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Favorite Summer Essentials

by agirlandhermutt on July 24, 2015

Oh boy. So glad Friday is here! The blog has had a rough go of it this past week or so. About a month ago I discovered that my blog had been hacked and was dealing with url injection issues. Just think a bunch of porn links from my site. Nice. I figured it out and moved along. Then last week I got word from my site host that I had been hacked again. Ugh. That brings us to here. All cleaned up. Security holes all patched up. Back up and running!

Now that my site is back up it is time to get back to blogging! Summer isn’t my favorite time of the year because of the heat, but I do enjoy quite a few summer activities. Going to the beach, road trips, and pool days!

Here are a few of my must-have essentials to not only survive the heat, but make the best of the summer!

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Favorite Summer Essentials

1. SUNSCREEN! This is my most important summer essential. I’ve dealt with skin cancer in the past and I don’t want to deal with it in the future. I’m also a fan of looking like I’m 35 while I’m 35 instead of 45 while I’m 35.

I’ve tried sprays, but while they are super convenient, it doesn’t work the best for me all of the time. I tend to miss important spots. The folks at Block Island Organics sent me a bottle of their natural mineral SPF 30 sunscreen to try out and I’m digging it. It is a little thick when you first start to put it on, but it doesn’t leave a really greasy or sticky feeling on the skin. Do you remember putting lotion on as a kid and then walking around like you were covered in goo with your arms not touching you?! You don’t have to worry about that with this lotion. And the most important piece…I didn’t get a sunburn! All my bits and pieces stayed safe and sound.

BONUS: Use code “AGAHM” to get 15% off over at Block Island Organics Suncare!

 

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I’m a little sensative as to what I put on my face so on the days when I’m not necessarily at the beach or pool, but still out in the sun, I use this Neutrogena Clear Face SPF 30 sunscreen. It goes on really lightly, blends in well and doesn’t feel all nasty as it soaks in.

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2. Water Bottles. I drink a ton of water throughout the year, but I’m much more aware staying hydrated when it is hot as crap outside. I’m a HUGE fan of Klean Kanteen, but they aren’t the best at keeping things super cold all day long.

In comes the Hydroflask. This bottle is stainless steel double wall vacuum insulation and is supposed to keep things cold for up to 24 hours. I haven’t had 24 hours success, but I have had it stay cold while I am out all day running errands or riding my bike. Oh, and they have a top that includes a straw. Love that top!

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Klean Kanteen also has an insulated version that I use occasionally, but I prefer the top on the Hydroflask to the Klean Kanteen version. Why can’t Klean Kanteen get on the straw bandwagon?! KleanKanteen

3. Facial Wipes. I can’t stop myself from sweating, but I can stop myself from feeling nasty after sweating all day. I don’t wear makeup every day during the summer so when I start to feel gross I use facial wipes to just freshen up really quick. I’m in love with these Pacifica Purify Coconut Water Cleansing Wipes. The wipes aren’t super wet so you don’t feel the need to rinse off after you use them. They also smell super coconutty which I’m obsessed with. I also have a pretty sensative face to products and these don’t bother my skin at all.

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4. The Body Shop Coconut Body Mist. I use the body mists year round, but during the summer my favorite is absolutely the Coconut version. It is beachy, delicious smelling and not overwhelming at all.

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5. John Masters Organics Sea Salt Spray. I have thick, straight, long hair. It doesn’t do that super cool beachy waves thing that some other people get after a day at the beach. I can wash my hair, braid it and sleep on it and it just looks like I slept on wet hair the next morning. It isn’t a good look.

This sea salt spray gives my hair a little bit of grit and texture to make it LOOK like I have been at the beach all day. I use this in place of hair spray after I curl my hair with a curling wand.

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6. Vera Bradley Ditty Bag. I use this little lined bag for ANYTHING wet. My bathing suit, my nasty gym clothes after I work out and my pool towel. I wish it zipped up instead of just a drawstring, but it does have a flat bottom so it stays upright. You can throw it in the wash really easily too.

VBBittyBag

7. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment. I love this Fresh lip balm year round, but particularly during the summer. It has SPF 15 and I can get it in a tinted color, which is perfect for those non-makeup days. This summer I’m rocking the Cherry color, but enjoy the Coral too.

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8. Summer Beer! There is no better experience than sitting out on my porch while enjoying the sun and a nice icy cold beer.

I rarely drink at home since I prefer draft beer, but there is something to be said for super cold canned beer. Breweries have come so far with their canning over the past few years! My ultimate summer beer this year is the White Birch Blueberry Berliner Weisse. I’m not a huge blueberry beer fan, but I love the hint of blueberry followed by the sour and tartness of lemon at the end for this beer. Plus, it has a touch of saltiness. It is light, refreshing, crisp and PERFECT. MMm….

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I hope you guys are all enjoying your summer! I’m trying to get out as often as I can to enjoy being outside and explore the parts of New England I have neglected all these years. Honestly, I’m just thankful for no snow! Winking smile

See you soon! Follow me over on Instagram to see what I’m up to this weekend.

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Monthly Faves: April 2013

by agirlandhermutt on May 1, 2013

I know they say April showers bring May flowers, but what does freezing cold temps do? I’m happy to report that despite a rocky start to the month, we ended April with spring-like weather and I’m ready to dive head first into a new month.

But first…

This month I definitely got into a routine with my make-up. I was enjoying a nice tan thanks to my Caribbean vacation at the end of March so less make-up for me was the way to go. I also finally found a few fitness items that are officially must-haves for me.

1. Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara– This was in last month’s favorites and it still is my go to mascara. It doesn’t run. It doesn’t clump. It lasts all day. Perfect!

2. Reebok Warm 1/4 Zip Long Sleeve Top– I bought this one at a Reebok outlet for just $15 and I’m in love with it. It is light, airy, and perfect for those cooler mornings/evenings. Bonus thumb holes too! I love the neon orange accents the most though. I found this one that is similar on the Reebok site.

Bonus Favorite: Old Navy Compression Capri Pants. These suckers can hold odors like no other workout pant, but they are SO comfortable. Plus, my butt looks good all sucked in and put in place in these pants. This is my first experience with compression items and I predict it won’t be my last.

3. Polar Heart Rate Monitor FT4- I bought this hrm shortly after returning from my cruise and I have fallen in love with it. I love the instant feedback and being able to track my workouts. I can physically see myself getting better and working harder each workout.

4. All Things Nautical– I’m obsessed with anchors, stripes, and all things red, white & blue. I love the classic look and the color combo so much! I’ve even dedicated a Pinterest board to my fave style.

5. St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub– This product has been around forever and people have been raving about it for years. I just got on the wagon. My usual scrub was out of stock one day so I picked this up. It  is definitely a little more coarse than I am used to, but it is perfect for those days I feel super grimy. A little goes a long way too! My skin is left feeling clean, refreshed and all scrubbed up.

6. NYC Sun n’ Bronze in Hamptons Radiance– My minimal make-up look for the month has included concealer, blush and  this bronzer. The middle strips are perfect for contouring and adding some color to my face. The outer strips of pinkish-brown are great for adding a bit of “I was just out in the sun” look to a fading tan. Plus, this stuff is cheap! You can get it for less than $5 at your drugstore.

7. Rimmel Lash Accelerator Serum– I have no idea if this is really causing my lashes to grown, but it is making them SEEM longer. This is like a clear mascara that I put on at night. When I wake up and put my regular mascara on I can barely tell that the clear kind is there, but I can tell that my eyelashes are about 50% longer and fuller. It doesn’t dry my lashes out and doesn’t bother my eyes at all either. I have tiny little eyes that disappear when I laugh so I need all the length and fullness I can get out of my eyelashes!

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Everyone having a good week? I’m starting off one of my first 30 Day challenges for my 33 While 33 list and I’m trying to do a No Spend May. I will fill you in on my rules for myself tomorrow!

In the meantime, let me know if you have any experience with compression socks. I’m thinking of trying them out.

See ya tomorrow!

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2012 Favorites Wrap-Up

by agirlandhermutt on January 18, 2013

Hi friends! Throughout 2012 I shared with you some of my favorite experiences, favorite products, and fun finds. They came in the form of my Fave Five Friday, or a Monthly Favorites post, or even as a video! 2012 had a lot of favorites for me, but I wanted to go over my tops of the tops.

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The 2012 Winners are…

Food

Pickles- Kind of a strange favorite, but I finally embraced my love for all things pickled in 2012. A pickle brand that is a regular in the house is a local vendor, Grillos Pickles. Grillos has not only pickles, but also pickled grapes, tomatoes, and other fun veggies. I also discovered the Claussen Hearty Garlic Whole Pickles. Delish. In my February favorites post I shared a few ways I enjoyed eating pickles and they ended up in a few instagram photos too.

Pickle Roll-Up Snack

Wholly Guacamole– Mmmm. I could live off of avocados. As a kid my Dad taught me how to pick out the perfect avocado and I consider it a great skill as an adult. Unfortunately just because I can pick them out doesn’t mean they are always available in the store. Wholly Guacamole to the rescue. Their guac is not only smooth and always tasty, but it also comes in really cool 100 calorie packs for those of us who might otherwise try to eat the whole container. After winning a Wholly Guacamole gift pack at BlogHer, I also discovered they have great salsas too!

Spiralizer– This is one of those products that you definitely don’t NEED in your kitchen, but you definitely WANT it. I bought it thinking I would use it every now and then. Ha! I have totally replaced pasta with zucchini and absolutely love it. I’ve used the attachment blades to make fun carrot decorations or spiralize sweet potatoes too. It is easy to use and super easy to clean too. Check out my complete review here.

Dogfish Head 90 min IPA– I love beer. I love this beer. I even made a trip to Dogfish Head specifically to drink this beer in its birthplace.

 

Flavor Infused Balsamic Vinegars– Have these always been around?! I can shake a little balsamic on almost any dish now thanks to the many flavors I have. The top winners were Dark Chocolate Balsamic and Lemon White Balsamic.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Protein Waffles

Sun Dried Tomato & Caper White Wine Sauce (w/ Lemon Balsamic Vinegar!)


Fitness

Fuelband– I love love love my FuelBand. It helps keep me accountable for all my movement (or non-movement sometimes!) throughout the day. It keeps me challenged and it is also a handy watch. Check out this post for a FULL review!

Tone It Up– My love for the TIU girls is no secret and I’m sure you are tired of me chatting about them, but this year it was bumped up a notch when they introduced their Tone It Up app. There is easy access to their blogs, daily workout routines, the community, and even an alarm clock with a wake-up message. In general, I love fitness apps and I’m planning a post on my Top 5 Fitness apps for next week. Stay tuned!

Neon Sneakers– Just because I am sweaty, doesn’t mean I can’t look good at the same time. Neon finally made a comeback and I could not be happier. I love my Nike sneaks and have plans on purchasing a new pair. Any recommendations on obnoxious shoes?!

Zumba– I discovered my true love of Zumba this year thanks to an amazing teacher and a big ol’ sweaty room of folks at the gym. Her music is amazing. The choreography is fun. I sweat like a pig. It is fantastic!

Kettlebells– I have always enjoyed weight lifting more than cardio. When I discovered kettlebells near the end of 2012 I found my true love. The class at the gym has been changed up a bit so they only occasionally use kettle bells so I might have to purchase one to use at home.

 

Fashion (and some beauty)

JoJo Loves You– I absolutely adore every single piece of jewelry on the JoJo Loves You website. I am particularly enamored with the JoJo blings. They go with anything and look fantastic. I typically get at least 1 or 2 compliments every time I wear them. I picked up several pairs over the year and have deemed the Peach color my current love.

  

Sheer tops w/ big jewelry– I love the whole sheer baggy top look with statement jewelry. If you follow me on Instagram you know these types of tops were a staple in my Fall wardrobe and I don’t see me giving them up any time soon. Forever 21 is my shopping mecca. Sad, but true.  
  

Rose gold– I can’t get enough of it. You will see a lot of it in my Outfit of the Day photos on Instagram. I was lucky to receive a nice watch as a gift for Christmas that helped fuel my addiction. Rose gold necklace, rose gold earrings, rose gold watch.

  

The Body Shop Strawberry Body Mist– This is my scent. It smells a little like a my little pony but it is perfect for me. It doesn’t offend anyone at work and I love it! Check out my little blurb about it in this video at around 05:30.

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette– This was a birthday gift to myself last year and it is still one of my favorite eye shadow collections. It is always my go to when traveling too. I plan on getting the original Naked Palette this year. A great purchase definitely! Check out this post for more photos.

Fun

Scentsy- I became addicted to it because of my Mom, started selling it, and am still addicted to it. I love the way my house smells when I simmer Honey Pear Cider or Apple Press. Mmm…

 

-Monthly Subscription Boxes- I don’t subscribe to many, but I love the concept and that more places are getting on board with this. There are fitness related boxes, fun food boxes (Knoshbox!), and of course, the beauty boxes. Right now I’m currently subscribed to GlossyBox and enjoying it immensely. New products every month and just $20.

Dystopian Novels– I managed to read TONS of dystopian novels over the past year. I am actually in the middle of one right now and think that I might have to take a break. If these had been around, or been popular, when I as a teenager, I might not have ever left my house. Divergent was my fave of the year, but there are so many out there!

Boston Brunchers– I loved participating in all the brunches, dinners, and a fitness class with the Brunchers last year. It gave me the opportunity to meet local bloggers, make a few new friends, discover places that I might not have ever found in Boston, and meet a cookbook author. I’m looking forward to a new year of Bruncher events.

  

My Drunk Kitchen– This is kind of random, but this YouTube show/channel just made me laugh all year long. I love Hannah! I donated to her kickstarter and I’m hoping to see her come to Boston live. Fingers crossed!

Last, but certainly not least…

KORKY!- He is always a yearly favorite. This mutt makes me smile more than anything on the planet. This year he seemed to get so much older which brought on a lot more love from me. More belly rubs, ear scratches, and some snoring. We celebrated Korky with a professional photo shoot in the Fall and we are anxiously awaiting the pics we ordered a few weeks ago. Dog Breath Photography captured his personality perfectly and the photos will be something I can have to remember him forever.


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I hope you guys enjoyed my 2012 Favorites wrap-up. I’ll be continuing with the faves in 2013! 🙂

Have a good weekend!

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