My Favorite Things: March

My monthly roundup of all my favorite things from March! Products, food, workouts, podcasts, moments--everything!

“In like a lion, out like a lamb.” I’m not talking about the weather, I’m talking about the amount of blog posts I’ve published this month (LOL). Things have been quiet around here the last couple weeks as I try to figure out a balance between blogging, teaching and studying for my aromatherapy certification, and I appreciate you guys bearing with me. I’m falling into more of a schedule but there will realistically be weeks here and there where the blog falls silent until I’ve completed this course. It’ll be worth it in the end because I’m going to have endless quality content about essential oils, DIY skin/hair care, homeopathic remedies, etc., etc. to share with you when I’ve “graduated”. The workouts and recipes aren’t going anywhere, but I’m pumped to expand into this new area of (soon-to-be) expertise.

In the meantime, let’s talk about my favorite things from March!

Favorite Products

Marble Matte Laptop Cover

My favorite things - marble lap top cover caseIf being basic is wrong, I don’t want to be right. I know literally every single blogger and Instagrammer has a marble laptop or iPhone cover, but that doesn’t make me any less excited about mine. Aesthetically it’s great, but I also just love the way it feels (a smooth matte rubber). Best $16.99 I spent all month. (Also comes in black marble).

Detached Turtleneck Sweater by LNA (c/o Shopbop)

When I’m wearing normal people clothing (i.e. not workout gear), there’s a solid chance this top is involved–I love it! It’s more henley than sweater material so it’ll transition easily into warmer weather (pair it with shorts and strappy sandals!).

Naturopathica Face Sunscreen

I’ve been using this protective moisturizer as a face sunscreen for a year now and love it. It’s one of the few natural sunscreens I’ve found that actually rubs in with no white residue. It’s only SPF 17 and is meant to be more of a daily moisturizer I think, but I use it as sunscreen at the beach and it works great! (I tan easily though–wouldn’t necessarily recommend it if you burn easily!)

Rolling Under Bed Storage Boxes

My Favorite Things - Under Bed Rolling Storage ContainersThe painfully slow apartment decorating process crawls on for me with the addition of these rolling under bed storage boxes. We only have one closet in the entire apartment so utilizing the space under our bed is a must. There’s chalkboard paint on the end of these so that you can label them, which I will if I ever get around to buying chalk. 😉

Favorite Workouts

6-Mile Run in the Florida Sunshine

Post 6-mile run in FloridaI haven’t run more than three or four consecutive miles since the 2016 Boston Marathon, which is kinda crazy but my knees and feet were like “girl, please stop with the distance” and I’m happy that I listened to them. When I was visiting my grandparents in Florida though, I went on one of those runs that just felt so good I couldn’t stop it short–don’t you love those?! Where everything just clicks and you feel like you’re gliding more so than running. I was in the warm sunshine after a brutal Boston winter (that has still not ended), I had a great playlist going, my legs felt fresh and strong … oh, and I got completely lost. It was an unintentional but glorious 6 miles.

Mitt Work at EverybodyFights

I’ve been taking group boxing classes regularly for a year or so now, but I’ve never had a one-on-one session (and boy did it show LOL). I’m excited to take what I learned from George and apply it in group classes and will definitely be doing more mitt work sessions!

Favorite Eats

My Frozen Take on The Healthy Maven’s Blueberry Muffin Energy Bites

Frozen Blueberry Muffin Bites - a yummy healthy dessert option!

This recipe as-is on Davida’s blog is delicious and I highly recommend it. The other week, I made it and added fresh blueberries and then dipped the bites in hemp seeds and froze them (I have no idea where this idea came from) and loved the result. It was like frozen blueberry pie filling and made for a sticky, but delicious bite-sized dessert.

Flourless Banana Blender Muffins from Chocolate Covered Katie

Flourless Banana Blender Muffins - My Favorite Things MarchThese are on some next level shit, you guys. Joe and I (it was mostly me if I’m being honest here) ate the entire first batch in a day. So, naturally I made a second batch and that lasted … two days.

Hippeas

Hippeas Snacks - My Favorite Things MarchI was sent a big sample gift pack of these chickpea snacks and loved them! They kinda have the same texture as Pirate’s Booty and my favorite flavors were the maple haze and pepper power.

Chaga Mushroom Elixir

Chaga Mushroom Elixir - My Favorite Things MarchI got a box of this in a swag bag months ago and decided to give it a try since I’m now off the good stuff (coffee) and in need of a warm morning beverage to look forward to. I was skeptical at first, but am loving this chaga mushroom drink. I make it with hot water and almond milk just as I would coffee and sometimes add a bit of honey. The brand has other similar mushroom “elixirs” that I’m going to give a try: Lion’s Mane for concentration and focus and Cordyceps for energy.

Favorite Things I…

Read

Realistically, I won’t be reading too many books these next several months as most of my free time is now dedicated to studying for my Aromatherapy certification. Short articles it is:

  • [BLOG POST] I’ll Do It As Soon As I Lose Weight via Andie Mitchell | A good reminder not to put your life on hold while losing weight or trying to reach any other goal, wellness or otherwise. You’re deserving of love and good experiences regardless of your weight.
  • [BLOG POST] What If All I Want Is a Mediocre Life? via A Life in Progress | I think about this a lot lately and talked a little about it in this post about my experience at Revitalize. More and more I’ve realized that my goals might not be as “big” as I thought. Thanks to the internet, the sky really is the limit in terms of the possibility of scaling your blog and social accounts, and it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle for more followers, more notoriety, more influence, more impact. But do I even really want that?
  • [BLOG POST] My Favorite True Crime Podcasts via Joy the Baker | If you’re obsessed with true crime podcasts like I am, check out the comments section of this blog post–lots of good recommendations! Except I listened to Accused which was repeatedly recommended and really didn’t enjoy it. It covers the (allegedly) unsolved murder of a young woman back in the seventies and while I typically am captivated by these types of stories, it happened so long ago that literally 80% of the key players are dead and there is zero physical evidence left. Plus the narrator drove me crazy–she sounded tired and exasperated the entire time as if her narration was one big audible sigh. I mean, I’d be, too, but it didn’t make for great listening in my opinion. Have you guys listened to it? What’d you think??

Listened To

  • [AUDIO BOOK] The Big LeapI don’t love self-help books because I always feel like they could have been condensed into an article length and still delivered the exact same message (anyone else feel this way??). That holds true for The Big Leap as well: a couple powerful, thought-provoking points and then a bunch of fluff examples that I could have done without. The book talks about how we get in our own way and self-sabotage when things are going too well because we subconsciously have a preconceived notion about how much happiness and success we deserve.
  • [PODCAST] Is There a Downside to Wellness and Social Media? via That’s So Maven | Loved this episode of the That’s So Maven podcast!
  • [PODCAST] S-TownThis podcast from the creators of Serial was released in its entirety this week so naturally I binge listened to the entire thing in two days. At first I felt tricked. The way they promoted it made me think it was a true crime investigation about a murder and it’s not. But I still really loved it. It’s a beautiful portrait of a complicated man.

Watched

  • [TV] 60 Days In | Joe and I have been binging on this A&E show–we’re so into it! A group of civilians are put in jail without the other inmates or the COs knowing they’re not really criminals so that the Sheriff can gather intel on the operation of the prison. It’s fascinating. We’re just on the first season but I think there are two or three out already.
  • [PLAY] Something Rotten | I haven’t been to musical in over a decade but my Mimi (grandmother) loves them and we went to see Something Rotten when I visited her in Florida. I loved the show! It was clever and funny and you’ll especially appreciate it if you love Shakespeare, English literature and/or musicals. They’re touring around the country right now and you can see if it’s coming to your neck of the woods here.

Alright, that’s all for me today!

What were some of your favorites from March?
Fellow podcast listeners–what did you think of Accused? S-Town? Any other recommendations for me?

My monthly favorites posts are never sponsored, however they typically contain a few affiliate links. I get sent a lot of free products, and the first section of this post might highlight a couple of my favorites. I’m never required to or being paid to feature these freebies and only share the ones I truly love and think my readers will enjoy as well.

Style Haul: Saving on my Latest Wardrobe Additions (+Giveaway!)

Styling a Sam Edelman pea coat and Mink Pink crop top from thredUP. Enter to win a $250 thredUP credit on the blog!

This post is sponsored by thredUP. All opinions are–as always!–my own. I appreciate your support of the brands that make this blog possible.

It’s crazy how much our priorities shift as we grow older. Not just with how we spend our time, but in how we choose to spend our money. In my teens and early twenties, every spare dollar I had went to clothes. I was obsessed with shopping and definitely had a “more is more” mentality about adding to my wardrobe. That’s why I named my blog Pumps & Iron in the first place–a play off pumping iron and pumps, my favorite type of shoe at the time (LOL I literally wear sneakers 24/7 now). I was determined to be a fashion (and fitness) blogger but ironically, as soon as I purchased my domain name, my spending priorities began to shift.

Nowadays, I’d much rather splurge on healthy food and workout classes than clothes. Don’t get me wrong, I still love fashion, but I just can no longer justify buying things at retail cost. There are a few exceptions to that, but for the most part, when I do shop, I stick to sales and consignment stores like thredUP.

Style haul from thredUP. Enter to win a $250 credit on the blog!Style haul from thredUP. Enter to win a $250 credit on the blog!

thredUP is the largest online resale store that buys and sells high-quality secondhand fashion for women and kids. They have on trend, like-new fashion from name brands and designers for up to 90% off, and everything you order arrives in a cute polkadot box, neatly folded and tagged. Their selection is huge with thousands of items being added everyday, so I’d recommend searching by brand when shopping the site. Once you type in the name of your favorite designer, you can then filter by size, color, price and style to find what you want. I always have to mentally prepare to really go digging when I shop at brick-and-mortar consignment shops so I love the ease of these online filters.

Over the last year, thredUP has actually become my go-to for Lululemon gear. I really do love their stuff, but I just can’t bring myself to pay full price for it when, let’s be real, I don’t need any more workout clothing. Every so often I’ll go to thredUP and see if they have any cute Lulu gear in my size and so far I’ve scored two tanks I wear all the time, a hoodie I’m obsessed with, and most recently these awesome print leggings. I got them for $64.99 (down from $118 retail) and they’re in like-new condition–seriously can’t even tell someone else owned them!

Styling Lululemon leggings and a J Crew top from thredUP. You can win a $250 credit on the blog!

thredUP inspects each item it receives by hand to ensure all clothing is in like-new condition, and some pieces even are brand new. The J.Crew muscle tank I’m wearing was $15.99 (down from $50) and still had the original tag on it. Score! I love the pocket detail and it can be knotted to pair with high-waisted bottoms or worn as-is with jeans.

Styling Lululemon leggings and a J Crew top from thredUP. You can win a $250 credit on the blog!

I also scored a Sam Edelman wool coat for $48.99 (down from $143) which is going to come in handy given the freezing temperatures here in Boston. I love the faux leather details on the jacket because it makes it easier to dress both up and down. I can layer a hoodie under it when walking to teach at the studio or take a workout class or wear it with a dressier outfit.

Styling Sam Edelman jacket, Lululemon leggings and a J Crew top from thredUP. You can win a $250 credit on the blog!

The last of the four items I got in my latest thredUP haul was this Mink Pink crop top for $9.99 (down from $30). I love the pattern and metallic details. I’m pairing it below with high waisted dress pants and I’m sure it’ll be a go-to this summer as well.

Styling a Mink Pink crop top from thredUP. Enter to win a $250 thredUP credit on the blog! Styling a Mink Pink crop top from thredUP. Enter to win a $250 thredUP credit on the blog!

In total, I saved $201.04 buying the four items on thredUP instead of retail. Woop! That’s like seven group fitness classes or two salads at Whole Foods (LOL but not LOL because it’s too close to the truth #WholePaycheck). And get excited because you all are about to save big, too …

$250 thredUP Giveaway (+Discount Code)

I’m so excited to be able to give one lucky reader a $250 credit to shop thredUP! With their pricing, you can get a lot for $250. Here’s how to enter:

  1. Go to thredUP and browse a bit until you find a piece you’d definitely add to your cart if you won.
  2. Comment on this post sharing your favorite thedUP find and leaving a link to the piece.

I’ll select a winner Monday night (3/13).

If you’re not the lucky winner, don’t fret: thredUP is offering Pumps & Iron readers a special discount! The first 100 people to use my code NICOLE40 will get an extra 40% off their first order. This applies to new US customers only; discount up to $50. Happy shopping!

My Favorite Things: February

Hey friends! I’m taking this week off from teaching and it’s had the summer vacation effect on me–I seriously have no clue what day of the week it is. I wake up all disorientated thinking I slept through an alarm, unsure if it’s the weekend or a week day, and I had to check my calendar to make sure that February is in fact ending and it’s time for my monthly roundup of favorites. Yes on both accounts, so here we go …

Favorite Products/Services

Crane & Lion Leggings

On Valentine’s Day, Crane & Lion surprised my last Btone class of the morning with free leggings (so generous!). I got their Capri Tight and love the detail on the back of the calf. The color I’m wearing isn’t available online, but a bunch of the other colors are on sale for $44 (down from $90).

MiniLuxe Performance Polish

I actually think painting my own nails is relaxing so I only get professional manicures on occasion, one such occasion being before Boston Winter Ball at the start of the month. I got MiniLuxe’s Performance Polish Manicure and am kicking myself for not knowing about it sooner. The polish is as durable as gel but comes off with regular nail polish remover. Mine lasted three weeks without chipping and when I wanted to take it off my nails underneath weren’t ruined like with gel. Yassss honey!

NorthernDrops Photo Backdrops

I heard about this Etsy shop from Julie’s blog and highly recommend it to any fellow bloggers! I usually just shoot food and small products on my white desk because I love the clean look of the photos, but I wanted some options for recipes. I don’t have a marble countertop located by a window, nor do I have the space to store a marble slab, so these paper prints are perfect! I went with a white marble and two different gray wood prints (they’re poster material) but there are tons of backdrop prints to choose from in the store. You can pick different sizes and the 22″ x 22″ ones that I got were only $9. Love that I can just roll them back up and tuck them away when I’m done shooting.

Favorite Workouts

Booty By Brabants Charity Class for Unicef

A post shared by baddie dae (@baddiedae) on


‘Tis the season for Boston Marathon fitness fundraisers! After experiencing the stress and misery of fundraising when I ran last year (some people are cut out for fundraising–I am not one of those people), it is really important to me that I support those doing it this year as best I can. Last weekend I went to a Booty By Brabants class (so fun!!) benefiting @baddiedae‘s marathon charity. I’m also going to be teaching a couple charity classes at Btone for other runners–I’ll keep you guys posted on the details of those if any local readers want to come! 🙂

Favorite Eats

by CHLOE

PUMPED by CHLOE came to Boston to serve up its vegan deliciousness! They had a media preview a couple nights before it officially opened and I got to sample a bunch of their menu items–everything was delicious (the sweet potato mac and cheese OMG). The Seaport area is exploding with new development and by CHLOE is located next to a new SoulCycle and Juice Press–what is this, New York?! 😉

Birch Benders Protein Pancakes Mix

I was sent samples of Birch Benders pancake mixes (protein, paleo and gluten-free versions) and Joe and I LOVED them–they’re so good! As far as taste goes, there isn’t a huge difference between the three, but if I had to pick, I think the protein was the favorite in our apartment. All you have to do is add water before cooking. Easy peasy.

Favorite Things I…

Watched

  • Jamesy Boy | This movie got terrible reviews but I enjoyed it. It’s based on the true story of a kid who was going down the wrong path, ends up in jail, and eventually turns his life around. The production quality isn’t stellar but it’s a really sweet story. Look for it on Netflix.
  • 30 Rock | How am I just now watching 30 Rock?! I’ve finally crawled out from under my rock (pun intended) and thank goodness because this show is hysterical. Joe and I binge watched the first season this past weekend and it makes me so happy to think I still have six seasons waiting for me. Dr. Spaceman?! I can’t. If you’re like me and jump into shows 2-10 years after they were popular then you MUST start 30 Rock. It’s on Netflix.
  • Janis: Little Girl Blue | This is another Netflix find. It’s a documentary on Janis Joplin’s life.

Read

  • [BOOK] Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel by Tom Wainwright | You guys are probably like WTF is up with your choice in books. As you can tell by these monthly roundups, I’m obsessed with murder mysteries and anything involving organized crime, and it’s been that way since I was a little kid (The Boxcar Children started it all). Narconomics goes into the economics of illegal drug trade, speaking about it using the same business terms you’d apply to a Fortune 500 company. I particularly enjoyed the parts of the book where he talks about potential solutions to the drug problem in this and other countries and the complicated challenges in actually executing such strategies.
  • [BLOG] You Are More Than a Meal Plan via Hummusapien | Measured meal plans and counting calories and macros can be a great help when starting a weight loss journey, healing gut issues, or in meeting specific high-level performance goals, and if they work for you, that’s awesome. But when tracking everything you put in your body becomes an obsession, you need to take a step back and change your approach.
  • [BLOG] The Later Blog | If you’re a blogger or work in marketing, I’d check out Later’s blog. Later is a platform for scheduling Instagram posts, so some of their posts are self-promoting (as would be expected), but I always enjoy reading their insights on the social network–some really helpful strategy stuff!

Listened To

  • [PODCAST] Up and Vanished | If you loved the first season of Serial, you need to listen to Up and Vanished. I’m only five episodes in but I’m obsessed. It looks into the unsolved disappearance of a Georgia woman and if any of you have listened to it, I need to know your thoughts in the comments! Right now I think the ex-boyfriend Marcus killed her but again, I’m only a few episodes in.
  • [PODCAST] Missing Richard Simmons | I’m conflicted about this podcast. I had heard things here and there about Richard Simmons disappearing from the public eye a few years ago but hadn’t thought much about it … until now. This podcast looks into the mysterious way he just cut himself off from even his closest friends and the more the guy digs into it, the stranger it seems. I will say, it’s a very captivating podcast, but I also find it sad. It seems in Richard Simmons there is a bit of the Robin Williams factor–the enigmatic entertainer who puts a smile on everyone’s face while inside they deal with deep sadness. And part of me feels like by listening to it, I’m only perpetuating that and being entertained by someone else’s struggle.

Favorite Moments

Boston Winter Ball Weekend

The Boston Winter Ball is an annual event started by Joe’s friends that benefits the Corey C. Griffin Foundation and it’s an absolute blast every year. 

The dress I wore is Elle Zeitoune and also comes in black. I’m obsessed with it. The slit is high so I wouldn’t recommend wearing it to a wedding or anything but if you have a fun formal event on the calendar, it’s worth the splurge! Shoes are Steve Madden.

Watching the Super Bowl

I grew up in Massachusetts so I’m a Pats fan by default, but I’m not going to pretend like I watch every game and am all invested in the season–quite the opposite. Even given my disinterest in football though–holy sh*t THAT GAME WAS CRAZY.

New Jersey Weekend

Joe and I spent President’s Day weekend down in New Jersey for his nephew’s 8th birthday and we lucked out with the best weather for entertaining three kids. We went to playgrounds, the boardwalk, and got in some highly competitive games of hide and seek in the back yard (don’t want to brag or anything but I had the best hiding spot E-V-E-R).

Starting an Aromatherapy Certification Program

If you’re an OG blog reader, you might remember me talking about studying essential oils and aromatherapy over a year ago. Life continually got in the way of starting a certification program back when I first planned but I am SO EXCITED to be able to say I’m officially enrolled with the Institute of Integrative Aromatherapy (I’ll talk much more about why I chose this program, etc., etc. in future blog posts). I don’t really set New Year’s resolutions, but I went into 2017 wanting to focus on education and learning more in this ever expanding field of wellness. I can’t wait to share my new expertise with you guys! It’s a self-paced course that I plan to complete in five-six months.

What made the highlight reel for you in February? Any other Up and Vanished listeners out there?? 

My monthly favorites posts are never sponsored, however they typically contain a few affiliate links. I get sent a lot of free products, and the first section of this post might highlight a couple of my favorites. I’m never required to or being paid to feature these freebies and only share the ones I truly love and think my readers will enjoy as well.