Sweeter than Serenity: April 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Squattin All May Long

Squattin All May Long

It's almost summer, and that means it's time to get ready for swimsuit season! For the entire month of May, I will be hosting a squat challenge. The calendar above provides a day by day guide for the squat challenge on each day of May. So, how does the challenge work?
  1. Be sure to follow Sweeter than Serenity on Facebook (Sweeter than Serenity), Instagram (@hanner_janner), and Twitter (@hanner_janner) for daily updates on the Squattin All May Long challenge
  2. Send an email to hannahmarieanderson11@gmail.com to let me know you are participating
  3. On the last day, be sure to email me again letting me know that you completed the challenge
  4. All participants that complete the challenge will be entered into a drawing to win a grab bag of health and fitness goodies
That's all there is to it! Be sure to save this calendar to follow along on the challenge! Remember, the challenge starts tomorrow! Also, don't forget to follow me on GFC and Bloglovin!

God Bless!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mother's Day Gift Picks

Every May brings the challenge of deciding what that perfect Mother's Day gift is going to be! Whether it's your mom, grandma, step-mom, or another special woman in your life, we all love to show the women in our lives how much we care about them with the perfect gift! Here are my top 5 Mother's Day gift picks!

Family Name Bracelet - Hand Stamped Charm Bracelet - Family Bracelet - Personalized Bracelet - Kids Names - Grandma - Gift for Her - Mom


For Keeps-Spotted Plume

I hope everyone is having a great Tuesday! Tune in tomorrow to sign up and join my "Squattin' All May Long" summer-ready challenge! 

God Bless!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Raindrops on Roses

Dress: Forever 21 (similar)
Cardigan: J.Crew Factory
Wellies: Hunter

Yesterday was another rainy day in Fayetteville. One of my biggest challenges is dressing for rain when I'm wearing a dress, so I came up with a way to pair my Hunter wellies with a dress! A little color matching with the dress, and it pulls right together into a cute outfit. What is your favorite way to combat the rain in a dress?

I have a small request for all my lovely readers. A big tornado tore through my home state yesterday, just 5 miles south of where I will be moving to in July. Pure destruction took place, so if you could take a minute and say a quick prayer for those affected, I would really appreciate it!

God Bless!

P.S. - The Tory Burch Family and Friends 25% off sale ends at midnight! Check it out here.
Perfectly Coutured
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Friday, April 25, 2014

Fast Facts Friday

It's time for Fast Facts Friday! This week I'll be answering two questions that I received! Remember, if you have a question, feel free to comment, email, facebook, or any other social media message me with it!

1) What is your favorite exercise, and why?

As a Beachbody Insanity instructor, my favorite exercise of course comes from Insanity. There are many challenging exercises in Insanity, but my favorite is the Diamond Jumps. I love them because when I first started doing Insanity about three and a half years ago, I literally just stared at my tv and watched them do it and thought to myself, "are they crazy!? They expect me to do that!?" I slowly got better at them, and I could do 4 or 5 in the 30 second bouts. Now, I can make it the whole 30 seconds doing them non-stop, which took a really long time to accomplish! Diamond Jumps just make me feel strong and in-shape, so I love them!

2) What is your favorite fashion trend currently?

Oh my goodness, I cannot get enough of all things nautical. Just wait for the next few weeks, I have so many nautical outfits that I can't wait to share! From anchors to sailboats to navy and red stripes, it's just so fun and makes me feel happy to wear! J.Crew Factory has so many items to satisfy that nautical look! Which one is your favorite?

Nautical Looks with J.Crew Factory

I would love it if you would follow me on Facebook, GFC, and Bloglovin! Have a great weekend!

God Bless!
P.S. - There's still a few days left on my Simple Addiction Giveaway!
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Thursday, April 24, 2014

I'm Feeling 22!

Top: old (similar)
Bag: Steve Madden via Hautelook

This past Saturday I turned the big 22!! You better believe I was singing Taylor Swift ALL DAY!! (much to C's dismay!). I had a wonderful day filled with so much happiness! I got to start my day working out to Insanity with friends (to combat all the wonderful foods I ate all day!). I came home to have C making me a giant birthday breakfast! My parents and younger sister drove to see me and take me to lunch, and my friends went out for dinner with me to top off the night! Here are a few pictures from the weekend!

Don't forget you still have time to enter the Simple Addiction giveaway! Also, I would love it if you would follow me! Have a great rest of the week!

God Bless!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Eat This, Not That


As a fitness instructor, I really like to make sure I am taking care of my body in any and all ways that I can. If there's one thing that really makes me mad about trying to be healthy, it's all the misleading labels on food products out there. Just because it says "low fat" doesn't mean it's healthy, because low fat can sometimes mean more sugar, and that totally defeats the purpose of trying to make the healthy choice in the first place!

Introducing: Eat This, Not That (yes roll your eyes, you've heard it a thousand times, but have you really ever scrutinized the nutrition labels on the foods you're eating?)

1) Your Yogurt


First of all, if you're not eating greek yogurt, then you should probably go ahead and make that change first. Greek yogurt has so much more protein than regular yogurt, meaning it is going to keep you feeling full longer. 

If you've already moved on to greek yogurt, then congratulations, that is step one to finding healthy yogurt. However, now it's time to read those nutrition labels and get the most out of those calories that you are consuming. Check out the labels above. The one on the top is Dannon Lite & Fit Strawberry Greek Yogurt, and the one on the bottom is Chobani Strawberry Greek Yogurt. A couple things to notice:
  1.  The Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt has significantly fewer calories than the Chobani yogurt
  2. The total grams of fat is the same, and Chobani has just slightly more grams of protein than Dannon Lite & Fit
  3. Here's the big one: look at the sugar. Dannon Lite & Fit has just 7 grams of sugar, while Chobani has 19 grams of sugar!! That means there are more carbs in the Chobani (20) in comparison to the Dannon Lite & Fit (9). 
For carbohydrates, there are about 4 Calories per gram, meaning that there are 44 extra calories from carbohydrates in the Chobani than in the Dannon Lite & Fit, and 36 of which are from sugar! If you ask me, I think the clear winner on greek yogurt is Dannon Lite & Fit.

 2) Your Afternoon Snack


One of my favorite afternoon snacks is popcorn, but I have to be careful with it, because popcorn can pack quite a bit of extra fat depending on how you flavor it. Above are two nutrition labels, the one on the top is Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop Kettle Korn, and the one on the bottom is Act II Butter popcorn. Here are the main things to look at:
  1. Total Calories: 100 compared to 170, so clearly there is something extra in the Butter popcorn!
  2. Carbohydrates are similar, and so is protein
  3. Look at the total fat. The kettle korn has just 2 grams of fat, while the butter popcorn has 11 grams of fat. 
 Since fat is about 9 Calories per gram, that is 18 Calories in the kettle korn compared to 99 Calories in the butter popcorn. To me, the clear winner here is the Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop Kettle Korn (and it's tasty!).

3) What's in that Guacamole?


People say guacamole and think either one of two things: 
  1. That's healthy!
  2. That has lots of fat in it.
Honestly, both are true. It is very healthy because of all the good fats in it, but at the same time, everything in moderation because of the amount of fat! Here's the real kicker though, are you really eating guacamole made from avocados?

The one on the top is Wholly Guacamole, and the one on the bottom is Deans Guacamole Dip. As you can see, Wholly Guacamole has very simple, normal ingredients, as guacamole should. Now let's look at Dean's. First of all, why is there coconut oil in guacamole?? Not that it's a bad thing to eat, but it's guacamole we're eating here. Second of all, the main ingredient of guacamole is avocados, yet the label clearly says: "less than 2% of: avocado....". Um, what? Isn't this guacamole dip? Clearly, my winner is Wholly Guacamole because of the simple ingredients. If I can't pronounce the name of an ingredient, then I probably shouldn't be consuming it.

I tend to get on a soapbox when it comes to eating healthy, so I'll go ahead and put it on pause for now. If you have any questions for me, I would love to answer them! Also, don't forget about my Simple Addiction giveaway!

I would love it if you would follow me! Just click "join this site" on the right! :)

God Bless!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Flower Power

Today I am thrilled to be collaborating with Darcy from A Memory of Us to bring you one of my favorite spring style trends: florals! Florals are one of my favorite patterns to wear in the spring, because they are so girly and fun! Florals can be worn in almost any outfit, including a fun casual look like mine, or a more dressed up look for work like Darcy's. Darcy and I have a very similar style, and I just really love her blog! To see more of Darcy's look, and to visit her beautiful blog, you can visit it here.

Skirt: Forever 21

What is your favorite way to wear florals? Ps, don't forget about my Simple Addiction giveaway!

God Bless!

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Anchors Away + Giveaway!

Necklace: Riffraff
Bracelets: Alex and Ani, Simple Addiction
Clutch: Hobo Lauren

As many of you know, I really enjoy finding a good deal on items. No matter what the item is, I always shop around and search for the best deals. That being said, I am happy to introduce you to a site that does just that for you: give you the BEST deals on clothing and accessories. Simple Addiction has been one of my favorite sites ever since I discovered it over a year ago, and I love to purchase items from them, especially their accessories! The anchor bracelet that I am wearing is one of my favorite purchases from Simple Addiction!

Simple Addiction has been kind enough to offer a gift card to one of my sweet readers! Simply follow the instructions below and enter to win a gift card to Simple Addiction! Make sure you visit their website to view all of their great deals!

125 Banner

God Bless!


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Friday, April 18, 2014

Fast Facts Friday

I'm excited to start up a new series on Fridays, called "Fast Facts Friday." Each Friday I will be presenting facts to you regarding fashion, nutrition, fitness, healthy lifestyles, and just life in general. I'm happy to announce that each of my readers have the option of submitting a question for me to answer! You can present it in a comment, you can email it to me, facebook it to me, tweet it at me, teleport to me and tell me (ha! jk, but really, so many technological ways of conversing!).

To kick off Fast Facts Friday, I'll start with providing some fast facts about myself!

1) I am a Christian

Above all else, my personal relationship with Jesus Christ is of the most value to me. I became a Christian when I was a child and grew up going to church. When I came to college and began to live on my own, it really struck so much more how much I need God in my life, and my relationship has grown in leaps and bounds in the past four years. Since taking these steps to further my relationship with God, I have became very passionate about sharing my faith with others, and I've been taking steps out into the world (literally), and sharing my faith.

I have been on four mission trips since I came to college, and I am getting ready for my fifth trip in just a few short weeks. My first trip was to Olympia, WA where I helped spread the word about new church plant there. My second trip was to Nashville, TN where I provided community service and also helped reach out to international populations and invite them to church. My third trip was to East Asia where I worked with college students in a city and spread the Gospel while helping them practice English and learn about the US. My most recent trip was to Sydney, Australia. I spent two and half a months living there last summer, and we did a wide variety of service and spreading the Gospel, including ministering in schools and food banks.

I am excited to announce that I will be leaving to go to Belize the day after graduation (May 11-18). I will be joining a group going to Belize, and I am excited to see what service and Gospel sharing opportunities that God will present me with.

The picture below is from the going away party when my roommate and I left Australia. We grew to love every single person in the church we partnered with, and I miss them often!

2) I'm a really big nerd

It's true. I really enjoy learning, especially when it comes to anything pertaining to the human body. I am about to complete my honors thesis research, and I currently a walking information book on sweating and skin blood flow. I'm so nerdy that as I have been coming up with names for my future dog (that I'm really hoping to get this summer!), I seriously thought the name Erlenmeyer (Meyers for short) would be a great name. If you don't know what that is, then you're lucky to not have spent time in a lab. My alternate dog names? Clint Eastwood, or maybe Sean Connery (I don't really go for the normal pet names).

The picture below is me with my poster that I presented yesterday. I was beyond excited to get the symposium done with, and now I just have to present one more time!

Well, that's enough about me for this week! Start sending me your questions! I'm really excited to answer them! Questions will be kept anonymous, so don't be afraid to ask anything! Questions about exercise but too afraid to ask people around you? Send it in and I'll be happy to answer it! Also, don't forget to follow this blog! :)

God Bless!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Seeing Spots

Top: Loft (old) (identical)
Heels: old (similar) (love these!)
Necklace: Groopdealz

I can't get over this bag that I found for quite a steal. I was just leisurely looking through Hautelook to see what I could find, and I came across this beauty of a bag for half off! Yep, this pretty Steve Madden bag was just $44! It's great quality and it comes with a shoulder strap. I highly recommend this bag if you are looking for a good quality everyday bag!

Well, today is the big day! I'm presenting my research at the Honors Symposium this afternoon! If you think of it, say a little prayer for me, because I'm so nervous! Just one more presentation after tomorrow, I can't wait to be done!

God Bless!