Three Ways To Fit a Workout In During the Holidays

Friday, November 30, 2018
This post is sponsored by Febreze. All opinions are mine alone.

Does anyone else seriously struggle trying to make time to workout during the holidays? It can't be just me... right?? From the constant sweet treat temptations, to the busy schedules, and of course the lack of motivation with family in town, working out always gets put on the back burner. Once Cambria started to really sleep through the night and I felt more well-rested, I made a goal to workout between 5-6 times a week. I noticed working out made me feel so much better about myself. It encouraged me to make healthier eating choices, it helped me feel confident in my own skin, and overall I just felt SO much better. I have been doing really well with sticking with it up until last week. Thanksgiving, a holiday where the biggest tradition is literally to eat, really threw me off. I didn't have a set plan on how I would fit my workouts in and I quickly fell out of my routine. It's now soo much harder to get back into a routine. So, I am determined to stick to a plan for Christmas to ensure I keep healthy habits. Here's the plan...

1) Wake up a little earlier than the girls to fit my workout in. Guys, this is legitimately going to be realllyy hard for me... but I honestly think it's the best way to go about making sure I stick with it. If you have little ones, you know that working out with them around is straight up comical. It's pretty much impossible. When the girls are around I'm either cutting a workout short or only doing it halfway because they need my help every 10 seconds. So, I'm giving myself an extra hour to wake up, eat a banana, work out, and take a quick shower. Maybe you work in the morning... I challenge you to wake up earlier than normal and get your workout in! That way when the Christmas parties and family comes, you can get your workout done first thing each day and still be able to visit with friends and family after work. 

2) Keep Febreze Fabric Refresher nearby. Just like me, more and more Americans are getting serious about upping their fitness. Since we are busier than ever, we have to get creative to cram our workout (along with everything else) into our day. That being said, it's no surprise that 84% of gym goers* admit to running errands within two hours of working out. I mean, kill two birds with one stone right? You're already out! However, we forget that the smells go where we go. And if you're anything like me after a workout... there are definitely smells! For the millions who don’t have time to immediately change and wash their gear after each workout, it’s time to #FebrezeYourGear. The #FebrezeYourGear program, shows us that if it's fabric, Febreze it! All you have to do is spray Febreze Fabric Refresher on anything you wore at the gym until it is completely damp to safely and effectively clean away workout odors. Febreze Fabric Refresher with OdorClearTM Technology cleans away odors in two simple ways: 1) seeks out tough odors and 2) cleans them away by deactivating and replacing them with a light, fresh scent. Make sure to keep Febreze in your gym bag, in your car, in your personal gym, or anywhere else nearby to keep the odors where they belong... at the gym!

3) Make yourself an upbeat playlist! I have found that music motivates me more than anything when it comes to exercising. I run a lot faster, lift a lot harder, squat a lot deeper, and work a lot more efficiently if the music I am listening to leaves me feeling inspired to keep pushing. No matter what genre you love, there are some awesome songs out there to get you up and moving. I actually look forward to listening to my "special"workout songs. If you make yourself an upbeat playlist where you get to listen and decompress from holiday stress, you'll be more determined to fit it in!

I'd love to hear any of your tips and trick for staying active during the holidays! And don't forget to try out Febreze Fabric Refresher on your gym clothes and gear!
All my love,
Aleigh Joy

*Source: The Nielsen Company Fall 2015 On-Location Study.

2018 Christmas Cards!

Saturday, November 24, 2018
This post is sponsored by Shutterfly. All opinions are mine alone. #partner 

If you've been around here long, you know that Christmas cards make me sooooo happy! Like giddy happy. There's just something so fun about getting tons of happy mail from friends and family during the holidays. It seriously brightens my day getting each card. I love seeing how kids have grown, reading about what everyone did that year, and seeing the different photos and designs everyone chose. We have sent a Christmas card every year we've been married and even though it is a hassle trying to make sure photos get done, I have never once regretted it. I love having updated photos of our family over the years, and I make sure to keep a Christmas card from each year so we can look back at those too. I love pulling the book out each year and remembering what each card looked like. I also think it'll be so fun to show the girls all the cards they were in over the years. 

For a while I chose to design my own card. It was fun to get creative and make it different. Over time though, I realized how much more convenient it is to order them from a company. There are a million companies to choose from, so how are you supposed to pick just one? Don't worry... I've done all the research to make it easy on you ;) After looking into several companies, I can hands down say that Shutterfly is the way to go! They have SO many designs to choose from that there is something for everybody's style. I promise! From gold foil to marble, and gate fold to glitter you are bound to find the perfect card. Once you've selected your card literally all you have to do is upload your photos and then drag them into the desired spot. You then have the option to use your address book and let Shutterfly address all your envelopes for you! They have cute designs and fonts and it makes it so quick and easy. Plus, your envelope will look SO cute! After that, you can order personalized stamps and have them delivered right to you. Then, you're done! I mean seriously, a few clicks and your cards are completely done! How cool is that??

Now I'm sure you're thinking it's too good to be true... but trust me it really isn't! The card quality is lovely and they arrive in a timely manner. You will definitely not regret choosing Shutterfly. This year I used a Tiny Prints design which is owned by Shutterfly and can be accessed through their site. I chose a tri-fold card and I seriously love it! Make sure to order your cards this weekend to get their Black Friday deal of 40% off everything! They will be having a Cyber Monday sale too! 

I hope you have fun sending and receiving cards this year!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

2018 Matching Christmas Jammies!

Monday, November 19, 2018
This post is sponsored by City Girl Mercantile. All opinions are mine alone. 

If you've been following along for a while, you know by now that I'm obsessed with matching Christmas jammies for my family. Our first Christmas I had every intention of starting the tradition but I was pregnant and tired and really just wanted nothing to do with clothes... ha! The next year we had Oaklyn and had SO much fun matching! We put them on Christmas Eve and woke up in them so we could open presents in our festive jammies. That has been a tradition ever since. Oaklyn totally got my love of all things festive so she was beyond excited when I told her that our Christmas jammies came in the mail. I was planning on just taking pictures in them and then saving them for Christmas Eve, but she was so happy that I let her sleep in them just this once. Seeing how happy she was and how much she loved them, I may let her wear them a few more times, too. We wear our jammies year round because they're always so cozy and cute! I'm so in love with the style we got this year! This year's jammies are from City Girl Mercantile and may be some of my favorites yet! They are all just a little different but also match so cute! Oaks loves the little polar bear, I love how relatable the sayings are, and Cam looks stinking darling in her footies! I love that they make them just a little different for each size. City Girl Mercantile has a ton of other adorable options, so you're bound to find a style your family loves. I will warn you that even though we love these jammies SO much because they are cute and comfy, you will absolutely need to size up one or two sizes depending on what kind of fit you like. Oaks will be 4 in February and I got her a 5t. Cam is 15 months and I got her size 24 mos. I'm a true s/m and got a small but honestly wish I would've gotten a large. Hunter is a true mens large and wishes he would've gotten an XL. So they're adorable, super snuggly, and arrived in a timely manner... but they for sure run small. If you haven't started many traditions in your family, add this one to your list! It makes Christmas Eve and Christmas morning that much more magical and adorable! Open your jammies, read a festive book, set out cookies for Santa, head to bed, and wake up in the morning snuggly and full of Christmas magic! Make sure to check out City Girl Mercantile's selection!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Tablescape

Saturday, November 17, 2018

When it comes to holidays, one of the very first things I think about is the meal. With the meal comes a pretty tablescape. Most holidays are spent with our families and even though I'm really grateful for that, I honestly crave being able to style the table. We're a little ways away from being able to host these holidays at our own home, so for now I like to make a special meal the Sunday before the actual holiday so I can still have fun with decorations. I tried to make this tablescape as easy to recreate as possible and quick to put together. 

So here's what you'll need:
-A white or cream lace tablecloth. If you want one for cheap, most thrift stores have awesome linens for like a couple bucks!
-Mini Cream pumpkins (I found mine at a local grocery store for 25 cents each. I got some orange ones too and thought about spray painting them, but that seemed like more work than I wanted to put in haha!)
-One large cream pumpkin. Or a couple large ones... that would be even prettier! Mine is just a craft pumpkin I've had for a while from Michaels. I added the glitter dots. 
-Tall candlesticks. Both of these are my moms and I love them so much! But these would also be perfect. 
- Eucalyptus branches. We have tonssss of eucalyptus trees around here and I'm thanking my lucky stars! I love the silver dollar leaves but I thought the skinnier ones would lay well for a table like this. If you don't have eucalyptus near by honestly any form of greenery will work. 
- Orange and red leaves. I just grabbed a few from a tree at my parents house. They're pretty tiny and I liked it that way.
-Wood chargers. Kay, these are my moms and they're incredible. Hers are from World Market but LOOK WHAT I JUST FOUND! They have really similar ones from wait for it... Dollar Tree! Here's the link! 
- The beaded plates are also my mom's and I'm not sure where she found them but I have some very similar from the dollar store. I don't think they sell them right now, but keep an eye out! In the meantime, here's some cute ones from Target. 
- Some pretty glasses. And believe it or not, they totally have those at the Dollar Store too! But here's some from Target also! 
- And last but not least, some silverware! I'm sure you all already have some but if not, go with gold. Holy moly these would be gorgeous for Thanksgiving! 

As far as styling goes, first lay your tablecloth down. I then placed my chargers and plates to know how much room I'd have for the centerpiece. I just used a 6 ft table so most dining tables will definitely have more space but setting the plates first will still help. I then made my eucalyptus runner and then just started placing the rest! It hardly took any time and was super festive and fun! I think the reason I love holidays so much is because I love having the creative side of my brain have fun with this sort of stuff. I promise if you make holidays special, they will feel soo much more special!

I really hope you all have a wonderful holiday. I also want you all to know how grateful I am for each of you! Your constant love and support means so much to our family! xoxo

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Best Ever Green Bean Casserole

So, I know most people say their favorite part about Thanksgiving is the mashed potatoes, the rolls, maybe the stuffing... but seriously the green bean casserole is SO overlooked.  It has actually always been my favorite. I just love that combination of flavors. Last Thanksgiving, I made it the traditional way... you know, cream of mushroom soup, salt and pepper, canned green beans, all that normal stuff. As I was making it I kept thinking how much better it would be from scratch. How much better it would be with sautéed mushroom, fresh green beans, real garlic... I was literally salivating thinking about it. So, for Christmas I decided to attempt it and will literally never look back. Now don't get me wrong, just because you're using real ingredients rather than canned, does not mean it makes it any healthier, ha! But I can promise you, you'll never overlook the green bean casserole again! Also, you'd think that one of my favorite recipes would get better pictures... you'd think.... But, we were rushing out the door and I completely forgot until right before we were dishing up at a recent Friendsgiving. So, here's some mediocre iPhone pictures that will just have to do for now haha. 

 - 2 bags Green giant fresh green beans. (That comes out to about a pound and a half so you don't have to get that brand, it just made it convenient)
- 5 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
- 4 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 can French's Fried Onions
-1 package fresh mushrooms (dice them)
- about 1/4 cup diced yellow onion
- salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Boil a large pot of salted water.
2. Wash your green beans. Cut off any stems left on them. Cut them in half. Once the water is boiling, add them in for 7-10 minutes or until you've reached your desired consistency. Please, I beg you, just don't let them turn to mush! 
3) In a medium saucepan melt 4 tbsp of butter. It melts best if you cut it down into 4 pieces. Just make sure you stir it while melting so it doesn't burn. Once it's melted add in your garlic and give it a good few stirs or until the garlic becomes very fragrant. Whisk your flour in to form a roux and continue to whisk until completely smooth. 
4) Slowly pour in the chicken broth and whisk until combined. Let that cook for another 5 minutes. 
5) Pour in milk and cream and whisk until combined. Add in salt and pepper to your liking. I like to add some garlic salt too. Let that thicken on medium low heat. It'll take between 10-15 minutes. 
6) While sauce is thickening add your leftover tbsp of butter to a small pan and let that melt. Add in your mushroom and onion and sautee until both are wilted. Sprinkle salt and pepper. 
7) In your baking dish first add all your green beans in an even layer. Next add the sautéed veggies in an even layer. Then pour sauce over the top and try to evenly distribute. Lastly, top with your fried onions and bake for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbling on sides and everything looks well combined. I also place a piece of foil over the top for the last 10 or so minutes so the onions don't burn. 

I really hope you guys love this as much as we do!
Please let me know if you tried it!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy