Friday Faves #8

Hallelujah, TGIF.

Work is *literally* stressing me to death, so I am thankful that I have this place to come to and think about some of my favorite things for a hot second. So, here we go!

1. This recipe for homemade marinara sauce

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Okay, soooo some of you might be rolling your eyes at the thought of making your own marinara sauce. BUT–it’s almost the same price as jarred, and this is incredibly delicious. And? Making it was cathartic. There’s something very real and cerebral about making something from scratch, and tasting and chopping and stirring. It’s beautiful and I think it’s crazy relaxing. Plus, it just takes like 15 minutes.

Matt and I have both vetted this sauce and, indeed, it is as delicious as it sounds. Make it exactly as it instructs you to, and then after that first batch you can tweak if needed (we didn’t need to!). Enjoy!


2. Body weight circuits

That's my hubs.

That’s my hubs.

I worked at a gym for almost five years, so I really do love gyms. But I don’t love the price tag. My favorite workout (currently) is body weight circuits, because you can do them anywhere. Here’s my current favorite (targeting legs):

400m warm-up run
10>1 squats (10, then 9, then 8, then 7, and so on)
10>1 curtsy lunges (this is how to do them)
When you hit the middle, run up a hill and back (or just do another run)*
400m cool-down run

*I usually do 10>1 and 1>10, so that I don’t front load my exercises before running up a hill! So it would look more like: 10 squats, 1 curtsy lunge, 9 squats, 2 curtsy lunges, 8 squats, 3 curtsy lunges, 7 squats, 4 curtsy lunges, 6 squats, 5 curtsy lunges, 5 squats <NOW YOU DO YOUR HILL RUN> 6 curtsy lunges, 4 squats, 7 curtsy lunges, 3 squats, 8 curtsy lunges, 2 squats, 9 curtsy lunges, 1 squat, 10 curtsy lunges.

The best part about this circuit is that it’s easy to add another exercise (say, burpees) or to switch out the exercises completely, and focus, for example, on arms (doing 10>1 dips and 1>10 push-ups). It’s very mold-able! And, you can go at your own pace.


3. Fresh SUGA(RED) Lip Treatment SPF 15

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There’s no way around it: this stuff is expensive. $24 for some lip balm is a high price to pay, but it is 1000% worth it. I have terribly chapped lips and this stuff is a lifesaver. Literally I was using a toothpick to get every last ounce of it before I bought a new one. I buy this in the untinted color, but I’d bet the other colors are fun too! Just head to Sephora to test this bad boy out.

PS: For every purchase of SUGA(RED), 25% of the retail price will go to the US Fund for the Global Fund, which can provide more than 2 weeks of life-saving HIV medicine. To learn more, visit


4. Downy Wrinkle Releaser

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If this is something you’ve never heard of, I am about to change your life. This magical spray has saved me from countless hours of ironing. Just spray on your wrinkled clothes, pull, and smooth. VOILA. No more wrinkles. // I’m not quite sure that it works on heavy duty wrinkles, but for your everyday “I left this in the dryer too long” this is a lifesaver. And they make it in travel size, so it’s FANTASTIC for suitcase wrinkles.


5. Fitbit Charge Wireless Activity Wristband

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I used to use the Jawbone UP, but it had some flaws that I wasn’t a huge fan of (mainly the fact that it doesn’t show the time, but totally feels like a watch, so I look like a goober when I’d look at my wrist to check the time). So I bought the Fitbit Charge (not the Fitbit Charge HR) and I love it! It has a lot of features that are better than the UP, and I love that it tells me the time. Bless. Also, it has Caller ID–which is a great feature since 90% of the time my phone is on silent. Now, if someone is calling, my Fitbit will buzz and tell me who it is. So good! PS: It’s way cheaper on Amazon (link above).

xo, A


PS: Sometimes I will use affiliate links for these products that I will earn a commission off of from Amazon. Transparency! But don’t worry, it doesn’t cost you any more than if you just found it on Amazon on your own. This way, B+B earns some mo-nay!


Friday Faves #7

I bet you guys thought I fell off the earth! (Hah, kidding, I know you didn’t think that). But I am back with Friday Faves! Let’s jump in, since all I can think about is #1 (and #5)…

1. Naps

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Okay, so this isn’t something you can buy, but it’s something you can and should do. If I could nap every day, I would. This past weekend Matt and I were up WAY past our bedtime on Friday because we were having a spectacular time hanging out with friends. But we paid for it on Saturday when we woke up at 6am to leave to go see my parents. Thankfully, we scheduled a nap for later that afternoon, and IT WAS JOYOUS AND ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL. Seriously, a nap at like 2pm on a Saturday in a cool room is the stuff heaven is made of.

PS: I almost posted a picture of Matt sleeping (instead of our sweet niece Kennedy sleeping), but I figured he wouldn’t appreciate that too much. Bless his heart.

2. PackIt Freezable Picnic Bag with Zip Closure, Cali Stripes

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I try to be reaaaalllly good about bringing my lunch to work and not eating out. Having a lunchbox that is a) cute and b) FREEZES itself goes a long way in supporting that. The PackIt line of freezable lunchboxes is ah-mazing. It’s easy because I can just keep it in my office and my lunch stays cool. But do you know what the best part of this item is? IT FOLDS UP. So it doesn’t take up a crap ton of room in your freezer. Bless the lunchbox gods.

3. Lumosity App (the FREE version)

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A few months ago, I started noticing that my memory was totally failing me. I’d be pulling into the Target parking lot, think to myself, “I need toothpaste, a candle, and laundry detergent.” I’d park, walk into the store, and NOT REMEMBER A SINGLE THING from that list. When that became a frequent occurrence, I knew I needed to start working out my brain. So, I downloaded the free Lumosity app.

So here’s the thing: to get the full sha-bang, you’re encouraged to pay for a subscription. That way you can play all of the games. BUT–I use the free version and that’s plenty for me. It gives you three random games a day, tracks your brain stats, and usually takes no more than 6-10 minutes to finish all three games. Honestly, I don’t want more than that. So paying for a subscription just doesn’t make sense to me. There is also a website version, but I don’t know much about that since I use the app :)

4.  Buffalo Trace Bourbon

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Because, you know, Baubles + Bourbon. I’m a total bourbon fan (you’d probably hope that, considering the name). And Buffalo Trace is, hands down, the best bourbon I’ve ever had–both because it tastes incredible and because it has sentimental value. It’s the bourbon both Matt and I were drinking when we got engaged, and the bourbon we buried at our wedding and shared with our 80 guests (yum-o!). It’s smooth and delicious and warm. It’s a little hard to find, but if you see it, grab it! So delish.

My favorite Buffalo Trace drink is the one I was drinking when I got engaged: The Kentucky Mule from MOJO Hogtown BBQ + Whiskey Bar: MOJO Selected Buffalo Trace Bourbon (they have their own barrels of this stuff!), Lime Juice, Ginger-Lime Syrup, and Ginger Beer–served in a copper mug with ice like you get from Sonic.

Just remember two things: 1) All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon; and 2) drink responsibly, friends.

5. My sweet husband


                                  Photo by @lizzierandazzo

Everyone is told that marriage is hard. Duh, it is. But so is life. Life is hard, with or without marriage. And I can’t IMAGINE doing life without my husband by my side.

These past few weeks have been so tough. We are having to make hard decisions and he just LOVES all of the tears I cry (hello, CRIER here). This isn’t new stuff, since we tend to attract stressful situations. When we were preparing for our wedding, our pastor sent us a questionnaire about each other. This is one of the many things I had to say about Matt: “In the three and a half years we’ve been together, we’ve been through a high number of really stressful events (2 degrees, 4 job changes, almost losing dad, Matt owning his own company, a move), and there was never a point where I felt like our relationship was negatively affected by these stressors. When life was incredulously hard, our love was easy. Matt consistently showed up in the hard places, and made commitment after commitment to tackle life together, never apart, and never when it is just easy. His slow and steady strength and love is the most endearing quality. I know that entering marriage we will encounter even more difficulties, but I have no fear of them because of the type of love Matt shows. He showed me that to be strong, you could be tender. That to be my rock, he would point me TO my Rock. That romance is sometimes just showing up and being present, and is not necessarily all passion and fireworks–although we have that, too!”

I’m just so thankful for my husband. He’s my most favorite thing.

xo, A