Wine and Dine

First I drink the wine, then I do the things

With the holiday season quickly approaching I wanted to share two of my favorite fall sangria recipes! My husband and I host an annual Friendsgiving dinner at our house and these sangrias are staples in our menu (along with my famous turkey chili which can be found here). 


Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • 6 Gala Apples
  • 3 Red Pears
  • 1 bottle (750mL) cinnamon whiskey 
  • 1 bottle Pinot Grigio
  • 64 oz bottled apple cider 
  • 1 liter club soda

Here’s how you make it:

  • Dice apples and pears into cubes and place in a large bowl/jar/drink dispenser and pour in the bottle of cinnamon whiskey. Cover and soak for minimum 2 hours (the longer the better!) 
  • Pour in apple cider, club soda, and Pinot Grigio
  • Serve over ice
  • Cheers!


Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • 2 Medium Apples
  • 1 cup Caramel flavored vodka
  • 6 cups Apple Cider
  • 1 bottle (750mL) Pinot Grigio 

Here’s how to make it:

  • Mix apple cider, vodka, and wine in a larger pitcher/drink dispenser
  • Chop apples and add to mix and allow to soak for at least 30 minutes prior to serving
  • Serve over ice
  • Cheers! 

(Thank you for this photo and recipe!) 

What are some of your favorite fall drink recipes? Post them in comments!
Happy fall y’all, 

Fitness · Lifestyle

Why I Switched Supplements (And Why You Should Too)

As I mentioned in my first post (check out my first post under the “About” tab!) I’ve been on a roller coaster fitness journey for about 5 years now. As many people do, I took to Instagram and started following any and all fitness pages. One of the pages I stumbled upon belonged to Nina Baez. Nina is a certified personal trainer and certified nutrition specialist. After (shamelessly) stalking her page I found out she offered workout and nutrition plans and began ordering plans from her. I was so pleased with the results I was seeing I also began taking the sports supplements that she recommended. I purchased plans on and off for about two years and continued to follow Nina on Instagram. A few months ago I saw her post about new supplements she was taking and was immediately compelled to find out why she switched. Nina had always been so informed and well-versed in the other brand of supplements so I thought there had to be a good reason for her to switch and I needed to know why.

FullSizeRender 3

The supplements that Nina had switched to are from a company called Plexus. Plexus is THE health and happiness company. Plexus supplements are plant-based health supplements, so you’re getting everything you need and nothing that you don’t. They offer 16 different products so there is something for everyone no matter what your goals are! Plexus products are gluten free & free of all artificial sweeteners, dyes, and flavors. Their products not only help you with weight loss & fitness but with overall health. Naturally, I was skeptical at first but I trusted Nina and if she was switching to these products I knew I needed to be a part of it too. I joined Nina’s team as an ambassador at the end of April and began taking Plexus May 5th. In just four short weeks my life had officially been changed by Plexus.

I began sharing Plexus with everyone I knew (and even people I didn’t know) because I knew these products were different from anything I had ever tried before. The supplements I had taken prior to starting Plexus were just masking the problems I was having. I would get bloated, gain weight, have insatiable cravings, and any progress I did make was immediately reversed once I stopped taking them. After just a few days on Plexus I noticed increased energy, decreased appetite, less bloating, and less constipation (everyone poops, get over it. If you’re not pooping let me hook you up with some Plexus).  After four weeks, I was visibly leaner, less bloated, and had energy for days!


Here’s how it works:
Plexus repairs your body from the inside out, feeding and replenishing your body’s good bacteria, and working daily to maintain your overall health. Plexus weeds out intestinal yeast and bad microbes, gives your gut a healthy dose of good microbes, provides your gut with healthy prebiotics to promote the growth of healthy microbes and protects your gut with polyphenols. By providing your body with prebiotics and probiotics you’re rebuilding intestinal microflora which results in benefits such as balanced intestinal pH, lowered cholesterol, regulated bowel function, increased metabolism, and mood regulation.

As Hippocrates once said, “All disease begins in the gut,” but it doesn’t have to stay there! I never leave the house without my Plexus supplements, want to try for yourself? Plexus offers a 60-day money back guarantee (but I doubt you’ll need it!) so you can try it risk-free! Check out our summer catalog in the link below and feel free to contact me with any questions!

peace, love, plexus

Plexus Summer 2017 Catalog

Wine and Dine

Winner Winner, Steak for Dinner

Shout out to my amazing friend Kirsten for this recipe! This dish is healthy, easy to make and delicious! And just when you thought it could sound more appealing, it has a vegan option as well!


  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 bag arugula
  • approx. 1lb hanger or skirt steak (or whatever steak you prefer!)
  • VEGAN SUBSTITUTION- replace the steak with a large mushroom cap!
  • chili powder
  • adobo seasoning
  • salt
  • pepper
  • aged balsamic


  • On a large sheet pan, arrange the corn, sliced onion, and asparagus. Toss with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and chili powder.
  • Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes, tossing occasionally until the veggies have some nice color but the corn isn’t dried out.
  • While the veggies are in the oven, toss the cucumber, avocado, and arugula with balsamic and oil.
  • Season steak with chili powder and adobo seasoning and grill over medium-high heat 3-5 minutes per side. Allow the steak to sit for about 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Place baked veggies and arugula salad on a plate and top with steak.
  • Drizzle with balsamic and ENJOY!
Fitness · Lifestyle

Monday Motivation

Happy Monday! 

I haven’t posted in a little bit but that’s only because I’m working on some cool projects for you guys! I wanted to take a minute on this Monday night to remind you to stay motivated and have a productive week! 

Today was my first day back at work after sustaining an injury and being out for almost a month. The whole time I was out of work I struggled to stay on track. Not being able to exercise took its toll on me, mentally and physically. But today was my new “day 1,” I wore my fitness tracker, packed healthy meals and snacks to last me throughout the day, and walked everywhere; I even walked around my neighborhood for an hour after work! It’s never to late to get back on track, no matter how many setbacks you have the sun will always rise and we will try again. 

Whether today was day 1 or day 500, stay positive, keep working hard and own this week!

Fitness · Lifestyle

Beat Your In-Between-Meal Munchies

Making the right choice when it comes to snacking in between meals is just as important as the meals themselves.  When hunger strikes here’s what you can do to keep it in check:

Whenever you feel hungry in between meals drink a glass of water before doing anything else. Unfortunately, our brains haven’t gotten this whole hungry vs. thirsty thing figured out; your brain can’t tell the difference between hunger and thirst so if you’re feeling hungry, you could just be thirsty. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day as well as during meals and snacks not only keeps you properly hydrated but helps your brain determine if you’re really hungry or not. So always drink a glass of water first and if, after some time, you’re still hungry opt for a snack high in fiber or protein to keep you full until your next meal. Some of my favorite snacks are fresh fruit and veggies, greek yogurt, almonds, and tuna. Fresh fruit and vegetables like apples, carrots, and peppers are all high in fiber and when paired with a little peanut butter or hummus they create the perfect snack. Another favorite of mine is Starkist Tuna Creations tuna packets. They come in a variety of flavors (some of my favorites are ranch, buffalo, and chipotle) and are an excellent low calorie/high protein snack. High fiber and high protein snacks along with plenty of water help keep you fuller longer and prevent binges between meals.

It’s a common misconception that when trying to lose weight you should eat less. While it’s true that you should use proper portions and stay within a healthy caloric intake, you should eat often to boost your metabolism. Eating every two to three hours prevents your hunger from getting out of control. Once it’s out of control and that feeling of insatiable hunger hits you’re more likely to binge. Having healthy and filling snacks on hand help keep the binges at bay and keep you on track to achieving your goals.

What are your favorite snacks? Leave your answer in the comments!



How to Get a Workout in Before Breakfast

I am not a “morning person,” I’m barely an all day person. I work full time in a school, I’m starting my Master’s program full time in May(Go Panthers!), and I volunteer as an advisor for my sorority (shameless plug for Alpha Gamma Delta at SJC!) so sometimes I just don’t have time to go to the gym. A lot of people will recommend waking up early and getting a workout in before starting your day and to those people, I refer you to sentence one of this post. But, just because I don’t wake up earlier doesn’t mean I don’t squeeze a workout into my morning routine.


Every good workout starts with a little stretching. I do a few light stretches in bed (after snoozing my alarm more times than I’d like to admit) to get my morning started.

Calf Raises

So simple yet so effective! I do calf raises constantly throughout my day; while I’m brushing my teeth, when I’m standing in line at Target, and pretty much any time I’m standing.

Walking Lunges

Another quick one- I lunge from the bathroom to the fridge! Simple as that, it may only be 8 lunges but 8 lunges are better than 0 lunges.


I squat in the kitchen while I’m packing my lunch. I look ridiculous while I’m doing it but my cats don’t judge. I take something out of the refrigerator, squat, put it in my lunchbox, squat, and repeat. Again, it may be only a few squats but it’s better than no squats.


Where I work we have something called “The Pit.” The Pit is the parking lot where most of us have to park and is also the furthest away from the building. Even if I’m running late, I make a point to park in The Pit. I end my morning routine with a morning walk outside, from the parking lot to my office.

While it’s important to try and make time for 30-45 minutes of exercise, that isn’t always an option. I hope this glimpse into my morning routine helps those of you who are like me: tired and busy with limited spare time.

Give this workout a try and leave your reviews and thoughts in the comments!


Fitness · Lifestyle

What to do if you’re an All-Or-Nothing Nosher

Tonight’s post will be short and sweet (lame pun shamelessly intended).

For me, when it comes to snacking there’s no such thing as moderation. Thanks to the POPSUGAR SnackID Quiz, I’ve learned this classifies me as an All-or-Nothing Nosher. And boy were they right. One of my biggest struggles when it comes to trying to change my eating habits is my “all-or-nothing” mentality. I cut myself off from my favorite “bad” snacks but, when presented with an opportunity to indulge, “moderation” is not in my vocabulary. Enter the all-or-nothing noshing. Suggested serving size? I suggest you keep your opinions to yourselves, Ben & Jerry! But, after inhaling a pint of ice cream, I’m left feeling both physically and mentally defeated. I learned that I need to treat my sweet tooth differently. Instead of completely cutting myself off from some of my favorite indulgences, I need to treat myself (I’m looking at you Tom Haverford!) to them on a more regular basis; that way, when faced with a plate of homemade brownies I won’t feel compelled to eat myself into a brownie coma.

It’s ok to eat some of your favorite things every now and then! Don’t cut yourself off completely because, in my experience, you’re more likely to binge and overindulge thus starting the vicious cycle of binging, feeling like crap, and either quitting altogether or taking your time to get back on track. Look at it like this: if you drop your phone you aren’t going to continue to smash it until it breaks just because you dropped it once; so don’t think that indulging in your favorite snacks every now and then is going to ruin all the hard work you’ve put in. Living a healthy lifestyle is all about balance so drink plenty of water, take the stairs, and eat that piece of office birthday cake.

I hope this has been helpful for you all! Don’t forget to leave your thoughts and questions in the comments!

Happy snacking!



True Life: I’m addicted to Bath & Body Works

I’m Marisa and I’m addicted to Bath & Body Work’s candles. I have to avoid B&BW as much as possible because, if left unsupervised, I will buy a minimum of 6 candles at a time. If you’ve ever shopped at B&BW you know their three-wick candles retail fro $22.50 each when they’re not on sale or running a BOGO promotion. So with such an expensive addiction, I refuse to throw the jars away after I’ve burned the candle down to the bottom. I decided to clean them out, take the label off and turn them into storage containers. IMG_4600

Here’s what to do:

I found the easiest way to get the leftover wax out of the bottom of the jar was to light the candle and let the wax melt a little. Once most of the wax is liquefied, I poured the wax into a plastic bottle. I let the wax sit for about 30 seconds then, with a butter knife, I gently pushed the wax and it should pop up off the bottom in one big piece (if it doesn’t come off in one piece it usually comes off in big chunks and is soft enough to use the butter knife to help lift the rest of the wax).

Once all the wax is cleaned out, I used a BBQ lighter to heat the wick holder and loosen the adhesive used to attach the holder to the jar. I heat the wick holder for approximately 3-5 seconds then used the butter knife to lift and remove it. This requires a little bit more force than removing the wax.

After all the wax and the wick holders are out of the jar, peel off the label and put a little Dawn dishwashing liquid in the jar, fill it with hot water and let it soak for a few minutes.

IMG_4613After the jar has soaked, using a Brillo pad and warm water, scrub the inside of the jar to remove any remaining oils, wax, and adhesive and scrub the bottom of the jar to remove the other label. Once the jar is clean, leave it to air dry.

Now that the jar is dry feel free to fill it with anything you’d like! I keep my jars in the bathroom to store dental floss and Q-tips!



Try it for yourself and leave your reviews or questions in the comments!

Happy recycling!


Exercise? I thought you said “Extra Fries!”

Summer is right around the corner and it’s looking more like cover-up season for me than bathing suit season but I’m working on it! One of my favorite workouts to do at home (if you have a treadmill) or at the gym is a Crossfit-inspired workout I found on It combines cardio and bodyweight strength exercises for an exhausting and effective workout.

Here’s what to do:

  • Run .5 mile
  • 10 pushups
  • 20 squats
  • 30 pushups
  • repeat for 6 rounds

All of the moves can be modified to fit your physical abilities.

Give it a try and leave your reviews in the comments!


*Disclaimer:  I am not a licensed medical professional, all views expressed are based on my own personal research and experiences. Please consult with your physician to discuss any medical questions prior to starting any exercise routine.

*Workout Routine credit: Jess Allen

Wine and Dine

Monday’s are for Moscato

With spring officially in season and summer right around the corner, I can’t help but start to plan all of the parties I want to have this year. My husband and I love to entertain and I love trying out new drink recipes and making signature drinks for all of our parties. One of my favorite spring/summer drinks is spiked strawberry lemonade. Lemonade is a staple drink for any summer get together and wine is necessary for hosting the summer get-togethers so combining them for the perfect summer drink seemed natural.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 bottle pink Moscato
  • 6 cups lemonade
  • 1/4 cup strawberry vodka
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 fresh lemon, sliced

Mix all the ingredients together in a larger pitcher or drink dispenser and enjoy!

Make a pitcher for your next spring or summer gathering and leave your reviews in the comments!