Showing posts with label winter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label winter. Show all posts

February 12, 2018

5 Last-Minute Valentine's Day Gifts in Baltimore

Disclosure: All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not affiliated with or sponsored by any of the aforementioned brands or businesses. I work for Charm City Run and CorePower Yoga, but the thoughts in this post do not reflect those of the companies. 


With February being a shorter month, I find that the days and weeks just fly by. That means that Valentine's Day is also in just two short days! If you have completely forgotten, do not fear! I am sharing a list of 5 easy, last-minute Valentine's Day gifts for the special people in your life from local businesses. Despite my dislike of the pressure of this one big day and the hiked-up prices of prix-fixe dinners for the holiday, I do really love having the holiday as a reminder to spend some time with your significant other or Valentine. I keep it pretty low key, with a Galentine's Day brunch the weekend before and a nice dinner with flowers from my boyfriend for the actual holiday. Pro tip-surprise your valentine with a gift or dinner the day before or after to avoid the rush and prix-fixe menus! In a busy world, sometimes we need a silly holiday to remind those special in our life how much we care about them. 

As you know, I love supporting small businesses, especially when there are so many amazing businesses right here in Baltimore. Here are 5 Last-Minute Valentine's Day gifts for your Valentine, Galentine, or anyone who could use a little love in their life. 

5 Last-Minute Valentine's Day Gifts in Baltimore

1. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries from Berries by Quicha

What says "I love you" more than chocolate-covered strawberries?! I planning on stopping by Berries by Quicha right here in Federal Hill in Baltimore to grab some of their amazing and unique chocolate-covered strawberries. They have flavors such as Reese, Bacon, and even a Ciroc-liquor infused chocolate-covered strawberry! Besides sounding tasty, their strawberries and special holiday packages look beautiful. 

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries from Berries by Quicha
{Source
According to their Facebook page, TODAY is the last day to pre-order for guaranteed selection for the holiday either via their website, store (920 Light St), or by calling at 410-440-3239. 

2. Cupcake from Dessert Fantasies

For a simple sweet treat for your special someone or your Galentine, grab a cupcake or cookie from Dessert Fantasies in Locust Point. I sampled their cupcakes at a Yelp event a couple times, and they were delicious.  I would love to have this adorable unicorn cupcake shared on their Instagram feed ::hint::hint:: 

Cupcake from Dessert Fantasies

Scrolling through their Instagram are photos of cupcakes, cookies, and chocolate-covered oreos so there are a bunch of sweet options for you to choose from. 

According to their Facebook page, Dessert Fantasies (1433 E Fort Ave) is open today from 1-6 PM and will be posting extended hours for Tuesday and Thursday. You can contact the bakery at 410-929-2073 or 443-763-9373.  

3. Gift card to Charm City Run or CorePower Yoga

The perfect gift for any occasion for the special runner or yogi in your life is a gift card to Charm City Run to stock up on some spring training essentials or a gift card to CorePower Yoga to take some classes or buy new yoga gear. It's also the perfect way to give an opportunity for some self-care to a friend or loved one. Another fab idea is buying a water bottle and filling it with some sweet treats and candy for your Galentine! 

CorePower Yoga-valentine
{Source}

4. Mouth Party Caramels

Mouth Party Caramels are an addictive, delicious and soft caramel that melts in your mouth (and is based right in Timonium). It is also my favorite sweet treat to buy at the register when I'm at Whole Foods or Charm City Run-Locust Point. 

They have standard flavors including original, sea salt, and Chesapeake (with a touch of Old Bay of course!) as well as a special Valentine's Day flavor-dark chocolate raspberry. You can order online (check their delivery options since it's cutting it close to the big day!) or find the location nearest you locally that carries their product (they are in so many stores in the city). 
Mouth Party Caramels
{Source}

5. Flowers available at a variety of local stores and florists

When in doubt, flowers are always a welcome surprise for a loved one or friend. Whole Foods in Harbor East has been advertising 2 dozen roses for $24.99. Also I highly encourage you to support local florists such as Local Color Flowers, Pearson's Florist, and Rosie's Posies (I have only personally used Pearson's but am always swooning over Local Color Flowers Instagram. Rosie's Posies is in Cross St Market and has good reviews!). 

Do you have any other last-minute Valentine's Gifts from the Baltimore area? Do you celebrate Valentine's Day?

February 10, 2017

{5 Friday Favorites} Otters, Micellar Water, and Tea

Disclosure: I received complimentary samples of Yogi Tea through my partnership as a Women's Health Action Hero. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Happy Friday! My graduate school spring semester has started, and my schedule is the craziest yet because apparently that was possible. I'm slowly building up my running to hopefully 4 or 5 miles this weekend which is great. I've also been eating a lot of Trader Joe's mini frozen pizzas for dinner, which isn't the healthiest but is quite delicious. It's all about taking life one day at a time. Anyways, here are my 5 Friday favorites this week-have a fabulous weekend! 

Favorite Animal Video: Otter pup in the snow at Yellowstone Park


So it was really tough to pick just one video. I watch so many cute animal videos during the week because they make me happy (and give me hope that is world is wonderful). I loved this video of a little otter enjoying the snow in Yellowstone Park. I am dying to get out to some of the National Parks out west. 

Favorite Beauty Find: Trader Joe's Micellar Cleanser wipes

trader-joes-micellar-cleanser-towelettes

So I was introduced to micellar water after first trying the Garnier micellar water because it had good reviews for cleaning skin and removing makeup. Micelles are pretty much surfactants or tiny clusters of micelle molecules that are suspended in water and actually in many other makeup removers and toners (I'm a science nerd so I researched it!). The micelles attract dirt, grime,and oil and remove them from your skin without drying out your skin so you can just wipe your face off with micellar water on a cotton ball. 

 I have been using it to remove my makeup at night, and like that it doesn't dry out my face or leave an oily residue. ANYWAYS, I impulsively picked these up at Trader Joe's this week and like the towelette form which would be a nice form for travel. So far I think they are great, however it's probably cheaper to just use the micellar water and cotton balls than the 20 packs of towelettes because I use it every day. 

Favorite Weather This Week: Short Sleeves Weather

December 7, 2016

5 Winter Workout Items to Put On Your Wish List {and Athleta Giveaway from one of the best gyms in Pittsburgh}

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by XShadyside. The giveaway gift card is provided by and will be delivered by XShadyside for my readers.

 I'm currently still recovering from my injury, but I can't wait for the day soon that I get to start running again. I'm going to start adding in some workouts this week after not having gotten my sweat on in over a month. That means I'm definitely adding some fun winter running and workout clothes to my Christmas Wish List. Who am I kidding, I rock tights and running clothes as part of my regular wardrobe even if I'm not working out. Here are five items I have my eye on from my favorite brands. 


Also thanks to one of the best gyms in Pittsburgh, there's a giveaway below for a $25 Athleta gift card so you can treat yourself before the holidays! 


5-winter-workout-items-to-put-on-your-wish-list

5 Winter Workout Apparel Items to Put On Your Wish List 

1. Women's Distance Long Sleeve Running Shirt from Brooks Running ($44)
This is my favorite color and the shirt looks SO comfortable for working out or lounging around. 

2. Spandos Jane Bra from Oiselle ($64)
I LOVE all of the Spandos line which sells out fast. This bra offers nice coverage and is super cute. 

January 26, 2016

5 Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter

Disclosure: Wedderspoon USA sent me Manuka honey products to try out. I received no other compensation. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

If the largest blizzard ever to hit Baltimore and dump just shy of 30 inches on the city this weekend wasn't enough of a hint, winter is really here. While I've been trying to avoid getting sick since before the Chicago Marathon through my Fall finals in December, we still have some months of cold and flu season ahead of us. It's never a good time to get sick, but especially at the start of the semester or if you are just gearing up your spring race training and don't want any setbacks.  Here are some of the ways I attempt to stay healthy and illness-free. Reminder, I'm not a medical professional these are just my tips, so always ask and listen to your doctors!


5 Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter

1. Drink water. 
This should be on every health tips list. Water is just awesome for your body. In the winter sometimes it's harder for me because I'm not as thirsty during the day, but it's important to keep yourself hydrated.  

2. Stay well-rested. 
Getting enough sleep is another thing that sometimes is hard for me, especially when I'm in school and working.  Sleep deprivation suppresses the immune system which means you're more likely to catch a cold.  If I start to feel like I'm catching a cold, I always try to get a good nights sleep and take it easy for a couple days. 


5 Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter-sleep-bed

3. Be like Pooh and eat some honey.  
In recent years I've become more interested in homeopathic and natural treatments. Honey in general has many health benefits including being an antimicrobial, but raw honey also contains many vitamins and minerals which help boost the immune system and can treat coughs and sore throats. Raw honey is cloudier, but I don't think it tastes much different.  Wedderspoon had sent me some of their raw Manuka honey products to try in the Fall after meeting them at Expo East. I was having a spoonful of their honey every morning and using their ginger honey lozenges weeks before the Chicago Marathon because I was determined not to be sick for the race this year.  I just ordered some more raw honey because I've been using it in my tea daily. 


5 Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter-manduka-honey

4. Load up on citrus. 
Even though there are conflicting studies regarding Vitamin C and immune system benefits, I still try to get as much as I can in the winter. I figure it at least can't hurt! I keep oranges and grapefruits around for snacks and also take Vitamin C supplements. I also make sure to drink juices with plenty of fruits and veggies in them like the Gundalow Juice Sailor Sunrise. If I feel something coming on I'll also start drinking Emergen-C daily which includes lots of Vitamin C.  

5. Wash your hands & disinfect. 
Don't touch your face either! Washing your hands sounds like a no-brainer, but it really is one of the best ways to stop the spread of illness.  From working in a hospital for a bit I know that officially you are supposed to use soap and water and wash long enough to hum the "Happy Birthday" song twice. Something else I do all year round is wipe down my phone with disinfectant wipes every other day or so. With touch smart phones now I feel like there is a ton of germs on our phones, which we are holding all the time too, so cleaning them is probably a good idea. 


5 Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter-phone



What do you do to stay healthy through the winter?

January 22, 2016

5 Friday Favorites: 5 Snowed-In Must-Haves (or Blizzard Essentials)

I'm back with some Friday Favorites today. The news all week in the mid-Atlantic area has been about the impending wrath of Storm Jonas and possibly/probably the Snowmaggedon of 2016. People in the area have been freaking out, as usual. I mean look what one inch of snow did to the DC area Wednesday night. I worked at a grocery store in high school so I know what the words "snow coming" does to regular people who have common sense-it makes them crazy. Apparently my mom said the Walmart in the town I grew up in ran completely out of eggs yesterday at noon. 

Honestly, we're not going to be holed up in our homes more than a couple days so there's no need to stock up massive quantities of food. I'm also a little more lax now because in the city, I already know of liquor stores and restaurants vowing to stay open through it all.  Here's my list of must-haves that are all ready for Storm Jonas (and whatever brothers he brings, so cheesy I know). 


5 Friday Favorites: 5 Snowed-In Must-Haves (or Blizzard Essentials)


5 Friday Favorites: Snowed-in/Blizzard Must-Haves

1. Hot Cocoa

I'm totally all for having some hot cocoa year-round. The past week I've really gotten into the routine of having a big mug of hot chocolate  as I watch Netflix before bed because the combination of sweetness, chocolate, and warmth can't be beat. Sometimes I make my own with cacao powder but honestly I'm sometimes lazy and resort to instant hot chocolate packets. When it snows, it seems everybody jumps aboard the hot chocolate/hot cocoa train buying up packages of mini marshmallows or grabbing extra bottles of Baileys or Peppermint Schnapps to make it more of a party hot cocoa. It's the perfect snow day beverage. 

5 Friday Favorites: 5 Must-Haves When Snowed in (or When Expecting a Blizzard)-hot-cocoa

2. A Shovel 

This may seem obvious, but shovels break and winter sneaks up on you and suddenly the weather forecast calls for snow and you find yourself calling every Home Depot and Walmart hoping they still have bags of salt and shovels left.  Eventually after some snow has fallen you'll join your neighbors outside for hours shoveling your sidewalks and digging your cars out of a massive snow bank. 

5 Friday Favorites: 5 Must-Haves When Snowed in (or When Expecting a Blizzard)
A shot earlier on from a big snowstorm last winter. It only gets deeper. 
3.  Booze of choice 
(or other favorite non-adult beverage of choice, if that's how you roll)
Obviously. If you are going to be off work and school (despite Storm Jonas rolling in on a weekend-what a waste) and snowed indoors, you might as well make it a party. Have mimosas, wine, spiked hot cocoa or cider, or heck just have a couple beers with friends and family because you can. Also to point out that while people were wiping shelves clean at the grocery stores, I didn't hear of anyone complaining that they couldn't get all the beer and wine they wanted for the storm. Less stress shopping for alcohol, for the win. 

 If adult-beverages aren't your thing, at least snag some of your favorite beverage to enjoy while you spend the day being productive or snuggled up in your pajamas finally watching some of those things that have sitting unwatched, in your Netflix queue forever.  A snow day is the definitely the day to treat yourself and take the time to make some yummy food and have your favorite drink. 

5 Friday Favorites: 5 Snowed-In Must-Haves (or Blizzard Essentials)-mimosas

4.  Flashlight 

A flashlight with batteries that actually works is ALWAYS a good thing to have because you never know when there will be an emergency or the power will go out, as in during a blizzard or something. Also I read to make sure all your electronics are already charged up the night before the storm so that they will last if your power does go out. 

5.  Boots and Running Shoes (with good traction) 

Okay so maybe you aren't planning to bundle up, strap on some Yaktrax or spikes and hit the road for some miles in the storm. I have gotten crazy enough the past couple of years to go for a few snow runs. It's actually a little nice because things haven't gotten to icy yet before everything is plowed, melted, and re-frozen. If you are going to run, make sure you have some winter accessories like Yaktrax (which are these if you are wondering what the heck I'm talking about) or a pair of trail shoes or regular running shoes with lots of good traction. I have my pair of lightly-used Brooks Ravennas ready to go. I also finally invested in a really fabulous pair of Sorel winter boots which have survived the past couple of winters and keep my feet warm and dry when I need to venture out for shoveling. 

5 Friday Favorites: 5 Snowed-In Must-Haves (or Blizzard Essentials)


friday-five-dc-trifecta-linkup

Today I linked up with my fave Friday Linkup ladies Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia  as well as Nicole and Amanda .

What is your snow day essential item? If you live in a fabulously non-snowy place, what is your stuck-inside must-have item?