Tom + Chee

It shouldn’t be a surprise that a few of my favorite foods include macaroni and cheese, donuts and grilled cheese. My husband and I love these so much that I worked them into my wedding vows (you’re the glaze on my donut, the cheese to my macaroni). Recently I had the opportunity to try out Tom + Chee with some other Omaha Bloggers. This franchise became popular when it was on Shark Tank in 2013 and since then this popular grilled cheese and tomato soup restaurant has been popping up all over the country.

 

Tom + Chee

Tom + Chee

 

I’ve been looking forward to trying it out ever since I heard we were getting one in the area a few months ago. We got to try a TON of different grilled cheese while we were there. I wish I would have worn my stretchy pants there because they were all so so so good I wanted to keep eating!

Tom + Chee

  Tom + Chee

Tom + Chee

We started off with 2 of their salads, the Caprese and Green Goat salad. The Green Goat was one of the best salads I have ever had! Made with goat cheese, dried cranberries, almonds and mixed greens, it was topped with their homemade white balsamic vinaigrette. Yes, you heard right, homemade. In fact, EVERYTHING these is made from scratch. You won’t find any freezers or microwaves there. Soups are made from scratch, along with all of the salad dressings. The chicken and turkey they use on their sandwiches are also freshly roasted each morning.

 Tom + Chee

Then it was time to dine on the best part, grilled cheese! I think a grilled cheese and tomato soup is the perfect comfort meal. I have a feeling I’ll be returning for many more meals on cold nights or when I just need a feel-good meal. Here’s some of the grilled cheeses we got to try.

Tom + Chee

The Flying Pig :: Roasted turkey, bacon, pickle, smoked gouda and hardy white

Tom + Chee

Crunchy Garlic Chicken :: Roasted chicken, grilled onion, diced tomato, sweet hot mustard, garlic seasoning, parmesan garlic chips, pepper jack, hardy white

Tom + Chee

BBQ Brisket :: BBQ Brisket on hardy white (this was a special that’s not normally on the menu)

Tom + Chee

Grilled Mac + Chee :: Mac & Cheese, cheddar, hardy white

Tom + Chee

Hippy + Chee :: Hummus, cucumber, mixed greens, diced tomato, cheddar, wheat berry

Tom + Chee

Armagoetta :: Goetta, spicy cherry pepper, fried onion, sweet hot mustard, pepper jack, hardy white, pumpernickel rye, sweet hot mustard

Tom + Chee

The Tom + Chee :: Sliced tomato, garlic seasoning, cheddar, hardy white

And, all of these were only a small sampling of what we got to try. They have TONS of other options to order, including you can build your own creation as well with any bread, cheese and toppings of your choosing. Tom + Chee can be anything you want. If you want to be healthy and have a salad, they have that for you. Or, you can really indulge into any savory grilled cheese of your choice! There are also gluten free and veggie options too for those of you too. So everyone and I mean everyone can eat here!

Tom + Chee

Tom + Chee

Our meal ended with dessert with their grilled cheese donuts. If you really feel up to the test, they have a Baker’s Dozen Challenge where you try to eat 13 grilled cheese donuts in 10 minutes. Even though I’m convinced I could live off of donuts, I’m not sure even I could complete this challenge!

  Tom + Chee

And you are in luck because Tom + Chee is giving away a $50 food voucher to one reader! Just enter below :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer :: Tom + Chee sponsored this post. All opinions are my own. 

Spring Favorites

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s time to pack away our winter gear and bring out the bright colors for clothes and makeup. Today I wanted to share a few key pieces in my makeup and my wardrobe that are my Spring Favorites.

 

Sweat Cycle Soul Review

For me, a good workout leaves me sweaty and sore. At my most recent sweat session at Sweat, Cycle & Soul, I definitely felt the burn! I’m not sure why but sometimes I crave a good day-after workout soreness. To me that means I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone and I’m working muscles that I haven’t been normally working.

I often get stuck in a workout rut doing the same exercises over and over so I decided to give a class at Sweat, Cycle & Soul a try. The studio features classes in yoga, pilates, spinning & TRX. I took a TRX class and what a workout that was! If you haven’t heard of TRX, it’s a suspension cable that hangs down from above you. This training tool uses gravity and your body weight for a full-body strength workout. What I loved about it was that with the simple change of an angle you could make the workout harder or easier for you depending on what your body was feeling that day.

Sweat Cycle Soul

The class I took was taught by the owner Kelly. You could really tell her passion for fitness throughout the class. She ALWAYS had a smile on her face and her energy was contagious. We started the class with a quick 5 minute warmup on a spinning bike. At the beginning of each class, a motivation is set as the intention for class and what you’ll focus on for the duration of the time. I really liked this aspect of class because it reminds you to take time out for yourself and focus on your mind, body and soul. We focused on persistence during class. It was a good word to focus on throughout class as my tired little body wanted to give up a few times but I kept reminding myself to stick with it.

Sweat Cycle Soul

Then it was time to get down to class and we spent the rest of the class doing 3 rounds of upper body and lower body exercises with the TRX bands. Kelly explained every exercise we were doing so it was easy to follow along. It’s a small class size which meant she could give individualized attention to each person and make sure they were doing the exercise correctly. We used the band for different squats, pushups, pull-ups, planks and more. Overall, I really enjoyed doing TRX. It was a welcomed change from my normal strength training which can be monotonous and a little boring at times. I felt like every muscle in my body was working during each of the exercises.

Sweat Cycle Soul

 

Sweat, Cycle & Soul has other classes too that I’m really looking forward to trying this summer. There’s a couple of different spinning and strength classes that are right up my alley!

DISCLAIMER :: Sweat, Cycle and Soul provided me a free class. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

QUESTION // What’s your favorite workout to do?

April Favorites

Another month is over! And I’m so so so happy that’s May! Not only is May my birthday month but my husband and I will also be celebrating our second wedding anniversary at the end of the month. To commemorate the occasion, we’re going on vacation to London and Paris and I’m so stinking excited! My husband has been working A LOT lately which means we’ve pretty much not seen each other for a couple of weeks. I’m really looking forward to relaxing and spending time with him while exploring Europe!

But before we can get any further into May, let’s recap April and see what items I loved throughout the month!

 

Birthday Girl

Today I enter my last year of being in my 20s! It’s hard to believe that next year I’ll be 30. I feel like it was just yesterday I was graduating from college.

Birthdays have and always will be a big deal to me. I still act like a 5 year old when it comes to presents because I love them so much! My mom always made sure that our birthdays were extra special growing up and I’ve kept that tradition up even as I’m an adult. I’ve tried to get my husband to believe that I get a birthday month and not just one day but he doesn’t really follow along with that idea.

Birthday Girl Shirt

 

Birthday Girl Shirt

Shirt // Jeans // Earrings

In honor of my 29th birthday, here are 29 facts about me.

1. I was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI.

2. Growing up I competed in pageants. I was pretty shy prior to competing in them but they turned me into a chatterbox.

3. I wanted my name to be Sally growing up, after the Wee Sing video series I was obsessed with.

4. I have a teddy bear named Mr. Bear that I’ve had since I was little and I slept with it every night…even when I was in college.

5. My husband and I met through pageants.

6. Baton twirling was my sport growing up. I can twirl 2 fire batons.

7. Along with baton twirling, I was in an Irish Baton Corps and when I was the junior captain that made me the leprechaun mascot for the group. I would dress up as a leprechaun for parades and competitions.

8. My dad’s nickname for me as a kid was Burglar. I used to slip the Hello Kitty items on the shelves at the store into the side pockets of my stroller and my parents wouldn’t find them until they got home later.

9. My husband and I have 2 maltipoos, Giavanna and Madison. Giavanna we’ve had since she was a puppy and we adopted Madison from a local rescue group after she was saved from a puppy mill.

10. I took singing lessons growing up but I still can’t sing. My husband cringes when I try to serenade him.

11. I’ve never had a broken bone.

12. In high school, I used to match my purse color to my outfit everyday.

13. I love to run and have run 7 half marathons in the past 3.5 years.

14. If macaroni and cheese is on a menu at a restaurant, I have to try it.

15. Donuts are my favorite breakfast food.

16. I’ve traveled to 4 different countries.

17. I’m horrible at math. My husband tries to quiz me on it sometimes and I get mad and frustrated with him when he does.

18. Spelling was my favorite subject in school.

19. I have one older sister. We are 7 years apart.

20. I was also an ice skater as a kid. On my first car I got the license plate of ISK8DVA

21. Sweets are my biggest weakness. I’m a firm believer that you should have dessert everyday.

22. Husband and I dated long distance for 2 years while we were in college.

23. I love dogs and wish I could adopt and rescue all of the abandoned puppies in the world.

24. I hate rollercoasters.

25. In high school, I was captain of my poms square for 2 years and got to perform at Walt Disney World my senior year.

26. My mom named me after her favorite soap opera character, Ashley Abbott on Young and the Restless.

27. I can’t double dutch jump rope or do a french braid.

28. I’m afraid of the deep end of pools.

29.

 Birthday Girl Shirt

   Birthday Girl Shirt

AND! In honor of my birthday, I’m offering 20% off on all orders now through Friday, May 8th by entering the coupon code BIRTHDAYGIRL at checkout.

Here’s to 29! Cheers!

Spin! Neopolitan Pizza

Last week I had the opportunity along with some other local bloggers to check out Spin! Neopolitan Pizza. It was a great night chatting with other bloggers and tasking some delicious pizza! As the carb-loving Italian that I am, pizza is one of my favorite foods and I’m so glad I had the chance to try it out. It looks like this will become a new date night spot for me the hubs!

Spin Neopolitan Pizza

Curious why a pizza place would be called Spin? Well, the founders of Spin! love to ride bicycles and wanted to bring the Italian spirit of hanging out with friends, eating pizza and drinking wine to life here. To ride in Italian means “giro” which also means spin and Neopolitan means “originating in the city of Naples, Italy.” Get it now?  Spin! is a fast casual restaurant which means that in less than 12 minutes (faster at lunch time) you get your pizza delivered to your table after ordering at the counter.

Spin Neopolitan Pizza

Spin Neopolitan Pizza

We got to try so many delicious foods that it’s hard to decide what I liked the best. To me, any great pizza dinner starts off with a salad and we got to try the Caesar, Sonoma and Greek salads. Caesar salads are my absolute favorite and I devoured this one not only because of the shredded cheese but because of their-home made dressing on it too. YUM! And no pizza dinner is complete without some bread with it. They served us their flatbread which is their homemade pizza crust that’s hand tossed and made with their Spin! Original or rustic whole wheat dough. Then it’s roasted in their round stone oven.

Spin Neopolitan Pizza

Spin Neopolitan Pizza

When it came time for the pizza, there were so many options to choose from! My favorites included the Margherita and Primavera. They also had a gluten-free option which I tried and having never had anything gluten-free before, it was so yummy! Almost anything on their menu can be made gluten-free and they have a dairy-free cheese option for vegans as well.

Spin Neopolitan Pizza

Spin Neopolitan Pizza

And no meal isn’t complete without dessert of course! They have 12 different types of gelato available. Last fall I fell in love with gelato in Italy and this tasted just like how the Italians make it! I ordered the peanut butter cup and had no problem finishing every scoop in my cup!

Spin Neopolitan Pizza

They also have a great outdoor patio that will be a great way to enjoy the weather and delicious food. Patio dining is my favorite thing to do and I’m looking forward to taking the hubs back down there so we can enjoy it together!

Spin Neopolitan Pizza

If you haven’t had the chance to try out Spin! yet, check out their Grand Opening this Thursday May 7th from 4pm-6pm. Trust me, your stomach will thank me later for going. They also have some fun events planned for the summer including wine, pizza and art on the patio, a Pups on the Patio fundraiser for the Town and Country Humane Society, and they’ll be having Spin! Bike Rides on Tuesdays at 6 pm.

Spin Neopolitan Pizza

And lucky for you, I have a $25 gift card to giveaway to one lucky winner! Simply enter to win for a chance to win a gift card so you can try out Spin! Neopolitan Pizza for yourself!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

*Disclaimer :: This is a sponsored post by Spin! Neopolitan Pizza of Papillion. I received a gift card in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Lincoln National Guard Half Marathon Recap

Some days you have good running days and others are bad ones. Yesterday was a bad one for me.

Lincoln Half Marathon 2015

I mentioned in my yearly goals post awhile back that I wanted to run this half marathon in 2 hours. That didn’t happen. In fact, I didn’t even come close. I’m I bummed? Yeah I am. I’m really competitive with myself and I wanted to reach that goal so badly but some things came up that just got in the way of my goal.

Lincoln Half Marathon 2015

Starting with the night before the race. One of our dogs, Madison, has become petrified of thunderstorms. After an hour of sleep, I woke up to her pacing, panting and shaking in bed. My husband was out of town and he’s the dog whisperer who can calm her down but I had no luck. I tried everything I could to get her to go back to sleep but nothing helped. So we sat awake in bed waiting for the storms to pass. After all was said and done, I got about 3 hours of sleep #fail.

My next #fail moment came as I was driving to the race. It’s in Lincoln which is about 50 mins from our house. at 5:40 am, when I was about 10 minutes away, I realized I FORGOT MY RUNNING SHOES AT HOME. Way to go Ashley. Enter panic mode as I debated about driving back home, which I could have done, but I was worried about finding parking since I would arrive back just as the race was starting. Since it takes 45 minutes for all the pace groups to leave the start line I knew it was a possibility to make it back home but I didn’t want to risk it. Instead, I found the nearest 24 hour Walmart and bought a $22 pair of running shoes. Honestly, they weren’t horrible to run in. But I do have massive blisters all over my feet now.

Lincoln Half Marathon 2015

My final #fail moment came in the leading days up to the race. The forecast called for a high of 88 degrees and that is unseasonably high for this time of the year. I had prepared for it to be 30-40 degrees at the start which is the perfect race temperature for me. Instead it was 65 degrees with 80% humidity.

To those who don’t run, this may seem like an ideal running temperature but it’s not. When you run, your body thinks it’s 20 degrees warmer than the temperature outside. I thought I would be able to push through it, but after 2 miles I felt my face on fire and decided to stop running with 2:10 pace group. I could tell I was already overheating so I stopped and took off my compression sleeves and decided that slow and steady wins the race.

Lincoln Half Marathon

I had to take way more walking breaks than I ever have before and honestly I thought about dropping out a few times because I just couldn’t handle the sun in the cloudless sky beating down on me. Could I have pushed myself to run a little bit more? Yeah I probably could. But, to me, my health and safety was more important than getting a PR today.

Lincoln Half Marathon 2015

Lincoln Half Marathon 2015

While I’m still a little bummed over my performance, my husband reminded me that I finished and that’s the most important thing. At the expo on Saturday, I was talking to a woman who asked if I was running the full marathon. I respond with “No, just the half.” She looked me square in the eye and said “No, it’s not just a half, you’re running THE HALF!.” That really stuck with me as I ran today. If running 13.1 miles were easy, then everyone would do it.

Lincoln Half Marathon 2015

So, here’s to earning another medal and knowing that there are plant of more half marathons in the future where I can reach my goal.

Beauty Blogger Book Club :: The Book Thief

Another month means another book down. This past month the BBBC read The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.

Beauty Blogger Book Club

This story is about a spirited young girl, Liesel Meminger, who was sent to live with a foster family in Germany during WWII. When she was taken to her new family, she couldn’t read and was made fun of at school. Her foster dad shows her the power of words as they have late night sessions reading The Grave Digger’s Handbook together. Despite having a life that no one would wish on, Liesel still finds pleasure in the small things in life, including books that she manages to steal, hence the name of the novel.

The Book Thief

Overall I thought this book was ok. It wasn’t really up my alley of reading since I’m not a huge fan of history. At times it got to be a bit slow for me to read and it also doesn’t have a happy ending so it made me a little sad and depressed at times to read it. However, I did like the relationship that Liesel and her foster dad developed throughout the story. I especially loved how their connection blossomed through reading. Ever since I was little, I’ve been a bookworm so this part of the story really resonated with me.

Where'd You Go Bernadette?

This month was my book choice and I chose Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Sample. I’ve had a sample of this book sitting on my kindle app for awhile. This seemed like a fun and quirky novel. I thought that since it was almost summer this would make a good sit in the sun on the weekend relaxing kinda read :)

Don’t forget to head over to our other beauty blogger’s blogs and check out what they thought of February’s book club pick.
Heather – Love To Be Busy
And wanted to give a shout out to our newest BBBC member, Lisa of Uncommon Wife Life. I can’t wait to see what she picks for her monthly choice when it’s her turn later this summer :)

If you love to read, then please join our book club! Email me for more information. And if you don’t have a blog, no worries, we welcome anyone to join the fun of being a bookworm :) Each month, one of the Beauty Blogger Book Club (BBBC) members will choose a book for the Club to read. At the beginning of the following month, we each write a book report/summary for our readers to enjoy and share the book for the following month!

QUESTION // What book are you reading currently?

What’s in my Beach Bag?

I really thought we were done with the cold weather until earlier this week when the mornings greeted me with 32 degrees. I’m pretty much over this wear a coat one day and the next it’s 75 degrees. I’m dreaming of putting my feet in the sand and soaking up the sun all day long!

Since there are no beaches around me and I’ll have to continue dreaming about white sand beaches until a tropical vacation later this year, in the mean time I’m thinking of what essentials I’ll need in my beach bag. These are some great things to keep packed for a beach vacation, a Saturday spent laying in the sun or hitting up the pool with your gal pals.

Beach Bag Essentials

Beach Bag // Obviously you’ll need something to tote your essentials in. I’m a big fan of a bag made with plastic because it’s easy to wipe down and if water gets on it, it won’t be ruined.

Snacks & Water // Working on your tan can certainly take a lot of work so make sure to pack some snacks to keep you full. And don’t forget a water bottle and remember to stay hydrated!

Wet Ones // I like to keep a pack of wipes in my bag to wipe off any sand or dirt that may get on you.

Hand Sanitizer // A staple item in any bag. Every girl needs hand sanitizer to keep germs away.

Magazines // I love lounging in the sun and indulging in some gossip magazines.

Sunglasses // To help keep the sun out of your eyes, pack a pair of cheap sunglasses. If something happens to them, no biggie.

Sunscreen // I’m a huge fan of spray sunscreen because it’s so easy to apply and doesn’t make a mess on your hands after you’re done applying. Personally, I prefer to use an SPF 30 for my body and an SPF 50 on my face.

Aloe // If you do happen to get burned, make sure this aloe is close by to help alleviate the pain. This is an aloe + lotion so it helps to soothe your burn and also moisturize it so you don’t peel badly. It’s also cooling and feels so so so good on your skin.

QUESTION // Do you prefer the beach or the pool?

What To Eat For Running Fuel

When I first began running, I had no idea how important eating the right fuel before, during and after a run would be. It didn’t take me long to realize how essential each of these are to give your body the fuel it needs to get through and recover from a long run. Over the years I’ve learned what works for me and wanted to share some of these ideas with you. Remember though, what works for me may not work for you. Experiment with different foods to see what helps you to perform your best.

Running Fuel

I think it’s extremely essential to have a little something in your stomach before you run. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but sticking to a protein and carb will help give you the fuel you need to run. My go-to race morning breakfast is 2 pieces of wheat toast and peanut butter. I don’t like to  have a full stomach before I run and this is just enough to help me get going before I run without making me feel sick.

When it comes to fuel during a run, I only worry about eating something if I know I’m going to be running longer than an hour. I stick to a snack that is 50-100 calories and is easy to eat and digest. I’m not a fan of the texture of the gu packets so I stick to a gummy running fuel instead. Clif Shot Bloks are easy to break off and eat while you run. Two of my other favorites are Jelly Belly Sport Beans and Sharkies because both are in small enough bags that fit into your pocket shorts.

It’s also so important to stay hydrated during your run. I like to carry a water bottle with me while I run just in case I get thirsty and there’s no where to stop to get a drink. I only drink a few sips of water after I finish each mile. When I’m running a race, I alternate each mile with water and then a sports drink. Gatorade is my favorite but if you don’t like certain kinds of sports drinks, check out what the race course will be serving before you get to the start line of the race. You’ll want to be prepared with what you like to drink just in case the race is handing out a sports drink you don’t like.

Finally after a long run, don’t forget to fuel your body back. I know it’s easy to want to relax and take a nap, but it’s essential to get something into your stomach. Again, everybody is different so try out some different foods to see what your body likes. Quest bars are one of my favorite things to eat, especially the cookie dough flavor!

DISCLAIMER :: Some of the links above do contain affiliate links. As always, I appreciate your support :) 

QUESTION // What’s your favorite treat to eat after you run?