The Importance of Being Reese

20 Incredibly Delicious Soups That Will Keep you Warm

Fall is officially here and I'm celebrating by sharing my favorite warm and cozy soups to get you in the mood. These soups are not only delicious, but they are a quick and easy solution to keeping your family fed without breaking the bank or spending a ridiculous amount of time in the kitchen dicing, chopping and preparing. In fact, many of these recipes are crock-pot friendly, so once you do the prep, you can walk away and let you crock-pot handle the rest. Definitely my kind of meal.

So check out the soups below as we prepare to head in to the chilly season. Bon App├ętit

Sweat, Strengthen & Flow in the Park

This post was sponsored in part by Premier Protein. Although I was compensated for this post, as always, all thoughts, opinions and sweaty pics belong to me. 

Happy September Dear Friends,

Now that Little J has finally flown the nest and is settling into Kindergarten, I'm finding myself with a bit of extra time on my hands. Work keeps me fairly busy, but I've been revisiting some resolutions I set for myself at the beginning of the year, most notably my fitness goals.

This has been the first year that I've completely fallen off the wagon for as long as I have. Normally I go through a brief period in the Fall, when I just capitulate, and enjoy stuffing my face with all of my favorite cookies and over-indulge in hot coco. And let's not even get started on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's basically a tradition for me to go nuts over the holidays. But magically by Spring, I've gotten back on track. That didn't happen this year.

Blame it on the move or our travel heavy year, but whatever happened, I just haven't been on my game. I'm not terribly upset. Personally I've always felt that fitness is a personal choice, and yes, sometimes life gets in the way. I don't need to preach to the choir that as mothers we sometimes sacrifice in the best way we think we can. This year, fitness was not on my menu. And that's okay.

This weekend I had the opportunity to set aside some mommy time and start getting back on that train. Saturday morning, I joined an amazing group of ladies at Midwood Park for a fun group workout led by the fierce Jen DeCurtins of Peanut Butter Runner. Our sweaty sixty minute session was sponsored by Premier Protein and benefited RunningWorks. It was a no hold barred workout. Which was kind of necessary.

Before our workout, Premier Protein got us all fueled up and ready to go. I had the opportunity to try out their fabulous Chocolate Protein Shake and was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was. I'm typically not a fan of protein products as they tend to have a chalky taste, but as I discovered the next day after devouring eating the Dark Chocolate Mint Crunch Bar, Premier Protein products give your body a boost without that chalky taste.

Even though it was painful, even though I had to do several modified versions of our drills, I never gave up, and I met a few friends in the process.  These past few years have been a persistent reminder that it's not always about finishing first, or hurting yourself, sometimes it's just about doing what you can, and then the next day, doing a little bit more. I prefer progress over perfection. Despite what the television would have you believe, perfection isn't attainable. But progression is a by product of being realistic and consistent.

That's why I really appreciated Jen's workout style. She took the time to coach, but more importantly, encourage us when we needed it. You'd be surprised how a few simple words can motivate you to keep going. The fact that our workout help to benefit such a great cause was also a powerful motivator.

RunningWorks is a non-profit running program founded to use sport to empower individuals and families to break cycles of abuse, neglect, poverty and homelessness - one stride at a time. The ultimate goals of this program are employment and housing. It truly is an incredible program, and I was happy to donate my time (and sweat) to helping them help others.

If you're a Charlottean, I encourage you all to stop by the website and learn more about this program. I know many of us have busy schedules, but the best part about this non-profit is that you can literally help others simply by doing something you love--running.

If you have questions about Runningworks, or want to get more involved shoot me an email and we'll talk.

Until next time,

"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle." - James Keller

Quick and Easy No Bake Energy Bites

"A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands." - Anonymous

Today's recipe is a super yummy and healthy treat for the whole family- No Bake Energy Bites. As you all know, I'm a fan of keeping it simple, and this recipe couldn't get more simple if I tried. It involves absolutely no baking, which makes it a fantastic treat to make with your toddlers during the summer. Because who actually likes having to turn on the stove or oven in the oven? If you live in the South, you know what I'm talking about...

At Home: The Ultimate Blogger Shopping Spree

A/N: I received several items to help facilitate my social shares for this post, however, as always, all thoughts, opinions and images (unless otherwise noted are my own).

Question: What happens when you give 20 bloggers wine and cookies, and then unleash them in At Home for back-to-school shopping?

Answer: A hilarious live streamed shopping spree

Last night Little J and I stopped by At Home and proceeded to shop until we dropped. Again. The theme of the night was College Move-In Essentials, which was perfect, because At Home has one of the best selections I seen so far.

How To Adventure this Summer On a Budget

A/N: This post is sponsored by Groupon, however all thoughts and opinions about how awesome Groupon is are my own. And I've got the bank statements and recipets to prove it. Enjoy!

Summer is winding down, but your plans don't have to! 

As an avid saver and adventurer, Groupon is my go to site for all things fun and cheap. I can't tell you the fun excursions my family and I have had compliments of Groupon, but I can refresh your memory really quick...

Southern Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Southern Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Salty-Sweet, crunchy and crispy, these Southern Baked Sweet Potato Fries are the perfect side dish to compliment your meal, or a healthy snack your whole family will love!

Happy Friday,

Today, I'm celebrating our slow descent into Autumn with one of my favorite fall recipes- Southern Sweet Potato Fries. One of the many things we get in North Carolina year round are gorgeous, deep orange colored sweet potatoes. On the weekends, we head to the farmers market where I can peruse the selection of local goodies. We always walk away with a few sweet potatoes.

Thought they taste just as amazing plain, occasionally I have a yearning for something sweet. These fries help to satisfy my sweet tooth without being too over the top. Which literally makes them the one of the most perfect foods ever.