Monday, November 23, 2020

2020 Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers She Actually Wants

Invisibobble Hair Ties | You can never have too many hair ties, and these protect from breakage and creases while also being sweat proof for the gym goer in your life. 

Beautycounter Clean Deoderant Minis | A great option for the clean beauty lover! I just ordered these, and can't wait to try them. The set comes with four mini deodorants so they're easy to split up into stockings if you have more than one stocking to fill. 

Bolt Lips Protective Face Mask | What's more appropriate and practical than an edgy face mask these days?!

Tula Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm | One of Tula's best selling products, and a favorite in my collection. This eye balm hydrates, cools, and helps reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. I like to apply this before the gym in the morning on a bare face, as well as over my makeup for a subtle highlight. 

Klavuu Lip Sleeping Pack | Hands down the best lip mask on the market and it is currently 30% off with code BRIGHT30 making it $10.50. These sell out quickly! Moisturizes lips long term, and feels silky and smooth upon application. 

Too Faced Lip Injection Plumper | This gloss dramatically increases the look of lip volume.

Tula Beauty Gummy Vitamins | Not only do these taste good, they work! This comes with a two week supply of beauty gummies that support healthy skin, promote hair and nail growth, and include pro/prebiotics to calm bloating. Use code THECHEEKYBEEN for 15% off.

Knee High Butter Socks | The perfect cozy and warm winter gift for relaxing around the house.

Ivory Leopard Face Mask | I get so many compliments on this mask! For under $20 this makes the perfect practical stocking stuffer gift. 

Miracle Face Eraser | An Amazon find and a great gift option for the sustainable one in your life. This cloth washes away a face full of makeup by simply adding water. Rinse, wash, and repeat - making it a more environmentally friendly option than makeup wipes. 

One Step Makeup Remover Wipes | Perfect for the girl on the go! Gentle enough to use on your face and eyes every day, oil and fragrance free, and another clean beauty product. These also provide hydration and are a great starting point for people who aren't regimented with a skincare routine yet.


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

2020 Gift Guide for the Fitness Enthusiast

The second gift guide in my holiday edit is for the fitness enthusiast. We all have that one friend that is fitness obsessed. They know every instructor by name, own all the latest and greatest gear, and their athleisure collection far outweighs the rest of their wardrobe. So what do you get the fitness junkie? Lucky for you, this is my personality type -- so I've rounded up the most useful and unique gift options that are sure to please (speaking from personal experience, here). 

Yoga Mat | Pretty and functional! One of my favorite Amazon finds to date. Being that so many of us are working out at home, it was time to invest in a new yoga mat. We have this next to our Peloton, so when my ride is over, I hop onto the mat and start a strength class. It's durable, pretty to look at, and great quality! A good option for anyone working out from home during the pandemic, any Peloton app users, or yoga lovers.

Apple iWatch | I'm not the only fitness fanatic in my circle and all the girls (except myself) own an Apple watch. The fitness features are endless, and a great motivational tool to help reach your daily fitness goals. 

Dr. Scholl’s Performance Sized to Fit Running Insole | For the runner in your life! This is a unique gift option that most people wouldn't think to add to a xmas wishlist. Runners are always looking for the one thing that will help them run longer, go faster, and without injury - these are an awesome addition to their running game, and a great stocking stuffer! 

Sweat Proof Hair Ties | You can never have too many of these! They are much better for your hair than the average hair tie, don't leave dents and creases, and don't get soaked with sweat. Another great stocking stuffer!

Weighted Jump Rope | A great cardio add that can be used at home, thrown into a backpack for at the gym, and works wonders for building strength and toning arms. The personal trainer I worked out with for years always incorporated a weighted jump rope into our routine, now you can provide a little PT for your favorite fitness lover at home. 

Lululemon Leggings | A cult favorite. You can never go wrong here. A solid pair of leggings are a must, and if you're an avid gym goer - you know you can't ever have too many quality leggings. Wear, wash, repeat! 

Self Cleaning Water Bottle | I love a reusable water bottle, but I hate how difficult they are to clean. They get dirty quickly, and with repetitive daily use germs can manifest. This is a bit of a splurge, but such a cool and unique gift! The bottle self-sanitizes the water and bottle via a built-in light. Definitely an idea for the one who has everything!

Smart Scale | Use code CHEEKYBEEN20 for 20% off of this one. I have this and absolutely love all the features it provides! I used to pay Orange Theory to run a full body scan periodically for me so I could keep track of measurements like body fat percentages, body mass index, water weight etc. This scale does all of that from home! If you have any Orange Theory lovers to shop for, I bet they'd like this!

Ankle Weights | These can also be worn around the wrist, and are fully adjustable for a little extra oomph to your daily walk or workout routine. Another item we used frequently in personal training sessions that double as great gear for at home. Lifting and toning, here you come!


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas

I love the holidays! Everything from the food, to the togetherness, and all the cozy decorations just give me all the feels. It is arguably my favorite time of year. This year obviously looks a lot different for many of us, but I'm still excited to bring you the holiday content you know and love - starting with this outfit. I actually shot this last year, and before I could post it, the entire outfit was sold out from head to toe. That said, almost all the pieces are back for round 2 this year and with most of us being home for the holidays, it's the perfect casual outfit for all your Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner festivities! If you haven't shot your holiday card photos yet, this look is also ideal for that. 

Being that I'll be almost 40 weeks pregnant at the holidays this year, I'm thinking it'll be a sequin leggings and oversized sweater kind of year for me -- but let me know if you'd be interested in seeing some bump friendly holiday outfit finds!


Monday, November 9, 2020

The Best Gifts for Men

 In a recent poll on Instagram Stories, I asked you all what gift guides you would be most interested in seeing this year, and the answer was almost unanimously the same across the board: gifts for men. Requests ranged from gift guides for the husband, to gift guides for dad, to guides for the man who has everything. So, I went to work and did a little digging with the men in my life to figure out what they valued most. The answer from most of them was fairly similar no matter what category they fell in (dad, husband, boyfriend, friend) - men want items that are useful in their day to day life, and items they may not necessarily buy for themselves. 

What is the best gift for a man?

Look for items that are thoughtful and useful. Something he may not buy for himself, but that are both practical and useful in every day life. A perfect of example of this is the Swanky Badger personalized wallet. I've gifted this to both my dad, and my husband, and both of them listed this as a gift they valued most when I asked. Not only do they both use the wallet daily, it symbolizes my relationship with them via the personalized message on the inside which makes it a unique option.

What is the best gift for the guy who has everything?

Experiences. Answers ranged from ski trips, to trips to Hawaii, to season tickets to their favorite sports teams. These are also things a man is less likely to spend money on himself. I've done this as an anniversary gift for Shane in the past, and the memories are the gift that keeps on giving.

What are good budget friendly gifts for a man?

The best smaller gifts for a man again, are items they use daily but may not buy themselves regularly. Think cologne, work socks, a nice tie for work, nicer boxers or briefs, or even a good chess board like this best selling one on Amazon. Believe it or not, both Shane and his best friend love to play Chess at the airbnb's we've rented in the past over a glass of whiskey after dinner. 

In need of something in a hurry? Check out my Amazon finds here.

Top 5 Gifts For Dad

Starting this list with the top gift options for your dad. Here you'll find practical gifts that dad's appreciate and use year round with creative options to show that you care. Afterall, he's the guy whose been there for you through it all.

Swanky Badger Wallet

This customizable wallet is sure to make him proud. Wether he is one to brag or not, the personalized message inside is an unexpected but welcomed surprise that makes this a memorable and useful win.

This personalized vegan leather phone wallet is the perfect choice! Add the initials of your choice, and a message on the inside and make it a memorable gift for the minimalist who doesn't like to carry a phone and wallet in their pocket. 

Us ladies love our Lululemon, but the men do too! My dad's favorite "weekend" pants are the Lululemon joggers, and with most of us working from home they're getting great use. Lululemons ABC joggers are in their men's best selling category, making it a great option for men of all ages. Who doesn't love a good pair of sweats?! Bonus points for style.

Give dad a better way to stay connected! Let him connect with video calling and messaging, read step by step recipes from a smart display screen in the kitchen, control smart home devices like the lights and security system, temperature etc. This is a great option for the "techy," the dad with grandbabies, or those who love to read the headlines during breakfast or dinner. 

I've never met a dad who doesn't love Amazon, have you? Everyone loves Prime and the perks that come along with it, so there's no better gift than a 1 year subscription ($119). It's the gift that keeps on giving!

Top 5 Gifts for the Husband

When I asked Shane what his favorite gifts ever have been, these were in his top 3. We both have a pair, and in my opinion they're much more practical and comfortable than earbuds. These make a great gift for the traveler, the gym fanatic, or the work from home zoom call husband and they're still ranked amongst men as one of the most wanted gifts to unwrap under the tree.

Swanky Badger Wallet

I know I mentioned this above for dad's, but it also doubles as a top pick for husbands. This customizable wallet is sure to make him proud. Wether he is one to brag or not, the personalized message inside is an unexpected but welcomed surprise that makes this a memorable and useful win. I would recommend keeping the sentiment short and sweet on the inside as men don't typically gravitate towards overly sentimental gifts. I wrote "Go Panthers - love wifey" on the inside of Shanes. He's a big Panthers fan, so anything Panthers related is a shoe in with him!

A watch is always sure to please. Wether it's the new Apple Watch Series 6 for the "tech" or fitness enthused hubby, or a higher end Movado watch for the luxe lover - all of the men in my life enjoy and wear a watch daily. This was in Shane's top 3 gifts, and he does wear it daily. And while you're probably thinking smart watches have been around for a while, it still comes up as one of the most sought after gifts for men. 

Experiences, subscriptions, and memberships were hot answers amongst the men I asked! Furthermore, subscriptions like these seem more relevant than ever with limited travel and more people at home to enjoy life's finest crafts. If your man isn't a drinker, try a clothing subscription service like Stitch Fix. I know it sounds out of the ordinary, but surprisingly - men want these. 

A great option for a wide variety of men. Wether they're a sports junky, love to listen to and play music, the tech guru, or a movie buff - most men appreciate a good sound system. This is the latest generation of the best selling Sonos One smart speaker. Built in voice control and a handsome/sleek design make this a good splurge!


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

What We Have For The Baby So Far

Being a first time mom, I know first hand how overwhelming all things baby can be. It's comforting to chat with others who are in the same boat about products, what items you like and don't like, and have a little bit of a guide as to what items are popular. I personally had no idea where to start in the beginning. I feel fortunate to have the platform I do as many of you helped me with recommendations along the way. I took your most popular recommendations from stories and compared them to the "most popular" or "best selling" items on several baby retailer websites and based what we purchased off of that. Hopefully this takes some of the leg work out of researching for you! I am also attaching our baby registry link for you here and here, in case you're lost as to what to add to it. I found that BuyBuy Baby had the best overall incentives in terms of completion discounts and coupons along the way. They recently ran a special where for every $200 you spent, they added $50 to your "My Funds" to use on a later purchase. I bought the bulk of what we still really wanted off our registry during this two day event and racked up a whole new gift card to use on remaining items as we get closer. I definitely recommend signing up for their emails to keep track of those promotions - it's worth it!

Gear & Travel


Bath & Potty

Health & Safety


To Wear 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Second Trimester Maternity Must Have's

Well, time seems to be flying by! I can't believe I'm already almost a month into the third trimester and so close to meeting this little boy. As soon as I hit 28 weeks and we came home from our Vermont trip, I had this intense urge to get everything ordered and in place for the baby asap. I kept having dreams that he was coming early, and that we didn't have a bassinet or crib for him so he had to sleep in the car seat on the ground next to us! Anxiety much? Anyway, I'm staying home more now than I ever have, and most of my attention is baby focused these days. But, I wanted to share a little insight into how the second trimester went for me and what I couldn't live without. I've talked to so many of you who are also in this same season and if you're anything like me - you're looking for all the helpful tips and advice. I think I've researched more about pregnancy and babies in the last 8 months than any other topic in my life! I also kept track of how I was feeling week to week at the end of this post - I did this more so as a means for me to look back on if I ever get pregnant again and can't remember what certain stages looked like but, I thought it could also be beneficial for some of you. Here's what got me through this stage of pregnancy:

Body Oil // I'm trying my best to prevent stretch marks and skin inconsistencies, and have used this brand and oil throughout pregnancy! I have all of their "mama" line and can't say enough good things about it. 

Slide Slippers // The arches of my feet are almost flat thanks to the hormone relaxin. Because of this, my feet hurt all the time - even when I haven't been on them long enough to hurt. I snagged these slippers during the Nordstrom sale and have noticed when I wear them around the house vs. going barefoot on the hardwoods, my feet don't hurt! 

Robe // With a growing belly, all I want to wear are things that are comfortable. I put this on first thing in the morning every morning, and no matter how big my belly is - it fits. I also bought this with post pregnancy nursing in mind, and it will be coming with me to the hospital as well. 

Massage Gun // Oh the aches and pains... this is a splurge, but it feels so good over my achey back. Shane runs it over my neck and back for 10 mins before bed, and it really helps alleviate the pain. 

Belly Bottle // Our doctor said I should be consuming 90 oz. of water a day while pregnant or you're depleting the baby of fluids. I've never been good with drinking enough water until I got this bottle! It's specific for pregnancy, has the time of day stamped down the sides so you can hold yourself accountable to drinking enough, and comes with fun little stickers for each week of pregnancy that tell you how big the baby is.

Pajamas // These are hands down the best pajamas of all time. I had the shorts version of them prior to pregnancy and you've probably seen them on my Instagram several times but the long sleeve/long pant version is a game changer. These are the pajamas I will be taking to the hospital with me, and the button front is great for nursing as well. They also last for forever!

Bumpin Blends // I saw these on cmcoving's instagram stories and decided to try it as she's pregnant too. They're so easy to make, and each flavor option has something good for you and the baby in it! I mainly chose the options that were good for hydration, sleep, and energy and have really enjoyed them all. The link gives you $15 off your first order, too!

Prenatal Vitamins // This is an obvious one, but these are the best brand to go with in my opinion! They don't make me nauseous, and it has everything you need in 2 capsules so you don't have to take anything else in addition to them. Use code "CHEEKYBEEN" for 10% off.

Align Leggings // The best leggings for pregnancy (and in general)! I've tried maternity leggings and I still like these the best. Not to mention, I'm still wearing my pre-pregnancy pairs and they fit fine which is really nice! I did go buy a couple more in one size up to accommodate the third trimester bump size, but it's so nice that I can wear these post pregnancy too! Worth every penny.

Compression Socks // These help so much with some of the swelling I'm experiencing. They also help with the feet hurting issue. I've been warned that the swelling can also linger for a few weeks post baby so i'll also be packing these in my hospital bag.

Second Trimester Symptoms

Week 12 - Started out feeling 100 times better than previous weeks, but as the week went on I felt extremely exhausted again with bouts of nausea throughout a few of the days. I honestly think I sort of overdid it over the weekend. We had dinner with friends Friday and Saturday night, and a BBQ wedding festivity for another couple we are friends with Sunday and overall, it was a ton of stimulation and activity my body just wasn't used to anymore.

Week 13 - We went to the beach this week and like my first trimester, something about being at the beach helps with all the symptoms. I ran for the first time since April this week (it's the last week of June), and while it was a major struggle pace wise, It felt amazing to be able to run again. Only real symptoms this week are lots of round ligament pains in my lower abdomen, but that's normal.

Week 14 - It's weird, everyone says you get so much of your energy back in the second trimester but I am still feeling super exhausted! Other than that, symptoms are mild.  The nausea is gone which I'm so thankful for and I was able to run 3 times this week, but by mid afternoon mama needs a nap!

Week 15 - Gender reveal week! It's a boy! Sunday was probably the busiest day I've had since I got pregnant with running errands to put the party together. I think I was running off of lots of adrenaline because I powered through the entire day without feeling tired for a change. However, I've been reaping the fruits of my labor all week this week with sore muscles and random aches and pains from Sunday. Dialed it back on the workouts this week to give my body some time to rest and recoop after this weekends events. Sleeping has been a challenge as I'm super congested at night and it wakes me up between 4-5 AM for over an hour each night.

Week 16 - My main symptoms this week are still struggling with sleep and feeling exhausted which is resulting in a lack of motivation as well. I took a few days off from working out at the beginning of the week to listen to my body. I woke up at 2:45 AM when baby did a full flip or kick or something in my stomach mid week! It was a feeling I had never felt before, and had me wide eyed and bushy tailed! Being able to feel baby boy is so exciting.

Week 17 - Not much has changed from week 16. I'm still so incredibly tired, and wide awake in the middle of the night. I'm one of those people who gets emotional when I'm too tired as well. Craving buffalo chicken wraps like crazy these last few weeks!

Weeks 22-23 - I've felt pretty consistent throughout these weeks. My energy seems to be pretty normal again! My sleeping habits are still pretty irregular. Some nights I sleep like the dead and then others I'm wide awake making hot chocolate at 3 AM. Biggest pregnancy symptom these last few weeks are swelling in the feet and ankles. The arches of my feet are basically flat so they're bothering me daily, and I still can't breathe very well at night which wakes me up as well. Dreams are also super vivid and wild. Current craving - sweets, and nachos. LOL. 

Week 24-27 - I spent two of these weeks in Vermont. We drove 15 hours from Charlotte to avoid flying during the pandemic. I had major swelling in my feet and ankles from traveling - the worst I've experienced yet. Other than that, my energy has been amazing these last few weeks! I worked out 5 days a week, and hiked 5.5 miles and 3400 feet in elevation. Feeling the best I've felt yet! Only negative is I started experiencing migraines daily in week 24, however - they went away in Vermont and returned when we got home. 


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

What I eat In a Day - 3rd Trimester

I'll be honest, I've never been a big grocery delivery person until this year, but I'm not sure what took me so long because it's the most convenient thing of all time, and less expensive than roaming the aisles with a hungry belly. In my recent Q&A on Instagram Stories, I saw several of you were curious about my pregnancy diet. While it's a little all over the map, the third trimester has at least brought some normalcy back into my life so I thought it would be fun to share my latest grocery haul from Walmart using Walmart+. If you're not familiar with Walmart+, it's a new membership Walmart recently launched with benefits like free unlimited delivery (with a minimum purchase of $35, and other restrictions may apply), member prices on fuel at Walmart and Murphy gas stations, and access to mobile scan & go. It's not just for groceries either, you can get tons of items delivered from your local store - including diapers and wipes, which I have a feeling we will be taking full advantage of in the near future. The membership costs $98 a year or $12.95 per month and includes a 15-day free trial so you have the opportunity to see if you like it! Sign up for the free trial here

Anyway, on to a typical day of eating for me during pregnancy! I'm fairly regimented with food, so this is pretty accurate on a day to day basis - however, I'm also fully giving into the cravings when they come up.

I normally make an egg white omelette with goat cheese and sautéed spinach! I do 1/2 cup of egg whites, half a package of spinach, 1 oz of pasteurized goat cheese and a little salt and pepper. We were out of olive oil and spinach, so you'll see that was part of my Walmart+ order this week. This breakfast is packed with protein and healthy fats while still being lower in carbs.

My digestion has slowed way down, so you'll see I eat a bunch of smaller meals throughout the day. My coffee intake is less than half of what it was prior to pregnancy, but if I'm feeling like I need an energy boost I'll make a latte at home with oat milk - we really like the Planet Oat Oat Milk brand the best (pictured in my order above). Shane also drinks coffee at home, so we go through this frequently. Typically I pair my latte with half of a homemade muffin, or some type of fruit. Fruit has been a big pregnancy craving for me hence the apples and mango in this weeks order.

Lunch varies based on what we ate the night before. My days have been nonstop lately, so it's easy for me to just reheat something and helps me eat healthy. I like to make extra servings at dinner for this reason. Sometimes it will be sheet pan lemon chicken, broccoli, and tri-color potatoes, other times its ground turkey spaghetti bolognese or turkey taco bowls (shredded lettuce above is for turkey taco bowls). We love the Rao's marinara sauce for this which you can also find at Walmart!

My afternoon snack is almost always greek yogurt and blueberries with a little granola. I used to have food allergies and had to do cashew milk yogurt for the last year or so, but with pregnancy those have gone away (yay!) so I'm fully embracing eating the Dannon Light & Fit greek yogurts. They're packed with protein, low in sugar and carbs and they're the perfect sweet treat while also being a healthy option for baby. I have quite the sweet tooth these days!

As I mentioned above at lunch, we usually rotate through turkey chili, turkey taco bowls, sheet pan chicken and broccoli, shrimp scampi, veggie noodle bolognese etc. It sort of depends on the week and what we are feeling, but we try to eat clean, healthy, and at home as much as possible. 

Paper products
Paper products are so much less expensive at Walmart, and with the Walmart+ membership I've found they're always in stock for delivery making it the most affordable and convenient option for us. With the pandemic, we're both working from home nonstop, so we are going through these products much quicker than before - it's nice to save a little money where you can! I'm fairly picky about paper towels and we love the Viva brand.

Don't forget to check out Walmart+ and the benefits available in your area here! We love this membership. 

*Thank you to Walmart for sponsoring todays post.



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