KETO | SIX WEEKS IN

_64A1963.jpg

robe | runner | knife set | pans

Everyone wants to know about Keto! So here it is! I have been on Keto for about six weeks now. I got on Keto to support my husband, Steve, who was doing it to drop some pounds after having back surgery and not being able to work out. He was kind of feeling bad and wanted to keep his weight in check. When Steve played football, he was 320 pounds and when he retired five years ago he dropped about 40 pounds. But just like anything, you find yourself getting comfortable and Steve is such a driven person that he didn't want to see pounds creeping up.

When he figured out that he wanted to start the Keto diet, I didn’t want to have to cook two separate meals for us, so I joined him! I feel like it is much easier when you have a partner in crime and we are very supportive of each other, plus what girl doesn't want to lose five pounds? I was hesitant at first because of the levels of fat we were going to be eating. I mean fats... like cheese, sour cream, butter and red meat, just felt crazy when I thought about all of the diets I had tried before. All of those things were highly avoided in the past. But they are now huge portions of what we are eating!

Steve is a big researcher, so he got right into all of the books and said let's do it! After one trip to the grocery store when we finished compiling a list from the Simply Keto cookbook, we were ready to go.


FIRST SIGNS OF SUCCESS


The first change I noticed was mental clarity. Almost within four days of being in a fog, it was lifted from my mind and I was blown away. It was so noticable and crazy to think that for so long I was living in some sort of carbohydrate cloud.

I noticed shedding a few pounds within the first week which was amazing because I have always been about 140 to 145 pounds and never less than that. I hadn't been 139 since college, so you can imagine how seeing the scale move a little bit which was great! Usually, when men and women try diets together, the scale moves for the men before it does for the women, but this time I was dropping weight before Steve was. I was extremely encouraged by that.

Another incredible thing is that the food is fantastic. Every single recipe we have tried has been delicious. The meals are so filling compared to any diet we had tried before. I honestly wouldn't even call Keto a diet, it is more of a lifestyle. Steve and I both do not miss any of the bread, pasta or rice we have cut out. If I do miss one thing, it is that I am a huge cereal eater, and a bowl of cereal at night would be one thing I do wish I could have. I don’t crave it though, must just be a habit. Once you get the sugar and carbohydrates out of your system, your body switches over into ketosis and you start to burn fat instead. It is an amazing thing that happens to your body when it starts running on fat and burning on the fat reserves in your body. I have been seeing such a difference in the areas that I used to have to work so hard on to get off. I just can’t get over the change I’ve seen in my body over the last six weeks.

Some people reach out to me saying, ‘Well I got the book, now what?’ Looking into it and really  doing your own research is exactly what I had to do. Seeing the science behind why it works is so important and Suzanne Ryan does a great job in her book, Simply Keto, giving a full month meal plan. She set it up in a way that you can use the previous nights dinner leftovers as an addition to your lunch the next day. It is so easy, super convenient and not as time consuming as meal prep or things that normally come along with other diets. My kids are also just loving the food. My son is a bit of a picky eater, but some of the meals, such as the Chicken Cordon Bleu, are his favorite and my daughter loves the Broccoli + Chicken Alfredo. Of course everyone loves the fat bombs, so I always tripple the recipe when I make them!


SNACKS


I like to snack on hard boiled eggs, pickles, nuts, Epic pork rinds and cheese. Macadamia nuts will become your best friend! Also, you'll want to buy everything with full fat. I know, it sounds crazy and everyone usually reaches for the low fat, but that is actually filled with a ton of sugar to replace the fat. It feels wrong at first, but it actually does work.


OVERALL HEALTH


I am not a doctor, just so we are all on the same page. Some people have asked me about how the diet will affect cholesterol or blood pressure. Steve has hereditary high blood pressure and cholesterol issues, but he had his levels done, and his blood pressure has never been this low. He is doing great and his levels are doing great. Since I have been on Keto, my energy is higher, my skin hasn’t been affected, and I just feel good.

I had taken dairy out of my diet about ten years ago and any time I reintroduce dairy, it just tears my stomach up. I was very hesitant to start eating dairy again, but crazy enough, I added dairy back and quite a lot of it and I have been fine.

Steve has lost 27 pounds and weighs 262 now. He hasn’t seen that number since high school! I now weigh 133 and I have always been 140 in the past! It didn't matter how much green juice I drank or how many half marathons I ran, the scale wouldn’t move, so I am shocked and completely thrilled!

I feel like I’m getting to the point where I am really thinning out and I might start adding back some healthy carbohydrates such as brown rice occasionally or a sandwich once a week to maintain where I am. Keto is the lifestyle for us. Steve and I are both so happy with the results and I really think it is something that anyone could do long term. I will be sure to keep everyone updated as this Keto journey continues, so stay tuned!

Here are some of my favorite Keto recipes from Suzanne Ryan's cookbook Simply Keto. Give these meals a try and if you love, then I highly encourage you to buy the book if interested in starting Keto. 


 CAPICOLA EGG CUPS


_64A2498.jpg

kitchen towel | cutting board

PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES • COOK TIME: 14 MINUTES YIELD: 6 EGG CUPS (2 PER SERVING)

  • 6 slices capicola (regular or spicy)
  • 3⁄4 cup shredded cheddar cheese or other cheese of choice (optional)
  • 6 large eggs Salt and pepper
  • Thinly sliced fresh basil, for garnish (optional)

Notes: You can use prepackaged or deli capicola, or substitute other meats, like ham or bacon. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for meal prep. Store the egg cups in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

  1.  Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray 6 wells of a standard-size muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place a slice of capicola in each of the 6 greased wells, forming a bowl shape. If using cheese, sprinkle 2 tablespoons into each of the cups formed by the capicola.
  3. Crack an egg into each cup and season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the egg whites are set. Serve hot, garnished with basil, if desired. per serving, with cheese:

CALORIES: 260 | FAT: 19.6 g | PROTEIN: 23 g | TOTAL CARBS: 1.6 g | NET CARBS: 1.6 g 


BACON RANCH CHICKEN SALAD


_64A2470.jpg

kitchen towel | plate

PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES • COOK TIME: 10 MINUTES • YIELD: 3 SERVINGS

  • 5 slices bacon
  • 1 1⁄2 cups cubed cooked chicken (about 12 ounces; see notes)
  • 1⁄3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons ranch dressing
  • 1⁄2 stalk celery, chopped (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 butter lettuce leaves, for serving
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Notes: You can use precooked rotisserie chicken. If you prefer, you can spoon this chicken salad into avocado halves instead of lettuce leaves.

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon until crispy. Set aside on a paper towel–lined plate to cool.
  2. Place the cooked chicken in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, ranch dressing, and celery, if using.
  3. Chop the bacon and add to the chicken mixture. Fold all the ingredients with a spoon until the chicken is evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Divide the chicken salad evenly among the lettuce leaves. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

CALORIES: 397 | FAT: 35.3 g | PROTEIN: 18 g | TOTAL CARBS: 1.3 g | NET CARBS: 1 g 


CHICKEN CORDON BLEU


_64A2511.jpg

towel | cutting board

PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES • COOK TIME: 40 MINUTES • YIELD: 6 SERVINGS

  • 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1⁄2 pounds)
  • 6 slices Swiss cheese 6 slices ham
  • 1⁄4 cup (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

BREADING 

  • 1 ounce plain pork rinds (6 to 8 large pork rinds)
  • 2⁄3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • • Toothpicks
  1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a medium-sized baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Place on a cutting board and cover with a piece of parchment paper. Use a kitchen mallet to pound the chicken to a thickness of 1⁄2 inch.
  3. Top each chicken breast with one slice each of Swiss cheese and ham. Roll each breast so that the cheese and ham are locked inside the chicken. Secure with a toothpick to prevent the chicken from unrolling.
  4. Make the breading: In a zip-top plastic bag, combine the pork rinds, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Crush and shake until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Transfer the “breading” to a bowl and set aside.
  5. Place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted.
  6. Dip the chicken rolls, one at a time, into the butter and coat evenly. Place the butter-coated chicken rolls in the breading bowl and coat evenly. Place the breaded chicken rolls in the prepared baking dish.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
  8. Place the chicken on a plate and spoon the drippings from the baking dish over the top before serving.
  9. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

CALORIES: 373 | FAT: 22.8 g | PROTEIN: 39 g | TOTAL CARBS: 2.3 g | NET CARBS: 2.3 g 


CREAMED SPINACH


_64A2477.jpg

kitchen towel | dish

PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES • COOK TIME: 5 MINUTES • YIELD: 4 SERVINGS

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 9 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Salt and pepper
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the butter and garlic. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, until fragrant.
  2. Add the spinach and cream cheese and use a spatula to combine.
  3. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and cream. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute to reduce a bit.
  4. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

CALORIES: 172 | FAT: 14 g | PROTEIN: 7 g | TOTAL CARBS: 4 g | NET CARBS: 2.5 g 


CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BITES


_64A2485.jpg

kitchen towel | cutting board | spoon

PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES, PLUS 40 MINUTES TO CHILL • COOK TIME: 1 MINUTE YIELD: 10 BITES
(2 PER SERVING)

 

  • 1⁄4 cup natural peanut butter (no sugar added; only peanuts and salt)
  • 2 1⁄2 tablespoons Swerve confectioners’-style sweetener
  • 2 tablespoons blanched almond flour
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄4 cup stevia-sweetened Lily’s Baking Chocolate Chips
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons MCT oil
  1. Line a plate or small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter, sweetener, almond flour and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Form the peanut butter mixture into 10 small balls and place them on the parchment-lined plate. Place the plate in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, place the chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until fully melted, about 45 seconds.
  5. Add the MCT oil to the melted chocolate and mix well.
  6. Remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer. Dip the balls one at a time into the melted chocolate. Use a spoon to gently roll the balls in the chocolate until they’re fully covered. Place the chocolate-coated balls on the parchment paper–lined plate.
  7. Place the chocolate-coated balls in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the chocolate is solid. Store extras in a zip-top plastic bag in the freezer for up to 6 months.

CALORIES: 122 | FAT: 10.8 g | PROTEIN: 4.2 g | TOTAL CARBS: 7 g | NET CARBS: 2.6 g 


SNACKS


_64A2505.jpg

kitchen towel | cutting board 

  • hard boiled eggs
  • avocado
  • pork rinds
  • macadamia nuts
  • almonds
  • pickles
  • cheese sticks
  • coffee

BOOKS WE LOVE



SOUTH BEACH : MENS EDITION

_64A0106.jpg

Steve and I are headed down to Miami for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival! We have been going for about six years now and it is the perfect getaway around this time of year. When we were living in Minnesota, we REALLY enjoyed getting away from the freezing cold and relaxing on the beach for the weekend! Being in Nashville during the winter isn't that bad, but who doesn't love a getaway from home and the kids for a little bit in the middle of February? This girl. 

_64A3927.jpg
_64A3873.jpg

tee | flip flops | luggage

Steve and I both grew up in Florida and we actually got married in Miami, so it is always a fun trip for us to be back. We get to meet up with old friends and family while eating some of the best food and drinks on the beach! If you aren't familiar with The Food and Wine Festival, it is essentially a bunch of white tents up and down South Beach with tons of the most world renowned chefs from coast to coast.

6075x3799-1.jpg

There are small competitions, different night themes, big tent events and more! It is an amazing long weekend getaway with my main squeeze. My favorite part is sampling the incredible food and drinks while walking down the beach in my bare feet on the white sand, listening to great music and the sound of the waves crashing on the beach. The weather is always great and I am so excited to be heading down tomorrow!

_64A3896.jpg

button down | washed denim  | tee | black denim | shorts

We are going to be staying at 1 Hotel South Beach and it is GORGEOUS. The decor is just dreamy. All white furniture and the most beautiful views of the ocean, it is essentially me in a hotel. You guys it's a if I designed it myself. This is also my favorite time of year to dress for. I love sandals, flowy maxi dresses and although I am generally dressed in very neutral colors, when spring and summer roll around, I love to break out some crazy color.

hip-lounge-luxury-scenic-views.jpg
_64A3862.jpg

light washed denim | white tee

Along with dressing myself, I love updating my husbands wardrobe as well. Steve is a bigger guy, he is 6’6 and recently lost 25 pounds doing Keto! Wardrobe items from past years are not really working for him anymore, so I went to Nordstrom for some spring gear. Nordstrom does a great job of always having a good selection when I’m shopping for Steve. If you have a husband or a boyfriend who is a bigger guy, you know that shopping for them is a complete headache. But Nordstrom has always been my go-to when shopping, because they do carry extended sizes and taller options. I know that I am always going to be able to find something for him every time I go.

_64A0099.jpg
_64A0008.jpg
_64A0049.jpg
_64A0040.jpg

belt | polo | button down | denim

He really big fan of the James Perse t-shirts. I know what you are thinking, $60 for a t-shirt is ridiculous! But they wash super well, the color, the fit and the style are all exactly what he loves. Because we are limited in options, I will honestly just about buy them in every color I can find when I am there. Steve wears a size 5 in their shirts. I also really like how he looks in AG denim jeans. Nordstrom has these great linen shorts out this spring and I can always find Steve’s favorite brand of flip flops. Whether he is shopping with me or not, I know I will be able to find clothes that he likes when I am there. Because let's just say... shopping is not his idea of fun. 

_64A0023.jpg
_64A3911.jpg
_64A3940.jpg

AG released a really cool pant this year, they are a slim trouser called the Marshall. They aren’t denim and they aren’t linen, but they are a lightweight pant that you could wear with a flip flop and a t-shirt. South Beach has a resort feel, so that will be a great outfit for him to look great but still feel comfortable.

_64A4007.jpg
_64A3965.jpg

Steve is a pretty good packer himself. He likes to pack his own things and he is also very neat and organized. He will normally just bounce ideas off of me while we pack, asking if I like certain outfit combinations together and we like to see what each other is bringing. We want to look like we belong together and dressed for the same event, without being too matchy match, you know what I mean? We work well together, so packing is never a headache by any means.

_64A4065.jpg

IN HIS SUITCASE



DON'T FORGET MAMA


_64A4060.jpg

weekender bag | ruffle top | mesh one piece | hat (similar)

I'll let this one be about him. But man, did I ever find some great pieces. Some accidentally got in my shopping bag, others didn't, but I wish they had. And two things will be shipped to my hotel. Fingers crossed they work (sure looked cute on the model). We are both so excited to be headed to Miami that I might even get packed earlier than I usually do! Paradise, here we come!



HEY LANDYN...I'VE GOT A QUESTION

bunny.png

HOW DO YOU GET THE KIDS OUT OF BED?


There was once a time when I would go wake the kids up myself. I would go into their room, rub their backs and talk to them, trying to get them up. That method seemed to work against me! I'd have a little groggy person trying to brush their teeth or want to come downstairs and watch cartoons and then we’d have to go back upstairs and get dressed and so on...I felt like I was just constantly nagging my kids about how it was time to go, or to put their shoes on or asking why they weren’t ready yet. I was spending more time hovering over them and I found myself getting more and more irritated. I wasn’t having a fun, chipper morning like I wanted. By the time we left the house, we were all mad at each other. So, that was the way I had done things in the past.

Then one day I thought, I am tired of constantly watching over them and telling them what they should be doing. It seemed like when I gave them more independence, they responded much better. So I started a plan with Lily and then followed later with Luke. When they started first grade, I took them to the store and let them pick out their own alarm clock a few weeks before school started. I gave it to them as though it were a prize for going to first grade and I also gave them a white board to stick outside their room with task written on it like, make your bed + brush your teeth + put your clothes on + bring down your backpack and whatever it was that I needed them to do. I am telling you guys, DO IT! They felt like big kids and were eager to do everything on their own. It took a little time for the adjustment, I would have to stand at the bottom of the steps and yell up to help them keep a good pace at first, but that only took about two weeks max. You can instill any habit for your kids in two weeks. I got my daughter to stop biting her nails in two weeks! It was honestly the best thing I could have done for my kids.

Now they get up completely on their own, make their beds, brush teeth, hang up towels, turn their lights off and come downstairs completely dressed. I don’t like for them to come downstairs and have to go back up again, I want to set them up with healthy habits of getting out of bed and getting ready to go. That isn’t how I get ready, I like to go get my coffee in my robe, but my husband is able to get right up and go which I have always been so envious of. I wanted to teach my kids better habits than I have! They are awesome at it now and I couldn't be more thankful that I thought up this idea all those years ago!


WHAT ARE YOUR GO TO FLIP FLOPS?


_64A9772.jpg

I am a Florida girl, so flip flops for me are like second skin. I don’t like having anything on my feet when I am at home, so I am either barefoot or in flip flops. I am a Tory Burch fan when it comes to flip flops. I decided to invest one year and I never took them off! I wore those things down until they were as thin as a sheet of paper. I don’t like calling too much attention to my feet, I have a size ten foot, so I usually like to go with a nude shoe even if it is a heel. It elongates your leg and I just feel like a nude shoe is a go-to for me. I don't have to think about it, they go with everything, all I have to do is slide them on! This year I found a great rubber snakeskin pattern from Tory Burch that are just so fun! I am not much of a pattern or color girl but I will work in a cute animal print every now and then. I also love the TKEES neutral flip flop. You can actually get them in different skin tones so you can match your foot depending on how tan or pale you are. I will even pick up a cute pair at Target or Old Navy when I am already running into the store for other things. I don't think you can ever have too many flip flops and these are some of my favorites!


HOW DO YOU STAY CONFIDENT EVEN WHEN YOU AREN'T FEELING IT?


_64A1059.jpg

necklace | top (in pink) | denim

From afar, you might see me as someone who is always super confident and upbeat. I'm not going to lie, that is my natural demeanor. You can ask anyone who knows me, I am a very positive person. So when I am down, it is very noticeable to those around me. Of course there are days when I feel like I am in a rut or don’t feel good about myself. I don't know how many women can relate to this, but there are times when you are getting ready in your bathroom, you are feeling good, your eye makeup looks amazing, your outfit is on point, your hair looks like someone did it for you, everything is just coming together! But then when you arrive at where you are going, suddenly you don’t feel that good anymore.

I don’t know why that happens but I suffer from it too! This world is full of competition and I think for women, we are our own worst critics and we pick ourselves apart. One of the things I have been working on myself is how to take a compliment. I am so quick to challenge a compliment and quickly follow it with a negative, when all you really need to say is thank you! I had a friend who was always so good at graciously accepting a compliment and I really admired her for it! Working on taking a compliment is the first step to start feeling good about yourself. Another thing I like to do is to take time to affirm myself! You work hard! You are doing the best you can and that is enough! Go in with a smile and appear confident and a lot of the time, your mindset will follow.


WHAT TO BUY AT THE NORDSTROM SALE?

_64A3343.jpg

Happy Sunday! I've been up early with my coffee this am. (actually Steve has recently become an early riser...what gives?!!? Let mama S L E E P. I get up every day at 5am, Sunday is my day. Well, not as of late. He asks.. "Hey, are you awake?" No, but I am now. Ha! Which may be beneficial to you this weekend. You may already know, but NORDSTROM is having they're 40% OFF SALE until February 25th! *but you know how this sale goes, things sell out fast. I scooped up some cute stuff and found that some recent pieces I've shared with you are now marked down. If you didn't snag before, now might be the time. I scoured the sale, all 145 pages to give you my picks! I did something different below, let me know what you think? When you hover over the item, the price will pop up, letting you know the sale price. I'm so not techy, but I managed to figure that one out. Grab that extra cup of java and let your fingers have some fun. 

 

H A P P Y   S H O P P I N G
Xx
Landyn


SHOES



ACCESSORIES 



HANDBAGS



DENIM



CLOTHING




  

WHATS IN MY BAG

_64A3720.jpg

I am kind of a slob when it comes to my purses. I just throw everything in there and it becomes a bottomless pit. I always find myself having to dig around in that black hole to find something. I am more organized in other parts of my life so you would think that I would have gotten a little bag for the various things I keep with me but no matter how many times I try, I always end up throwing and going like usual.

_64A3546.jpg

I just got a new Sole Society bag that I love. It has these big dividing pockets and a zipper center pouch which might just keep me organized this time! I love the versatility of it. It is a tote size, but it can become a cross body bag or a shoulder bag, whatever I need it to be!

_64A3663.jpg

denim | tank (h&m last summer) | bag | sunnies | booties

Sole Society is always my first stop for bags. They are affordable, great quality and on trend. I am loving the bone color for spring. I feel like everyone should have a neutral color bag. If you are afraid of a white bag, give this neutral a try! If you are wanting to switch something up in your wardrobe with something that screams Spring, a light colored bag is the way to go. Most of us have been carrying a black or dark colored purse for the winter season, but adding a light bag is a great way to lighten up your wardrobe. Sole Society is great about having a lot of different options that I always love. Of course when I get on their site I just can't help but look at the shoe section. Why? Because I'm human and a woman. Some how these booties jumped in my cart. I liked the cut out detail and nude buck color as I transition into the warmer months. This time of year is tricky to dress for. Some days is cold and the next it's a balmy 75 degrees. I guess layers is the best option these days. My husband makes fun of me, but one of my favorite looks this time of year is a scarf with a tank top. He can't understand the logic, thankfully he doesn't have too! Again, I preach this a lot, but you can't go wrong with a simple white tank, this one is from H&M and my go-to black shaping denim. Add a scarf + cute bag and out the door you go! 

_64A3533.jpg

WHAT'S IN MY BAG


_64A9595.jpg

ALL THE THINGS


Tote Bag- My new spring favorite
Epic Bar- Don't leave home without it
Bobbi Brown Compact- All my makeup essentials on the go
Make-up Brush- Celebrity makeup artist favorite
Key Ring- Fashionable and crazy functional
Almonds- Keto friendly snack
Pen- Might not always have it, but always need it
Sunglasses- I'm living for these things
Lip Gloss (Petal)- Been a staple of mine for seven years
Lip Gloss (Nooner)- The best nude I've found
Lip Gloss (Liar)- If I'm wanting something a little more pink
Nail Polish- In case the salon doesn't have my go-to color
Nail File- You gotta be prepared for a nail issue
Almond Butter- Adding it to dark chocolate....come on, you already know
Hair Clip- Sometimes I gotta get my hair out of my face
Hair Bands- In case my clip is MIA
Tooth Paste- I just like a clean mouth
Travel Tooth Brush- Gotta get that meal out of my teeth
Wallet- Zip up wallets are my favorite style no matter where they are from
Hand Sanitizer- Sorry, but I'm don't have time to get sick, I'm a mom
Phone Case- My phone is a constant accessory and a white case matches everything
Receipts- Just gotta throw them in your bag and go
Gum- Everyone is always asking for gum
Breath Fresheners- Fresh breath is not a joke
Chocolate- Sometimes I need a sweet treat during the day



 


WATCH + SEE



SPRING TOTES


_64A3615.jpg

ZIP WALLETS



Thank you to Sole Society for sponsoring this post.  As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.  Thank you to all of you that support the brands that help make Living with Landyn possible.

HEY LANDYN... LIVE RECAP

LWL-10.jpg

I love live shows! After the massive Living With Landyn Live show in Nashville, I knew I had to do it again! But what would it look like if I shrunk down the size of that show and made it more intimate? What if, instead of having a huge show, we got 150 to 200 women in a room so we could have the opportunity to go a little deeper and ask questions in order to figure out how we all tick? That was the idea that fueled the dream when I envisioned moving from the Living With Landyn LIVE show to Hey Landyn LIVE. The Monday series, Hey Landyn...I've Got A Question is such a popular post on the website, that it just felt like a natural next step for me. I mean, I got started by fielding questions from my girlfriends about everyday life, fashion, family and home. I knew it was something I had to do again.

When we found out that Steve was a finalist for the Hall of Fame and that the Super bowl was coming up all in Minnesota, I got this wild hair and thought, let's do a show in Minnesota! Cause I had nothing else going on, riiiight?!? My amazing team helped me pull it all together. Let me just say, it truly does take a village! I am immensely grateful for the women in my life who got on board to really help me make this dream in to fruition.

LWL-16.jpg

The show was such a full circle experience for me. Being able to go back to my roots in Minnesota and team back up with brands and business owners that I had previous relationships with was an incredible feeling. It really was all about beginnings and I was able to look at how I have grown and evolved over the years. I was even able to have Tiffany Kokal Photography take photos and run my social media during the show! Tiffany was the photographer behind the images of all my first blog posts and having her behind the lens was a real treat. Being able to stand in front of an audience of my peers and women I used to work with, reminded me that through all the trials, I have come so far. Being able to share that accomplishment with the women who supported me from the beginning was such an incredible feeling.

LWL-20.jpg

SWAG BAGS


LWL-39.jpg

Once you start a project like this, it can sometimes take a lot of convincing to find partnerships that don’t exactly know who you are or understand how they will benefit from helping you. My goal was, and always will be, to team up with brands that empower women and local businesses. Like Jack and Ella Paper that donated All The Things Living With Landyn notepads with my logo on them so that the audience could write down things throughout the show! I wanted to join forces with small businesses and conquer this incredible dream together. After building those relationships for the Nashville show, coming back and asking for help with the Hey Landyn Live show, it was much easier to get brands on board that were excited to help. We were able to not only create the most beautiful atmosphere, but the swag bags were UNBELIEVABLE! 

I've had the pleasure of working with ABLE a lifestyle brand here in Nashville that is focused on ending generational poverty by working with women that have overcome extraordinary circumstances. They are an amazing company that has had such an impact on creating jobs for these women. Collaborating with ABLE is something that really makes me feel good inside, knowing that in some way I'm helping too. Not only are they all the things above, but design some of my most favorite pieces in my closet. If you're not familiar with them, take a minute to check them out. I'm certain you'll fall in love like I did.

When this show was being dreamt up, they were one of the first that wanted to be involved and my heart couldn't be happier. They were so generous with my last show and gave all the VIP's one of their beautiful all leather totes. But this time they gave EVERYONE a Mamuye Tote. EVERYONE. I about lost it when I heard. WOW. Just wow. Thank you, ABLE! I was over the moon to have them involved once again. 


WHAT WAS INSIDE



NASHVILLE LOVE 

LWL-7.jpg

I was able to team up with a lot of different Nashville businesses such as You’re Invited Gifts & Paper for the custom show logo napkins + cocktail stir sticks. Ali + Bo at  Printer’s Press printed everything we needed and even shipped it to Minnesota for us. It was really neat to have people that believe in what I am trying to do in my community and are so eager to help me succeed. I was so humbled and thankful.

LWL-97.jpg
LWL-52.jpg

ALL IN THE DETAILS


LWL-2.jpg

The Hutton House was our BEAUTIFUL venue for the show and it is a new space that just opened its doors in November! It was a truly stunning, all white blank canvas! It has a chic modern farmhouse feel that was perfect for my event and would be for so many others, if you live in Minnesota.  When you lay your eyes on this space it's hard for your imagination not to run away from you. It could be transformed into anything your heart desires. The paid so much attention to every detail as it was being built, from the bathrooms to the hardware on the doors. Jen, Nicole and their team did an AMAZING job pulling it all together and it was so exciting to bring all my girls to a place they might not have even heard of yet! When I walked through the doors I realized that I couldn’t have designed a space better myself. If Living With Landyn had a venue, that was it! White Peacock in Minneapolis works very closely with The Hutton House, and when I needed a rental company, White Peacock was right there to help recommend the best bartender + stage set up + lighting or whatever I needed! Lanye was my point of contact and she was a ROCK STAR! Not only did she help hook me up with all the right people, but she stayed and help pack bags, she ran errands and went above and beyond so that we could turn the venue around in just 24 hours! 

LWL-24.jpg
LWL-14.jpg

VICI is a company that I found on my own a few years ago. I bought a dress from them on a whim and ever since then I have continued to buy from them and now you all LOVE them as well. I mean seriously, have you checked them out?!?! Aimee the owner of VICI is also a mom and a business woman who is based in California. We got the chance to meet at the LWL Live show in Nashville and she didn’t hesitate to reach out again and ask how she could help with the Hey Landyn Live show. She donated my most favorite purse, the Highland Bag and scarves like this one, along with three $500 gift cards to women in the audience! Unreal, right? They even extended a special discount code to everyone there! Even after all of that, VICI sponsored the VIP section for 25 lucky ladies, which we coined the VICI VIP'S and the photo booth for everyone to get some fun snaps with their girlfriends. Who doesn’t love a photo booth!? I know I do. 

LWL-87.jpg

What ladies night out is complete without wine? We were so honored to have Butternut Wines featured at the live show. A friend and fellow mama from my kids’ school started Butternut wines with her husband. Funny enough I ran into her at a nail salon a few weeks before the show. She graciously offered to help if I ever needed anything and believe it or not, my wine sponsorship fell through three days before we were leaving for Minnesota. I was in a PANIC, but suddenly remembered sweet Leslie! I gave her a call and she and her husband John were so happy to help! Butternut provided the welcome drink for everyone as they arrived and donated all the wine for behind the bar! If you're not familiar with Butternut, do yourself a favor and give them a try. It's been a favorite of mine long before I even new that they were behind this yummy stuff. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that little tidbit. It was a real treat that all my ladies got to taste a little bit of Nashville!

LWL-56.jpg

Now, if you know me, you know there had to be flowers! Harvest Home is a florist that was two miles from my house when I lived in Wayzata, MN! During my seven years there, I would run in and buy followers for birthdays, events, holidays, or even just to treat myself around the house. They were my girls! The lovely Debbie at Harvest Home in Wayzata remembered me and wanted to help! I mean, we hadn’t spoken in years! These are the kind of relationships I’m talking about! She made the most beautiful, simplistic, white floral arrangements for the show that doubled as gifts for the ladies who sat at the tables were able to take home with them! I sure do miss this quaint little shop, if you haven't been you MUST and tell them I said HELLO! 


SHOW TIME


The day of the show started with a workout at my old gym with my team of girls! We got in a great workout at Tiger Fit. I have never been more sore! I could barely sit to go pee the next day. LOL! It was great though to be back with Stacie and Chris and see their brand new space. Oh my goodness, I didn't know a workout studio could be that chic. I even got to try Halo Cryotherapy. Have you done this?!! Wow. Super cool, actually SUPER COLD. Here's what it is....exposes the entire body from the neck down to temperatures colder than -140 degrees Celsius. A typical session lasts for 2-3 minutes. It stimulates a full body, systemic response where increased blood flow throughout the body is triggered by the cold shock of the concentrated nitrogen gas that circulates within the cryosauna during those 2-3 minutes. I enjoyed it and that morning was a great to clear my head and get some energy for the big day ahead. 

LWL-76.jpg
LWL-80.jpg

Next we went back to the hotel and got showers and my team and I all got ready together in the bridal suite! Now, I got married over sixteen years ago, so being back in a bridal suite getting ready for the night with my girls was such a fun experience. After getting dressed, I was fortunate enough to be shot & interviewed for an upcoming feature in the magazine Artful Living. Look for that coming to print soon! Excited to see how it turns out! 

LWL-58.jpg

Crisp and Greens provided the dinner for the evening. I had eaten at this adorable spot a while back when I was visiting Minnesota and fell in LOVE with the food! The restaurant is practically a mile from my old house and I would eat there everyday if I still lived in that house. Lily, the owner, was previously a trainer at studio Steele Fitness I used to go to when I was trying to get back in shape after having Luke. She left that business and started Crisp and Greens and I couldn’t be more proud of her. Getting to hug her and see the success she has found almost felt like a proud mom moment! Being able to come back to the community I had left and not just to the physical location made the whole trip so incredible.

LWL-25.jpg

Then there was a beautifully furnished VIP lounge up front that was styled by Annie Graunke and her team from Studio M Interiors and sponsored by VICI. Annie helped me with my house in MN when I lived there and even came to Nashville to help me with my house here! When I described the idea of how I wanted to make it feel like these women were sitting in a living room with me and Annie got to work designing vignettes of sofas, pillows, rugs, even lamps. She blew my mind with what she came up with. It was PERFECT! Truly. I cried when I saw it. She just gets me. She's another one that just went above and beyond to make this evening special for all my guests. And to top it off, everyone was given 15% OFF everything to shop at her 20,000 square ft. design studio. You guys!! Seriously go check it out! You'll die! And if that's not crazy enough, one lucky girl won $1,000 to spend with Studio M Interiors. I just can't! Annie, I love you girl! 

LWL-19.jpg

LET THE GIRLS IN 


The VIP guest arrived at 5:30 p.m. and joined me upstairs outside the bridal suite and we had about a half hour to take pictures + chit chat + get a few boomerangs, even talk to their daughters + girlfriends over face time. Whatever they wanted to do, I was all theirs! I had such a great time getting to know them better and really got me excited for the show to start!

LWL-89.jpg

As the guest arrived, they got their salad from Crisp and Greens, a welcome glass of rose from Butternut, and made their way to their seats. The Pie Queen gave us Oatmeal cream pies that were passed out on silver platters midway during the show. I felt like Oprah saying “Bring out the pies!” HA! I'm not kidding... you haven't lived to you've had one of those! 

LWL-90.jpg

Once everyone got in and settled at 6:30 p.m., it was SHOWTIME! Currently my favorite song is “What About Us?” by PINK, and as I walked in with that song playing loudly and seeing my peers, women who feel like my best girlfriends applauding me, meeting eyes with women I had actually known when I lived there and many that I don't. I felt SO honored and lucky to be able to do what I get to do. It truly is a DREAM. 

LWL-103.jpg
LWL-113.jpg

I did my best not to choke up as I opened with the introduction for the evening, but the feeling I got when I looked over this room of women was an unbelievable feeling that will never go away for me!

LWL-101.jpg

We kicked off the evening with VICI giving away a $500 gift card! What a great start! One of the reasons I love doing live shows is that it gives the women who attend a chance to get inside my head for a while. No matter how many live shows I end up doing, no two shows will ever be the same! Before the show I sent out a 30 question survey to the ladies who would be attending so I could find out about who they really are! I asked questions like, are you twenty minutes late? Or are you twenty minutes early? Would your friends say you're Brittany 2007 or Martha Stewart? How many kids do you have? What is your profession? What are your dreams? What are you scared of? All different questions that help me get a better understanding of the women who will be at the show and what kind of things they want to hear from me. Based off of the questions we sent out, we formed the run of the show in order to fit exactly what these ladies wanted to know and what would resonate with them. Let's just say.... we're all good friends now. 


FASHION


LWL-111.jpg

We started with fashion. VICI gave the Highland bags to all VIP guest and a beautiful scarf for everyone who came to the show. I pulled this darling woman up on stage to show the audience different ways I like to style a scarf. I told them how it even made a great throw for their couch! I then rolled out a rack of my clothes to show different outfit pairings, along with tips and tricks for everyday style! That was a hit and interacting with the audience is one of my favorite parts. 


LOVE + MARRIAGE


LWL-117.jpg

Next up, we talked about marriage. It is one of my favorite things to talk about! I could have spent an entire Hey Landyn Live show on marriage alone. It is such an important thing to me. I have marriage rules I try to stick to that I enjoy talking about. At the time, Steve and I were unsure what the Hall of Fame outcome would be, so I shared how I was supporting him and praising his accomplishments. 

There was a special woman in the audience, Angie Gates, who had seven kids! SEVEN. So, of course I called her up on stage and after a bit of research before the show we found a picture of her whole family. You guys, her whole family is adorable! Beautiful kids, handsome husband, one set of twins, one adopted child and a house full of white furniture! I die. We sat down and had a little Living with Angie time and gifted her with a weekend in Nashville, a room at the Thompson Hotel for her and her husband. She went on to tell me that if her and I could hangout for a day, she would want to go shopping and workout together, so that's what we're going to do when she comes to Nashville! VICI  also gifted her a $500 gift card to get some new clothes for the trip. I loved being able to give back to some of the incredible women who look to me for advice and make it possible for me to do what I love! It had to be one of my favorite parts of the evening. 


HEALTH + KETO


LWL-144.jpg

Keto is such a hot topic right now! I have talked about why I chose Keto in an earlier post, but there is still so much more that people want to know! We talked about what i'm doing now and even gave away three copies of the Simply Keto cookbook. Of course we had to discuss Vital Proteins , why I love it and use every day, and of course give away some of that too!  It was fun to walked the audience through what a day in life looks like for me and what types of snacks I eat and meals I cook. Stay tuned on the website for a new post on my Keto meals and results! You're going to love that! 


HOME


LWL-147.jpg

When talking about home decor, I brought Annie from Studio M Interiors on stage and went through her favorite white paint colors, what fabrics are good for families, how to invest more in key pieces and what items can be used to decorate on a budget from our favorites like TJ Maxx, Target or World Market. Then my friends at World Market so generously gave away three $100 gift cards to a few lucky ladies. It was crazy... the giveaways were insane and one right after another. From my favorite MAC makeup products, to one lucky girl that's dream was to get some new boobies and Botox. Well, I couldn't help her with the plastic surgery part, but I did hook her up with my longtime dermatologist, Dr. Elizabeth Briden of Advanced Skin Therapeutics in Edina, MN that so generously gave her over $800 worth of Botox! See, dreams really do come true. So fun!!! 


ASK LANDYN


LWL-142.jpg
LWL-153.jpg

The last segment of the show was all about Landyn. At the end of the survey I sent out, there was a section where they could ask me any question. It was the perfect ending to the show, and being able to answer some Hey Landyn questions from audience. Here were a few. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Doing this show in many cities from coast to coast! Writing a book! TV (not reality, don't worry)! Maybe a podcast! Product line. 

Motivation, where do I get it from?

I get it from you guys! Seeing how much I can help and give back. I get it from my kids, when they see me working hard and achieving my goals. I get it from my husband who supports me and motivates me daily!

How am I always so positive?

I have always been like this! Everyday when I wake up, I decide to see the positive in everything. Not everyday is easy, but I have always been blessed to be naturally positive and I don’t really know of another way to look at life. It honestly isn't an act, I have just always had an upbeat disposition and if you met me on the street, you would find the same thing.

What is your favorite part of life?

Doing things for others. That is my favorite part of life! Giving, doing and helping those around me!


MY FAVORITE THINGS


During the two weeks of preparing for the show, I decided that I wanted to create my own give away basket full of some of my favorite things. The basket included over five hundred dollars worth of products like my favorite makeup, skincare products, soaps I use, my favorite hairclip when i pull my hair back, shampoo, the oil I put on the ends of my hair and more. I just when through and gathered some of the things I use and love so I could do my own little give away!

LWL-50.jpg

Nothing Bundt Cakes gave everyone a bundtini to take home with adorable gray ribbon and a Living With Landyn logo on the packaging. I mean, I didn't think a bundtini could get any cuter, but the ladies at Nothing Bundt Cakes found a way!


THAT'S A WRAP


LWL-136.jpg
LWL-125.jpg
LWL-121 copy.jpg
LWL-151.jpg
LWL-130.jpg
LWL-119.jpg
LWL-150.jpg
LWL-100.jpg

Overall, it was a night full of laughter and tears. There was a very special situation that pulled in my heart, before the show, a husband reached out to me and told me about his wife, Lisa. She had been going through chemo and that I was one of the things that getting her through it all. The day of the live show was her birthday and wanted to see if there was any way he could get her into the show. We worked to find Lisa a spot and were able to get her to the show!

LWL-126.jpg

There were so many wonderful, amazing, emotional moments throughout the entire process of dreaming up with show, executing it with my team and now sharing it with you! Like I said earlier, I never take this for granted. I am always in awe of how gracious, kind, loving and  every single woman I meet is. This whole event is all about taking chances and following your heart and dreaming big! There have been so many times on this journey where is was hard and I wanted to give up. As much as you all tell me that I inspire you and encourage you, every comment, direct message and show like this, each one of you do the same thing for me. You all are the reason I continue to want to put out great content and keep doing these live shows. Ever since the Nashville show I have know that this is something I want to keep doing, and the style of the Minnesota show confirmed that this the format of the show that I would love to take from city to city. We are still in planning mode but we are so excited about the potential for many more live shows in the future. We ended the night with a giant group Landyn shimmy, and that my friends is a wrap! For now…

LWL-46.jpg
LWL-31.jpg

BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEO
 


HEY LANDYN...I'VE GOT A QUESTION

_64A9924.jpg

tank top (from H&M last year) | necklace | denim


WHAT IS YOUR DAILY COFFEE ROUTINE?


I go to bed dreaming about coffee. I can’t wait to go to bed so I can wake up and have my coffee. As an early riser, I get up every morning at 5 a.m. and I like to take that time to drink my coffee by myself, check emails, and just wake up before anyone else in my house is up. Steve and I both consider ourselves coffee coinsurers, so we really splurged on our coffee maker. It is a Jura and yes, it is crazy expensive, but it is so worth it. It is essentially like having a built in barista right in our kitchen. I just push a button and it grinds fresh coffee. I use espresso beans from Starbucks and then I add one scoop of Vital Proteins collagen peptide powder and one tablespoon of MTC Brain Octane oil and give it a stir with my handheld frother.

I love Peppermint Mocha creamer by Coffee Mate, even on Keto I can’t give it up. I can't. So I add a tiny splash of that, and it's a few of my carbs for the day, but it is WORTH it to me. I also add a little bit of almond milk and it becomes this unique concoction that I absolutely love. I usually only have one cup of coffee in the morning, but if I’m feeling like I am hitting a wall with things left to do in the day, like the kids sports, activities or making dinner, I will have a second cup around 3 or 4 o'clock in the afternoon. I really do love my coffee! You too?


WHAT BLACK JEANS DO YOU LOVE?


A64A4198.jpg

tee | black denim leggings | scarf

Black jeans to me are a staple in any wardrobe. They are slimming, they can be dressed up or down, and you can wear them all the time. I'll wear black jeans in the winter and the summer. I love to pair them with a cute tank top and a gladiator sandal or a pair of booties and a blazer. Black jeans are honestly my go-to bottoms and everyone needs a great pair. If I don’t know what to wear, it is black jeans.

I have them in constant rotation in my closet. I’ve recently found two pairs in the last few months that I am OBSESSED with. The first pair is by Mott & Bow the Bond jean, they are a company out of New York that is just getting started and they are very slimming and I actually bought two pairs, one that I wear all the time and one for going out. They also wash super well. I wash them inside out on cold and just a side note, I never dry my jeans, always air dry. I love the length and the fit and they have this awesome sucking-in feeling that just makes them look fantastic.
 

The second pair I love is the H&M shaping denim. They are a great price, around $49 and I am here to tell you they are like spanks. They come in a high-wasted fit and regular fit and they are just ALL THE THINGS. I always get so many compliments when I am in them, even my husband said “Your butt looks great!” the other day, and I was in those shaping jeans! So I went back and bought two more pairs, because if your husband says your butt looks good, you go and buy them in every color! HA! They do have them in different washes but I haven’t tried anything but the black yet.

My go to pair of jeans for years have and always will be the AG Super Skinny, but those are kind of making their way to the back of the closet these days, but they are still a solid pair to have! I love my black denim with anything and everything, anytime of the year.


WHAT DO YOU USE TO MAKE YOUR SKIN GLOW?


Hey Landyn-293.jpg

top | necklace | denim | pillows (HomeGoods/TJmaxx)

My skincare routine is one of the questions I get asked the most. One of the products I love is the Bobbi Brown Illuminating Moisture Balm. I put it on everyday under my makeup, it gives a little bit of a natural glow. People make comments like “Oh, your skin is so bright and luminous and glowing, why is that?” and that is why! Sometimes when I am going out, I’ll put a little on a makeup sponge and highlight my cheek bones, the tip of my noes and up above my eyebrows and above my lip.
I normally wear it under my makeup, but I will wear it alone if I am just running to the grocery store to add a little life to my face. I recently can only find the Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm, but the only difference in the Extra Illuminating is a little more anti aging ingredients and a very soft hint of color. But hey, who doesn’t need a little more anti-aging ingredients these days!? They also sell it in three different shades, a bare glow, a pink glow for more fair complexions, and a golden glow for those who are more tan. Give it a try! I think you will love it as much as I do.


PEACE OUT Orange Theory

_64A2343.jpg

 LeggingsShoes  | Sweatshirt | Bag (similar)

After my show in September, I found myself in a bit of a rut. When you have something so exciting coming up that you’ve been looking forward to for a while, there is this period of ‘okay, what now?’ after it is over. I wasn’t doing anything to workout and I really missed it! I had been doing Shed in the past but wanted to switch it up a bit. As new year rolled around and after not doing anything for a while, I felt the urge to start my new life in the new year.

I had heard so many great things about Orange Theory. Even one of my girlfriends had amazing results! When I saw her get off an airplane with a new figure I was like “HOLY MOLY! What are you doing?!” and she told me Orange Theory! So after hearing it over and over again, I wanted to try it for myself. And as it turned out, there was one right next to my house so I thought this is perfect! I am gonna give it a try.


TRYING SOMETHING NEW


I went in and decided to do one of the free trial classes. I got all the paperwork filled out and the girl working there was extremely excited for me to be there…maybe a little too much honestly. The whole crowd there was very enthusiastic. I am not usually a fan of gyms, I like to go in, get my stuff done and get out. But I decided, you know, this is fine, I should just get into it!

_64A2228.jpg

The trainers suggested that I start out on strength and then the second half I’d go into cardio. So I got on the rowing machine, which was great! I was sitting next to a girl who was also new and we just got after it, and I was actually really enjoying being back to working out! I’m usually a weights girl, I don’t love cardio but I thought Orange Theory would be a great way to work on my cardio.

After finishing the strength portion of my workout, it was off to the treadmills. I made my first mistake by not following my number. If you’ve never tried Orange Theory, you are given a number so that each time you transition to different stations or equipment, you have to use the machine with your number on it. They aren’t always clearly labeled and I didn’t want to run staring at a dark wall. I mean running sucks enough already. So I moved to one of the treadmills by a window. I was just getting started when I feel a little tap on my shoulder, and it was a woman saying “Excuse me, you are on the wrong treadmill.” I apologized and asked where I was supposed to be, I didn’t know we had assigned seating. And of course my treadmill was back in a dark hole. All I could think was, man I’m gonna hate this for the next thirty minutes.

_64A3482.jpg

 So the treadmill portion was a mix of sprinting for a while and then coming back down to specific levels. I had to keep checking my monitor to make sure I was in the orange portion but my monitor wasn’t working that well. Obviously it was just a technology error and that happens sometimes, so I got my monitor switched out and I just kept after it. Now I hadn’t done anything since September and I don’t love cardio, I have honestly never done much cardio, but I decided I wasn’t going to let the girl next to me beat me. I was thinking, oh I’m gonna bury this chick. I just ran as hard as I could on an eight incline and give it all I had in the tank. I ended up over exerted and winded myself, and when I stepped off the treadmill I was met with a slightly intrusive high-five. Multiple times throughout the workout I was approached for a high-five or comments like “Alright girl! Good Job! High-five! Welcome to the team! Welcome to the family!” All I could think was PLEASE stop touching me. Please do not high-five me ever again! I don’t know about you, but I just don’t enjoy being touched when I’m all sweaty and out of breath.

Not only was the over-the-top enthusiasm and touching an issue for me, but the whole process seemed a little sell-y. As soon as I was finished, they were super quick to whip out a clipboard and jump right into prices and packages. WOAH! The pressure! I mean I hadn’t even caught my breath yet. They are very good at making you sign up, and I gave in. I signed up for the $99.00 a month package. After I did that, I got in my car and realized I was kind of in a bad mood. Usually the endorphins kick in and I feel much better after a workout, but not this time. My chest was burning (probably because I was out of shape) and I just really didn’t want to high-five ever again. The crabby feeling stayed for a day or so and I just didn’t know if that environment was for me. I had another class scheduled but I went out of town so I wasn’t able to make it. When I was back in town and actually able to make it, I really wasn’t that excited to go.

_64A3528.jpg

 NOT FOR ME 


Now everyone works out differently and I am sure that Orange Theory is fantastic. Just because I didn’t enjoy it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it for yourself! I just felt that it is not for me. I have still heard so many success stories and for some it is an incredible workout. If you love it, then more power to you!

I will be going back to Shed. I like weights and hit training, so Orange Theory isn’t for me. But just a helpful hint, it is a very difficult place to break up with. So, if you do sign yourself up and want to quit, you better quit a month before you want to stop. They do not let you out of those contracts very easily!

Even though I wont be going back, I still encourage you to try it if that environment sounds like it would fit your style. I honestly have heard amazing things so maybe it is just me, but finding what you love doing is the most important thing when it comes to working out.


LOOK THE PART


VALENTINE'S DAY MELT AWAY COOKIES

valentine's day cookies.jpg

I am so excited to share this sugar cookie recipe with you guys today.  While it is not my mom's world famous recipe, it is pretty darn close. It's a dear friend of mine, Betsy's recipe. It was LOVE at first bite when I had them at a baby shower her daughter-in-law Sarah hosted over 15 years ago. THEY ARE TO DIE FOR. I begged her immediately for the recipe. You can make these for any occasion, but today I wanted to put a fun twist on a Valentine's Day treat to share with you. To make them even more festive I went with an ombre icing in varying shades of pink. These cookies would be perfect to send in to your kids teachers, share with the neighbors, or bring to a Galentine's Day party. 

 

I just know you'll love them! Enjoy.
XOXO
Landyn
 


WHAT YOU NEED


  • 2 cups margarine *must be margarine* 
  • 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 cups flour

ICING


  • 1 16 ounce box powdered sugar
  • 4-6 tablespoons of hot water
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Food coloring

WHAT TO DO


  1. Cream margarine, sugar and salt together. (has to be margarine, can not sub with butter)
  2. Add vanilla then stir in flour.
  3. Roll dough into marble size balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Make thumbprint in dough, that's where the icing will be.
  5. Bake cookies at 350 for 8-10 minutes/ 12-15 mins depending on oven.

For Icing: 

  1. Mix all ingredients together with a fork until smooth and free of lumps.
  2. Once cookies are cool, fill each thumb print with icing. Use sprinkles if desired. 

*Easily makes over 2 dozen! 


 

 

MY AT-HOME SPA DAY

how to have a spa night at home

The year of self-care marches on here at Living with Landyn and I am so excited to partner with Marshalls to show you how to have an amazing spa-like experience in your own home. I love going to the spa as a treat, but it's definitely not feasible on time or budget for me to go as often as I would like. I needed a spa day to get ready for our trip to Minnesota for my live show and Hall of Fame events, but the schedule was so crazy that I didn't have time to get into my favorite spa here in Nashville before we left. Luckily all I had to do was make a trip to my favorite Marshalls and I found a ton of surprises that were perfect for making my poor winter skin ready for the big events.

products you need for an at home spa day

I did this by myself, but hosting a spa night would be such a great idea for an at-home girls' night out. Marshalls has absolutely everything you would need from nail polish to name brand skincare lines and so much more. It basically is a one stop shop for all you would need to create the perfect in-home spa experience. If you were having girlfriends over you could set up different stations and you guys could rotate through the stations. You could even have girls pick a station to be the "expert" for and have them do the treatment at that station. That would be perfect for things like manicures and pedicures. I am terrible at doing my own nails, so I know I would love to have someone do them for me at home. You could serve healthy foods and make spa water with fruit….or kick it up a little and make a spa cocktail that you could serve everyone. I picked up some really gorgeous gold rimmed wine glasses while I was grabbing all my beauty essentials on my last trip for only $3.99 per glass. They would be perfect to use if you were having girlfriends over.

wine glass and face serum on bedside table for an at-home spa day

Now on to all the goodies that I snagged for my spa day. All at-home spa days have to start with something comfy to wear, so I grabbed this sleepshirt for only $12.99. I also grabbed a luxe lavender wrap that you can warm in the microwave and lay across your neck. It wasn't a massage but, it definitely did the trick. It would be perfect if you had trouble falling asleep at night or were prone to headaches.

body scrub with gray loofah

This extra cold winter that we have been having in Nashville has done a number on my skin. It is so dry. I plan on getting a spray tan for my trip to Minnesota, so I have to make sure that my skin's really exfoliated or the tan looks blotchy and sloughs off too quickly. I grabbed some coconut body scrub for only $4 and a loofah sponge to help make sure my skin was spray tan ready. Typically loofah sponges are either bright neon colors or just a boring natural color. I loved this one because it was gray and almost looked like a flower. The best part was that it had an elastic handle that you could slide your hand through so it was really easy to use when rubbing in the body scrub.  

tweezing eyebrows in make-up  mirror during an at-home spa day

I also got a couple of things to help with the dry skin on my face as well. I found a couple of really great products at prices that I was so excited about. My absolute best score of the day was some name brand de-puffing gel eye patches. If I had bought them at a beauty store they would have cost upward of $50, but I got mine for $7.99! I am going to take some with me this week because we will have some late nights and I have a feeling I will need them. I also got a hydrating gel face mask for only $7.99 and I really loved how it made my skin feel. To finish off my skin treatments I applied a face serum to really help with moisturizing. Face serums are relatively new to the skincare scene and typically carry a pretty hefty price tag. I like them though because they are really lightweight and carry a higher concentration of active ingredients that really penetrate the skin. If you are looking to try out a facial serum in your skincare routine, but don't want to spend a ton of money, I highly recommend checking out the beauty section at your local Marshalls. I found my serum for only $6.99 and was really pleased with it.

gray loofah

After all was said and done, I came out with an awesome spa night for way less than what I would pay for a treatment at my local spa. Now that is a score!


Thank you to Marshalls for sponsoring this post.  As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.  Thank you to all of you that support the brands that help make Living with Landyn possible.