Thursday, July 19, 2018

What I’m Loving Lately 114

Hi, guys! Happy Friday!

Did this week fly by for anyone else? Holy cow, it was quite the whirlwind, but I am totally welcoming the weekend with open arms. Bring on more summer fun! 🙂

So, I have the next edition of What I’m Loving Lately for you, and it’s quite the mix of awesome goodies, so let’s get right to it!

Cloudlight Rib Sleeve Top – It’s no secret that I’m not the best at dressing myself – that’s why Mal made me buy this super soft top from Athleta. It’s so cute and versatile. Plus, he just knows what looks good on me, and I trust he won’t steer me wrong! I can easily dress up this top with a cute necklace (I actually wore it with a skirt for our anniversary dinner) or down with leggings and flips (aka my everyday uniform). Love!

CCFA’s Power of Two – A reader sent me an email about this great resource, and I just had to share it on CNC. CCFA has a program called “Power of Two,” which matches similar patients (either same age, similar diagnosis or similar disease complications, etc.) and gives them an opportunity to connect 1:1 to foster a relationship so patients feel less alone. I love this concept so much and know how important it is to have someone to talk to that “gets it” and understands what you’re going through with an invisible illness. Feel free to pass this along to anyone you know who has IBD!

Lemon Zucchini Loaf – New recipe from Kate Scarlata (love her)! It looks delicious, nutritious, and doesn’t call for too many ingredients. I definitely want to make it soon!

Why You Need to Give Permission for Your Healing & How to Do It – This hit home HARD for me. It’s definitely worth a read!

Trophy Top – I’m lovvvvving this new top from Athleta! It’s another piece that Mal “made” me buy since I can’t dress myself. The mesh detail on the back adds ventilation while the long sleeves keep you warm, especially during chilly summer nights. I love wearing it at the beach over my bathing suit!

Compound Used in Food Packaging Linked to Severe IBD Symptoms in Animal Study – Very interesting!

Archer Roose Wine – A new favorite “wine in a can,” which is perfect for the beach and other summer activities – just grab and go! I love that I can toss them in a cooler – no corkscrew or glasses needed. The sauvignon blanc is definitely better than other canned wine that I’ve tried in the past. I even like the chardonnay, and I’m not usually a big chard person. I’m definitely a fan!

Quickbooks Self-Employed – We finally finished our taxes this week with me sending in a big ol’ payment to my SEP account, so I figured I should QuickBooks Self-Employed a shout-out since it saved the day once again! It makes it SO EASY for you to track your income and categorize your expenses – it evens connects to your bank accounts and credit cards, so you don’t have to input any data. It also gives you “tasks” to do at the end of the year to make tax time that much easier. If you’re a small business owner, I highly recommend checking it out.

Easy Spirit Geinee – The nice people at Easy Spirit sent me a pair of their Geinee Flats to try, and I must say they’re very comfortable. I could easily walk for miles in them without any issues. FYI: The seemed to run a little big, so I’d order a half size down for the right fit.

@ecowithem – Great eco-friendly account to follow on Instagram! I love the fun (and helpful) infographics in her feed!

Our Berkey Water Filter – I know that I just blogged about my love for our Berkey, but it deserves another shout-out because we use it multiple times a day, everyday! I don’t know how we lived without it! FYI: You can save 5% with code carrotsncake, which is good now through 7/31, so be sure to hop on it if you’re interested in purchasing one!

Question of the Day

Do you generally like “wine in a can”?

Did you take advantage of Amazon Prime Day? I was so unprepared and didn’t buy anything. Whomp whomp.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Falling Into The Comparison Trap

Hi, guys!

Today, I want to chat about something that I feel is super important – falling into that ugly little rabbit hole, the comparison trap. Now, I’m not opposed to some healthy motivation – and watching someone else kick-ass can inspire you to do the same. It actually inspires me ALL the time! The problem comes when we begin living for “keeping up with the Joneses” and forget all of the awesome (and imperfect) things that make our lives as wonderful as they are.

I love that social media gives me the opportunity to connect with all of you in real-time. It also allows us to share ideas and support – I’ve made some truly amazing friends through the Internet, and there is not one day that goes by where I don’t learn something new from my Instagram feed. But, as with most things, there is a downside.

It’s like being at the gym, working out next to someone who is killing it and using their energy to inspire you. I’m not opposed to this kind of motivation at all. In fact, I want to surround myself with people who bring out the best in me, both in the gym and out. But while you can leave the gym, social media can’t be turned off. It’s always accessible on your phone, laptop, and tablet – anyone else guilty of the nighttime scroll? It’s so easy to come across glimpses into people’s health, weight loss, and fitness journeys at all times of the day – meaning there is always someone to compare yourself to.

One of my favorite quotes is “comparison is the thief of joy,” and you’ve probably heard it before. There is so much truth to it, but it’s also stealing so much from us and we might not even be aware. That said, below are a few of the things that we’re allowing comparison to take when we let it get out of control.

It’s the thief of progress

Comparing yourself to others can be a major time-suck. And, before you know it, you’ve wasted hours focusing on someone else’s accomplishments instead of your own. Time and energy are limited resources in our busy lives, and it takes a whole lot of both to constantly worry about what other people are doing. Don’t waste those precious resources – spend them on achieving your own goals, whether it’s personally, professionally, or in the gym. The only person whose progress matters is your own!

It’s the thief of self-confidence

Earlier in my fitness journey, there were plenty of times where I’d kill a CrossFit workout and feel super proud of myself for pushing myself. But then… my eyes would stray to the next person’s score on the white board, and I would immediately begin comparing myself.

“They lifted more than I did.”

“They finished faster than I did.”

“They look fitter than I do.”

In the matter of minutes, that happy feeling of crushing my own workout was deflated, and instead of leaving the gym feeling proud, I’d head home defeated.

Over time, I realized how silly and unproductive these thoughts were. We’re all in different parts of our journeys, and my best is not going to be the same as someone else’s or vice versa. Now, I’ve trained myself to consciously keep my eyes on the prize – my own progress! My new motto in the gym is:“I’m just here to work out.” 🙂 Comparing ourselves to others in the gym or out can seriously affect our self-confidence, and we should be working to boost ourselves up, not tear ourselves down!

It is the thief of ambition

There will always be someone better than you at something. There. I said it. Sounds harsh, but it’s the truth, and the sooner we accept it, the easier our lives will become. We can’t always win at everything, all of the time, and trying to will ultimately be a huge waste of time because there are just some things that are just beyond our control. On the flip side, it could be easy to throw in the towel and tell yourself: “I’m never going to be the best anyway, so why even try?” That’s a huge self-defeating mindset and can prevent us from doing wonderful things in our lives. Focus on working hard and do your best – and trust that everything will fall into place. Even simply having a positive mindset can change how things will go! 

It truly is the thief of joy

Comparison can lead us to become totally consumed by thinking that someone else is better or someone else has it better. The truth is that no matter how perfect someone’s life looks, it’s not. We all have struggles, some are just more hidden than others. I mean, social media, in particular, is just the highlight real of someone’s life. We all have our own sh*t to deal with, and I hope more people will realize this. 

When I find myself falling back into the comparison trap, I pause and think about all the things I am grateful for – my health, my family, the opportunity to wake up and do what I love everyday. Our lives are wonderful because of imperfection, not in spite of it! Instead of comparison, we should practice compassion for ourselves and others. We don’t know what others go through, but what we do know is that we all face difficulties and a little kindness can go a long way.

Question of the Day

Your turn! What are your thoughts on the comparison trap? 


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Summer Is An All-Out Sprint

Around here, summer is an all out sprint – trying to cram every last bit of fun into a few short months. The winters are long, so when the nice weather arrives, everyone is out and about taking full advantage. It’s totally crazy at times, but I wouldn’t want it any other way! 🙂 That said, here’s a recap of our most recent summer weekend!


We’ve been on fire this summer, so Saturday was a bit more laid back, but it doesn’t mean that we didn’t have any fun! We did our usual CrossFit + Coffee Shack morning, but then Mal had a bunch of yard work to do as well as a much-needed trip to the dump, so Quinn and I dominated our other errands around town – grocery shopping, library, Target, CVS, etc.

After a “get our lives together” morning, we all reconvened back at home to eat lunch together as a family. After lunch was over, Quinn went down for his nap while Mal and I finished our errands. Our goal was to complete our To Do lists by the time Quinn woke up, so we could just relax for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

We were successful because as soon as Quinn was awake, we enjoyed some summer family fun times at home. We took Murphy for a walk around the neighborhood and then we played in the pool and sprinklers. It was a HOT evening!

The rest of the afternoon flew by and, before we knew it, we were all hungry for dinner. I whipped up a quick meal (well, technically, 3 different meals) for us, and we ate together on the porch outside.

That morning, Mal had suggested that we make s’mores in our fire pit, so Quinn and I picked up the necessary ingredients at Target when we ran our errands. Quinn remembered that s’mores were on the agenda and did not let us forget. The second he finished his dinner, we was ALL about dessert!

It’s funny how he was “full” from dinner, but then had plenty of room for s’mores. Well, ok, I guess it happens to me too! 😉

If you’ve never had a s’more made with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, you have not lived!


On Sunday, we were up and at ’em for a beach day in Duxbury. The drive-on beach is super popular with limited space, so we were there, bright and early, by 7:30 AM.

It’s a little insane that we woke up at 6:00 AM for the beach, but it’s worth every second!

Plus, iced coffee and Bloody Mary’s on the beach can’t be beat! 🙂

Unfortunately, Mal and I forgot the celery at home and didn’t use the olives we packed, but, next time, we’ll get it together. We’re still newbies at this drive-on beach stuff! 🙂

Quinn had a blast playing with the other kiddos at the beach. I’m so thankful we have so many friends with kids his age!

The Ride-On Digger trend is catching on! 🙂

Just a quick shout out for Beautycounter’s Mineral Sunscreen Mist, which is THE BEST ever. I already loved their sunscreen lotion and sticks, but this product is BY FAR the best when it comes to protecting our family. Quinn is a lunatic when it comes to applying sunscreen, so the mist has been such a lifesaver.

Our sunscreen routine is giving Quinn a Sunscreen Stick to apply to his face himself (because he resists so much when I try to do it) and then while he’s occupied with that, I spray his legs, arms, feet, and neck with the mist. The whole process is over and done with in like 2 minutes. It’s so much better than the lotion, which gets all sandy and doesn’t rub in while Quinn is squirming all over the place trying to get away from me!

The spray is also great for Mal, who recently got the worst sunburn (it even peeled!) because he couldn’t reach the middle of his back with the lotion. It also takes no time to cover his whole body, so he can just get on with beach life! 🙂 (I actually ordered a couple more mists in the middle of writing this blog post!)

Good times at the beach with friends! I never want summer to end!!!

After the beach, we stopped by The Oysterman for lunch with a couple of our friends.

We started with drinks and oysters, obviously. I swear, I’ve eaten more oysters in the past month than I have in my whole life!

I ordered the burger and fries, which were both delicious. The Oysterman has the best fries!

Quinn napped on the way home from lunch, but wasn’t interested in sleeping anymore when we got home. Some friends were going to an event at Rosa Farms, so Qman and I swung by for tasty cannolis and some jumping in the bounce house.

It was quite the awesome summer weekend, and I was totally exhausted by Sunday night. But, again, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Question of the Day

How’s your summer going? Do you feel like you’re sprinting right through it?

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Friday at The Hangout (Union Point)

Hi, guys! Happy Hump Day!

I’m a little behind on “day in the life” updates, but I’m working on getting them live on CNC ASAP. Summer is a FUN time for our family, so I want to remember these times and, of course, share them with you all. Plus, I heard they’re your favorite kind of blog posts, so I’ll be sure to keep ’em coming!

This “day in the life” post is actually from last Friday. (Seriously, how is it already Wednesday? I used to update my blog within hours of things happening – oh, how times have changed!) The day started kind of meh, but ramped up into quite the fun Friday. Ok, here we go!

Friday morning started bright and early at 4:45 AM. Now that Quinn does part-time preschool and Mal is home for the summer, I’m trying to spend as much time as possible with them, which means squeezing in work at odd times of the day. It’s not ideal, but I’d rather wake up early than miss out on quality time with them. Plus, even if I try to work in my office when they’re home, they both come in and out like 10 million times, so I don’t get much done anyway. Ha!

I worked for a solid 2 hours before Quinn woke up, so it was definitely a win for me. Once he was awake, we headed downstairs and had “hugs and snugs” on the couch. We were both hungry, so made use breakfast. For him: A smoothie and a PB & J bar from Trader Joe’s.

For me: Cauliflower gnocchi (from Trader Joe’s) with shredded chicken, kale, and Parmesan cheese + a piece of toast with Justin’s cinnamon almond butter (<— so good! Quinn calls it “special peanut butter”) with banana slices on top. And, of course, iced coffee with Ripple vanilla creamer.

Please note the “real life” scene behind my breakfast photo. Our kitchen island is always insanely messy – everything just ends up there!

After breakfast, Mal got Quinn ready for school while I took Murphy for a walk. We’ve switched morning responsibilities since he got out of school, so I can start working first thing in the morning. Having Mal take Quinn to school has been such a huge help and really maximizes my time.

I worked for most of the morning and then drove into Boston for another doctor’s appointment. We’re still trying to get to the bottom of my phlegm-y cough. I have an appointment with a pulmonary specialist in mid-August, so, hopefully, we’ll get some answers then.

The appointment was at 11:45 AM, so I knew I’d be more than hungry after it, so I packed a bunch of snacks for the road: RXBAR, clementines, and Sour Cream & Onion Chips from Deep River Snacks. I love that these chips are made from simple ingredients, but still have an incredible burst of flavor! Plus, you’ll find a different charity on the back of every bag, because Deep River Snacks donates 10% of net profits each year. I love when brands give back like this, and it makes me want to support them even more!

After my appointment in the city, I drove back to the South Shore (and somehow miraculously avoided most of the Cape traffic) and popped into Rosa Farms for a smoothie and some more work. I actually had a meeting there later in the afternoon, so I just parked myself with my laptop at the coffee bar and banged out some work until it was time.

After the meeting, I packed up my things and headed home to grab my boys for another adventure at The Hangout at Union Point. If you’re local and haven’t been to The Hangout yet, please add it to your summer to do list! It’s a great spot and there’s so much to do there – including shopping, live music, food truck rodeos, movie nights, kids activities, classes, farmers’ market, yard games, and more!

Our first stop was the Brew Can, which is an outdoor bar with all sorts of drinks, fun, and games!

We met some of our friends there and hung out for awhile – it was quite the nice way to finish off the week!

We’ll definitely be back again soon!

Question of the Day

Local readers: Have you been over to The Hangout yet? 

Parents who work from home: What are you tips for getting work done?

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Wedding Anniversary at Mirbeau Inn & Spa

Last week, Mal and I had the opportunity to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary at Mirbeau Inn & Spa in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and it was a pretty darn incredible experience! 🙂 The nice people at Mirbeau offered me a complimentary spa treatment and lunch in exchange for a blog post, and I was more than willing to participate in the partnership. The timing worked well with our anniversary, so I invited Mal along for the day.

Once we arrived and checked into the spa, Mal and I headed to the gym for a quick 20-minute workout. We didn’t have much time before our treatments, so we figured a little something was better than nothing. Plus, we thought we should take advantage of all of the awesome amenities available to us. Spa guests have access to the gym and fitness classes (there’s actually quite a lot, including yoga, spinning, and more) as well as the locker rooms with eucalyptus-infused steam rooms (fancy!) and the year-round Aqua Terrace, which is an outdoor area with a whirlpool, waterfall, oversized fireplace, and bar featuring small plates and beverages.

Mal and I actually went out to the Aqua Terrace after our spa treatments and sat in the whirlpool for awhile, but I didn’t have my phone with me, so I didn’t snap a photo. It was quite amazing and beautiful out there. Here’s a photo if you’re curious! 🙂

After our workout, we took showers in the looker room, got into our cozy robes, and then met in the Resting Area before our treatments. The Resting Area had a wonderful heated foot massage pool, so we used that for a little bit and then relaxed in a couple of the lounge chairs and waited for our names to be called.

Mal got a massage, and I enjoyed the Organic Radiance Facial, which was, ooooh, so nice. It included a natural fruit acid peel to exfoliate dead skin cells and improve skin tone and texture. There was also all sorts of awesome organic products (peptides, grape stem cells, antioxidants and plant extracts) to help improve skin tone and texture, brighten, and fight the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It was quite the amazing and relaxing treatment – I even fell asleep at the end!

After our spa services, Mal and I showered and got ourselves ready for lunch. We stopped by The Bistro & Wine Bar first for a cocktail and conversation. I ordered the “Garden Party,” which was cucumber-infused vodka with sage and lime.

It was refreshing and so tasty! The first sip immediately reminded me of summer! 🙂

After that, we were hungry for lunch, so we headed outside for lunch at the Garden Bar, which was absolutely gorgeous – it was literally out of the painting! The Garden Bar is surrounded by a live replica of Monet’s “Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies.” The ponds and gardens offer such a relaxed and beautiful dining experience. Breathtaking, right? There’s even live music on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings!

The menu is fairly casual and features a raw bar and specialty pizzas. We were ALL about the cheese plate and ordered it as our appetizer – it did not disappoint!

For my entree, I ordered the garden salad with grilled salmon, and it was perfection. The salmon was cooked perfectly and the veggies and dressing were so fresh and flavorful.

And, of course, we couldn’t turn down dessert on such a special occasion, so we ordered the Flourless Chocolate Cake, which was served with fresh blueberries and ice cream. Two words: holy yum!

After lunch, we explored the area and snapped a few photos. Check out my handsome lunch date! 🙂

Ok, this photo of me is a little derpy, but shout out to the dress I’m wearing – I’ve owned it longer than Mal and I have been married! It’s just a cotton t-shirt dress, but gets a ton of wear – you can dress it up or wear it casual. I found this one at The Gap, which is very similar. My sunglasses are the LIVERMORE from Kohv and you can still save 10% with code carrotsncake. I love that so many of you guys have used the code and scored some sweet sunglasses this summer! 🙂

Love birds! 🙂

All in all, it was a wonderful 10 year wedding anniversary celebration! Here’s to many, many, many more years with the best person I know! Thank you, Mirbeau, for hosting us!

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Monday, July 16, 2018

336 – Half Size Me: Eileen

In this episode of The Half Size Me™ Show, Heather talks to Eileen about why she had to set Relationship boundaries before she could focus on her weight loss journey he had to create healthy guidelines with food instead of

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Training for CrossFit & Running, Berkey Review & Balancing Indulgences with Clean Eating

Hi, guys! Happy Monday!

This week’s Instagram Live is a special edition because Mal and I recorded it from the lawn at East Bay Grille (instead of inside our boring kitchen)! If you missed it on Instagram, here it is for your viewing pleasure!

In this episode, I talk about:



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