Monday, October 31, 2016

Finding Motivation With Aaptiv

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Does anyone else find it difficult to keep up the motivation to stay fit and active when the temperatures outside drop? Glad I'm not the only one who lets their routine go by the wayside if you feel a cold chill nip at their legs. During the summer I manage to make it outside at least every other day if not everyday. I'm a runner. It's the one thing I manage to do consistently. Once in awhile I will look up a yoga or pilates work out if I'm feeling a bit more sluggish and, you know, bleh.

The running becomes a bit more difficult to do when we get into fall and winter. For some reason I don't dig the burning cold in my lungs, and refuse to step foot in the gym—on principle...I don't like working out with others. Yeah, I'm one of those.

This morning was another cool one, but I knew that I needed to get outside and break my week of not doing anything. While I was sipping my coffee and scrolling through my Instagram roll, I came across a sponsored post by Aaptiv. I had seen the fitness app advertised before and figured that maybe the addition of a curated playlist and a supportive voice cutting in and out of the music would help me to keep up the motivation to move.

After setting up my free trial (7 days!) I searched through the Outdoor Running list and found the Zombie Run workout. I loved it! It was a fun, Halloween-themed playlist—it's always great to close with "Thriller" right?—and a great workout to get me back into running since my little break. I absolutely loved the experience with the app and intend to use this free trial to the fullest extent. Who knows, I might even keep up with the subscription!

<3 Ashley

How do you find motivation to workout as autumn continues? Have you used Aaptiv?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

How-to: Boot Care

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Fall for me not only means changing leaves and cooler days, but also means re-introducing my boots and booties into my daily wardrobe. As the season progresses further and we make our way into winter—sometimes early...did anyone else hear about snow in November? Is this a real thing?—our boots begin to show the scars of jaunts through muddy, snowy terrain. I'm here to share a few tips to keep your boots looking great through these next few messy months.

The issues I typically run into are due to snow and salt; my thanks and gratitude to the city of Pittsburgh for their HEAVY salt application on sidewalks. What I typically have been able to get away with is rubbing it away with some warm water and maybe a little bit of soap. However, another effective way of removing those salt stains from your leather is a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar. Either way, please be gentle!

In my research I have found that there are a number of proper ways to ensure that your boots are able to stand the wear and tear of fall/winter weather. From the quick tips to the products made for leather care, I have learned a lot about what I should be doing to make my boots last a lot longer than they do. Like leather conditioner??? Did you know that was a thing??? Well it is, and if you want a good way to avoid cracking (I have a few bags that could benefit) it is best to apply some leather conditioner.

More care should be taken to keep your leather boots intact and effectively protective. King Ranch Saddle Shop in Texas provides further tips that ensure that your boots last through the winter, which may be a bad one this year! I find it easy to take tips from those who know their craft and since King Ranch has been in the leather business for awhile (check out their men's and women's boots as well as bags) I trust them to know their stuff. They've even shared a nice little graphic, offering some of their best care tips:

<3 Ashley

How do you care for your leather boots? Do you have any tips?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Let's Get Deep

No, no. Not emotionally. Love you guys but I don't think that we are at that level yet! I'm talking colors. More specifically I'm talking colors for fall. I love this season when colors get a little bit deeper and take on a more natural palette reflecting the changing leaves on the trees. Does a burnt orange sweater give anyone else goosebumps? Just me? Cool.

This is the season when sandals give rise to ankle boots, and shorts are replaced by jeans and leggings. From sweaters to scarves to nail color, here are a few of my favorite things:

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<3 Ashley

What is your favorite fall color?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fall Flavors & Favorite Recipes

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There are many reasons that I love fall. The season brings about change in a number of different areas: fashion, beauty, activity, and best of all—and our focus today—food. There is not much better than the bold spices and rich flavors that grace dinner menus during this season. While on my most recent trip, I was thrilled to see the squash varieties lined up and the apples colorfully arranged. My mind started spinning with all of the possibilities: soups, sauces, and desserts are my favorite cooking categories during the fall. Here are a few recipes that I look forward to incorporating into my autumn cooking:

- Pumpkin Chipotle Soup: This is a recipe I shared about two years ago on here. I had bought an immersion blender for myself and committed to whipping up homemade soups and putting pride in something that did not come out of a can just to be heated up. This soup has a wonderful pumpkin flavor with a chipotle kick that will hit you right away, but fade off the palette shortly after—which I like. Spice is good, but after awhile it can be a bit overwhelming.

- Pumpkin Pancakes: This is actually just a small adjustment from the single serving pancakes recipe that I've shared before. I did not feel like going out of my way to find a whole new pancake recipe when I had one that I was perfectly content with. Instead, I kept the recipe and simply added a few fall spices and a few tablespoons of pumpkin puree. You can adjust amounts to your personal taste.

- Butternut Squash Pasta Carbonara: This is a recipe that I have been wanting to try since I first spotted it on Pinterest, my home planet. My friend and I had a full on fall day once last year and picked up a jar of butternut pasta sauce and were absolutely in love. I would love to try my hand at making the sauce from scratch. I will update with the imminent success story. #confident

<3 Ashley

What are your favorite fall recipes? What ingredients do you use the most during the season?