Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My Rent the Runway Experience!

You guize.
I just ordered two dresses from Rent the Runway and I am now madly in love with that service. Whoever though to rent out designer gowns to normal gals like me is a freaking genius. Genius, I say!

I couldn't decide which dress to order for my husband's Welcome Home Party, so I spent almost three days trying to find the perfect dress. Seriously, three days (which is pretty typical if you know the way I roll). I finally decided on a purple Herve Leger and a cream and silver Slate & Willow. 

Herv%E9%20L%E9ger - Purple%20Fusion%20SheathSlate%20%26%20Willow - Madeline%20Sheath
I didn't decide which dress I was wearing until about 15 minutes before we were set to leave. My hubs voted for the purple, but I fell in love with the delicate lace on the Slate & Willow. 

Ultimately, I went with the Herve, and here's why...

1) I felt like a freakin' BOMBSHELL in it. It sucks in everything, while still accentuating all your curves. I've been eating clean and working hard on that bod bod, so I really wanted to show it off. 

2. It was comfortable. The material was so stretchy that I felt like I was wearing a tank top and yoga pants all night. I could dance and walk around with ease, no pulling down or worrying my booty was showing.

3. The color was gorg. It was this rich, purple jewel tone that looked amazing with my spray-on tan. 

4. Did I mention that I felt like a bombshell?! Well, I did.

Don't get me wrong; I looooved the Slate & Willow, but there were a couple things I just couldn't get past:

1) The nude lining under the first layer kept riding up every time I walked, so I was pulling the dress down every 30 seconds or so. I would have been doing that all. night. long. and that's exhausting.

2) It was short. So short that had I lifted my arms up doing the Macarena (and yes, we did the Macarena), my tanned butt cheeks would have taken center stage.

3) There was ZERO support for my two lady friends. Granted, I don't need much support, I still like some shape and to not feel "floppy" if ya catch my drift. The stick bra that I bought would have shown (it had flaps on the sides), so that was out, and I wasn't about to go gaspbralessgasp. Not my style. 

But, in its defense, the dress is beautiful, and I'm happy I snapped some pics to remember how awesome I felt in it. 

Ain't she purrrrrty though?!

As far as Rent the Runway goes, I cannot say enough wonderful things about them. My dresses (and that Kate Spade book clutch I got for $10) were delivered straight to my door the day before the event, and I was even able to get two sizes in the Slate & Willow for no extra charge. There wasn't a size up in the Herve, so I just hoped and prayed the size small would fit. They also offer to overnight you a different size or a totally different dress if your choices don't fit. And you don't have to pay to send your rentals back-they include a prepaid envelope to put everything in-all you have to do is drop it off at a UPS Store, easy peasy!

I will FOR SURE be renting from them again, I'm already planning a family photo shoot and will be dressing everyone else around ME this time. So get ready, RTR, you're about to get a lot more of my money. 

P.S. If you're interested in renting, I'd love it if you used my referral code; we'll both get a $20 credit (yours will come after your first rental):

Monday, March 3, 2014

18 days...

Spring's first official day is March 20th, which is 18 days away. Now, that doesn't mean no more snow or subzero temperatures, but at least we're one day closer to summer, right?

I can't wait for gauzy crop tops, breezy scarves, and FLATS! No more winter slush soaking through my boots and drenching my wool sucks (grossest feeling ever, btw), I cannot wait.

The Farmer's Almanac calls for an "unseasonably warm patch" in April, but it will unfortunately be short lived, as we can expect another massive snowstorm to quickly follow on its heels. Colder temperatures will continue into May, but the good news is that it should be warm enough for a light jacket by Memorial Day. Yay (sarcasm?). 

Anyways, this isn't a weather blog, and now that I've probably caused you severe depression, take a look at these pretty little things I've discovered just for you. Lots of pastels, polka dots, flowers, and even some lips. It's never too early to start thinking about tulips and Easter baskets, so read on (and grab your debit card because you're gonna need it)!

That daisy clutch is going right in my shopping card, along with both pairs of those sunglasses, and the metallic kitten heels. There's absolutely nothing drab about springtime, amIright?

Sunday, March 2, 2014


It's one of my favorite days of the year-Oscar Sunday! It is my ultimate dream in life to walk the Oscars red carpet, and I love spending half the day drooling over gowns, jewels, and manicures. Plus, seeing some of those Hollywood dudes in tuxes ain't half bad either. 

The thought of picking out what I'd wear if I were ever lucky enough to attend makes me break out in hives, and choosing my favorite gown from year's past is nearly impossible (but I'll try for you). 

Check out this illustration of what each Best Actress winner wore to Oscars' past...

source                                                                        source

I mean...come on. Does it get any more classic than Grace Kelly?! And I'm just obsessed with that Dior on Reese. So gorgeous (and can we talk about "Walk the Line"...ummm, wow).

I looooooved Jessica Rabbit Chastain last year, as well as Gwyneth Paltrow from 2012

source                                                      source

That cape. I die.

Just for kicks, I threw together some boards on Polyvore, which one is your favorite? I'm obsessed with all of them, but have always said I'd wear Marchesa if I ever got the chance. Although that Elie Saab has a cape, and we know by now how I feel about those...

This gown is a little edgy, and I love that. B&W is a huge trend this season, and I'm totally in love with those Nicholas Kirkwood pumps. 

I think this is the gown I'd choose, because, well, who wouldn't want to feel like Cinderella on their big night? Marchesa is great with dreamy gowns made of tulle and lace (remember that Olivia Wilde dress? No? Let me refresh your memory)...
source                                                                 source

This was my first introduction to the world of Marchesa and I've been in love ever since. Can you blame me?!

This look reminded me of Grace Kelly. I love the powdery blue and pink together, it's just so 1950's Parisian to me (at least what I dream it would be). The silhouette of that gown is just plain gorgeous too.

There's nothing NOT sexy about this ensemble. Look at those cutouts! Look at those heels! Even the clutch oozes sex. 

I don't need to say much about this one, besides the fact that it's my Little Red Riding Hood-Cinderella hybrid. Don't those shoes look like a more goth version of the infamous glass slippers? And we all know you can't go wrong with red soles. You just...can't.

So, if you were attending the Oscars today, who would you be outfitted in? Prada? Zac? Stella? Oscar? Share your choices with me, and let me know who rocked your all-time favorite look!

Keep up with Carlea Jane on Facebook too, I'll be live commenting on the red carpet looks (from my little townhouse in Upstate NY)!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday's Pinspiration!

Guys, it's cold. Like, really cold. My excitement for the changing seasons was short-lived this year because I quickly realized that once it becomes "heavy duty winter jacket weather", it takes about 10x longer to get my kiddo in and out of the car. Getting in: gather jacket, mittens, and hat. Climb in car. Tell him three times to stop playing with the light. Get buckled in. Start the car. Wait for it to warm up. Leave. Getting out: Find a parking spot that is close enough to where we're headed so we don't freeze on the walk there. Unbuckle car seat. Find hat and the mittens that have been thrown around the backseat. Put on jacket after answering the question, "Why do I need my jacket?" at least twice. Run to our destination. It's tiring, I tell ya. So yes, I'm back to being ready for tank tops and flip flops. Unfortunately, I live in MN/NY, so my dreams of a tropical Christmas will never happen. I have accepted that.

The only good thing about this weather is the adorable clothing that comes along with it. I don't know a single person who doesn't love fall fashion. It's all about comfy, cozy sweaters, tall boots, and scarves. Seriously, who doesn't love scarves?! Anyways, I came across this photo of Amber Fillerup from Barefoot Blonde and just had to share it with you! Of course, I did my own interpretation of it as well, for a cheaper alternative!

Isn't she gorgeous?! I'm totally jealous of that hair. And the hat. Here's my take on the super easy-to-wear outfit, although if you're in a cold weather climate like me, you'll definitely need a jacket!

All the details for this outfit can be found on my Polyvore page!

It is now time for bed. At 8:45. I have been working my buns off (well, "toning" my buns off is more like it), and did an hour long Body Pump class tonight while fighting a cold, so I think it's time for me to hit the hay and refuel. We've got a busy week ahead!

Monday, October 28, 2013

My week ahead {and a recap}...

How is it the end of October already? I am the absolute last person to complain about that, but I swear, it was JUST June, wasn't it?! I love autumn just as much as the next person, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss the warmer temps just a little bit. 

Last week was insane for us; I didn't feel like there was enough time in the whole week to get everything accomplished that I needed to, but I somehow did. We had Halloween and birthday parties, appointments, and Broadway shows thrown in the mix (along with the day-to-day things like going to the gym, swimming lessons, and homework), and while it was a fun-filled weekend, I'm happy to tackle Monday in my pajamas.

I just finished a super awesome body weight challenge courtesy of The Betty Rocker (www.thebettyrocker.com) that lasted four looong weeks. The challenges were insanely hard, but I managed to finish them! I slacked off the last week because I was so busy, but I'm going to finish up this week, and then see what kind of progress I've made. My main goal was to tone up a bit, and I definitely see a difference there, but I still have a ways to go. It's definitely crunch time, as I have about 2 1/2 months to be where I truly want to be-but I'm not putting a time limit on my health, I'm just going to do the best I can do, which is better than nothing!

Here's me at the beginning of my journey (back in April)...
Feeling lumpy, squishy, and just unattractive!

Keep an eye out next week for a current photo! ;)

My new goal for the month of November is to focus on cardio again, and keep strengthening my shins and knees so I'm able to run this 8K on Thanksgiving morning (seriously, I'm crazy, I know). I've only been jogging a few days a week and not supplementing with anymore cardio, so I really need to step up my game and keep my eye on the prize-or the finish line! My local YMCA is also starting up Jillian Michaels' Body Shred classes, so you can bet that I'll be attending those as well! Woo-hoo, I'm excited!

Gonna give this treadmill workout a try today (along with 30 m of the elliptical)!

20 Minute Treadmill Interval Workout - Snap Fitness

Here's my meal plan for the week (or some semblance of one):

Monday: I have tutoring on Monday nights, so I usually grab a Power Smoothie and salad from Panera
Tuesday: Chicken Enchilada Soup (it's supposed to snow tomorrow, so soup sounds perfect!)
Thursday: Since it's Halloween, we will probably do sandwiches/wraps/salads for convenience
Saturday: We have a going away party, so we'll be eating there!
Sunday: Spinach and Feta Pasta (I use whole wheat/veggie pasta instead)

So...four meals seems totally doable for me, right? I seem to have lost my desire to cook since moving back in (temporarily!) with my parents. It's so much easier to let them do the cooking, but if I want to stay on the right track, I've gotta do it myself! 

I am headed to the gym to do a little cardio today, what are you doing to stay active? I'd love to hear! In the meantime, recite this to yourself today if you feel discouraged-I had a rough week last week, but I'm determined to push through it and not let it bring me down! Have a wonderful Monday!

Diet and Exercise Motivation

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My journey (so far)...

Before I turn this into a full-blown fitness blog (I promise I'll still do outfit posts and inspiration), I figure I better tell my story!

My journey began back in May of 2013 when my husband left for Afghanistan. I always set goals for myself for deployments because they help the time fly by a little faster. Plus, I like to make my man proud of me and not make it seem as if all I've done was spend his money and sit on the couch. I started slowly, cutting out soda and fast food and hitting up the gym a couple times a week if I had time. I was so unhappy with my body but not really willing to make a big life change. I thought I could do 45 (ok, it was usually 30) minutes on the elliptical and call it a day, then go home and have a beer or two with dinner. I wondered why I didn't lose any weight or see any change in my body or my mood.

It wasn't until I moved to Minnesota and got a membership at the local YMCA (shoutout to the Y for giving military families of deployed soldiers free memberships, you guys are AWESOME) when I really started changing things up. I started going 3 times a week and even trying a class here and there. I quickly realized how much I looooved the high I got after a good workout. After speaking to a friend of mine who is a total guru and inspiration to me, I decided that I needed to start incorporating more strength training into my regimen. I started lifting weights and signed up for TRX which is an amazing workout! Along with working out steadily, I completely changed up my diet. I cut out processed food (that includes "low calorie" and "low fat" foods) and started eating as cleanly as possible. It's been a challenge, but I find it fun to read ingredients and find new ways to fuel my body. Not easy but totally worth it!

I have noticed small changes in the way I look, but the way I feel has done a 180. I have more energy, my anxiety levels are so much lower, and I have my self-confidence back.

I'm nowhere near the end of this journey, nor do I think I will ever be, but I am well on my way! I'm not a fitness expert, nor will I ever claim to be, but I am slowly learning the ropes and figuring out what works best for my body!

Here I am around March of 2013:

And this is October of 2013:

So that's where I'm at as of present day-a long ways to go, but definitely better than where I began! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Meatless Monday: Spinach & Black Bean Burritos

Since my husband is gone, I can eat whatever I want for dinner, and I've decided to start "Meatless Mondays" in our household. It definitely hasn't been hard to find good, healthy, recipes that don't contain meat, but I'm a picky eater (and I'm still attempting to feed an even pickier 3-year old) so it can sometimes be tricky. I came across this pin on Pinterest the other day and it looked pretty darn delish, so I knew I had to give it a whirl. It was super duper easy to make, and filled me up without making me feel gross. My food photography skillz aren't good at all, but you'll get the general idea. 

The recipe is from Skinny Ms.

  • 6 cups baby spinach, loosely packed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked brown rice or Mexican Rice, 
  • 1/2 cups chopped romaine heart lettuce
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, reduced-fat
  • 1/2 cup salsa, optional Pico de Gallo (I used pico and no salsa)
  • 6 tablespoons Greek yogurt, fat-free (I'm not a Greek yogurt fan, so I used avocado hummus)
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 6 (8" whole grain) wraps or tortillas
To warm tortillas, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Stack tortillas, wrap in foil, place on a cookie sheet and warm 15 minutes while preparing ingredients.
Place spinach in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, or use a knife to dice leaves. In a large skillet turn to medium-heat, add black beans and spinach. Heat until spinach is wilted, approximately 3 minutes.
Evenly distribute spinach and bean mixture in the middle of the wraps (leaving about 2" on one end for folding), add 1/4 cup rice to each wrap, add lettuce, cheese, salsa and Greek yogurt evenly over wraps. Fold wraps over and under on the ends.