Let’s Try “Lifestyle” Ice Creams!

Have you noticed something going on?? Something in the freezer section of the grocery store?? So many “ice creams” are now trying to be all “hey! Hey! I’m totes healthy! You can eat the whole pint and it won’t blow your calorie budget for the day AND you can get some protein! Do it! Dooooo iiiiiitttt!! Ice cream for health!!”

I mean, it sounds good, but also a little bit like a clown trying to lure me into a van with candy. Are they worth the hype? I caught about 700* people buying Halo Top the last time I was at the grocery store, so maybe there’s something to it. Let’s try a bunch and find out!


Halo Top was invented because the founder was hypoglycemic and wanted a delicious dessert that wouldn’t spike his insulin, which is a valid reason to make such a thing. Somewhere along the line, fitness influencers and Crossfitters adopted it (22 grams of protein in a pint! #gainz) and it has become crazy popular. I mean, have you seen how much freezer real estate it gets at the store?? They even sell it at Walgreens!

My husband has some dietary reasons to avoid huge amounts of sugar as well, so it seems like there’s always a pint or two of Halo Top in our freezer- this one was easy to check off the list! I will agree that it is a pretty good ice cream replica, and a bonus is that it comes in a billion flavors, and even a few non-dairy alternatives, so there’s something for everyone. BUT it is sweetened with stevia, and I hate stevia. Like, haaaaaate it. For one, I really don’t like how it tastes, but even if I could get past that, if I eat stevia, it’s basically like I’ve eaten 100 very explosive bees all armed with tiny steak knives. So I get really mad when a thing says “no artificial sweeteners!!!” and then I dig deep into the ingredient list and fucking stevia is lurking around. NO THANK YOU.

So this whole stevia thing has my list narrowed down to lifestyle ice creams that also don’t have stevia, which is…. a shorter list.


“Fit Frozen Desserts!” “Lactose Free!” “Gluten Free!” “Fat Free!” “GMO Free!” are things listed all over the package for this guy. It should also include “Flavor Free!”. I tried Cookie Shake, and it was sad. Not terrible, per se- it was, chocolate-ish? But so boring that eating the whole pint wasn’t even appealing. You know it’s good when you forget it’s even in the freezer- I never finished eating it beyond the first half inch down.

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My camping essentials.

Camping season is upon us!  Now with more shelter!  My husband and I have always been tent campers, but as fate would have it, this spring we found and  purchased a camper (I don’t mean to brag, but it’s not just any camper… it’s a 1972 Airstream!!!) Tent camping – you’re dead to me.  Even still, many of my camping essentials remain the same.  Here are some of my requirements to survive a long weekend in the woods.

Coffee – More than likely I’ll sleep not quite as good as I do in my own bed at home.  You know….. that bed, that is in a house, not on the ground or a less than comfortable mattress of sorts.  While I love camping, getting a good night’s rest is a challenge for me.  I require lots and lots of coffee in the AM.  We always bring pre-ground beans and a french press, which is how we have it at home.  Just add hot water and you’re good to go.

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Put A Lime In It: A Poolside Cocktail Guide


I’m really committing to not letting summer pass me by this year, which means Sunday-funday afternoons at the pool are mandatory. While soaking up vitamin D and catching up on my Instagram feed, which beverage should be at arm’s reach?? Let’s discuss options while we cut up some limes:



Despite my Wisco heritage, beer is not my go-to, but I really love a light, refreshing Mexican beer with a lime in it on a hot summer day. It’s kind of like a snack, right? I mean, there’s carbs in it? I’m not too picky or bougie about what kind- I can hang with a Corona or a Dos Equis without complaint. I can’t remember if the lime, traditionally, is to keep bugs away or improve the flavor, but either way, it’s in there. Bonus: beer goes great with Pringles, which are a poolside requirement.

Pro Tip: If you’re really feeling summer, or having a pool party*, mix up a batch of frozen margarita and “float” some on top of your beer. This is called an iceberg, and it is our vacation go-to after we are sick of sweet drinks, but still want something fun in the sun (sorry).

*inviting me to your house to watch Blue Crush counts as a “pool party” 

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5 Things I’m Loving Right Now

Happy February! Well, we’re still getting through bundled up snowy, cold days, but at least the days are getting longer. The sun is even out today! Hello, The Sun! As I work my way out of hibernation mode, here are some things that I am really digging:

Breakfast of Champions

Most days, I’m bad at breakfast, especially if I’m up early. Just… nothing sounds good? But I know that I perform better if I have a little something, so I have come up with a solution that tastes like magic: Salted Caramel Oatmeal.

Now, I don’t know who at Big Oatmeal decided that oatmeal flavors should all be gross (I mean seriously- no one has invented peanut butter oatmeal?? But strawberries and cream is a thing??) but whatever, I can take this into my own hands. I prepare one package of plain oatmeal (yeah yeah, I know instant is the saddest of all oatmeals, but I’m going for better-than-nothing here!), nuke it for a minute, then top it with 15 grams of these magical sea salt caramel flavored chips, and stir in their melty goodness. BOOM- I have a breakfast that a) tastes like a cookie b) tastes great with coffee c) is easy to eat and deal with and d) clocks in at 180 calories. This is the perfect solution for me when I need a little gas in the tank to lift in the morning, or if I have early clients.

Easy, Moisturized Lips

Obviously, I will forever and ever love a bold lip, but lately I have been in the mood for something natural looking while being hella moisturizing. I’ve been really into grabbing this Rimmel London Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in the shade Eastend Snob, which is a “my lips but better” cool pinky neutral. I line and fill in my lips, then top it with Chapstick Total Hydration Moisture + Tint in Rose Petal, which I have been loving during these dry winter days. Is anyone else sleeping with a humidifier blowing right on your face? Anyway, this combo gives a nice no-makeup makeup look that holds up with regular, pleasant reapplications of the lightly tinted Chapstick. Because winter.

The Santa Clarita Diet

Haaaaaaaave you guys watched this yet? Netflix continues to kill it (ha! I swear I didn’t do that on purpose!) with their originals, and this one is no exception. Last weekend was super grey and cold, so MB and I hunkered down in sweatpants, hot tea, and face masks, and binged on this little gem about a suburban realtor (Drew Barrymore) who suddenly becomes undead and develops an appetite for human flesh while also living her best life. If you don’t like blood (Lyn!) or random but totally realistic swearing outbursts, maybe this isn’t the show for you, but we found it to be laugh-out-loud funny and ridiculous. Plus it filled my “zombies living in the real world” void while I’m waiting FOREVER for iZombie season 3 to start.

Is This My New Favorite Concealer?

I’m pretty fair-weather when it comes to concealer- I just haven’t found my glass slipper yet. I like Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind ok, but sometimes it seems too yellow for me. Their Fit Me concealer is in my rotation, too- the color is much better and I like the formula a lot- but as the day wears on, it settles into my creases. I picked up this new Outlast All-Day Soft Touch by Cover Girl last week, and I’ve really been liking it! It blends pretty well, covers my redness and sleepiness (I don’t struggle too much with darkness under my eyes, but do like to brighten up and cover some spots), and doesn’t seem to crease as the day goes on. I’m going to keep playing with it, but so far, so good.

Jeans That Fit (WHAT)

Inspired by Pamela’s closet purge, I recently took to my own. I had a huge stack of jeans in there- so huge, I didn’t even know what was in that pile (I found a leopard print pair!! What!!). I have been hating all of my jeans for the past few years, so I literally got rid of them ALL. Ok- I kept 2 pairs that are, like, lazy Saturday men’s jeans that are fine but not great and maybe I’ll hack them into shorts or something. My jeans struggle is this: I have curves. I have a hip measurement that once made a dressmaker tell me “that can’t be right”. My legs are also, you know, great for squats, but bad for knee-high boots? Second only to swimsuit shopping, jeans shopping is THE WORST, but now I was left in a position where I had to find some, and I wanted to find the right ones, not just “good enough” ones. After a lot of miserable shopping trips, fitting rooms, and internet returns, I have come up with two pairs of jeans that are making me super happy and feeling fly:

via levi.com

Levi’s 721 High Rise Skinny Jean

These jeans are everything I want in a jean- the high waist isn’t, like, mom-jeans high- it sits right where I want my jeans to sit (on top of my hip bone), doesn’t dip down in the back, and stays on my butt, which these jeans make look amazing. I got these in a dark blue wash (Blue Story) which are great for dressing up or down. They have a bit of stretch in them, but still feel like jeans, not jeggings. Plus, Levi’s are always a classic.

Mossimo High Rise Skinny Jeans

via target.com

So of course, after searching high and low (price) for a perfect pair of jeans, I find a great pair- on clearance, no less- at Target. I love these jeans! Again, they are labeled high rise, but I think they sit in just the right spot, and actually fit my waist rather then try to squiggle around it. These also feel like heavy, real denim, and the added stretch makes them fit like a dream. Who knew high waisted would be the answer?? Maybe I did- my previous favorite pair of black jeans were a high waisted pair from H&M- but I was resistant because we were all brainwashed through the low-slung, hip-hugging horror that was the 2000’s.

What are you loving right now? What have you been watching? Eating? Wearing? Are you going on a trip soon that’s not cold and grey?? Tell us in the comments!

I bought all of this stuff with my own money, so I enjoy a good sale rack. All photos are my own unless otherwise noted.

10 Things Getting Me through this Winter

January. Ugh, right? The excitement of the holidays is replaced by extra pounds to lose, resolutions to break—again,  the reality that we spent too much money on presents—to ourselves—and others, and the coldest days of the year.  And that doesn’t even factor in the feeling of impending doom as we lurch closer and closer toward January 20th.  It’s not hard to feel like there’s really no reason to even get out of bed to face another day. But alas—we must—so here are ten things that have made me almost forget how much I hate this time of year:


Anastasia Beverly Hills, Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette:

This palette landed on pretty much every beauty blogger/YouTubers’ best of list—and I completely concur—it’s fantastic! I bought it using a 20% off coupon–I was a little skeptical of the warm shades and predominance of red-based tones in the collection–but felt more comfortable trying it at a discount. But it was totally worth the full price. These shadows are my new favorites—in fact—I even started acquiring some of the ABH single shades, I’m such a fan. I’m playing with different looks, because seriously—it’s too cold to even pretend to go outside—so why not just play with eye shadow all weekend?! I’m not sure how this palette will translate in the spring, but that’s so far away, I’m just going to continue to enjoy its relevance now.


Milwaukee Bucks

I know, I know. The green and gold are making some serious noise in the playoffs—and that’s exciting. But—after Christmas—it’s all about hoops for me. And our young Bucks are getting some well-deserved national attention including a SI cover story featuring our very own unicorn, Giannis Antetokounmpo (aka the Greek Freak.) Get on board now before the bandwagon fills up!

Oscar season

I caught La La Land, Rogue One and Fences during the holiday week but I have so many more to see! Jackie, Nocturnal Animals and Elle are just a few of the flicks that will force me to put on pants and head outside these next two months. (Or I could just watch The Hunt for the Wilderpeople again for the millionth time, which would be fine, too…)


I have a complicated relationship with yoga, but it’s one of the few things that peel my shoulders away from my ears, if even for just an hour. And I do the heated variety which is much more appreciated now than in July.


Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick, No Tea, No Shade

Dark lipstick is such a winter staple and this new shade in the recently launched Jeffree Star metallic collection is divine. It’s a cool mix of purple, gray and copper—and like all of his lip products—lasts forever and feels completely weightless. I’ve started planning my outfits on whether it goes with this shade. Will we ever stop going on and on about Jeffree Star liquid lips? Probably not.

Run the Jewels 3

Just as I finished my Favorite Songs of 2016 mix and was ready to start checking out new music, Run the Jewels dropped their third album. And I’m obsessed. My favorite track switches daily, but today it’s the collab with Trina, Panther like a Panther (Miracle Mix.)

Matcha green tea

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to start every day at work with my own mini-matcha tea ceremony. I experienced one in September during my visit to Japan.


Our last day in Japan–so tired–but such an incredible experience.

We were told that drinking matcha tea daily leads to youth and vitality. I’m in!


What’s better than soup in the winter? Nothing.


Giovanni Ultra Sleek Body Wash

I can’t lie—the length of my showers in the winter would make Al Gore cry. Nothing beats a long, hot, luxurious shower. We’ve already shared our undying love for the L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil, but a cheaper and still amazing option is the Giovanni Ultra Sleek Body Wash. It exfoliates, moisturizes and has a really nice warm scent that isn’t too sweet and overpowering. I buy mine at my neighborhood Festival grocery store.


Sasha Fierce and Dylan: ready for walks, treats and cuddles regardless of the season.

Dogs in sweaters

Seriously—they are the cutest!

These are a few of the things that keep me going in the winter. Hopefully, you can find something on the list that might work for you, too. What are those things for you? I think we could all use as many distractions as we can get—so share below!

All items were purchased by me and photos were taken from the product site or by me.

Drink It Like It’s Hot….

Well, it’s finally winter. Snow is on the ground, icy air is obnoxiously slapping us in the face, the humidifier has been employed in the bedroom, and fashion is reduced to “but is it warm??” Also, it’s dark out at 4:30. It’s basically midnight before Wheel of Fortune is on. So, to save our sanity, we are reaching for warm, cozy beverages… like tea! It’s a hug in a cup! What’s in our tea cupboards??


I would have to say that my favorite tea is earl grey. I sometimes feel like there isn’t a brand that I haven’t tried their earl grey (of course this is not true, but you see where I’m going…. I’ve tried a lot.)  One of my favorite places to pick up tea is TJ Maxx, which is where I have picked up and am often able repurchase Clipper organic earl grey. I feel like it has the perfect amount of bergamot, is really smooth, and with a splash of milk, pretty much perfection.

Say Celestial Seasonings and sleepy time and lemon zinger tea is what I think of – I’ve honestly never been a fan. Which is why I was surprised to find they have a slightly more posh range within their line now. I stumbled upon the Dirty Chai at Target, and decided to impulse purchase it. It’s a masala chai tea with espresso. Do you remember General Foods International coffees? With a little milk and honey, this tastes just like that. It satisfies my caffeine needs when I can’t choose if I’d rather have tea or have coffee and is pretty good, actually!

With a name like Teapigs, even without trying any of their teas, how can you not already love them? Having tried several of their teas through the pick and mix sample box, there’s not one I don’t like. The herbal teas they offer are particularly great. I love the Super Fruit at night, when I don’t want any caffeine, but I want something sweet. It’s delicious on it’s own and even better with milk.


Real talk: I’m a coffee girl, first and foremost. But in the past 5-10 years, I can only deal with coffee in the morning. Granted, it is ESSENTIAL in the morning, but come 10:30 or 11:00am, and I enjoy it less and less. If I have coffee after noon, forget it- I just want to chew my face off, and then I won’t fall asleep until 2am. BEING OLD IS THE WORST.

Before I got old and lazy, I used to be a super tea person. Like, I would buy bulk, whole leaf loose tea, I had a dedicated tea infuser, knew all the temperatures and steeping times for my teas… it was pretty great really. I loved a company called SpecialTeas, which is now Teavana (uuugh. read: Starbucks). Green tea was my jam (straight up Dragonwell is delightful!), and Pamela got me hooked on the Earl Grey Creme, which is a softer, less astringent version of an Earl Grey. These are, in fact, special teas, so I don’t reach for them as often as I would like to, but they are around if I have some time and want a treat (and need a little non-coffee boost in the afternoon).

While technically not actually tea, per se, I always keep some kind (any kind!) of peppermint tea on hand. It’s not caffeinated, so it’s a great after-dinner digestive. Also, it saved my (future) marriage when I had my wisdom teeth removed, and was forbidden from brushing my teeth for several days (DAYS!!!). Also also, it’s great to have on had if you have a crum tum.

Have you ever had a hot toddy? Like, for realsies? It’s honey, lemon, and ginger diluted in hot water. It’s like a hug that punches you in the face, but it’s perfect if you’re feeling a bit under the weather, which is likely this time of year. Our local co-op makes an AMAZING hot toddy (non-alcoholic) in their coffee/juice bar- here is the recipe– it’s probably amazing (and even more medicinal) with a little sploosh of rum or whiskey. 😉


I do not drink coffee. It’s a constant battle because I drive long, long distances late at night and sometimes drinking coffee would be a good idea–but I get crabby about the caffeine and the taste–so I don’t. But tea? I’m crazy for tea. Pamela and I bonded over our tea obsession when we were first introduced by Jess. In fact–buried in my tea collection is the Teapigs sample box Pamela mentioned above–which is a super fun way to try a bunch of new varieties.


Most of the teas from my desk drawer. Yeah–it’s a problem.

I drink tea all day long. As much of it as I drink, unlike Jess, I don’t know any of the metrics of making tea. Nor do I have a tea making process. I just fill my mug with hot water from the dispenser and put a tea bag in. And then I refill it throughout the day until I’m basically drinking hot water. At some point, I’ll start over with a new tea bag and begin the process again. Very fancy.


My “Baby I’m a Star” original mug–painted by yours truly in the Dells a million years ago–with my signature lipstick stain.

But I start every day at the office the same way–with my favorite tea of all time–Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea. I am straight up addicted. In fact–half of my office is now, too–even my tea averse business partner is converted. This tea is exactly as the name says–it’s very cinnamony–and makes you feel all warm–with spicy kick. I’ve tried a ton of other teas to try and find an appropriate dup, and I can’t. I’m not sure what makes it so special. But it is. Nothing I have tried even comes close. It is a black tea–so it does have some caffeine–but the decaffeinated version is still really good. I have both and will sometimes just switch to the decaf in the afternoon. It is pricey for a tea–but soooo worth it. (Honorable mention in the Harney and Sons line is their Paris tea.)

Almost every aspect of my life uses my voice: talking at work (and life), teaching dance, singing in choir (or in the car or at a concert). So my voice takes a beating. I don’t know what I would do without the classic Traditional Medicinal Throat Coat Tea. I love black licorice so I have no issues with the flavor of the tea and it works wonders on giving your voice life again. If you like licorice, the Yogi Eqyptian Licorice is wonderful, but not as medicinal.

At night, my favorite tea to unwind with is the get some zzz’s from The Republic of Tea. I have a lot of their teas and really love the canister presentation. I have a bunch of them just because I’m a sucker for the packaging and love trying them. But I find this nighttime tea perfect to relieve stress and get ready for bed.

Are you more tea or coffee? Do you have any favorites that we need to put in our cupboard or desk drawer? Please comment below! And hey–stay warm out there, folks!

Like all things, we have purchased these teas with our own money and are not being paid for our drinking habits.


Happy Birthday, America!

Happy 4th of July everyone! Beers to the USA!  Here are some that we are enjoying today!


Point Siesta Key Citrus Pale Ale, Black Rocks Grand Rabbits Dry Hopped Cream Ale, New Glarus Moon Man No Coast Pale Ale, Surly #MERICA Beer

*Enjoy responsibly, yo.

Snacks Worth Running All Over Town For

I have recently realized that I, Jess, am a snack hoarder. Here’s the thing- I’ve found a few snacks that I love, and they aren’t all available in the same store! Like, some of them are available at the Target on my way home from work, while some are only at the Target by my house. The struggle, as they say, is real. So I find myself buying armfuls (arms full?) of these items whenever I run across them, because they are required to be in my house at all times, yet I am reluctant to share because my stash will be depleted. These are snacks I’ll fight you* for. Ready?

*I’m a lover, not a fighter- so really I’ll share but just give you a side-eye.

OatMega Grass Fed Whey Protein Bars (190cal/7g fat/21g carb/14g protein)

I do terribly with mornings- usually, I’m not really hungry if I’m up early, but my job is physical so I know it’s better for me if I can eat something. I stumbled on these bars at our local fancy-pants grocery store, and was hooked. These differ from other protein bars because, frankly, they taste like food, and not some kind of nutrition meal bar of the future. Recently I have noticed these popping up more and more at major retailers, so they are a little easier to have on hand for sleepy mornings, or in the car on the way to the gym.

Sonoma Creamery Mr. Cheese O’s (150cal/9g fat/6g carb/10g protein)

You know when you’re making a grilled cheese, and some of the cheese drips out into the pan, and then it gets all crispy and it’s the best cheese ever? I don’t know who Mr. Cheese O is, but he knows this deliciousness all too well! These crunchy rings are made of real cheese and quinoa. They hit that salty/umami/crunchy party of your brain perfectly. The best part? One whole package is one serving!!! You feel satisfied after that amount, too, thanks to all the protein. Also, they pair really well with wine. Sadly I can only find these at one Target, where I buy them 4 bags at a time.

Siggi’s Icelandic Skyr (Vanilla- 100cal/0g fat/11g carb/14g protein)

Do you like Greek yogurt? Well, this is just like Greek yogurt, if Greek yogurt was an amazing superhero of flavor and nutrition!! Seriously, side by side, this kicks Chobani’s ass ALL. OVER. TOWN. It is super thick, crazy delicious, and has 4 ingredients. You can see the little flecks of vanilla bean. It is not too sweet (I do like my yogurt on the tart side), full of protein, and makes me really happy. However, I can only find it at the Target that is opposite of the one where Mr. Cheese O’s live. I have been able to find it at the fancy pants grocery store, but for (seriously) A DOLLAR more expensive. I will plan my yogurt purchases ahead, thank you very much. But for real- please buy this so that it doesn’t get discontinued- I need it in my life!!!

Airheads Xtremes Rainbow Berry Bites (haaahahahahahaha)

Ok, these aren’t difficult to find at all (unless you’re in Puerto Rico- then look at Walgreens, not CVS), but I find I need to have a stash of these AT ALL TIMES. What’s not to love about a bite sized sour candy that’s not too sour, has a delightful chewiness, and makes you look like a living Snapchat filter?? I will justify that these are a good “pre-workout”. Yeah… that’s it… oh, whatever. Sometimes you’ve just gotta live your life and eat something fun.


We hope you are off to a great holiday weekend! What are your must-have snacks to have on hand?