Where have you been?!

January 18, 2015 § Leave a comment

Hi everyone! So, there has been a lot going on the past few months which is why I haven’t quite been, er, present on the blog! I got into a minor car accident on the very first day of my new job and got a nasty case of whiplash. New job=crazy amounts of stress + whiplash=unhappy Jen who can’t work out and has no time for anything else! Then something great happened-I decided to use my “free time” to study and get my PMP (project management professional) certification (like gold in the government contracting world of DC). I wasn’t happy at the new job for various reasons but I figured the best thing to do would be to improve upon myself and at least check a goal off the list! So on Dec. 17, 2014 I passed my four hour long exam and got my shiny new PMP certification. Since then I’ve decided to do my best at my job and just see if this new certification helps! I also negotiated with my company to allow me to work in DC a few days a week because I really hate this commute from the city out to Tyson’s corner (I think getting rear-ended and suffering through PT is a good indicator as to how much it sucks). Traffic in DC is no joke-and yes, there is still a ton of traffic even though I’m going against the flow!!

So once the job started getting better I started working out again which has helped me get back to normal! Going from working out 5 days a week to a mere light exercise at PT a few days a week really threw me off, not to mention I managed to gain some weight.

When Christmas break came around I was so overjoyed to take a few days and spend time with my family. I was also excited because my boyfriend was coming to New Jersey to spend my birthday (Christmas Eve) and Christmas with my family! Everything felt like it was getting better and I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! Then something wonderful happened–my boyfriend proposed to me on Christmas Day!! It was beautiful and he did it in front of my whole family which was pretty special. I think I was so shocked at what was happening I didn’t even answer him-it took my mom yelling, “So what’s your answer?” before I even replied (I said yes of course!).

So now I’m engaged in DC and have once again found something to inspire me and write about! If you start to see more and more wedding content in the blog that’s why! So if you’re reading this-happy new year and let’s start 2015 off right!!

As always, thanks for stopping by! Xoxo Jen

2015/01/img_6926.jpg

2015/01/img_6831.jpg

2015/01/img_6856.jpg

2015/01/img_6854.jpg

2015/01/img_6786.jpg

July 4th Sales!

July 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hi everyone! Happy 4th of July! Hopefully you are all off from work today and have the day to relax and do whatever you like. One of my favorite things to do is take advantage of all of the sales over the holiday. Here are a few good ones happening today/this weekend, along with some of my fav July 4th picks:

Express

Striped romper, on sale for $26.94

Striped romper, on sale for $26.94

$20 off $60, $40 off $120 or $80 off $240 with promo code 9238 (also available in store)

Shorts and sandals are 50% off and they have a good selection of dresses that are 40% off.

New York & Company

 

 

Marble Bead Bid Necklace, on sale for $7.99 from $26.95

Marble Bead Bib Necklace, on sale for $7.99 from $26.95

Picture 15

 

Crate & Barrel

Picture 17

Patriotic String Lights, on sale for $20.37 from $34.95

Patriotic String Lights, on sale for $20.37 from $34.95

Bath & Body Works

Picture 20

LoftPicture 21

Sprinkle Dot Cami Dress, $19.80 on sale

Sprinkle Dot Cami Dress, $19.80 on sale

Victoria’s Secret

Picture 24

These are some of my favorite sales going on today! Hope you get to do a little shopping in between the BBQs, fireworks and family time! As always, thanks for stopping by and come back again soon! XOXO Jen

 

Healthy Easter Cookies!

April 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hi everyone! Yesterday I went crazy on Pinterest looking for Easter cookie recipes I could make for my family and friends and after about 5 pins, I realized they were all terrible for me! I didn’t want to bring that home to my family or give my friends (who are pretty health-conscious) treats that would not go so well with their normal eating habits so I took a step back and tried to find some healthier cookies to make. I decided upon coconut macaroons and carrot cake cookies. I got the recipe for the macaroons from McCormik’s website and I found the carrot cake cookie recipe on a blog called Hangry Tales which was adapted from another site which I further adapted (and so on and so forth!). Either way, these cookies were both pretty easy to make, albeit I used a lot of bowls for the carrot cake ones, but it was fun and I will feel better about giving them away/taste-testing a few! Hope you enjoy the recipes and as always, thanks for reading A Fresh Coat! XOXO Jen

Coconut Macaroons

Serves: Makes about 4 dozen or 22 (2 cookie) servings.

Ingredients

2 packages (7 ounces each) flaked coconut, (about 4 cups)

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk1

1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Imitation Almond Extract

photo 1-1_2

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix coconut, sweetened condensed milk and almond extract in large bowl
    photo 2-1_2
  3. Drop teaspoonfuls of mixture onto greased baking sheets.
    photo 1-1
  4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  5. Immediately remove from baking sheets to wire racks; cool completely.
    Finished Product!

    Finished Product!

    Carrot Cake Cookies 

    Ingredients
    Makes about 12 cookies
    1/2 cup pecans
    1 tablespoon flax seed meal
    1 tablespoon chia seed
    4 tablespoons water
    3/4 cup flour (whole wheat or gluten-free if you want to be healthier)
    3/4 cup oats
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    2 tablespoons coconut oil
    1/2 cup maple syrup (I forgot this ingredient at the store so I made my own with this recipe)
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 cup grated carrots (2-3 whole carrots

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, toast the pecans for 7 minutes, turning once halfway through. Chop and set aside.

2. In a small dish, mix the flax seed meal, chia seeds, and water. Set aside.

3. In a food processor or blender (I used my NutriBullet), grind 1/2 cup of oats to a flour. Move to a bowl and stir in the remaining oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

4. In another bowl, melt the coconut oil. Stir in the maple syrup and vanilla.

5. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.

No maple syrup? No problem! Make your own with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup boiling water and 1 tbsp butter

No maple syrup? No problem! Make your own with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup boiling water and 1 tbsp butter

6. Fold in the grated carrots and chopped pecans.
photo 2-1_3

 

7. Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

photo 3_2

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

photo 4_2

cookie

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday with their loved ones! Have an amazing Christmas everyone! Xoxo

20131225-141647.jpg

An Early Thanksgiving Treat! Pumpkin Pie Protein Shakes!

November 19, 2013 § 1 Comment

So my friend Anna has a wonderful health and fitness blog called The Blondissima: Fit and Fabulous with Anna and I helped her film a video one night where she made a pumpkin pie smoothie with vanilla Shakeology (you can check out the post here). Well, after filming I asked her if I could try it and wow–it was just so amazing! This week I decided that I would be having smaller dinners and supplementing them with protein shakes in preparation for the big Thanksgiving feast so I thought I definitely had to make my own version of this!

Ingredients:

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (150 calories)

1 cup of skim milk (83 calories)

1/2 cup of pumpkin puree (40 calories)

1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon

6 ice cubes

Directions:

Put all ingredients in blender, blend and enjoy! Tip: I like to make it really frothy by using the ice crusher setting–it seems to aerate it more and makes it seem fuller.

Total Calories: 273

This really is one of the most delicious shakes I have ever had! BTW I have considered this all one serving as far as calories go but it really makes almost two full glasses. I didn’t share mine–I drank it all–but if you want to have a snack and save the rest for later or share this is also an option!

I just started a Pinterest board where I will be keeping all of my protein shake recipes so if you are on there come on over and say hello–you can find me @afreshcoat. I have some really tasty recipes in the works for the rest of the week! I’m so excited about this and I hope you will come check it out.

As always, thanks for stopping by to read A Fresh Coat! XOXO Jen

20131119-163110.jpg

20131119-163127.jpg

20131119-163144.jpg

20131119-163205.jpg

20131119-163235.jpg

My 12 Favs of Christmas from C&B!

November 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

OK, so this post is coming a bit later than I meant to write it but it was a busy couple of days! After flipping through the pages of the Crate & Barrel Holiday catalog I wanted to share some of my favorite things. If you know me, or have read my blog for a while you probably already know I have a few staple stores that I love and C&B is one of them! After that wreath event in Georgetown last week I am really in the holiday spirit and I had so much fun rounding up some of my favorite things from C&B for you so I hope you like them, too!

Tell me though–have you already pulled out your Christmas decorations? I’m really tempted to put up my tree tonight because Christmas is everywhere (even Lifetime seems to have a plethora of Christmas movies on non-stop right now!). As always, thanks for stopping by A Fresh Coat and be sure to go say hi to us on your fav social media sites @afreshcoat. XOXO Jen

1. Coal Cinnamon Candy, $3.95 each

Maybe it’s the naughty (def not the nice!) in me but I love gagging someone with a gift of coal! These are my favorite stocking stuffers!

Image

2. Free online invitations from Paperless Post! C&B scored a deal for their customers and had a really nice array of online invites designed (some even match their linens and plates) that you can download and send out for free. I’m thinking about using their cookie party invite–the lettering is so cute!

Image

3. Tree Collars, $59.95

These are a nice twist on the classic tree skirt and fit right over the stand.

Image

4. No Peeking! tape, $4.95

This will be plastered all over my wrapped gifts! I love everything about this!

Image

5. Animal Corkers, $6.95 each (beer, deer, buffalo and monkey available)

Because when you have a party, a lot of wine (hopefully!) gets opened and I can’t think of a better thing to do with the corks than turn them into animals and have them join the party decor!

Image

6. Baked for Santa cookie stamp, $7.95

This is a surefire way to make sure Santa gets his fair share of cookies!

Image

7. Aqua bubble finial ornaments, $2.95-$3.95

These ornaments are so beautiful and I could just picture them hanging on my tree!

Image

8. Black and bronze tea light holders, $19.95 each

I sort of love animal-themed anything and these you can use all year round!

Image

9. Green tree candles, $11.95/small, $29.95/large

I just love Christmas trees! These really look awesome with the houses, too.

Picture 28

 

10. Pizzelle maker, on sale for $39.99 (plus ships free)

If you didn’t grow up around Italians, let me just tell you these are the BEST cookies you will ever have! They are a Christmas tradition in my family and this is such a great deal.  They even sell a mix to make them but I bet you can do it all by yourself! Channel your inner Italian!

Picture 29

 

11. Tree taper candles, $12.95 for a set of three

Again, I really love Christmas trees and think you can never have enough candles shaped like them around the holidays!

Picture 30

 

12. Reindeer pillow, $44.95

A little throw pillow to brighten up your couch!

Picture 31

 

*all images courtesy of Crate & Barrel

Getting Crafty at West Elm Georgetown!

November 15, 2013 § 2 Comments

Hi everyone! Happy Friday!

Last night I went to the West Elm store in Georgetown to attend their holiday wreath event. Meg, their super awesome and crafty store manager led the event and greeted everyone as we walked in the door. The tables were set up with all the supplies we needed and we had our very own instructor who showed us how to make the wreaths.

First, we outlined the black paper banner with chalk and wrote our holiday message in the middle (we were all really indecisive and probably pondered our message for like 20 minutes, then practiced our handwriting on the paper place mats on the table lol). Then we placed the banner in the wire wreath frame and started pulling apart branches to add to our wreaths. The staff at West Elm was really helpful and at one point their GM came over and started cutting wires for our table because he could see we needed a little assistance! In order to secure the branches, we wrapped green pieces of craft wire around them and to the base. At first this seemed super easy but after about 40 minutes everyone at our table started getting a little tired and dropped our perfectionist ways to get the job done! I will say the Christmas music helped everyone stay in the mood. It was fun meeting the girls at the table and everyone was sharing holiday memories which was nice. Everyone did such a great job and after about an hour we all finished. Some of the girls purchased accessories to add to their wreaths like little bottle brush animal ornaments or red or white garland.

All of the wreaths came out beautiful and now I’m looking forward to my next crafty project! A little hint that Meg shared with us: this may become a monthly thing at their store and maybe, just maybe, in December they will have an event that involves making candle holders out of cinnamon sticks.
What kinds of crafts are you making for the holidays? Are there any DIY’s you’re interested in learning? I want to start posting some more items like this so let me know what you think. As always, thanks for stopping by and reading A Fresh Coat. XOXO Jen

P.S. Look for me on your fav social media sites @afreshcoat.

20131115-093702.jpg

Spotted this little setup and fell in love with the Parsons clock with bone inlay in the herringbone pattern, $99

 

20131115-093715.jpg

Our craft table

20131115-093801.jpg

I love non-traditional trees! Look at those butterflies! Pretty!

20131115-093813.jpg

Hello, new favorite coffee table! The rustic wood is gorgeous! (Emmerson table, $499)

20131115-093827.jpg

Another glimpse of our craftiness in progress!

20131115-093901.jpg

My next project is definitely going to be a DIY on those burlap trees! They are so easy to make and come out super cute!

20131115-093845.jpg

The whole store was decorated for the holidays and a good amount of people came to partake in the festivities! Christmas music was a plus!

20131115-093914.jpg

My friend Lia was loving these bottles!

20131115-093927.jpg

All the wire cutting was making me think about the movie Baby Jane and the line that says “No more wire hangers!” lol

20131115-093943.jpg

I was making progress!

20131115-094000.jpg

Had such a fun time with these girls and their wreaths all came out great! From the left: Kim, Chrissy, Alisa, and Lia

20131115-094035.jpg

The finished product!

20131115-094016.jpg

I hung up my wreath as soon as I got home!

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Holidays category at A Fresh Coat.