wine and other beverages. Needless to say, I needed a little bit of liquid courage to take on the task of making a wreath.
After I got settled with my treats and wine, it was time to conquer the task of creating a beautiful wreath for the holiday season. Abbey provide a variety of different greenery with notes on how much to take at a time. She then guided us through the necessary steps to get started. And, once I got started, it was actually much easier than I thought it would be.
We came and we conquered! Not only did we make some pretty cute wreaths, but I felt like Super Woman after I overcame my lack of confidence in possessing the necessary creativity to make a wreath I’d actually be proud to hang at my home! Yay, me!
Afterwards, we strolled through her adorable little shop. She has the best shop for gifts. Everything in her store was aesthetically pleasing to the senses. From the layout to the tiny details, this girl knows what she is doing. She is incredibly creative and uses her gifts to bring life to others. I love it when people are so intentional about using their gifts.
All in all, it was a beautiful night full of women encouraging women, creativity and a little shopping. All of my favorite things in one place. What could be better?
If you haven’t heard, there is a lip color craze that is an absolute “must try” - Lipsense. What makes it a standout product, is it's long-lasting capability. Lipsense is said to be "waterproof, does not kiss-off, smear-off, rub-off or budge-off." I've been intrigued by this product and skeptical about it's true longevity. So, recently I gave it a try. Here's a look at my pros and cons, or just skip to the bottom for my overview.
I'm on air for 4 ½ hours every morning and with breaking news or developing stories, there’s too much going on to stop and touch up my lipstick. My products need to go on once and last, not only through several hours of talking, but also through the quick breaks when I get a chance to grab a cup of coffee or a bite to eat. And, bonus, it doesn’t leave a lipstick mark on my coffee cup.
When I get ready in the very, very, very early morning, the last thing I do when applying my makeup, is use Lipsense. That one application will last ALL DAY. It's incredible!
Once I apply the color in the morning, the only thing I need throughout the day is the gloss. I use it every couple of hours and it keeps my lip color shimmering and looking fresh. The gloss also works as a moisturizer. It has shea butter and vitamin E to nourish, condition and soothe lips. Also, I typically opt to carry a small clutch so just having to have the gloss and no extra lipstick works perfect for me.
There are so many different colors to choose from, you’ll want to have more than one. For on air, I mix colors - a layer of Roseberry, basically a light red, and two layers of Pink Champagne (below). For everyday use, I like to just use the Pink Champagne. It's a great subtle and neutral color with a hint of pink. Right now, I only have those two colors and the gloss, but I'll definitely be trying out some different shades soon.
And, if worn every day, one tube last 4 - 6 months!
I am a Chapstick girl. I carry it around everywhere I go and use it constantly. However, when using Lipsense, Chapstick is a no-no.
Lipsense works to remove wax build up on your lips, meaning you will go through an exfoliation phase. Your lips will feel like they are dry at first, instead of using Chapstick or other lipsticks, you need to stick with the Lipsense gloss. Otherwise, you will continue to create build up, while the Lipsense is trying to remove it. This one was hard for me, but the exfoliation phase only last about two weeks. Once that's over, your lips will feel softer and the Lipsense will wear even better.
Also, because it doesn't rub off on anything, which is a pro, the con is removing it. You can purchase the Lipsense remover, which makes it easy to wipe off, or use a Neutrogena makeup remover wipe.
When applying Lipsense, you may feel a cool tingle. This is the cosmetic grade SD alcohol evaporating off the lip and depositing the color behind.
I'm hooked! I use it every single morning and I love it! And, no, I am not getting paid to say this. HA! I truly love this stuff. It is so easy, it lasts through the day, and I never have to reapply or worry if my lipstick is still on. Like I said, I was skeptical of this product, but after trying it for myself, I'm on board.
I bought my Lipsense from Tara's Style Lounge. She's running a special right now - free shipping if you order two colors and a gloss. Plus, she's treating our readers extra special, if you mention this post, you'll also receive $5 off of your order!
Looking for a unique gift for a hostess, a teacher, or your Secret Santa? Here’s your answer! Give it a try and let me know what color or color combinations you like the most.
Let me know what you think!
Good morning and happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend indulging in some of your favorite things! Since getting back from Europe, my husband and I have been on a pasta kick. However, it’s not easy finding authentic Italian food that tastes just like it was prepared in Italy. We have had to search and search and a few weeks ago we came somewhat close! For this pasta lover, I'll take close!
Pastaria recently opened its doors and has been packed every night since. They do not take reservations, so if you don't want to wait, make sure you get there by at least 5:30 to beat the crowd.
We arrived for dinner between 5:30 and 6:00 on a Sunday night. We always like to order a glass of wine or a cocktail with our dinner, and bonus, they have a great happy hour! We ordered a carafe of wine (about 4 glasses) for $13. In Nashville, TN that’s a steal!
We decided it was a must to try the crispy risotto balls and they were incredible! They come with a marinara sauce and herb aioli. I surprisingly preferred the aioli with mine.
After our appetizer, the hubs ordered the classic Spaghetti Bolognese and I ordered the Pistachio Ravioli. They were both absolutely delicious! Blake is a major Bolognese fan and I typically go with creamier pasta, so I was really excited to try something different. The Pistachio Ravioli has a brown butter sauce that is melt in your mouth good. It has a hint of lemon which adds a nice zest. My leftovers were even better the next day!
They also have a carving station for bread that is fresh out of the oven. I could have been happy just indulging in the bread and olive oil. The smell filled the air and I was drooling from the moment we walked in the door.
Did I mention that the restaurant is also aesthetically pleasing? They have a beautiful open kitchen where you can watch the staff prepare the breads, pizzas and pastas. The lighting is just right and decor is unique. I would be happy to just sit in their dining room munching on bread and sipping on wine while reading a good book.
So with that being said, if you find yourself in the mood for some pasta and a great happy hour, check out Pastaria! I think your tastebuds will be pleasantly surprised!
Happy Friday everyone! We just spent the past week together and it was THE best! It's so fun to have a sister that you enjoy spending time with. It's also a perk when you can wear each other's clothes ;) You will see for this week's Fashion Friday we both stole a few items from each other's closet to change things up! Below were our picks for a night out this past Saturday!