Transitional Weather Workout Gear

Dave and I went for my longest run I’ve ever done over the weekend, and it felt so good–this cool weather we’ve been getting lately made it feel so much easier! It got me thinking, though–as much as I love this time of year for outdoor workouts, it can be kind of tricky to figure out what to wear. I know a lot of people layer up and that works well for them, but I hate carrying anything when I’m running, so I headed to some of my favorite workout attire sources to look for alternatives. Here’s what I have my eye on!

fall workout gearGray hoodie, reflective headband, sunglassespink long sleeve running shirt, oatmeal jogger pantsgray hooded vestperiwinkle sneakers, slate FitBit, fruit infusion water bottle, navy leggings

I read once that ideally, you should feel a little chilly when you head outside for a workout, since you’ll warm up so much once you get moving. I love the idea of a vest over a long sleeve shirt or a lightweight hoodie and leggings for the transitional days ahead. I’m also a big fan of that reflective headband, especially for after daylight savings when it’s often dark by the time I head outside. Safety first :)

I have those sunglasses and leggings in particular on my Christmas list, and after finally settling on the slate color, I’m getting a new FitBit soon (the first one lasted about 48 hours–do NOT get the Tory Burch bands. They fall off!). If you use one, I’d love to hear how you like it!

What do you wear to work out outside during transitional months? Are there any must-haves that I missed?

October Goals

One of my absolute favorite things about my job is the opportunity to travel, and ever since my busy spring/early summer, I’ve been saying “I’m sticking close to home till October.” Well, here October is, and I’m gearing up for one of my busiest work travel months ever! It’s all for amazing things and opportunities that I’m so grateful for–my second trip to Bridal Market and my first speaking engagement at a conference in Charleston. I’m equally excited (and a little nervous) for both, and with most of my energy being put toward those trips right now, I’m keeping my October goals simple and straightforward. I’m hoping they’ll help keep me on track with my health and taking care of my relationships this month, even amidst everything going on!

fall decor

September Goals

1. Host Dave’s parents well in our apartment.
2. Serve my first couple well at their wedding ceremony! 
3. Successfully complete my first month of my fall capsule wardrobe.
4. Stay under our food budget. – We haven’t calculated this yet, but I think we were close. Still room for improvement though.
5. Start a new fall tradition with Dave. – We haven’t decided on one, but we have some ideas!

October Goals

1. Complete month #2 of my capsule wardrobe.
2. Make healthy choices during my travels.
3. Send a postcard or letter every week to someone I love.
4. Start brainstorming about Christmas shopping!

My Favorite Tortilla Soup

While most of mine and Dave’s favorite recipes appeared in this post last week, one of our biggest cold weather staples was very obviously missing: this tortilla soup! My mom has been making the same one forever, and during my first winter of cooking for myself, she emailed me a photo of the recipe. There are SO many tortilla soup recipes out there, but I never bother to try any of them because I like this one so much. It’s ridiculously cheap, easy, quick (20 minutes from start to dinner time), and delicious, and since Dave and I threw a pot together over the weekend, I snapped a picture to share along with the recipe!

tortilla soup


2 cups no salt-added tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup bottled salsa (I like Herdez in Medium)
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (14 oz) can reduced sodium chicken broth
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, minced
Shredded Mexican or Monterey Jack cheese
Tortilla chips


Combine first 9 ingredients in a large saucepan, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 12 minutes.

That’s it! I like to ladle it over some crushed tortilla chips and top it with shredded cheese, as the original instructions suggest. Dave adds a dash of hot sauce and a dollop of Greek yogurt (our permanent substitute for sour cream). You can also mix in cilantro, diced avocado, some lime juice, or even shredded chicken. Enjoy!

How I Organize My Go-To Recipes

Fun fact: the first blogs I ever read were food blogs. It was the perfect timing–it was 2010 (a golden year for blogs, in my opinion!), I was in my first semester of living in an apartment, and I had quickly discovered that my attempt at healthy eating (read: lots of Lean Cuisine) left me feeling sluggish and uninspired. Enter Oh She Glows, How Sweet It Is, and a handful of others who, more or less, taught me how to fend for myself sans-meal plan and have fun in the kitchen. Like many of y’all, I’m sure, I still have a stack of recipe printouts in a drawer, but without a doubt, my number one favorite place to save recipes now is Pinterest!

healthy food1Quick Tex Mex Sweet Potato Skillet by ifoodreal, Caprese Quinoa by Damn Delicious, Clean Turkey Chili by Eat Yourself Skinny

I don’t think it would be exaggerating for me to say that 75% of the recipes Dave and I make on a regular basis are food bloggers’ recipes that are saved to my three food boards. Whenever I pin a recipe, it goes to Healthy Food, Food, or Sweets. I used to have just one food board, but splitting them up prevents me from setting out to make a salad and ending up with five-cheese macaroni with bacon on top…not speaking from experience or anything ;) The Healthy Food board is always my very first stop when meal planning for the week.

healthy food25-Ingredient Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers by Gimme Some Oven, BLT Chopped Salad with Corn, Feta, and Avocado by How Sweet It Is, 5-Ingredient Easy White Chicken Chili via Gimme Some Oven

After I make any recipe, I always leave a comment on my own pin to record any modifications, what we made it for, and anything I might want to remember about it, such as if the prep took forever or the portion sizes were off. If I didn’t like the recipe, it gets deleted.

healthy food3Chopped Chicken Taco Salad by How Sweet It Is, One Pan Mexican Quinoa by Damn Delicious, BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad by Eat Yourself Skinny

What’s your favorite way to find and keep track of recipes? I’m always on the hunt for new ones, so I’d love to hear your favorites!

P.S. The photos and links throughout this post are the top meals in our rotation right now–they’re all from my Healthy Food board, and I wholeheartedly recommend all of them!

Fall Capsule Wardrobe Recap #1

It has been two weeks since I started my capsule wardrobe (read more about it here and see the pieces I included here), and so far, so good! I think I’m in the easiest part of it–the concept still feels like a novelty, and I haven’t even cycled through all my shirts yet. I do have a few random thoughts on this process, which I’m sharing below, but first, here are a few of my outfits so far. It still feels a lot like summer in North Carolina, so I’ve been glad I added shorts and a pair of sandals to my capsule wardrobe at the last minute!

capsule wardrobe 1 and 2Left: Gray tee, navy shorts, Jack Rogers, coral lipstick; worn to work (my office is really casual!)
Right: Chambray shirt, gray skirt, flats (similar), purse, belt; worn on a Sunday for Mass, brunch, and a walk around downtown Raleigh
capsule wardrobe 3 and 4Left: Tunic, black pants, flats (similar); worn to assist at my first rehearsal as part of my church’s wedding committee!
Right: Striped shirt (similar), navy shorts, studded flats (similar); worn to work
capsule wardrobe 5 and 6Left: Shirtdress, Jack Rogers, monogrammed tortoiseshell bangle; worn to work
Right: Navy tee, black pants, plaid smoking slippers; worn to a weeknight hangout with friends at a brewery in downtown Raleigh

(Sorry my hair looks a million different colors in the photos above–they were taken at all different times and on a few different cameras! Also, I have a much-needed haircut scheduled for Saturday. #finally)

A few thoughts so far! They’re a little random, so bear with me :)

1. I’m not a big jewelry person, but I have been wearing a bit more than usual. Even though I’m not bored of any of my clothes yet, I’m hoping this is a proactive way to keep things looking and feeling fresh and different.
2. I’m glad I stuck to a color palette that’s really “me” (blues, grays, pinks, whites, etc.) rather than filling my capsule wardrobe with warm, fall colors. It was tempting when sifting through inspiration, but since I don’t usually gravitate toward fall colors, I think I would’ve grown tired of them pretty quickly. (I did throw in just a few things that fit a typical fall palette, like this sweater and this jacket.)
3. In the interest of full disclosure, there have been a good handful of days over the past two weeks when I’ve been in workout clothes all day. Workout clothes aren’t part of capsule wardrobes, so they’re a bit of a free pass :)

Overall, it’s going well and I really haven’t found any cons yet, but I’ll keep y’all posted. If you have any questions or want me to address anything in particular in my next recap, let me know!