by gillian claire



Fitness in Your 30s!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and the Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #NourishOnTheGo #CollectiveBias


Fitness and health have always been a big part of my life in one way or another. Working out is just absolutely necessary for my wellbeing and I'm always trying to learn more about wellness and healthy living. This has seemed to come naturally to me but the last few years have made things a little more challenging. These recent years have definitely been the most stressful of my life and stress mixed with entering my 30s has given me some reasons to work a little harder at living a healthy lifestyle!

My metabolism is definitely different than it was and stress and medication seemed to work together to make me gain a little weight. 
This past year I've been able to refocus on my health and kick some bad habits. I wanted to share with you the 8 things that I try to work at everyday to reach my health + fitness goals. I hope you find them helpful if you are on a wellness journey of your own! These are basic things that I've kept in mind this year and they have helped me lose about 10-15 pounds! I'm excited that entering my 30s has pushed me harder and I'm looking forward to staying fit in this decade and beyond!

_MG_0749-3_MG_0896 Odwalla and Safeway are partnering with me on this post and I'll be sharing how to incorporate a couple of their products into your healthy lifestyle. Who else is a huge Odwalla fan? I've been buying their drinks since high school!

Tips for Staying Fit in your 30s!

Drink Lots of Water

Drinking enough water is imperative for a healthy lifestyle! If you aren't already drinking enough water, here are some ways to work on it:

     Find a water bottle you love and keep it with you all day! (My favorite glass water bottles are from T.J.Maxx!)

     Download an app to easily track that you're drinking enough. (I like to use My Fitness Pal.)

     Drink water first thing in the morning while your coffee is brewing.

     Add lemon to your water for taste and to aid in digestion! 

Make Working Out a Habit 

Schedule gym time in your calendar just like you would anything else; make it a priority! I am a busy working mom and some days I seriously have to drag myself to the gym but I find that working out ends up giving me more energy to face the rest of my day.

Find an Accountability Partner 

One of my best friends and I are both on fitness and health journeys. It's really nice to have an accountability partner in my life to talk things over with. She has also given me some great ideas that have helped me out so much! Find a friend to talk fitness with and better yet workout with! (My friend sadly lives 1200 miles away or else we'd definitely be at the gym together!)


Try Something New

Don't ever feel like you are "too old" to try something new! I was a dancer and figure skater growing up and honestly in my 20s I really mourned not having that in my life anymore. I have recently been doing some yoga at home (Check out Mandy Reid!) and I am really looking forward to maybe starting yoga classes and embracing something new in my 30s! 

Be Prepared with Food

Being prepared with food goes a long way! One way I stick with healthy choices is by making a list of all the good foods that I know I'll eat and making sure to have them on hand!

Those of you who know me know how I feel about yummy drinks. Coffee is the way to my heart and I also love grabbing fun clean drinks like kombucha or juice smoothies at the grocery. I am obsessed with these Odwalla 100% Juice Smoothies. They are perfect to have on hand when I need a "treat" but still want to make smart choices. I also love that they are made with high quality non-GMO ingredients and have no sugar added!

I cannot stress enough that I do not enjoy cooking and if I don't have easy, ready to go food around me I cave! Another thing I love grabbing at the grocery is fresh cut fruit from Safeway! Having fruit already cut and prepared makes me twice as likely to grab it from the fridge! Does anyone else buy fruit and ends up letting it sit on the counter until it's not good anymore? 

Right now if you buy any two Odwalla drinks at Safeway you will get a $1 off coupon to use on your next purchase of in-store fresh cut fruit! 

Mix it Up

I'm not big on "diets" but in my 30s I've definitely found that I need to mix things up a little to see what works. I've tried counting calories this year for the first time (after my accountability partner suggested it!) and it really helped me to see how many unnecessary things I was eating in a day! 

Currently I am cutting out gluten and dairy, not to lose weight but because my chiropractor recommended it to see if it helps with my allergies. This has been another huge eye opener for me and I have been introduced to some new favorite healthy foods in the process! 

Move More

     Pick a parking spot in the back of the lot!

     Take a walk with your kids in the evening, or by yourself while listening to a podcast.

     Clean the house! Hey, vacuuming burns calories- win, win!

Above All Else: Treat Yourself with Kindness & Fall in Love with Your Body!

Being perfect is an unattainable goal and I'm practicing being kinder to myself which has not come naturally to me!

Allow yourself to indulge on your favorite foods sometimes or skip the gym during a stressful week. Be easy on yourself and recognize that each day is a brand new chance to make better choices!

Insecurities is so last decade, right? We're in our 30s, so lets rock our fitness goals while more importantly loving our bodies better than we ever have before!

Love you guys,

Belive in Yourself

Fall-ing in Love with our Kitten.

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MuseCleanPlate #CollectiveBias
Well, I'm already back with another kitten post! We have honestly been having a blast with our little Finn, who we affectionately have taken to calling Finney. He has added such positivity to our family life! Fall has been the perfect time of year to bring home a sweet kitten and I'm loving nothing more than sharing warm cuddles with him on chilly nights. Can you think of anything more perfect? We've already had our first big snowfall here in Colorado this week!

I was so excited to have the chance to partner with Purina® Muse® at Petco on this post! I mean Finn needs to know what it's like to live in a blogging family, right? I had so much fun visiting Petco to pick up the new Purina Muse cat food for Finn as well some other fun things to spoil him with and we have a great time bonding over this photoshoot. 

There has been a little bit of an adjustment to bonding with a new kitten with having kids. I didn't really anticipate that but my kids have had to learn a lot about how to care for a kitten and Finn has had to learn what living with two wild boys is like as well!

Asher has had to learn things like not to smother the cat and that he can't just drop him onto the ground. (Yep...) We all have had to learn about Finn's behavior and figure him out a little bit. Finn meows more than any cat I have ever met. At first, he just used one loud all encompassing meow and we always thought he was mad or upset about something. It took us a little time to understand that he is really just very expressive and likes to have little conversations with us!

I'm trying to be deliberate about spending time with Finn and helping the boys bond with him as well. Here are some ways that I've been making this happen: 

Through Play

I was very drawn to Finn's sweet, calm and sleepy demeanor at the shelter. His first couple days with us he spent in our arms like a little rag doll and I thought he was just the most "calm" cat I'd ever seen...

Well, I think he was just honestly dealing with the stress of a new home because his second night with us, he began to get more comfortable and has been exploring, jumping, meowing and running all over the house non-stop!

He loves to play and this has been a great way to encourage my children to bond with him. We picked up a bunch of new toys at Petco and Roman especially loves spending time on the living room rug playing with Finney. Roman said to me last night, "Mom I haven't been bored since we got a cat!" Score.

Through Food

We have quickly discovered that food is one of the ways to Finney's heart! He loudly meows at our feet whenever we are in the kitchen because he wants up on the counter to scrounge for people food. 

I've tried to make an effort to pick up a few fun surprises for him food wise since he shows such an interest in it! The boys and I love giving Finney a cat treat sometimes. We also picked up some of the new Purina Muse dry and wet food for Finn at Petco. I love that Purina Muse is made with all natural ingredients and that they offer so many fun flavors! I've never had experience with feeding a cat wet food but when we adopted Finn from the shelter, they explained to me how's it especially important to feed male cats a balance of wet and dry food. I've since also learned that this is important for all cats' dental and digestive health!

I chose the flavor: Natural Chicken Recipe in Gravy, for Finn's first wet food taste test and he was over the moon! I chose several other wet food flavors as well as the Sailing with Salmon dry food and I've noticed that Finn is much more excited about eating his food vs. ours! Purina Muse offers a Muse Clean Plate Guarantee and will give your money back if your cat turns up his nose! 

There will be a special Facebook live sampling event hosted by Budget Savvy Diva on Wednesday 10/19 at 9pm ET! Be sure to check it out for a chance to win free samples of Purina Muse!_MG_0641
Through Affection

Finn makes this one pretty easy because who doesn't love cuddling with a sweet little kitten?! Finn has a very affectionate personality and we have all loved spending time cuddling and petting him this fall. 

I also picked up a brush at Petco and have encouraged the boys to spend time brushing him. Finney loves brushing time and usually closes his eyes with happiness. He hasn't quite mastered cleaning himself yet and usually gets into something that gets all over in his fur!

All in all, having a kitten has been just what our family needed. I feel like the boys are at the perfect ages (6 & 9) to learn the responsibility of having a pet and Finn has brought them both so much joy. We are looking forward to many more cozy fall days spent at home with our Finney!
Look out for a new range of Masterpieces Dry Formulas coming in February of 2018!


My Boys' Path to Reading!

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

I can't believe my second little boy is now in first grade and in the thick of learning to read! I want to share with you a little bit about my experience with my boys' reading journeys and why i'm not worried about them being "late readers."

I am sharing our personal literacy story today to promote Kellogg's® and their support of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation! At the end of this post I'll be sharing more or you can click on this link to find out how you can enter the #DGMyStory Sweepstakes to win a $50 Dollar General gift card by sharing your story as well!

Roman started public school halfway through the school year in Kindergarten after being homeschooled. (Long story...) He has always been a bright child and during homeschool he would ask questions like, "is lightening a solid or a gas?" He caught on well in public school but reading continued to be a struggle. In first grade he was still lagging behind in reading. During parent/teacher conferences, we would talk about his reading "issues." 

Fast forward to second grade when one day his teacher pulled me aside after school. He asked me what we had done with Roman over the summer because after their state reading test, Roman ended up with the 2nd highest score in the class! We definitely did not stick to a rigorous reading plan over the summer or hire a tutor but I was not surprised that Roman had finally caught on with reading and was beginning to excel. Roman in now in 4th grade and loves reading. He is also participates in an advanced reading class with gifted students.

I feel like so many of us as parents worry and stress that our children aren't at the level that they "should" be when in reality ALL children learn at different rates! Both of my boys took to science and math quicker than they took to reading. They have wild, active and curious personalities. Sitting down to focusing on books didn't come naturally at age 5; why should it?

Now little Asher is in first grade; can you believe it? At the beginning of this school year, his teacher tested him on which sight words he knew. Asher only knew 2 or 3... When she assessed their reading level, he ended up on the lower end of the spectrum. A fellow mom at school asked me about Asher's reading level because she was concerned about her son's results. (Her son was at a level higher than Ash!) I shared with her my story about Roman and expressed my feelings that being behind now doesn't necessarily reflect where a child will be in a couple years. I have already seen Asher grow in leaps and bounds since he was tested and I have no doubt that he will end up an excellent reader like his big brother!


Here are a few things that I'm keeping in mind this year as Asher continues learning to read:

Provide Encouragement!

I feel like providing encouragement is one of the most important things we can do as parents! I try my best to notice my children's successes and celebrate them. When Asher points out the word "the" on one of my books or randomly recites the vowel song he's learning at school, I try to make him feel like the smartest boy in the world. :)

Find Reading All Around Us!

We have a book shelf right in our front hallway filled with books that are available for the boys to read. I also like looking for little ways to sneak in reading all around us. Asher doesn't really notice that we're reading when I'm pointing out signs on the road or reading cereal boxes with the boys at breakfast. 

I love that we are partnering with Kellogg's on this post because my kids are big cereal eaters! We went to the Dollar General to pick up four of their favorite Kellogg's cereals to support The Dollar General Literacy Foundation: Frosted Flakes®, Froot Loops, Frosted Bite-Size Mini-Wheats and Rice Krispies! Which cereals are your household favorites?

My kids are always sitting at the counter in the mornings eating cereal and it's the perfect time to get in a little reading practice!

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!

As I've shared, I am not worrying about Asher being a "late reader" like his brother. I know that he will catch up and I am focusing on doing what I can to encourage him and simply enjoying every day of his first grade sweetness! When did your littles ones learn to read?


Kellogg's is a proud sponsor of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Every day, Kellogg employees work together to fulfill their vision of enriching and delighting the world through foods and brands that matter. Kellogg's is committed to providing 2 billion Better Days through 2025 through initiatives that feed people and their potential. 

Dollar General Corporation has been delivering value to shoppers for over 75 years through its mission of Serving Others. The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is celebrating over 20 years of helping individuals learn to read, prepare for their high school equivalency, or learn English. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $140 million to nonprofit organizations and schools that have helped more than 9 million individuals advance their literacy and basic education skills.

Click here to learn more about this literacy initiative and to enter the #DGMyStory Sweepstakes by sharing your literacy story with the hashtag #DGMyStoryEntry for a chance to win a $50 Dollar General giftcard!

Hover over the image below to shop if your little ones are cereal lovers like mine!


We got a pet!

Oh my goodness, we got a pet!

The decision to add a pet after kids has always felt like too much for me! I've told people that I already have two pets: MY KIDS. The thought of adding an animal in the mix sounded like willingly asking for more stress in my life! Living in a small condo only added to my fears.

Having said that, here we are! My cat-fever all started last year when the boys and I were at PetSmart and came across the cutest long haired kitten. We all fell in love and I almost broke down and brought him home that day.

A year later and we finally went for it! I saw an ad for a free kitten event in my town and asked you guys for advice on Instagram. Everyone gave me wonderful words of encouragement and nudged me to go for it! (Thanks, friends!)

Honestly, I feel like this has been the best idea ever. Sometimes I'm still not sure about the whole thing (I'm a serious over-analyzer) and I can't figure out for the life of me how to make a litter box not smell bad in a small space.. but at the end of the day we have this sweet soft little soul to cuddle and love. Finn is maybe the funniest little cat I've ever met. He meows so much and is wild and sweet and seems to be fitting in just fine. The boy are so happy that we finally have a pet and I'm pretty in love with this little guy myself. 

Welcome home, Finn. <3 <3



Making After School Count!


     I'm really trying to up my mom-game this school year. The past few years have felt like a lot of "going through the motions." Lately, I've really caught myself in that pattern and realized that I need to make a better effort to make more of these years of my boys being so young! It's easy to get caught up in the day to day tasks, especially being a working mom, but I truly want to take more time for the little things!


     One change I'm trying to make to set the tone for the day is making the after school transition a more deliberate time of connection. The bus stop is close to my house and my kids are old enough to walk home but I know that they still love when I meet them there. I'm trying to not fall into the selfishness of wanting those last minutes to myself and instead walk down to the bus stop to meet my little boys. I work from home and honestly getting outside for some fresh air is really good for me and helps perk me up anyway. I love seeing my boys run off the bus when they see me as well; it's one of those sweet heart filling moments that won't last forever. :)

     Another thing that I've been doing since day one of this school year is making sure I'm prepared with snacks after school. It's kind of crazy what a difference this has made. Don't get me wrong, I've always had food waiting for my kids after school but I notice that making a little bit of an effort in the snack department goes a long way. My kids are pretty ravenous after being gone at school all day and I feel like making sure they have good snacks to come home to is a way of showing them I care. I am not going full Pinterest-mom in any way here but I just make sure I have easy snacks stocked up and ready to go as well as some little surprises every once in a while!

     Rome and Ash were so excited to come home from school to this fun package from Welch's in honor of their new 100% juice with coconut water and I'm so happy to have them partnering with me on this blog post!

     I love that Welch's brand new juice has replaced regular water with coconut water which adds natural benefits while keeping the great taste of 100% juice with 30% less sugar! My kids can't tell that their juice is more nutritious and they love coming home to find juice in the fridge after school! 

     I have really noticed a difference with these small changes I've started putting into place during our after school routine. It's so important for me to take a few minutes to connect with my boys after they've been away at school all day and it seems like they really love being able to share their day with me! This time of connection is also a great time for me to empty out their backpacks to keep on top of the endless paperwork that seems to pour out of the public school system!

    It can be so tempting for me to want to pick up my phone or get right back to my never empty email inbox but I'm trying hard to take these moments to just be with these little boys whom I love more than anything! 

How do you connect with your kiddos after school! I'd love some more ideas on how to up my mom-game this school year!


Welch's is made right here in the USA with family farmers and Welch's grapes! Both of these flavors were winners with my little guys with their great taste and refreshing goodness: White Grape Mango & Tropical Berry Grape!

5 Easy Ways to Make Extra Christmas Shopping Money!

*This post contains an affiliate link.*     

     I can't believe how close the holidays are and to be honest, the thought of Christmas shopping (and all that $$$) is a bit stress inducing right now! Do you guys feel the same way? I am always trying to bring the cost of Christmas down and today I want to share 5 easy things I've tried that can earn you some extra Christmas shopping cash! 


Sell Some "Stuff"

     I'm a minimalist and I love getting rid of some "stuff" before Christmastime since Christmas presents mean that more things are about to come into my house. Here are a few different ways you can sell items you own to make a little extra Christmas shopping cash!

Consignment Stores
I love taking a laundry basket full of old kids' stuff into Once Upon A Child and earning a little money back. There are plenty of other consignment shops out there for different types of items as well. You won't make very much money selling consignment but it's probably the easiest and quickest way to make a little bit of money for things that you don't want anyway!
Facebook Groups 
Check to see if your town has local Facebook buy + sell groups! I have bought items from a Facebook group and it was so easy! (Take someone with you if you are meeting a person you don't know and always meet somewhere public!) 
Set up an IG closet shop 
Set up a shop account on Instagram to sell clothing (or other small items) you don't want anymore! This one is probably easier for bloggers or those of you who have a higher amount of followers on Instagram. This is something I'd like to start doing because I have so many cute little boy clothing items sitting around that we don't' need anymore. I set up a shop account but haven't gotten around to listing anything!

Coupon Apps!

     I wrote an entire post about this last year: here. Coupon Apps are a really fun way to earn a little extra spending money. Most of them work by scanning receipts and awarding money amounts for different items. These apps can be time consuming but are so fun and easy to use! For the past 2 years I've cashed out about $20 each holiday season to put towards presents just after using them for a few months! (Fun, easy, free money- yes please.)

     If you are going to try just one, start with Ibotta- it's my favorite and gives you the most money back. You can use my referral code: tddfoyb to get a $10 bonus for signing up!

Take on Extra Work

     I've been looking for a few ways to take on a little extra work before the holidays. I just did a photography job this past weekend and I'm taking on a little more sponsored content on the blog. For my family personally, this is also to cover other expenses that we've had come up lately but will also definitely help come Christmastime! Look for little ways that you could make a little extra money at your job! Pick up an extra shift or project. Taking a holiday retail job is a great way to earn some easy money and the discount can help with Christmas expenses as well! (Win, win!)

Mystery Shopping

     I used to always be so intrigued by the idea of mystery shopping! I finally tried it out a couple years ago through SeeLevel Shoppers. My mystery shop took place at Hot Topic (oh hey, high school memories!) and I earned a little money for completing the shop and also got reimbursed for the nose rings I purchased there. This would be a fun way to make a little holiday cash. 

Open a credit card

     I know a lot of people with be against the advice to open a credit card and I totally get it. This is only good advice if you go about it carefully! Many stores offer extra benefits to open a credit card during the holidays. Make this work for you by choosing one that is going to save you a chunk of money and then pay it off immediately + close it out! Last year I opened an Amazon credit card and in return got a $50 Amazon gift card which I then used towards Christmas shopping!


I hope you saw a tip that might help you earn a little cash this holiday season! Of course, these tips can be used year round as well. What secret ways do you have to earn extra money? I want to hear them!


My Current Favorite Night Creams!

*This post is NOT sponsored but does contain affiliate links!*

     Oh hey, it's time to talk about my favorite thing again: skincare! I've been interested in night cream and "anti-aging" products since I used my grandma's free eye cream jars that she got from department stores as a kid. People usually think that I'm a lot younger than I am so, thanks Namaw! jk :) In reality, I'm 31 and it's kind of exciting that I can actually start benefiting from these products that I love!
     Between things I've picked up myself and products that brands have sent me, my nightstand is pretty jam packed with night creams right now! I grabbed a few of the products that I gravitate towards every night to share with you guys including my two all time favorite ever EVER night creams so read along to find out which ones they are!

I actually won this No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Night Cream in a giveaway on the Kiki Blah Blah blog! I was so excited because I never win anything but I ended up winning this No7 skincare package and these awesome pants in the same week! (best week ever...)  This night cream is pretty standard- nothing outstanding about it, nothing horrible about it. The smell is nice and fresh, a good grandma smell not a flowery grandma smell.. (does that make sense to anyone else?) I love that it's made for sensitive skin + that it's inexpensive. I also use the Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum underneath. This is just a nice easy night cream to have on hand and I like to use it between nights where I use a more targeted treatment.

Ok guys, here's the first holy grail night cream that I'm going to recommend and it's super inexpensive! This Rite Aid "Quick Wrinkle Repair" is a dupe for the well-loved Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair. (I love their play on words here- hah!) I can't remember exactly how I ended up using the Rite Aid version over the Neutrogena one but I love it so much + keep going back for more. I don't really struggle with true wrinkles yet but any lines I do see starting to form always plump up with this stuff! I definitely recommend trying this one out if you haven't already!

I have gone through some weird phases where I struggle with redness on my face. I grabbed this Eucerin Redness Relief Night Cream off Amazon during one of those times and really liked it! I still use it occasionally if my face feels like it's flaring up a little. I also bought the Eucerin Redness Relief Daily Perfecting Lotion which has a green tint to it for combatting redness! Also these are inexpensive-yay!

Well, this is the me I never thought I'd be.. I am totally a drugstore/amazon girl and this HydroPeptide Nimini Cream is fancy AF and costs over $100. It was sent to me in exchange for a sponsored Instagram post, which I did months ago. Mentioning it in this blog post however is in no way sponsored; I just ... freaking LOVE IT. I thought I was sooo cool when HydroPeptide offered to send me this expensive product but jokes on ME  now because I'm hooked and will definitely shell out the money to repurchase this... :)

This Nimini Cream is liquid gold. First of all, it smells fabulous. Second of all, your skin will glow in the morning after using it! It contains Retinol + Vitamin C and is a targeted "collagen support" complex. Any little wrinkles you might have plump right up with this Nimini Cream and it leaves your skin looking so fresh and youthful. Sometimes I'll see myself in the mirror in the morning and be like wow, I look SO refreshed today and yeah, it's always because I used this HydroPeptide Cream the night before. I highly, highly recommend this one if you're looking to try something higher end that works. 

Ok, I'm seriously obsessed that I figured out how to link all of these products for you guys like this! I'll definitely start doing for my beauty posts, it's so easy! Sometimes I feel like such an old person, it takes me forever to start doing all the "trendy hip" blogging things. Anyone else with me there??

Have you tried any of these night creams? I'd love to know! Of course, if you have any of your own holy grail night creams please let me know in the comments; I'm always on the hunt for something new to try!

Happy Hump Day!

xoxo, Gillian


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