Wednesday, March 30, 2016

#WorkoutWednesday - workout attire

A new pair of shoes can change a woman's mood, yes? I fully embrace that sentence - often. And lately, what I am realizing is that new workout clothes can energize me and actually make me want to work out. Who am I?

For the longest time, I really disliked the way I looked so I did not see the point in purchasing new workout clothes. I worked out in old t-shirts and boring plain black pants. It just didn't make sense to me to spend money on clothes that I was going to sweat in. However, that thought has since changed now that I have made working out a part of my lifestyle. Working out isn't just something that I do once every month; I do it six days a week. Which made me become tired of seeing the same plain clothes in the mirror.

I bought myself some new workout gear from to reward myself for working out eight weeks in a row. Something strange happened when my package arrived in my mailbox. I was excited to workout and actually, dare I say it, looked forward to my next workout so I could wear my new pants. Seriously, who am I? The bright colors of my sports bra and pants and the quality fit of everything just made me feel better. I actually liked what was staring back at me in the mirror, I added a little bit of style to my workout gear! is my new go-to place for workout gear because they have a HUGE variety of options. They carry tons of different brand names (I'm in love with the Under Armour sports bra that I have) and their prices are extremely reasonable. If there is anything in particular that you are looking for, I'm sure they have it - so many options! Not to mention, everything ships straight to your door. Squeezing myself into spandex pants in a public dressing room with a curious and vocal two year old in the same small, enclosed space is not my idea of fun. That's where really comes to my rescue! I can try everything on in the comfort of my own home.

Check them out when you are in the market for new workout gear. They have everything: tanks, shirts, jackets, pants, shorts, accessories, wellness products and more!!!


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tips for the Insta Food Photographer


There’s a joke about social media sites like Instagram, that they exist primarily for people to show off pictures of their food and their kids. It’s funny because it’s true: There really are a lot of people who like to frequently photograph their offspring (myself included), and there really are a lot of Instagrammed food photos.

But of course, the side effect of this is that there are a lot of bad photos of food on Instagram—photos that are poorly lit, strangely composed, or simply not very appetizing. If you want to show off the culinary adventures you’re having, that’s great, and Instagram is a great place to do it. Don’t settle for bad food photos, though: Take some time to brush up on your Instagram skills to ensure that your culinary items look as appetizing as they taste!

Instagram is my favorite social media site and I've learned quite a few tricks and tips over the years. I'm constantly trying to improve my photos and thought I'd share a few important tips for you!

How to Ace Your Insta Food Photos

A few food photography basics:

-Remember that the setting is as important as the food. You want to put your food on a table or tablecloth that’s plain and unobtrusive—something that won’t distract from the food itself. And you want to plate it on dishware that offers a good, colorful contrast. White food on a white plate doesn’t look sharp or crisp, for instance. A red plate might look a lot better.

-Lighting is critical. You don’t want to take food photos with the flash on, because it will make the food look flat and washed out. Instead, you want to try to position your food near natural light—an open window, maybe—or at least some indirect light.

-Stillness is also critical. This probably goes without saying, but using a tripod is likely best—and if you don’t have one handy, just make sure to avoid any movement or blurs.

-You always want to take a lot of pictures—as many as you can, really. Move all around your food. Take various pictures from various angles. Give yourselves plenty of snapshots to sort through and choose from.

-Close-ups generally work best for food photography. If you really want your food to appear tantalizing, make sure it fills the frame.

-Don’t delay! Be quick to take pictures of your food. Quickly snapped food photos will look fresh and appealing, but cold, congealed meats and wilting salad greens just won’t have the effect you’re hoping for.

-Finally, remember that some foods just aren’t going to photograph well. Don’t waste your time photographing a lumpy brown casserole—which may taste great, but is never going to look appealing.

Follow these tips and maybe your food-centric Instagram feed will transcend the jokes, and become something truly whistle-whetting!

And connect with me on Instagram, @lindsaytolar, I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Motherhood is a Sisterhood


Being a stay at home mom has been on my radar since I was a kid, I always knew staying home was what I wanted for my family. My mom stayed home with us and I have such fond memories of having her around for so many highlights in life. Even before I was pregnant, this was a deep desire in my heart.

So imagine how freaked out I was when extreme panic set in once I actually became a stay at home mom (minus the 10 hours a week I work for the theatre). What am I going to do with my child all day? Will she get bored? Will I get bored? How will she learn all of the important things that she needs to know? How will I fill our days? Is this the right decision for our family? What do I do with her all of those hours while we are alone? Why am I freaking out?!?!? :)

Yes, when we moved to Southwest Virginia every single one of those questions and then some popped in my head. What had I just gotten myself into? I moved to a brand new community where I knew no one my age, much less anyone with children. I questioned if I really wanted to be a stay at home mom because I just didn't know what to do and was so concerned with my child getting bored and not being challenged mentally. Then I remembered that my sweet friend Melissa had started a private Moms group on facebook where Moms could ask questions of each other - no matter their location. I had previously used the group to discuss sleep schedules with a newborn, pediatrician questions and sickness, but never even thought about asking the other Moms how they entertained and mentally stimulated their children all day.

Luckily one day it clicked. I got brave and decided to just ask these Moms what do they do all day. I learned about story time at the library (it's free!), discovered really cool educational books to read to Baby K and even learned the term busy bag. From there I began checking out Pinterest and googling different activities that I could recreate for Baby K. For me, the activity needs to be fun but it also has to teach her something. Whether it be colors, counting or working on fine motor skills, there has to be a lesson involved (I often joke that is probably why K prefers to play with Daddy over Mommy - because Daddy just plays with her. Mommy always has to make it "educational."). Through online community I found exactly what I was looking for. There are Moms out there just like me, who stay home with their children, and entertain them without parking them in front of the tv for hours on end. Although I will say that K has learned a great deal from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so a little tv isn't bad!

That online Mom group meant so much to me, especially when I had a newborn and then later when we moved. I am constantly amazed at how great technology can be and the resources we can find because of it. Which is why I am ecstatic to introduce you to Hello Mamas. This is a global online community designed to bring Moms together. The site is designed to connect you with other Moms in your area so that you can form a community with people walking through the same season of life. After all, Motherhood is a Sisterhood and we need to be surrounded by people who understand.

Hello Mamas walks you through a series of questions (about yourself, about your family, about your children and about getting together with others). You fill out a complete profile and then "get matched" with other moms in your area based on the questions you answer. The questions are very easy to answer and cover a wide range of topics. Through Hello Mamas and their matching system you can set up play dates in your area with other Moms and their children.

There is also a Forum where you can ask questions of other Moms and also view information on a variety of topics. So far, my favorite topic to check out has been "Let's Talk Products" as I love to see what other items Moms are using with their children. There are plenty of options on topics, so if you have a question I am sure they have a place for it! Hello Mamas is an online group of Moms for anyone - you don't have to know someone to be a part of it.

I am thrilled to announce that I am now a Hello Mamas Influencer! I completely understand the value in community and supporting each other through different seasons of life and Hello Mamas fills a very open gap in the Motherhood community. Moms need each other, need support, need advice, need a shoulder to cry on and need someone to celebrate the little accomplishments in life (yay! your child just went on the potty!). Life can be hectic and chaotic and overwhelming, add being a mom to that mix and things just get crazy. It is nice to know that there are people out there going through everything you are going through. And Hello Mamas helps you find them.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Date Night: Have Your Classic Cheesecake and Eat It Too


Ah date night. What a fabulous term, am I right? And Classic Cheesecake? That sounds amazing!

Being parents and leading crazy lives can sometimes make date nights hard to schedule. So Tolar and I occasionally have to get creative with what we plan. Luckily, we have a rockstar sleeper in our little K so planning a date night “in” isn’t that hard to pull off. And honestly, staying in is sometimes more appealing to me anyways. Last week, I decided to plan a little date night for Tolar and myself after K went to bed. My goal was to do something different, something we’ve never done before. So a cheesecake topping bar was born!

This year, we have committed to eating cleaner and having a lifestyle with healthy habits, but it is important to me to allow ourselves some treats and a little indulgence from time to time. I’ve found that if I completely restrict myself from treats, that I end up overeating in the end. My wise sister told me to allow myself a treat and to not feel guilty about it. And all over Instagram, I see some of my favorite fitness girls talking about allowing treats, they are important to keeping you on track!

For this date night, I bought a super yummy Sara Lee Original Cream Classic Cheesecake from my local Food Lion (side note, thank you Food Lion for having the grocery cart with a built in steering wheel for K. If all grocery stores would offer these for children, I know A LOT of moms would be happier!). Cheesecake was the very first dessert that Tolar and I ever shared together, so I thought it was fitting to try to do something fun involving this incredibly delicious dessert.

In an attempt to still keep our treat as a healthy-ish option and not go overboard, I purchased healthy toppings and made a little cheesecake toppings bar. Our toppings bar included blueberries, raspberries, granola and mini marshmallows. For fun we decided to select the cheesecake toppings for each other. Tolar, being the very sweet and supportive husband that he is, loaded up my cheesecake with blueberries, raspberries and a bit of granola. I decided to load his cheesecake up with all toppings, going heavy on the mini marshmallows since he loves them so much. It was fun to create a bowl for each other and to see what the other person created for us. The Sara Lee Classic Cheesecake was so yummy, super creamy and just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.


Tips for staying on track while enjoying a treat:

-Use treats for a special occasion or to reward yourself.
-Load up on fruits and other low cal snacks while enjoying a treat.
-Eat the serving size, it is there for a reason.
-Enjoy the treat!
-Get back on track right afterwards and drink plenty of water.

There is good news for all of you! You can score yourself some of the tasty Sara Lee Classic Cheesecake and get some savings at the checkout thanks to an awesome coupon. Use the instant redemption coupon on the Sara Lee Original Cream Classic Cheesecake package for $1.50 off the purchase of one cheesecake good through March 31, while supplies last.

I enjoyed this fun and different date night and we both loved the Sara Lee Classic Cheesecake. What are some ways that you plan a date night “in?” I’d love for you to share those with me in the comments section below.


This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Sara Lee Desserts, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #SaraLeeDesserts

Monday, February 1, 2016


In just one week, some sort of really big game is happening - so I'm told. ;) And somehow the most unlikely person to host a Game Day party (me!) is doing just that. As a Southern girl, the first thing you think of when having friends over is food. And for Game Day, you can't just have anything. As Tolar says, you need football food.

Football food is oh so yummy, but often oh so fattening. And this chick has just finished a solid three weeks of healthy eating and working out. I'm not about to spoil that over something having to do with football! Lucky for me, I have found something that is tasty, a crowd pleaser, healthy and falls into the football food category. BOOM!


Have you heard of BOOMCHICKAPOP? I'm already a huge fan.  BOOMCHICKAPOP is some of the best popcorn I've tasted (the White Cheddar is to die for!) and the best part is that it is very low in calories. BOOMCHICKAPOP is made with simple ingredients so you know what you are eating. And yes friends, BOOMCHICKAPOP is Tolar approved. He said it tastes great!

This yummy snack has made the menu for Game Day. It is excellent all by itself; seriously I think I need to go pour me a bowl of the White Cheddar as I type. But I also love to add some mix-ins with my popcorn to give me a little bit of a treat without the guilt. One of my favorite things to eat is popcorn with some mini marshmallows. That is the perfect amount of salty with just a little bit of sweet (the BOOMCHICKAPOP Sea Salt Popcorn is perfect for this!). So I plan to Bring the BOOM to our Game Day party by offering my sweet friends a snack that they can enjoy guilt free.


Bonus time! BOOMCHICKAPOP is also offering up a fabulous giveaway right now. That's right my friends, you can win yourself one of five Game Day kits, which includes a grill, grilling utensils and a PINK travel chair, all thanks to BOOMCHICKAPOP. All you have to do is share a photo on social media showing how you #BringtheBOOM to Game Day. It can be whatever you want, just make sure to share your photo and use the hashtag #BringtheBOOM. So easy, you already share photos all day everyday, might as well make it worth your while!

For FULL details on the contest, go to the BOOMCHICKAPOP website.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Workout Wednesday: Squeezing in Exercise Throughout the Day


Happy #WorkoutWednesday to you all!!!

My intention behind this series is to show you how I'm incorporating fitness into my daily life while still living my life as a busy mom. I feel like I'm doing something right because every time my daughter sees me in my workout clothes she either asks if I'm going to workout (and I can actually say YES!) or she asks to workout with me. I was super proud of myself and her the first time she asked to workout with me. So I encourage all of you other busy moms, workout while your children are around so they see it can be fun and easy to fit in to your life.

Sometimes full blown workouts just don't happen. Either your day is too full, you overslept or you just don't feel like it - I've been there. But that doesn't mean your day has to be a total bust. Here are my tips on squeezing some extra exercise into your normal day.

Squeeze in Exercise

  • Always take the stairs instead of the elevator. Take the stairs two at a time for a little extra burn.
  • Park far away from the door so you have farther to walk to get inside.
  • Plank for 1 minute each day (we ALL have 1 minute!).
  • Do squats, lunges or sit ups while watching tv.
  • While cooking dinner, incorporate leg lifts while standing over the stove (I also like to do this when applying my makeup).
  • During playtime with your children, hold them and do squats. Your kids will LOVE it and you will love your legs.
  • Go for a 10-15 minute walk on your lunch break.
  • Talking on the phone? Squats or lunges can easily be achieved while chatting.
  • Anytime during the day, tighten your abdominal muscles for 10 seconds and let out. Repeat as much as you can.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What Instagram Has Taught Me...


It is no secret that Instagram is my favorite social media site. I've talked about it a lot on here and judging by how often I post, you can easily figure it out. And I don't just love instagram for the pictures. I love it because it has taught me a few things too. :)

1.) To get creative and take better photos.


It's true and I'm totally embarrassed to show you, but my instagram feed looks like I have split personalities. If you scroll back through my instagram feed, you will see "the evolution of Lindsay's skills."  The more time I spend on instagram and analyze other people's feeds, the more inspired I get. And past Lindsay, well she had a lot to learn because the photos at the start of my feed were a hot mess.

2.) That moms really can work out.

If didn't follow me and like a lot of my photos last summer, I never would have realized this. :) Tiffanie is a mom in her 40's who has totally transformed her body thanks to Kayla Itsines' Bikini Body Guide. Because of Tiffanie's feed and her incredible success, I was inspired to try BBG and now I love it. In fact, if you weren't aware, I started #WorkoutWednesday here on the blog. Be sure to check it out tomorrow.

3.) That there are things I need to buy that I wasn't aware I even needed.

Funny story. A girl I follow on instagram posted a similar photo of this Michael Kors puff in grey asking if anyone was selling one because grey was sold out in stores. I'd never seen the puff keychain and never needed it in my life until I heard that it was sold out in stores. I watched her post all day as others commented to look on Etsy to find something similar. I even found myself checking out the links and Etsy shops that other people gave her. All for a $40 keychain!!!! Who am I?

4.) There is community out there that I didn't even know existed.

When I first joined instagram, I looked at it as an extension of my blog - another way to connect with my readers. But I have realized there is so much more! In addition to some of you, I have connected with other beauty lovers, other moms and other girls working out. We all support, encourage and inspire each other daily. I especially love instagram because it helps hold me accountable to my workouts and gives me nutrition inspiration almost hourly (seriously just search the hashtag #bbgfood or #cleaneating).

Monday, January 25, 2016


I had an entirely different post planned for today, but after three days of photographing my sweet little darling in the snow I realized something...LET'S GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT.

So here you go world (aka Grammaroo and GMa), pictures of K having a blast in the snow.

Here in the New River Valley, we got about a foot of snow. It was glorious to watch it snowing all day Friday. I found myself staring out the window with the same wonderment that I had when I was a little one myself. I don't think I will ever escape the excitement that is snow falling from the sky.

For our first two days we ventured out with a sled (or as K calls it, a boat) and tried to trudge through the knee deep know. K was more interested in using her shovel and attempting to make snow balls than she was in sledding. Unfortunately the show was very powdery so a snowman and even a good snowball were out of the question. Luckily by Sunday, the sun was out and the temperatures were a bit warmer, causing everything to melt just a bit. Which offered up the perfect conditions for Tolar to make an snow cave/castle.

The snow has been fun and I have loved every second of the joy that explodes from my daughter. We are still hoping for another good snowstorm before this winter is over!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Workout Wednesday: HIIT Workout

It's Workout Wednesday!!!

Continuing with my theme from last week, I'm all about offering up exercises that you can do at home. As a busy Mom, it is easiest for me to get in my workouts at home when I have time and the beauty of today's workout is that it can be finished in 15 minutes!

I'm sharing a quick HIIT Workout that you can complete anywhere in your house, no workout equipment needed. 

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. This is a training technique where you workout with 100% effort (full out) for quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by rest and recovery periods. This type of workout gets your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time. And that is what I am all about!

Complete each exercise below for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of rest. Repeat 3 times for a total of 15 minutes.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Winter Skin Tips

Winter is here which means frigid temperatures and cold wind can wreck our skin. Even people with oily skin on their face (raises hand) may still have to battle dry skin else where. It's important to take care of your skin daily, even if you aren't going to be in direct sunlight. Did you know that some people don't even think about their skin care unless they are planning a beach vacation?!?! Here are some of my best tips, to keep my skin looking its best every single day.

1.) Drink LOTS of water. Hydrating your skin from the inside out is probably the most important thing you can do. Without enough water, your skin can appear duller and your wrinkles and pores will appear more prominent. No one wants that! When skin is hydrated and plump it is less likely to crack.

2.) Moisturize - your face. It is important to use a moisturizer even if you have oily skin (there are different types/forumlations of moisturizers that you can use depending on your skin type). A moisturizer helps lock in the skin's moisture. Think of it as kind of "sealing" in the work you just did with your cleanser and toner.

3.) Moisturize - your hands. The cold temps and constant hand washing cause my hands to crack in the winter. I make sure to use a cream based moisturizer since it is a thicker substance with more oil to help heal my dry hands. Rodan + Fields has a specific skin care line for sensitive skin and their SOOTHE Moisture Replenishing Cream is a LIFESAVER for my winter hands.

4.) Wash off your makeup. Please don't ever go to bed with your makeup on, this can clog your pores and lead to tons of breakouts.

5.) Exfoliate. When you have excess dry skin or even dry patches, you need to exfoliate your skin and remove the dead skin that is just sitting on your face. Exfoliating can also help you get rid of blackheads and give you a more of a glowing complexion.


To help with winter redness (like you see in the photo above), I'd love to tell you about the Rodan + Fields Soothe Regimen. This Regimen is designed to help treat people with sensitive, dry or irritated skin. I use it on my hands daily to treat my dry, cracked skin. Soothe calms, relieves, nourishes and defends your skin! AND Soothe can be used on babies and toddlers, in addition to adults!

There are SO MANY uses for this regimen. My customers and other R+F customers use it to treat:
-skin redness
-wind burn
-razor burn
-keritosis pilaris
-eczema (even on babies!)
-poison ivy
-dry, cracked hands
-burns in general

Stop suffering from these common ailments and let me help you!!!! But don't take my word for it - just look at the photo above. Those are REAL results.
If you would like more info on the Soothe Regimen or if you have other skin concerns, feel free to shoot me a message! (

Rodan + Fields has a 60 day money back guarantee - if you try the products and don't like the results, send them back (even empty bottles!) and get your money back. So you have NOTHING to lose by trying these products. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Toddler Fun Recipe: GAK


Do you want to offer your toddler a really cool sensory experience and have a ton of fun? And do you want them to be entertained for awhile? Well I have an extremely easy recipe to share with you - GAK!

Last semester with my MOPS group, we had a guest speaker who showed us all sorts of awesome activities that you can play with your children. The gak was by far the most popular. Gak is a gooey, semi-slimy mixture, that is extremely pliable. It can be molded, shaped, stretched, ripped apart and more. And it's important to note that it is NOT messy. :)

The best part? It is super easy (and cheap) to make!


- two 4 oz. bottles of Elmer's white glue
- 1 tsp. Borax (found in the laundry aisle)
- water (fill up both glue bottles with water)
-1/2 cup very warm water


1.) In a large bowl, empty all of the glue from both bottles.

2.) Fill each empty bottle with water and shake them to rinse out any remaining glue. Pour the water into the bowl. Mix well.

3.)  In a separate bowl, mix 1/2 cup very warm water with 1 tsp. Borax. Stir until the Borax dissolves.

4.) Slowly pour the Borax mixture into the glue mixture, stirring a little in between each pour.

5.) The Borax will start to make the glue stiffen and you will likely need to finish mixing everything by hand.

6.) Store in an air tight container. I just use a gallon size ziploc bag.


One of my favorite things about gak is that it can "move" on its own. If you let the gak sit, it will sort of melt a bit. It will flatten out and take on the shape of the container you use to store it.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Discovery Playhouse


We spent the beginning of 2016 in Illinois visiting Tolar's family. We get to visit them often, but our visits there are changing because K is older and so active and able to do a lot more. Now, we go to places that appeal to her. During this last trip, we ventured over to Cape Girardeau, Missouri and explored the Discovery Playhouse.

Discovery Playhouse is a hands-on children's museum where kids can discover and learn all while playing and having a ton of fun. They have numerous exhibits (appropriate for children ages 11 and younger) depicting businesses that children will perhaps frequent with their parents. All of the exhibits are designed to allow the children to feel like they actually work in each business.

While at the Discovery Playhouse we got to visit:
Hospital Nursery
Pet Clinic
Grocery Store
Water Garden

I didn't know what to expect when we decided to check out the museum, but I left in awe. I was thoroughly impressed by the level of detail that went into each exhibit (the ATM at the bank actually had a live surveillance camera). K got to care for new babies at the hospital, drive a huge firetruck, "ride" a horse at the pet clinic, give me a teeth cleaning at the dentist, water and pick vegetables in her garden, milk a cow and collect eggs from chickens on the farm, serve as cashier at the grocery store, act as bank teller and play to her heart's content in the water garden.

There was so much to do we could have easily spent all day there. Each exhibit brought smiles to everyone's face, I'm not sure who had more fun - K or the adults. All of the businesses were completely interactive for both children and adults. It was so fun for us to let loose and pretend with K. Each exhibit seemed better than the one prior which didn't seem possible because they were all so perfect. I spent all day oohing and ahhing over everything. I can only wish that a children's museum like this opens somewhere within driving distance to us soon (if anyone knows one near the New River Valley, VA - let me know).

It was clear which businesses K frequents in her daily life as she knew exactly what to do with the conveyor belt at the grocery store (yep, my girl goes with me every week). She has also taken plenty of lessons from her Grandy because she did not want to leave the garden. She kept watering her vegetables and tending to her crops, just like my Dad does with his garden. It warmed my heart to see her so excited about the garden.


I can guarantee that we will be back to visit Discovery Playhouse on another visit to see my in-laws. It was a highlight of our trip.
If you live in or near Cape Girardeau, Missouri or are going to be visiting soon, go! Take your kids, you won't be disappointed.