Friday, August 31, 2012

5 Reasons Why I Love Paddle-Boarding

During the summer months, my motivation to exercise always tends to dwindle. The weather is just so nice and instead of sweating it out at the gym, I would much rather be outside by the pool, on a picnic, or road tripping. UNTIL NOW. Here are 5 reasons why I love stand-up paddle boarding:

1) Paddle boarding is a great full body workout. When you really get into it an average woman can burn up to 800 calories per hour. Aside from the great cardiovascular exercise, paddle boarding will also help strengthen muscles. Paddle boarding mostly works your core muscles, but also strengthens your arms, legs, butt, and even feet.

2) Another health plus ~ spending a little time paddle boarding in the sun will up your dose of vitamin D, which boosts the immune system, helps your skin heal, and protects your body against microbes.

3)  The view from the water is gorgeous. Finding a beautiful spot to paddle board is very important! Another great thing about paddle boarding ~ it's a great and fun way to get a workout while on vacation. Going out early in the morning will ensure calm waters and a stunning view.

4) It is super easy to pick up. First off, you only need a few pieces of equipment, a board (I like SUP boards like these), a paddle, and a life jacket (only cool people wear life jackets ~ safety first!). It's also really simple and easy to learn. I may or may not have fallen into the water at least 7 times on my first outing. However, by the second time I was a pro... and only fell in three times...

5) It's fun! I don't think I have had such a blast exercising in such a long time! Going with a group of friends makes it even more fun!

Via Jimmy Lewis

Friday, August 17, 2012

Rosemary Shortbread

After buying many rosemary shortbread cookies, I finally decided to attempt to make my own. I couldn't find a recipe for rosemary shortbread cookies so instead I used the recipe for twice-baked shortbread from this AMAZING recipe book and slightly tweaked it. They were delicious! Very crumbly though so it turned out to be quite difficult to cut them into neat pieces... but that wasn't too upsetting as they were still yummy!

                                                                Rosemary Shortbread
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
Granulated sugar for sprinkling

Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with foil.

In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated. Gently mix in the fresh rosemary. Pat and spread the dough evenly in the pan. Let rest for at least 2 hours or overnight (no need to refrigerate).

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Position rack in the lower third of the oven.

Bake the shortbread for 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, leaving the oven on. Lightly sprinkle the surface of the shortbread with sugar. Let the shortbread cool for 10 minutes.

Remove the shortbread from the pan, taking care to avoid breaking it. Use a thin sharp knife to cut it into oblong "fingers," wedges, or squares. Place the pieces slightly apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool the shortbread on a rack. May be kept in an airtight container for several weeks.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Although it might be a little too early to start thinking about fall, I already am! Fall is my favorite season mostly because I absolutely LOVE fall clothes. Boots, cute jackets, and sweaters make going back to school pretty fun! I have already booked an appointment with a personal shopper at Nordstrom to help me find some additions to my autumn wardrobe. I used their personal shopping service last fall and absolutely loved it! The experience is incredible and I found so many great clothes. I will make sure to take pictures and summarize in great detail this year's experience. Until then here are some outfits that are inspiring my fall wardrobe:

Love these colors and textures! (Via Moved by Grace)
Perfect sweater length to complement the skirt (Via Nordstrom)

The knot at the bottom of the dress is such a great idea! (Via Keelan Told Me To)

Pretty much my fall uniform. I'm in love with tortoise shell watches! (Via Polyvore)

Beautiful outfit (Via Fashion Worship)

Love me some scarves and blazers! (Via Pretty Stuff)

Simplicity plus a gorgeous ring. (Via Polyvore)