Farm Fresh Salad Recipe

Hello Darlings,

This past Saturday I spent the morning at the local farmers market in Grand Rapids. I picked up lots of fresh + local goodies. It was such a quaint and quiet morning spent alone, I really enjoyed it.

I thought I would share what I got with you and give you my current favorite salad recipe, made from some of the things I picked up at the market.

First, I picked up a coffee from a local coffee shop that I love (Madcap Coffee for the local readers). I adore the setting and vibes of the shop, and the lattes are always perfect. Then, I headed to the massive Fulton Street farmers market. There were a bunch of farmers and vendors to look through, I was overwhelmed with my options. So, I did a walk through first before purchasing any goodies.

Here’s what I got:

  • 3 zucchini for $1
  • 2 [huge] cucumbers for $1
  • Bouquet of sunflowers for $5
  • A little succulent for $2.50
  • Bag of mixed greens for $5

All adding up to just $14.50 – Talk about a steal!

There were lots of other affordable and fresh items that I chose not to buy this time because I am about leave for a trip. If you would be interested in a full Farmers Market haul, let me know in the comments. For this time around, the salad is made up of a mix of farm fresh and grocery store bought.

My Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Mixed Greens (my fave includes spinach, arugula + romaine)
  • Tuna (or chicken)
  • Half of an avocado
  • Diced cucumbers
  • Baby tomatoes
  • Shredded carrot
  • Diced onion
  • Herb + Garlic for taste (salt-free)
  • Apple cider vinegar for dressing

First, I washed the salad mix I picked up from the market. Then I chopped up all the goodies for the toppings. I added all the veggies to the top, then added tuna. Once that was done, I added seasoning (garlic + herb) and dressing (apple cider vinegar). Voila! Yummy + fresh salad to fill you tummy!

*The green shows which items were bought at the market. Though there are only two in this recipe, carrots, avocado, tomatoes, onion, fresh herbs and even chicken were available at this market. once again, I did not purchase these items this time due to an upcoming vacation.

This salad mix has been one of my go-to’s lately. It’s very filling and tasty.

After eating my salad, I re-potted the little succulent I bought and named it “Hazel”. How cute is she?!

I’m looking forward to my next trip to the market and I plan to buy lots more. Do you like visiting the local market? What’s your favorite recipe to make from it? Share below!

Thank you for reading today + I wish you a week of happiness. Smash your goals and be kind to everyone.

xo, Lyss

 

The Perfect Last Minute Gift

Hello Beautiful Souls,

Christmas is only a couple of days away and you know what that means: LAST MINUTE GIFTS. Here you are getting ready to head out to a holiday gathering, and then you remember you forgot to get the host of the party a gift. What are you going to do?! Fear not, I am here to help you kill the last minute gift game without the gift looking last minute. These gifts are also all under $25!

I will share 3 of my favorite last minute gift ideas below:

  1. The Chic & Cozy Bundle: This has actually been my go-to gift for the girls in my life. This gift consists of a pair of earrings, fuzzy socks and either a Pura Vida bracelet or lip balm. You can customize this to the person you are giving it to, but these items are super easy to find at any store.
  2. Coffee Lover: This gift set is easy and perfect for the coffee lovers in your life. Stop at your local coffee shop and pick up a gift card and a cute mug. You could also just buy the gift card; some people find this impersonal but for me, I would adore a simple gift card for coffee because I buy coffee almost everyday.
  3. The Yummy Bundle: You cannot go wrong with food. Everyone knows the holidays are a time to splurge on our diets! Create your very own bundle of food favorites. Maybe this can include a bag of coffee, holiday treats or a fancy cheese ball. I like giving food as a gift because you know the person will consume it. You don’t have that worry of wondering if they will like it.

Tip: After you pick up all these last minute gifts, the key to making them look stellar is all about how you wrap them. Invest in cute gifting boxes or simply tie the bundle with some fun ribbon.

These gifts are going to save the day and still be wonderful gifts. They are also very versatile gifts that can be customized as needed. Once again, you do not have to spend more than $25 dollars on any of these either. I have been utilizing some of these for my own gift giving, and I just spicing them up a little bit.

Thank you for reading this quick little gift guide. I will be posting another post today as well! The second one is directed toward my fellow college friends. This will probably be my final Christmas related post; therefore, I wish all my readers a wonderful holiday and safe travels. Thank you for always reading PYM.

Happy Holidays to all!

xo, Lyss

Single Girls Guide to the Holidays: Treat Yourself

Hello Pretty People,

This is the third and final post in the Single Girls Guide series, and this one is all about you. The holiday season is a time to give back to others, but it is also important to remember to take care of yourself. For a lot of my readers, you probably just finished a long semester and you could really use the “me” time to relax and reconnect. Taking some time to yourself is crucial to your mental and physical health. This post is going to share the best ways to kick back and relax this holiday break because sometimes you just gotta treat yourself!

Here are some great ways to treat yourself this holiday:

  1. Take a bath: Pick up a bath bomb from LUSH, grab your favorite face mask and some fashion magazines, and take a relaxing hot bath. This will rejuvenate you and your skin! Baths are the perfect way to spend some time alone and truly relax.
  2. Buy yourself a gift: Now that you are single you won’t have to spend that extra money on a gift for a significant other, so spend it on yourself. Buy yourself a new handbag or maybe that little party dress you have been eyeing; girl you deserve it!
  3. Get away: Take a small weekend trip to a bed and breakfast or spend the day in the city. Grab a coffee at a cute little downtown shop. Take a stroll through a park. Anything to clear your mind and refresh your inspiration. I will be taking a trip to Chicago with my mom to get out of my normal and make some memories. Being adventurous is always good for the soul.
  4. Go on a fun date: Now, this series is all about embracing the single life but it might not be a bad idea to go on a date with someone, just for funsies. This can be a long time guy friend or perhaps a new guy you’ve been crushing on. Just take a chance and enjoy the date, nothing has to be too serious.
  5. Sleep in: Girl, you need this one! Take a Saturday morning to yourself; sleep in, drink some hot tea and catch up on some Netflix. After a long semester or a long day of holiday shopping, you deserve a little splurge.
  6. Read a book: Now that you’re on break, it is the perfect time to pick up a good book and start reading. I know I can never find time to read during a busy semester, so I like to start a book over the holiday break. Nothing better than curling up with a fuzzy blanket, wearing cozy socks and drinking some coffee.

These are just a few of my favorite things to do when I want to relax and take some time to myself. Once again, the holidays are a great time to give back to others and show your appreciation, but don’t forget to show yourself a little love. Taking care of your mind, body and spirit is all so important to your overall happiness. This will also make others around you happy because you can spread your gratitude and happiness to them.

Here are my book recommendations for you:

Leave Your Mark | You are a Badass | #GirlbossHow to be Parisian Wherever You Are

Check out the last two Single Girls Guides here:

Friends | Family

Thank you so much for checking out this series on PYM, it has been so fun constructing these Single Girls Guides and I might continue the series in the new year. If you have enjoyed reading through these posts, let me know in the comments. I apologize for the late posting time, I have just returned home for the holidays and I am looking forward to spending time with family and friends. I wish all my readers Happy Holidays and safe travels to wherever you are going. Please continue to follow Pretty, Young & Motivated into the new year, and stay on the lookout for new content.

Don’t forget to check out the Holiday Outfit Guide here!

Happy Holidays, beautiful souls.

xo, Lyss

Holiday Outfit Guide: Christmas Time

Hello Babes,

I am beyond excited to share this post with all of you because it includes some of my favorite fashionable friends. You are in for a treat! I wanted to bring my friends into this post because everyone has a different sense of style, and I hope this post can meet some of your style tastes. This allows for you to see all sorts of winter fashion options if you are looking to switch up your wardrobe or if you need some outfit inspiration for that family Christmas party.

Some of the girls shared two looks with me, and other just shared one; I love all of their outfit choices! This guide is geared toward the winter season, but it is also perfect for those Christmas festivities with family and friends. I will first share the looks the girls shared with me, then I will share two of my own looks. Let’s get started:

Holiday Outfit Guide

Ivana: Polka Dots & Grey Hues

Ivana chose to pair an adorable polka dot sweater with an edgy leather jacket, she also added cold weather accessories to spice up the outfit look. I adore the hats with the pompoms on them, they add a chic style to any winter outfit. I met Ivana earlier this semester and I immediately loved her sense of style, it is trendy yet so unique. I love the way she can style any piece to perfection. I think the outfit she shared is perfect for that chilly day on campus or a stroll downtown. I absolutely love it!

Kolby: Cozy Flannel & Dark Wash Jeans

Kolby’s outfit is the perfect for a cold winter day; she layered a cozy flannel over a white shirt and topped the outfit off with the popular bean boots and a warm scarf. When you live in a chilly state like Michigan, this outfit is the ultimate go-to. It keeps you looking cute and cozy, while actually keeping you warm. I also met Kolby earlier this semester and I loved her style. I think that we have a very similar style, I would always catch her wearing some of my fashion favorites like flannels and statement necklaces. I was so excited when she agreed to participate in this post. I would define Kolby’s style as cute and casual; she always looks super cute and chic while always looking comfortable in everything she wears. I love that!

Festive Green Top & a Statement Necklace

The second outfit Kolby shared is perfect for going out to dinner with the family or spending some time shopping with the girls. I love the simplicity of this outfit, it is easy to pick out and go, but it has the statement necklace to spice it up. Adding a statement necklace to a plain shirt is the perfect way to give an outfit some finishing touches. I also like that she paired this outfit with tall rider boots. Another benefit of keeping it simple is the freedom to change up your shoe choice. You can pick any shoe that will meet your specific style.

Tessa: Layered Sweater & Bean Boots

Tessa loves to layer; Tessa is always wearing the most perfect outfits. She is the master of combining cozy & chic. In this picture she is pairing a denim button up with a cozy cable knit sweater. This is one of my favorite layering techniques. Unseen in this image, Tess is wearing dark wash jeans paired with bean boots. Like Kolby, she brings that cozy look to a chic level. Tessa is a very busy individual, and her Apple Watch is a huge staple piece to her wardrobe. I love that she has that signature piece as well; this makes her style so unique. I have known Tess for about 3 years, we use to cheer together at our university but now we are blogging besties. She always accomplishes a very stylish, finished look. Even when she is “bumming” it, she is totally put together. I adore her style and I often get inspiration for my own outfits from her. If you are more interested in her style and life, check out her personal blog at Simply Tess.

Lyss: Herrringbone Vest & Holiday Plaid Scarf

This is my new ultimate favorite outfit, it combines almost all of my favorite winter essentials. I absolutely love my blanket scarf because it is so warm and cozy. I highly recommend you purchase one. I actually borrowed this herringbone vest from my roomie and I fell in love with it. Vests are a key staple piece to your winter wardrobe. Along with the vest, I layered with my white knitted sweater and dark wash jeans. My boots resemble the popular bean boots but they are actually Sperry brand. I added my scarf in one look, but I also added one of my favorite statement necklaces to show you all the different possibilities with this outfit. I know I will be wearing this outfit a bunch on my holiday and out to winter activities. You can recreate this with your favorite sweater and any old vest.

Bright Flannel & Skater Skirt

Y’all know that I like to throw a fancy outfit in the mix. This is a great outfit for that holiday Christmas party or an evening out on the town. I have been styling similar outfits to this one for work, and I love them. In this specific look, I paired my favorite flannel with a black high-waisted skirt. Since it is chilly, and it finishes the look, I added black tights to the outfit. You can pair this with almost any boot or bootie, and of course, I paired mine with my favorite taupe wedges from TOMS shoes. I love this outfit and I will probably be wearing something similar to family holiday parties.

This post is my all time favorite because not only did I finally get to take my own outfit pictures but some of my fashionable friends were able to participate. I really hope you all love it as much as I do. Thank you for reading today and make sure you share this with all your fashionable friends. I would also love to hear which look is your favorite in the comments below. I apologize for the later posting times this week but it was final exam week here at my university. I have so many exciting posts prepared for the next few weeks, so make sure you subscribe to catch all the latest updates.

If you missed my last Single Girls Guide, check it out here!

If you want to check out the Thanksgiving Outfit Guide, click here!

Happy Holidays & Safe Travels.

xo, Lyss

Single Girls Guide to the Holidays: Friends

Hello Little Christmas Elves,

It’s time for the next post in the Single Girls Guide to the Holidays here on Pretty, Young & Motivated; and this week’s guide is going to share some festive activities you can do with your girl gang. Last week, I talked about activities that you can do with your family, and most of the ones I will share today are some that you can also do with family too. If you missed it, check it out right here. This week I have fallen into the Christmas spirit because it has been nonstop snowing in Michigan. I cannot believe Christmas is only two weeks away!

Spending time with some of your best friends is another great way to fill your heart with happiness. I know I love visiting friends around the holidays, especially the ones from my hometown that I do not see when I’m at school. The next few activities I am going to share are just some things that you can do when you are on holiday from university or your workplace. I know the Christmas season is one of my favorite times of the year, and there is so much joy to be spread. Check out these activities to fill your holiday plans with fun:

  1. Go ice skating in the city: Many larger cities have ice rinks located in the downtown area, and they are usually very inexpensive. In Grand Rapids area, Rosa Parks circle is a popular place to go ice skating and skate rentals are only $2. This activity will surely put you in the holiday spirit! Most rinks are decorated with sparkling lights and huge Christmas trees.
  2. Wine & Christmas Movies: I mentioned something similar in the last post, but this one has the wine twist to it. Pick up your favorite bottle of wine, grab the girls and watch your favorite Christmas movie. This is a great activity for those super snowy days, when it’s too cold to go outside and you’re snowed in. You can also use this as a celebration to finishing the Fall semester if you are a college student.
  3. Attend or host an ugly sweater party: The best way to gather friends is by throwing an ugly sweater party! This is the perfect time to do a White Elephant or Secret Santa. The season is not about gifts, but who doesn’t love exchanging gifts. Also, if you are heading somewhere for the holidays, this is a great opportunity to get gang together before the holiday break.
  4. Go shopping: There are so many amazing deals around the holidays, you cannot miss the sales. Grab your girls and plan a day of shopping. Help style each other’s outfits, grab a bite to eat and enjoy the day. This is also a great time to purchase some gifts for others. Working in retail, I am at an outlet mall all the time and it takes all I got not to buy everything.
  5. Grab coffee with an old friend or a new one: I love spending time in coffee shops, but I love it even more in the winter. Cozy up with a hot latte, grab an old friend and catch up on life. This is a wonderful date to set if you are returning home for the holidays and you want to see an old friend. Another idea is to meet a new friend for coffee. Talking over coffee is a fun way to get to know someone, and brace the cold together.
  6. Volunteer: This is one of my favorite ways to spread holiday cheer; there are so many opportunities to volunteer around the holidays but it can be hard to do alone. Get a group of your friends or coworkers together and volunteer at the local homeless shelter or food bank. This will make you have a greater appreciation for the season and fill your heart with some true holiday spirit.

 

Here are some of my coffee shop suggestions if you are in the Grand Rapids area:

Ferris Coffee & Nut | The Sparrows | Lantern Coffee Bar

Check out Rosa Parks Circle for ice skating here!

You can find out where to volunteer in Grand Rapids here.

 

 

 

There is so much cheer to be spread during the holidays, and I think gathering with the people you love is a wonderful way to fill your heart with Christmas cheer. Volunteering to the less fortunate is also a great way to appreciate the things you have. Don’t get me wrong, I love giving gifts to friends & family; it’s fun! Just remember the true meaning of the holidays is to bring people together and spread kindness. Small acts of kindness will bring your heart so much joy.

Thank you for reading the second guide in the Single Girls Guide series. I really hoped you liked this one, and I would love to hear what your favorite activities to do with friends are. Share in the comments below! Be sure to subscribe to receive updates about PYM. This week I will be sharing the second Holiday Outfit Guide, and this one will include some of my beautiful fashionable friends. I cannot wait to share it with all of you. Thanks again for reading today!

Happy Monday.

xo, Lyss