Stilettos and Diapers: February 2017


Monday Motivation: Workout Gear Under $60

Nothing motivates me to get my booty moving more than new workout clothes. The closer we get to spring, the more I want fun, lightweight and colorful gear! Here are some of the things I want in my closet now!

 (Click the images to shop)

My favorite spots to shop for workout gear are Nordstrom, Old Navy, Target and Forever 21. Nordstrom has all the brands I love and great quality pieces with fast and free shipping. Old Navy never lets me down and is constantly having great sales (use code SWEET for 30% off your order today). Target has my favorite socks of all and let's face it. I'm always there and can get 5% off and free shipping with my red card, so it's basically like a constant sale! Forever 21 has surprisingly great workout gear. Their stuff is cute and I've been very happy with all the stuff I've gotten from them. Although I'm not big into yoga, I feel like I really need that yoga mat

I started week 4 of Bikini Body Guide today and I'm loving it! So easy to workout at home with the little ones! 

Where are your favorite places to shop for workout gear? 


The Ultimate Guide to a Charlotte Girls Weekend

Last weekend, my mom and sister from Georgia and my other 2 sisters from Ohio met me here in Charlotte for an amazing girls weekend! My sister was turning 30 and my older sister had just turned 35, so we had a lot to celebrate. We decided Charlotte was the perfect middle ground, which worked perfectly for me! I LOVE my city. And I love it even more after the weekend we spent checking out new things and places! 
Friday Afternoon. We started off  by checking into the Charlotte Marriott City Center. You may remember that we stayed there last year with the whole family. It was so amazing that I knew when we started planning that this was the perfect spot to stay. 
Charlotte Marriott City Center, Girls Trip, Best Charlotte, NC hotel

My mom, 1 sister and I got to our room and set up some fun drinks and decorations. The room had a kitchen and living room, that was perfect for hanging out and catching up, plus we had an adjoining room so there was space for all 5 of us to sleep. 
Charlotte Marriott City Center, Girls Trip decorations, Best Charlotte, NC hotel

Charlotte Marriott City Center, Girls Trip decorations, Best Charlotte, NC hotel

Charlotte Marriott City Center, Girls Trip decorations, Best Charlotte, NC hotel
{I had to take a break from the girly weekend and send a picture of our view to my boys. You could see right down into the baseball stadium and they would have freaked out if it was baseball season!}
Charlotte Marriott City Center, Girls Trip, Best Charlotte, NC hotel
But I digress. Back to girly! While we waited on my Ohio sisters to get there, we went and grabbed some appetizers in the M Club Lounge. They offer breakfast, as well as small bites, snacks and desserts at different times of the day. It was so convenient to be able to grab something without leaving the hotel! 
Charlotte Marriott City Center review, M Club Lounge, Best Uptown Charlotte hotel
Friday Night. Once we were all there, had smothered each other in hugs and raided each other's suitcases, it was off to dinner! My sister had had heard of Bakersfield Restaurant and wanted to try it out, so we grabbed an Uber and headed down. Fair warning, we waited nearly 2 hours to be seated. But, spicy margarita and guacamole at the bar was just fine with us! 
Bakersfield Taco Restaurant Charlotte, NC
And the food was delicious. We ordered a bunch of different tacos and they were all exceptional. 
Bakersfield Charlotte, NC
Saturday Morning. I knew we would be eating more than our normal during the weekend, so we wanted to get in a workout. Marriott's Flex program is amazing and partners with local studios for discounted classes. We opted to get out of our comfort zone and tried AIR Charlotte, an aerial fitness gym. It was a beginner class, so I really thought it wouldn't be much working out, but it was no joke! I was so sore, while having the most fun I've ever had while working out. 
AIR Charlotte, aerial fitness review,
AIR Charlotte, aerial fitness review,
AIR Charlotte, aerial fitness girls day

We worked up a serious appetite and headed over to Amélie's newest Uptown location. Y'all. It has to be the neatest looking restaurant I've ever been inside of. It's super eclectic and I felt cool, just by being in there. 
Amelies uptown charlotte, nc review

Amelies uptown Charlotte,NC review, best lunch in Charlotte, NC
Amelies uptown Charlotte review, best coffee shop in Charlotte, NC

Amelies uptown Charlotte review, best lunch in Charlotte, NC
But let's talk about the food. I'm so hungry just looking at these pictures! Between all of us, we ordered a little bit of everything. Lattes and other sweet coffee concoctions, salads, soup, quiche and sandwiches. Every bit of it was delicious. (Yes we all tasted everything!) We took at least 20 minutes of staring at the menu to order, because it really was a hard choice. They have a really fantastic menu! 
Amelies uptown Charlotte review, best lunch spots in Charlotte, NC
Amelies Uptown, best salads in Charlotte, NC
We followed that up with some beautiful macarons and a little birthday cake brought over by the manager. Their dessert selection is endless, with éclairs, petit-fours, cream puffs and so much more. 
Amelies Birthday cake, Girls lunch spot in Charlotte
Since Amélies is right next to The Green, we walked around exploring more of Uptown Charlotte. I'm amazed that after living here 3 years, there's still so much to see! It really is a great city to stroll around in with shopping, dining and tons of green space. 
Guide to Charlotte, NC, What to do, Where to eat, Where to stay

Saturday Afternoon. After we went back to the hotel to freshen up, we added in a quintessential portion of a girls trip...a fresh mani! Our next stop was The Daily Details beauty bar. It's in a great location, the Duke Energy Center, and was walking distance from our hotel. 
Best nail spa Charlotte, NC, The Daily Details review

It was bright, clean and and my gel mani is still looking fabulous on day 12! I got OPI's Don't Bossa Nova Me Around and it may be a new fave! Their standard manicure also included a sugar scrub or paraffin treatment. I opted for the scrub and it made my hands so soft! 
Best nail spa Charlotte, NC, The Daily Details review

Best nail spa Charlotte, NC, The Daily Details review
Saturday Night. We easily walked bak to the hotel to get fancy before the Birthday night out and it was really nice that everything was so close! My sister loves sushi, so we went with a favorite of mine and walked to Enso in the Epicentre, for dinner. 
Sushi uptown Charlotte, Enso Epicentre
Sushi uptown Charlotte, Enso Epicentre
Tuna tacos, sushi and sake hit the spot there, but dessert on your Birthday is a must! The ultimate dessert in Charlotte can be found at Stoke Restaurant or their adjacent bar. It's the 1 lb donut! We sat at the bar in The Bottle Shop, a space that offers wine tasting daily as well as wine by the bottle at retail prices. You can grab a bottle and enjoy it in the great room or take it to go. 

The very knowledgeable sommelier paired the donut with a Jeff Runquist petit syrah. It was a perfect pairing as well as one I would have never picked myself. That wine is now on my list of bottles to keep at home! 
Charlotte Marriott City Center, Stoke Restaurant 1lb donut, Wine Bar

Charlotte Marriott City Center, Stoke Restaurant Review, Wine Bar

Charlotte Marriott City Center, Stoke Restaurant Review, Wine Bar
Charlotte Marriott City Center, Stoke Charlotte, Wine Bar
After filling ourselves with donut and wine, we decided on another walk around Charlotte. The streets were full on a Saturday night and music could be heard on every corner. My favorite spot for girls night in Charlotte is probably Kandy Bar. It's got plush velvet seats and makes super fun martinis with real candy. (They only serve those until 11pm, though.) If you're in the mood for dancing, I love the 80s and 90s music at Roxbury or the casual atmosphere at Prohibition

Sunday Morning. We were headed out this day, but had a little time to check out the fitness center before some shopping. How cool is it that you can use the screens and select a cycling class, or choose from many different types of group fitness activities? Sure beats a plain old treadmill and weight bench! 
Charlotte Marriott City Center Gym, Flex Program
Charlotte Marriott City Center Gym, Flex Program
Charlotte has great shopping and my absolute favorite is Southpark Mall. It's about a 15 minute drive from the Uptown area and offers many luxury stores, as well as tons of your classic mall stores.

My family has always been so close and I feel incredibly blessed to have such a great mom and sisters that literally want to travel to spend time together. We made so many great memories on this trip, one of which being an fun photo shoot in our matching Beadhead PJs! We all got matching prints in different styles and they're so insanely soft! 
Beadhead PJs, Matching Girls Trip Pajamas, Sisters
Beadhead PJs, Matching Girls Trip Pajamas

If you're planning a girls trip with your sisters or friends, I can't recommend Charlotte enough! From dining and shopping, to great places to stay and an overall fun and interesting city, you need to get to Charlotte! 

Some portions of this trip were provided to me for review. 
All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


White and Blue Colorblock

We shot this look at least 2 weeks ago and I forgot to post it! I love this blue colorblock cardigan (that's on sale now!) as a transition to spring. I think I've said that term a million times here lately. I'm so ready for steady warm temps, flower blooming and keeping my windows open! 
Spring Transition Outfit idea

Spring Transition Outfit idea, JJillstyle

Spring Transition Outfit idea, JJill Style

Spring Transition Outfit idea, Downtown Mooresville, NC

Spring Transition Outfit idea,
Spring Transition Outfit idea, whites and blues

Spring Transition Outfit idea, Epic Chophouse, Mooresville, NC

I have on 2 necklaces in this post to create a layered look. Both of them are sold out right now, but I found this layered one in 1 piece, under $20 that makes a really similar look. A long gold necklace is something I wear regularly to add some length to my short torso!

Also, this embossed clutch is on MAJOR sale! The color goes with everything and I carry it all the time. It's a great investment piece! 

Shop the look: 

Don't miss tomorrow's post that is all about the girls weekend in Charlotte with my sisters from last weekend. It was so fun and I can't wait to relive it here! 


Lightened Up Buffalo Chicken Dip

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are mine alone. #BordenCheeseLove #CollectiveBias #Ad

Sporting events are such a fun happening around here. As a boy mom, sports are a massive part of our family time. We love watching games together and making a big game a fun family event. I try hard to feed my family foods that are good for them, but sometimes a special events call for special food. One of my favorite ways of cooking is to make foods a little more nutritious while still being delicious. That's what I've done to the classic buffalo chicken dip, and it's a hit here!

When I throw a sports party, I go for some classics with a twist and include lots of veggies.  
Here's our most recent party menu:

Big Game Menu

Lightened Up Buffalo Chicken Dip (recipe below)
Veggie Tray
Make Your Own Pita Platter
Chips and Salsa
Strawberry Footballs
Super Bowl Party Simple Decorations
Super Bowl Party Food
Skinny Dip Mudpie Bowl

Super Bowl Party Food
I think the make your own pitas are a little more fun than a classic sandwich tray. I used peppered turkey and Borden® Cheese Gouda Slices along with lettuce and tomato. I prefer letting people build their own; then they don't get soggy or wasted if they're not all eaten. And besides, it's way more fun!
Super Bowl Party Food
Make Your Own Pita Bar
Here's a tip for you. If you're serving sweets at your party but are trying to pay attention to what you eat, put them in a different room! The kids at the party enjoy having the treats, but I don't want them in front of me all game. I keep the main food on the kitchen island, where everyone seems to congregate. Then in the dining room, I can put desserts so they don't tempt people. I do love these strawberry footballs for a sweet treat with way less guilt. I just dip the strawberries into melted chocolate and use a small squirt bottle to squeeze the white melted chocolate designs on. They're relatively simple and everyone loves them!
Super Bowl Party Foods and Desserts
Super Bowl Party

Since I'm a big cooking fan, nothing makes me happier in the kitchen than my boys helping me out. I want them to grow up with fond memories of the times we spent cooking together, as well as being confident in their cooking skills as adults. I think the key to that is making it fun! One of the ways I show my love for my family is through cooking for them, and I love that my kids are appreciative and interested in doing it with me. They helped me add some love in the form of Borden® Cheese to the top of my yummy chicken dip!
Family Cooking with Borden Cheese
Lighter Buffalo Chicken Dip
Family Cooking Time

Lighter Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
2 cups Borden® Cheese Cheddar Jack Shreds (or any flavor variety you prefer. I found tons of variety at Lowes foods!)
1 12oz can chicken (or 12 ounces cooked chicken breasts, shredded)
1/2 cup hot sauce
2 tsp dried onion
2 Tbsp parsley
2 tsp garlic powder

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients, reserving 1/2 cup of the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Top with reserved cheese and place back in the oven for 10 minutes.

By eliminating some of the additional cheese and dressings, but adding in a power punch of protein with the Greek yogurt, this dip is a total winner. And who can resist that melty goodness of cheese?
Lighter Buffalo Chicken Dip

Lighter Buffalo Chicken Dip
I used Borden® Cheese for this recipe and for my pita bar. I found mine at Lowes Foods, in the section with all the other cheeses! You can find it near you using this store locator.
Do you get your kids involved when you are cooking? What is your favorite game watching food to make?
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