My Favorite Things: January

january-favorite-thingsHello from Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge! I have the super cool opportunity to try out their new wellness package, so I’m spending the night across the river. I’ll share details on the blog next week, but for now you can follow me on Instagram and/or Snapchat (@nicoleperr)!

Ok, January favorites the night of February 4th–guys, I’m getting better! Dare I say this post is almost timely?? Go me. Go blog.

Favorite Products

Ursa Major Face Wipes

ursa-major-face-wipesThese are my favorite face wipes I’ve ever used. Granted, I’ve probably only tried a handful of brands, but these rock. They don’t leave any sticky residue, they don’t dry out my skin–they actually leave my face feeling clean. They come individually wrapped, so I’ll throw one in my bag if I know I won’t be able to wash my face in between teaching/taking classes. Also perfect for traveling (I swear ten minutes into a flight my face is a sheet of grease!).

Tailwind

tailwind-screenshotI use this blogging tool for Pinterest scheduling and love it! You add images to your queue and it’ll automatically pin them at optimal times. You also have options to pin the same image to multiple boards and schedule any interval of time between the publish dates. You have access to a ton of metrics in your dashboard and can even connect your Google Analytics so see correlations between revenue and certain pins. It’s $15/month but you can try it for a month for free if you use my referral link.

Favorite Workouts

First Long Run along the Marathon Route

I’ll write more on this when I post my next marathon training summary, but instead of the loop around the Charles River I’ve been doing for my long runs, I decided to start taking them to the actual course (a benefit of training for Boston in Boston). It got me so excited for April!!

BodyPump

BSC BODYPUMP ReviewI wrote about it in this post, but it was fun to try something new! I’ve been sticking to my go-to classes ever since putting my Classpass membership on hold so it was a real treat to switch things up.

Favorite Eats

Smoothies from The Juicery

the-juicery-boston-blueberry-mintI love that The Juicery is right around the corner from Btone’s North End studio! In between classes, I’ve loved trying out their menu of smoothies for a little mid-morning fuel. Pictured is their Blueberry Mint Smoothie (+hemp protein powder) and it’s DELICIOUS. I love that there are so many healthy options for eating and working out popping up in the North End! Back when I lived there, it was all pizza, bakeries and pasta.

Creamy Thai Sweet Potato Curry

coconut-curry-sweet-potatoThis recipe from Pinch of Yum is SO GOOD. Easy, flavorful and a perfect vegetarian dinner option.

Favorite Things To Which I Listened

Marathon training = lots of listening going on. Podcasts and audiobooks are my jam right now.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

I listened to Bossypants on Audible during long runs and was laughing out loud like a crazy person. Tina Fey just casually drops these one-liners into her stories that are just too perfect. This book definitely lived up to the hype.

I Forgot To Die: Khalil Rafati’s Journey From Homeless Junkie To Wellness Entrepreneur via Rich Roll Podcast

I was so engrossed in this podcast. Khalil Rafati’s story is incredible and so inspiring! He went from the darkest depths of heroine addiction, homelessness and psychosis to owning a booming organic juice and smoothie company in California.

Favorite Moments

Ice Skating at Frog Pond
frog-pond-skating

Joe is a trooper and humored me with a trip to Frog Pond in the Boston Common to go skating. It’s crowded, the rental skates are in desperate need of sharpening and the ice is pretty much snow, but that’s all part of the charm (I’m not being sarcastic!). The people watching is great (I think people watching is our favorite activity) and with the Christmas lights twinkling it was a wonderful way to spend a winter evening in Boston.

Long Weekend in Maine

rangeley-maine-view rangeley-maine-1My parents’ place in Maine is incredibly relaxing. The house is always cozy warm with a fire roaring in the living room, while outside the views are amazing. During the day we snowmobiled and did a little pond skating (well, Joe did … I attempted to use figure skates and after five minutes of flailing around and tripping on that damn toe pick I decided to just watch him haha). At night we humored my dad and his motocross buddies by eating elk and drinking whiskey (us soft city folk prefer salads and a glass of wine). 😉

Teaching a Charity Btone Class for My Friends

btone-charity-class As part of my fundraising efforts for MABVI, I held a donation-based class at Btone for some of my friends–it was so fun!

I won’t be posting tomorrow so enjoy your weekend!

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Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars

(No-Bake) Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars -- easy to make and the perfect snack!  | pumpsandiron.comThese are like a healthier, chewy oatmeal raisin cookie. I’d like to say I prepped a bunch to eat throughout the week as a grab-and-go post-workout snack but the first time I made them … Joe and I ate the entire batch in an evening. They’re that tasty.

These are vegan and if you use gluten-free oats, also gluten-free.(No-Bake) Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars -- easy to make and the perfect snack!  | pumpsandiron.com

Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars

Yield: 6-8 bars (depending on how big you cut them)

Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ¼ cup almond butter*
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup raisins, separated in half
  • 10 pitted dates**
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ cup crushed dry roasted almonds (optional)***

Instructions

  1. Put the oats in a food processor and combine for about 15 seconds until a rough flour consistency.
  2. Add in the dates, 1/4 cup raisins, almond butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and pinch of sea salt. Run the processor until fully combined into a big ball of dough (in my processor this took about 1 minute.
  3. Remove your dough and knead the remaining 1/4 cup of raisins into it.
  4. Press dough evenly into a small baking pan lined with parchment paper (mine is 6" x 6").
  5. OPTIONAL: Press crushed almonds on top firmly so that they sink into the mixture.
  6. Cover pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove and use a knife to cut the mixture into bars. Separate and enjoy!

Notes

*I recommend using runny almond butter so that the texture isn't too dry. **Dates should be sticky and mooshy. If they're dry, soak in water until soft. ***These are delicious with or without the almonds on top. It was an awesome added crunch when I used them, but I think the bars are equally yummy without the almonds. STORING: I like to store these in the refrigerator in a tupperware container with small pieces of parchment paper in between the bars so that they don't stick together.

http://pumpsandiron.com/2016/02/03/oatmeal-raisin-energy-bars/
(No-Bake) Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars -- easy to make and the perfect snack!  | pumpsandiron.comDon’t be afraid to customize these! You could swap the maple syrup for honey; add in some hemp seeds for a nutritional boost; replace 1/4 cup of the oats with an equal amount of protein powder–have fun with it! (No-Bake) Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars -- easy to make and the perfect snack!  | pumpsandiron.com I might have overdone the whole artistically-toss-spare-ingredients-around-the-photoshoot thing with this one … 😉 signature

$100 Kohl’s Gift Card Giveaway

Kohl's Sale & $100 Gift Card GiveawayOk so this is the tie in to that really random post about assembling furniture–it all makes sense now right?? 😉

I recently got the opportunity to work with Kohl’s to spread the word about their upcoming home sale, and as part of the project was able to pick out some items to help make my own home healthier. I honestly have my little apartment packed to max with stuff already, so I instantly thought of my nephews and niece.

Like a lot of kids, the boys are OBSESSED with videogames, and whenever Joe and I are visiting we always like to get them away from the screens and outside to play and be active. I have nothing against (age-appropriate) video games (Mario Kart at sleepovers was my jam back in the day), but you have to balance it out. After browsing Kohl’s extensive Sporting Goods selection, I stumbled across the trampolines and suddenly my unfulfilled childhood Christmas lists came rushing back. I was admittedly spoiled as a kid at Christmas, but the one thing my parents firmly said “no” at was a trampoline. Well now I’m a grown adult and if I want to break my arm and encourage my nephews to do the same, dangit that’s what I’m gonna do. 

Kohl's Sale & $100 Gift Card Giveaway Kohl's Sale & $100 Gift Card Giveaway Kohl's Sale & $100 Gift Card Giveaway

Yup, that’s a calculator in her hands. Very necessary for trampoline jumping!

I got them a 15-ft Skywalker Trampoline with a netting enclosure (see, perfectly safe!) and they love it … almost as much as I do. And jumping on that thing is a WORKOUT. I’m completely breathless 10 minutes in! That entire Christmas weekend, the kids were outside nonstop either playing on the trampoline or with their new street hockey gear–it was such a huge success!

$100 Kohl’s Gift Card Giveaway

To enter to win, leave a comment on this post telling me what item you’d purchase to make your home just that much healthier–new blender, yoga mat, tupperware for food prep, etc. Use the widget below to confirm you’ve left a comment so that your entry is collected. Once you do that, you’ll unlock some *optional* ways to get bonus entries.

Winner will be selected tomorrow evening. I know that’s a quick window for entering, but I want the winner to be able to use their gift card while the sale is going on. Open to all readers worldwide! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Even if you don’t win, you can still save on all Kohl’s home purchases tomorrow (1/29) through Wednesday (2/3). Here’s how their sale works:

  • 1/29-2/3: $10 off $50 home purchase with Promo Code HOME10
  • 1/29-1/30 20% off using promo code FORYOU20

These codes can be stacked!

And I have to end with this video. If you follow me on Instagram, you already saw it, but I seriously laugh every time I watch it. This perfectly sums up what it’s like to have a brother:

Oh the joys of having brothers… 🙄

A video posted by Nicole Perry • Pumps & Iron (@nicoleperr) on

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Disclosure: While I was not compensated, I did receive my own Kohl’s gift card in exchange for this post. All opinions–as always!–are my own.