My Morning Routine

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I haven’t always been one for a routine but over the years of adulting i’ve found it’s a lot easier than not having one. The thing about routines is that they are a little tricky.

It might not sound very exciting but it works for me. I like reading about other’s routines, that might sound weird or nosey even. As a blogger you put most of your life out there anyway, why not your routines too? You never know, it may end up structuring someone else.


5:20 am // the alarm goes off, disrupting the great dreams that are showing behind my eyelids.

5:25 – 5:45 am // I’ll usually lay in bed and read emails, check up on facebook, do a little twitter scheduling for new or archived blog posts.

5:45 – 6:10 am // I do my morning yoga routine. I love this time because it stretches out all of the aches or pains from a night of sleeping in awkward positions with a cat on my head (my kitten Quinn sleeps on my pillow right above my head).

6:10 – 6:30 am // It’s time to shower, wash my face, brush my teeth (i don’t keep my tooth brush in the shower.), lather up the body wash, & brush my toe nails & finger nails.

6:30 – 6:45 am // I do my hair, glide on a little eyeliner & mascara, get dressed, & grab my coffee up from under the Keurig (i always set the timer the night before so it’s always hot and ready to go) then head out the door.

7:00 am // Que the GPS voice “You’ve reached your destination”. I show up at work and get the day started with good intentions a foot and coffee in hand.

What do you like about your morning routine? If you dont have one then what do you do in the mornings? Yeah, like i said earlier – i’m nosey. Haha.

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Why Am I Addicted To Virtual Races?

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I’ll tell ya why because I love doing virtual races! They are my perfered go to, not only because i can do them on my time (between the specified days), you turn in your actual time after you race to receive your bling (medal), there isn’t a crowd of people like the regular races (i have really bad anxiety and big crowds make me super nervous!).


As with any race you can go it alone or you can bring a friend to join you. I like to stick to the 5k or 10k virtual races and do my half marathons in person. Running 13.1 miles is really challenging to go at it alone. You don’t need so much stuff on a 5k or 10k like you do on a half marathon. If your planning a half marathon for the first time check out my half marathon must haves and be equipped with everything you need for your up coming journey!

There are a lot of runners out there who think virtual races aren’t true medals and they are a rip off, some say its just buying medals. I don’t understand the logic behind that because your required to turn in your time after you complete your race.

I love running them because i can do it either during the week or knock them out on the weekend. However you decide to do it – it makes you feel good and your doing it for a great cause.

Here are my favorites:
St. Jude End Childhood Cancer
Races For Awareness
Virtual Strides

If your a runner or even a walker these would be great for you and they help great causes. I wasn’t compensated in anyway for this post, i just think awareness needs to be raised both about the charities and to know its ok and fun to participate in virtual races.

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20 Favorite Instagram Moments

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I love looking at Instagram & I like seeing what people post. It warms my heart to see a family having fun, a delicious food, or a motivational quote. I’ve had Instagram for awhile now and I though i’d run through and pick out my favorite moments from near and far.

These memories are in no particular order of importance and a few of them are a little older but they are still my favorites. If you think my photos are great and that i’m awesome and worthy, you can click here to follow me. I think Instagram is one of the funnest social media platforms, only because a picture can tell a thousand words. When using Instagram you can choose to write a caption or not at all, I love that!

I was going to pick just 10 and do 2 posts but then I couldn’t pick my first favorite 10. Do you see the problem here? It doesn’t help I can’t make up my mind about almost anything, hah. So here they are, all 20 of my favorite moments through my Instagram adventure.


photo posted by Leslie (@lesliecbeme) on

This is my favorite mug with one of my favorite sayings. I think mugs are cute and I’ve always had a thing for them and I think it’s even better when they display an inspiring message.


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I love writing and I’d love to do it on the side or turn it into a full time career. I haven’t actually launched it yet but it’s in the works. I want to make sure I’m completely ready.


photo posted by Leslie (@lesliecbeme) on

This little beauty caught my eye at an animal shelter so I had to have her. I’d never had a cat before so it was a bit of a challenge. She was 6 weeks old, I had to teach her to eat wet food then dry food, use the literbox, and teach her boundaries. Every morning at 2am waking up to put her in the literbox so she wouldn’t have an accident and playing until 330 was trying, especially waking up at 5:45am for work. She’s been sleeping on my head since the day I got her, she still does and I love our cuddle time.


photo posted by Leslie (@lesliecbeme) on

Raleigh is such a gorgeous place with so much history. I love wondering around the shops just looking for what I can find.


Ruppert was the first pet I got when i went out on my own. I’d always wanted a chinchilla and he was perfect. He was moody but he was really funny, I taught him to give high fives. His little hands were so tiny you’d have to use your finger though. He had a huge personality and he was addicted to raisins. I loved our time together watching the ID Network whilst he chewed on his apple orchard sticks. I had to put the little guy to sleep in March and it was the hardest choice I’ve ever had to make. His kidneys were failing which made him so sick, it broke my heart but I couldn’t let him suffer. I’ll always love his fluffy butt though.


photo posted by Leslie (@lesliecbeme) on

Downtown Raleigh is filled with great artists and the graffiti art is forever beibg painted over and changing so you never know what you’ll find. I love finding pieces like this one!


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Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I love everything about it and if I could I’d leave my Christmas tree up year around, I love the glow of the lights at night. I love love love baking cookies at Christmas too. I get to make my signature Ninja bread cookies! Aren’t they cute?! Just a alight spin on the regular gingerbread cookies.


photo posted by Leslie (@lesliecbeme) on

Being that I love Christmas and Christmas lights, it’s only natural for me to put them everywhere, haha. Another one of my favorites for the holiday is to decorate my mantle in festive greenery, berries, lights, and anything else that goes with my theme that year.


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These cupcakes were an experimental surprise that went terribly great! I wanted something sweet but crunchy I’d seen a recipe for them on the food networks show “Cupcake Wars” but I didn’t really want to follow that recipe so I added a few little things of my own like a little nut Meg and cinnamon and added maple syrup into the batter and drizzled over the top. They became a hit!


photo posted by Leslie (@lesliecbeme) on

I have a twin brother who is my best friend. When we were younger we’d fight like cats and dogs, I even hit him in the face with an aluminum teaball bat once. He’s 1 minute older so he reigns superiority, ya know. He always knows what to say when I need advice, make me laugh when I’m mad, and take up for me when I’m not around. My best friend is awesome!


photo posted by Leslie (@lesliecbeme) on

oh, this was the first offical week of working at BMW. was tired from working 10+ hours a day All week, my brain hurt from learning information of two jobs (warranty & booker [paying technicians for the work they complete]), and coffee was needed in an IV of this week. I had no idea what I was in for but eventually it got easier and now my coworkers can go on vacation without worrying if I’ll jack something up or not. I’m not going to lie, the jobs are stressful and some days I want to slam my head in the door but I love working here and most of my coworkers, haha.


photo posted by Leslie (@lesliecbeme) on

I love art! It’s such a great way to express yourself and the colors – oh I love colors. My favorite place to find solace is right here in this spot at the art museum. If my family or friends are calling or texting and can’t reach me, they know to find me here.


photo posted by Leslie (@lesliecbeme) on

Working for BMW has been amazing. There are great benefits, always someone to contact with questions, and they want you to learn and play. I was with the company for about 3 months and they sent me on a business trip to Baltimore. I don’t like flying so they gave me a loaner car, paid for my hotel, my food, and even to sight see. I had such a great time!


photo posted by Leslie (@lesliecbeme) on

Charleston, SC is by far one of my favorite places I’ve yet to see. Everything is gorgeous, the food is fantastic, and people are so nice. I walked around for hours taking in everything the city had to offer.


photo posted by Leslie (@lesliecbeme) on

Another gem from South Carolina! The Magnolia Garden & Plantation. The grounds are beautiful and it’s packed with history too. I didn’t want to leave!


photo posted by Leslie (@lesliecbeme) on

I had no idea I liked history as much as I do but it’s fascinating to me to know what went on before I was here, or before a lot of us were here for that matter. I took my mom for Christmas and it was absolutely gorgeous!


photo posted by Leslie (@lesliecbeme) on

My dad has had a ton of health problems and needs to be monitored for blood transfusions, high & low blood sugar, holes in his esophagus, and cirrhosis. He had a mesh put on his liver in 2013, which was too big causing it to leak into his abdomen, which he’d get drained from a port the doctor inserted twice a month. He ended up getting gain green, a blood bacteria, and a 5lb tumor and almost died. We found a reconstruction doctor who changed his life! He removed the mesh and reconstructed dad’s stomach, dad’s like a new person!


photo posted by Leslie (@lesliecbeme) on

I decided to do yoga one say and I absolutely fell in love. It was a challenge at first and some of the advanced poses still get me but it’s great at relieving stress, which is great because it’s frowned upon to punch people in the throat.


photo posted by Leslie (@lesliecbeme) on

Running…we have a love hate relationship. Once I started I hadn’t ran since- I don’t know the 5th grade? It’s embarrassing but I could only run like 30 seconds at a time. Wow, can’t believe I said that. I kept pushing myself everyday and finally made progress.


photo posted by Leslie (@lesliecbeme) on

I don’t think I was ever so ecstatic to finish. I had signed up a week before the half marathon was to begin. I didn’t train but I was already running 6 miles a day. I thought “what’s another 7.1 miles?” I’ll tell you – ALOT, that’s what. Hah, I couldn’t walk for 3 days and it hurt to sit to pee, TMI I know. The struggle was real. I’d never been more proud of myself though.

As i said i love instagram, leave a link to one of your favorite photos in the comments and ill check it out!

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5 Healthy Breakfast Ideas To Go

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We’ve all been there at some point, that Apple Danish is calling your name and whispering sweet nothings in your ear. I know on occasion you’ll have a talk with yourself saying you’ll walk that extra mile if you eat it. Don’t fall for it!

Some food has a lot of processed ingredients and your brain might be telling you it’s a “treat” when in fact it’s not. I use to pop anything in my mouth but then I started reading labels and I decided I didn’t want that stuff in my body, once I made that decision I felt 100x’s better. I didn’t feel sluggish, my digestive system had improved, and I started craving things that are good for me.

With a busy life it’s not always ideal for you have to breakfast that isn’t in the form of a granola bar or something from the vending machine in fact. I understand the dog needs walking, kids need to be wrangled up, you have to pick out the days perfect outfit, I get that.

I’ve hand picked 5 of my healthy breakfast choices just for you! These are simple yet filling recipes that don’t take long to make or you can make ahead of time, that is even better right? A lot of these can be played with to incorporate your favorites and adjust to your taste.

Strawberry Pineapple Smoothie



Ingredients:
2C frozen pineapple chunks
2C frozen strawberries
1 1/2C vanilla or plain yogurt
1/2C orange juice

Directions
Blend together all ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately with fresh fruit, if desired.

Fruity Waffles
Ingredients:
1 Eggo Waffle (plain)
1 Tablespoon of honey
4 Tablespoons Peanut butter

Directions
Sliced fruit – your choice – strawberries, peaches, blueberries, bananas.

Breakfast Bark
Ingredients:
1-½ cup Plain Greek Yogurt
3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
½ cups Granola
½ cups Blueberries
4 whole Strawberries, Sliced

Directions
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Mix Greek yogurt and syrup in a bowl until combined. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and spread into a thin layer. Top with granola, blueberries, and strawberries.

Cover the baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil. Place in the freezer for 2 hours, or overnight, until the bark is fully frozen. Slice into desired squares. Serve immediately and keep stored in the freezer in an airtight container or bag.

Ham & Cheese Breakfast Bowl
Ingredients:
1 thin slice deli ham (1 ounce)
1 egg, beaten
Shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions
Line the bottom of 8-oz ramekin or custard cup with ham slice, folding ham in half, if necessary. Pout egg over ham.

Microwave on HIGH 30 seconds; stir. Microwave until egg is almost set, 15 to 30 seconds longer.

Top with cheese & serve immediately.

Assorted Oatmeal Cups



Ingredients:
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup blueberries, sliced bananas, sliced strawberries, chocolate chips, or dried cranberries

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and spray a muffin tin with baking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Beat in milk, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Stir in desired fruit of choice.

Using an ice cream scoop, place scoops of the oatmeal mixture in each cup. Sprinkle additional fruit on top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until middles are set. Let oatmeal cups cool in the pan.

These are all great choices and some you can make ahead and grab on the way out the door. They are all yummy and will keep you focused until lunch time.

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5 Date Ideas In Downtown Raleigh NC

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I love date night and I also like exploring the places in my town. There are such great places waiting to be discovered! I’ve found a few of my favorite places by just walking up on them.

Downtown Raleigh is a beautiful city with a lot to offer. It’s a city that has everything from food to scenery. It’s like everywhere you look is a photo capturing moment no matter what season we happen to be in.

I’ve hand picked a few of my favorite places especially for date night. These places aren’t loud and obnoxious so you can actually talk, relax, and have a great time.

The Pit


This place has the best BBQ I’ve ever graced my mouth with. It’s got that smokey flavor but it’s not over powering and the mac & cheese – I have no words! I could eat it by the bowl fulls, which I’m not usually into Mac & cheese. I’ve never had bad food or a bad experience here. Adam from (http://www.travelchannel.com/shows/man-v-food/travel-guides/north-carolina-travel-guide) “Man vs Food” even visited! If your hungry and looking for a great place to dine with a friendly and helpful staff, this place is a must!

Flying Saucer


I love taverns and I also like beer, which pretty much goes hand in hand. If your looking for a great atmosphere and great drinks then the Saucer is where you’ll want to be. There are currently 200+ global beers with an American public fair. I love to sit outside and people watch while sampling a few brews. If relaxing is your thing then this place is right up your alley.

Trolley Pub


This is a unique date idea. You get to pedal around downtown Raleigh while downing a few glasses of your favorite brew or microbrew. You get to see downtown Raleigh and enjoy it since your not driving, however a little light pedaling is required.

Visit A Museum

History Museum Science museum Art museum City museum State Capital museum


I love the museums in downtown Raleigh. What is even better is they are all located side by side on the main walk. They are affordable and you can see one or choose to see them all. It’s always fun to learn a little, right?

Take a walk




The views around downtown Raleigh are absolutely gorgeous no matter if it’s the flowers in the spring and summer, the colors of fall, or the snow and Christmas decorations lining the streets in the winter. If you like walking and adventure then head out to see what you can find.

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Weekend Recap

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Happy Sunday. I hope you all have had a great weekend! The boyfriend & I do date nights on Friday & Saturday nights but Friday night I was so tired and aggravated when I got home I played with Quinn (the cat, who makes me feel better when she’s not being a jerk) and called my mother to discuss the day. By the time I checked again it was already 9:30pm, so I ruined our Friday night date!


Saturday // Can you believe I got up at 6:45 on my day off to go into work (Those that know me can believe it, I should work on that)?? Well yes, yes I did. Friday was crazy busy and a coworker left for vacation and won’t be returning until September 6th, lucky duck (quack quack)! I didn’t get everything done Friday so instead of having another disastrous day on Monday (which are always so great anyway *que the sarcasm*) I went in for a few hours, I didn’t mind.

After that I hauled it home to get ready for date night with the boyfriend. We headed to the movie theater to see “Secret Life Of Pets”, it’s hilarious! Kevin Hart rocked the roll of the cute little angry bunny. As we sat and watched our cinematic adventure I worked up an apatite.

We headed to Milton’s for some delicious pasta with meatballs and chicken alfredo. We spent the rest of the evening lounging around on the couch watching the big bang theory.

Sunday // started off with a cup of coffee at 5:30am! I have no idea why I woke up that early but I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I did a little writing. Shaun & I met his parents at church – which was a great message today!

We decided to head to Brigg’s for some breakfast and while waiting we ran into our friends Josh, Brooke, & their 1yr old daughter Matilyn. She is adorable and I hadn’t seen her since she was a few months old. She sat on my lap while we played with her Mackey Mouse and laughed and smiled, I love happy babies. Their table was ready so we parted ways after hugs. It didn’t take too long before we were both stuffed like thanksgiving turkies, hah.

After which I came home and accidently took a 3 hour nap then went to grab groceries for the week. I can’t dwindle my naps to less than 3 hours, I don’t get it. I plan to spend the rest of the afternoon writing.

What did you do over the weekend?

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Maple French Toast & Bacon Cupcakes

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One day I was up early baking cupcakes for a wedding that afternoon (i like for my clients to have the best cupcakes & cakes experience, so I never freeze my cupcakes or cakes. Even if it means spending 14+ hours baking and decorating) and decided I wanted a few pieces of maple french toast and bacon.

While taking a baking break and getting the ingredients together for my french toast I did a little pondering, could I turn this into a cupcake??

I use the people I work with as test dummies for my little ideas like this, (I have a little baking side business that specializes in cupcakes & wedding cakes, when I’m not at my full time job) They’ll try anything and they will actually be pretty honest about it, brutally at times.

I made a couple dozen and left them inside little pink boxes I use to deliver cakes and cupcakes. I make them 3 sheet cakes a month for birthdays & anniversaries so they know what these pink boxes mean. They mean business to me sweet treats for them. Needless to say they loved them!

I heard so many “she put bacon on a cupcake!”, “Is that bacon?”, “these really do taste like French toast!”. I was proud of myself, I started making them all the time and handing them out with cookie and other cupcake orders. They caught on quickly, they are my number one selling cupcake.


Ingredients
For the Cupcakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 3 .9-ounce box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon potato starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half, at room temperature
1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon (5 strips)

For the Glaze:
1 8 -ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped

Directions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Prepare the cupcakes: Combine the flours, pudding mix, baking powder, potato starch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl with a whisk.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugars with a mixer on low speed until combined, 6 to 8 minutes. Gradually mix in the vanilla and egg whites. Scrape down the sides of the bowl; continue mixing until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the maple syrup and half-and-half, mixing after each addition and ending with flour. Mix until the ingredients are just combined; do not overmix. Fold in the bacon. The batter will be thick.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about three-quarters of the way. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon; beat until combined. Spread on the cooled cupcakes; top with chopped bacon, if desired.

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