Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Fitness Routine

Happy Tuesday!
I had shared over on Instagram a few months ago that I have finally found a fitness routine and meal plan that works for me. I received so many questions about it that I thought it would be easiest to put a post together. Full disclaimer that I am not a fitness guru nor am I a nutritionist, this is just what has worked for me. 

With my wedding having been coming up this September I really wanted to look and feel my best so I started making some changes in May and have had some great results. I was able to tone up as well as shed a few pounds from too many breads and sweets! 

Fitness Routine //
I don't follow any crazy program, I don't have a gym membership and I don't work out for hours on end. The one thing I've learned about working out is that it needs to be sustainable. It's not realistic for me to go to the gym every day, but it is realistic for me to set aside 30-45 minutes at home to workout. 
1 // Cardio 
I start my workouts with 15-20 minutes of cardio on a recumbent bike. Mine is from amazon and cost under $150 with prime. The bike itself has different resistance settings and is perfect for some basic cardio. You don't need anything fancy. While Peleton machines and Nordic track are great they're not necessary for a good workout. 
 2 // Arms
I always do arms after my cardio as my legs are usually a bit sore! I do 2-3 different exercises with simple 8-10 pound weights. My goal is always to tone not to build up muscle. I'm going to link below to videos demonstrating the exercises I do (much easier than trying to explain!) 
These are the main ones I do! Nothing fancy-
3 // Abs
Abs are my favorite workout to do! I love using the exercise ball for my ab workout as I feel like it does the best job at keeping me toned. Let me warn you that your abs are going to HURT after doing this!
4 // Legs/Butt
Legs have been the hardest thing for me to tone, not entirely sure why. All I can think of is that I have never attempted to gain any leg muscle until now. Like with the abs, I love to use the exercise ball for my leg workouts.
What I Eat // 
My food weaknesses are definitely carbs. I don't crave chocolate or sugary candy. I crave garlic bread, and pasta, and bagels, and toast- YUM! So in full disclosure, I had to stop eating all of those things on the regular.
Breakfast // 
During the workweek, I'm not big on breakfast so I will just have a banana and my coffee (much needed!). On the weekends I like having scrambled eggs with veggies or a yogurt parfait. Around 10:30 is when my students have a snack so I usually have some mixed nuts or one of THESE fig bars, they're so good!
Lunch // 
I'm much more of a snacker than I am a big meal type of person. I purchased one of THESE lunch containers and it has been such a game-changer! What I've loved most about the container is that it helps me with portion control. There are 3 sections in the container. In one section I put veggies ( I love cucumber, carrots and snap peas), in another section, I put a fruit (grapes, orange slices, berries), and in the final section, I put a protein like peppered turkey and cheese and make little rollups. I also bring a container of hummus to dip my veggies in. This lunch combo leaves me feeling full and satisfied since I was able to have a few different things. I really avoid breads and sandwiches at lunch as all it does is leave me feeling bloated.
Dinner // 
It's no secret that I love cooking. Preparing and plating meals is one of my favorite things to do. Kyle & I love Mexican food so 2/3 times a week we have some kind of Mexican dish. I'm not very restrictive when it comes to what I make for dinner. I generally don't make pasta dishes and I don't serve bread/rolls with dinner. We always start with some kind of salad and then a main dish. One of my favorite meals is maple salmon and brussel sprouts, so good! I also do not have dessert. While I love treats I find that it's just not great to eat them before bed. We always eat dinner around 5:30 so we're never eating past 7, it allows time to digest before lying in bed.
* Have healthy snacks! Any cut veggies or fruits are great go-to's. We also always have yogurt in our fridge.
* Limit beer intake! Kyle loves beer but we don't have any during the week. All of those calories and carbs in beer really adds up.
* No fancy Starbucks drinks! You would not believe all the junk in those drinks. Besides it being wildly expensive it's also pretty unhealthy if you're getting anything besides a basic coffee or tea.

Let me know if you have any questions. I hope this was a bit helpful!
Sunday, August 4, 2019

What's In My Bag // Louis Vuitton Neverfull

Hi All & Happy Sunday!
The weather has been beautiful here in Vermont lately so we've been soaking up every second of it. We're headed out on vacation later this week so I was cleaning out my bag and thought it would be the perfect time to share what I carry in my bag as well as a little review of the purse itself. 

What's in my bag? //

  • Felt OrganizerIf you use a tote bag as your everyday bag you NEED one of these felt organizer inserts. The organizer has been such a game-changer in a bag this size. Tote bags are very practical as they can fit so much, but they can also turn into black holes fast- and there's nothing worse than frantically trying to find your keys in your black hole of a bag- that's why you need this organizer! Another benefit of using this organizer is that you can easily switch between bags as everything is organized within it. 
  • Mentos Gum- YUM, definitely a new favorite of mine. My Mom got me some a few months back and I love it, so if you're looking for some gum next time you're at the store try this one.
  •  Fresh Sugar Lip Balm- This is one of my favorite products! I have it in a few different shades. I love how hydrating it is and that it contains SPF. 
  • Baggu Reusable Bag- Vermont recently passed a single-use plastic ban which means starting in the new year stores will no longer give out plastic bags and paper bags will come with a 10 cent charge. I decided to get ahead of the game and start using my reusable bags now. I love these Baggu ones as they fold up into the little bags they come with. I always keep one in my handbag. 
  • Personalized Leather Keychain-  This keychain is great quality and a great price. I got it a few months ago and have loved it. It would also make the perfect gift!
  • Ray-Ban Sunglasses-  If you're going to get one pair of sunglasses these classic aviators are the ones to get. They come in a few different colors and are a decent price for designer shades. 
  • L'Oreal Lipstick- This is the best drugstore lipstick- I always have a tube of the shade 'Eva's Nude' in my bag. It's a great neutral that has some rosiness to it. 
Thoughts on the Neverfull // 
Kyle got me the Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM in Nashville while we were on vacation. I had been wanting one and when we went to look at it in-store (as we don't have any stores here) he got it for me (he's the best!). Anyways, I've had the bag for about 5 months now so I feel like I can give a pretty honest review. Do I think the bag is extremely expensive for a purse? Yes. Do I love it? Yes! You're either into designer bags or you're not and that's okay. I personally love designer pieces. If you love designer pieces I think this tote is a great investment. It's the perfect everyday bag that will last you for years. I also love that this bag comes with a clutch (pictured above) so it's an added bonus. I use the clutch to hold my cards and cash- this is perfect because if I don't feel like carrying the bag I can just grab the clutch out of it. The one drawback of this particular bag is the Vachetta leather- this leather starts off as an almost pink tone and gradually over time darkens to a honey color. The issue I have with this is that when you first get the bag the leather can easily become stained by water or lotions so you have to be careful unless those kinds of things don't bother you (I'm OCD about that). If you're wanting a more 'carefree' bag I would suggest getting a different color as the trim won't be the Vachetta leather. 

What's one must have item you carry in your handbag? 

I hope you've enjoyed!

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Friday, July 26, 2019

Vermont Date Night Idea

Hi All!
I'm so excited to be sharing with you the BEST Vermont date night! Kyle & I did this a few weeks ago and he was raving about it to everyone for the next week. What I'm talking about is the Champlain Valley Dinner Train. 

The Champlain Valley Dinner Train is, as the name indicates, a dinner train that runs from Burlington to Middlebury right along Lake Champlain. The train ride is about 3 hours long, departing at 5:30 and returning around 8:30. Your ticket on the train includes your train ride as well as a 3-course gourmet meal.

My Favorite Things: 

The Food // 
My meal was SO good, and I'm not just saying that! I would seriously ride the train again just to have the chef cook me that meal again. I believe I had some sort of white fish stuffed with a seafood stuffing and my goodness was it good. The flavor was incredible, I couldn't believe he made it on the tiny kitchen in one of the train cars.
The Views // 
One of the best things Vermont has to offer is its scenery and what better way to see it then on a train? It was so fun to ride through the rural farms and watch the sunset over Lake Champlain. It was a great reminder of how beautiful our state is. I also loved that the windows on the train opened so when we were going slower speeds we had the windows open to really take the view in. 

Customizable Experience //
In addition to your regular train ticket, you are able to add on different packages if you want. One of the packages was the romance package which included roses, champagne, and chocolate-covered strawberries- YUM! The other package we had included access to the lounge which had amazing live music and hor's d' oeuvres- so good! Having the ability to move from our table car to the lounge was really nice as it gave us the opportunity to move around vs. sitting at our table for the duration of the ride and the music was great!

Overall I can't say enough good things about our experience on the train. I think this would make the best birthday, wedding,  or anniversary gift for anyone. I love the idea of giving an experience vs. a typical gift. Kyle and I are excited to ride the train again. We were told they even do fun murder mystery train rides! 

Let me know if you take the train! I'd love to hear your thoughts.


* This post is in collaboration with Green Mountain Railroad. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that support Nicholle Sophia