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.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Most Hated Pants in Fashion?

I think I've only met a handful of people who like harem pants. I know a lot of people think they make you look like you're wearing a diaper, but I just can't hide my love for them. I wore them on my birthday (which, if you know me, you know that my birthday outfit is a BIG deal), and got lots of compliments on my look, so I tried to re-style them again and see what I came up with!

It's best to wear these high-waisted, in order to avoid the ultimate saggy crotch (excuse my language, but there's just no better way to put it), and I love them with a simple tank.


Find a fun graphic tank and knot it to the side. Pair with simple sandals for a comfy day of running errands!

{tank} Target- similar
{pants} H&M (in stores)- similar
{sandals} Taget- similar

This look is a little dressier, I paired it with a wispy button up cami and heels (my newest purchase that I'm in LOVE with-$15 on clearance!). I also love a bustier top with these, especially when you're trying to dress it up a bit!

{top} Forever 21- similar
{shoes} Target- similar
{cuff} Charlotte Russe- similar

And this is the way I'd probably be most likely to wear these. I'm way more of a sandals and tank kinda girl, so if I don't have anywhere to really go, this is my go-to look.

{tank} H&M
{sandals} Target
{necklace} Forever 21

Since you definitely can wear these with something other than a tank top, I've paired it with a chambray button up and tried mixing some patterns with a fun striped moto jacket.

LEFT LOOK: {chambray shirt} Old Navy- similar
{wedges} Target

RIGHT LOOK: {moto jacket} Charlotte Russe- similar
{tank} Old Navy
{necklace} ?- similar
{heels} Target- similar

Welp, that's all I've got for today, folks! Maybe I've changed at least one mind about harem pants and have convinced someone to try 'em out! Can't hurt, right?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Blues & Greens

I'm so bad at getting back to people. I've been trying to set up an OpLove (www.oplove.org)  photoshoot since before Father's Day and am still sitting here trying to get it all organized. I swear, it seems like I have nothing to do each day, yet when I try to plan something, I have all these commitments! 

Anyways, since the shoots are typically supposed to be patriotic themed, I bought this perfect dress from Old Navy, and it's just been sitting in my closet since the beginning of June. I've been wanting to wear it since it's so adorable and perfect for cooler summer days, so I finally dusted it off and put it on. Still love it. ;)

I think this would be super adorable belted too, I think a fun tribal print belt would be perfect!

The nude heels were also a steal-$9 on clearance! Yeah, going back to Target on Wednesday to snatch up a few more clearance pairs!

{dress} Old Navy- similar
{necklace} eBay- similar
{shoes} Target- similar

Thank the Lord I'm getting my hair done on Wednesday...whew, I am the Hot Mess Express! ;)

Monday, July 29, 2013

What I Wore: Annie

My mom and I had tickets to the local production of Annie on Saturday, which kicked off our "theatre extravaganza", as I like to call it. We're seeing "Les Miserables" next weekend, "Pride and Prejudice" this summer, and hopefully "Wicked" in the fall-I am EXCITED!

Since the play was at my old high school, I went casual in jeans and a blazer, but had a tough time deciding which blazer to wear (I ultimately went with the pink since it was more summer-y, even though it was 55 and rainy that night).

I'm seriously obsessed with these Old Navy tees that I got for a freakin' steal at $3 each (they've since gone up in price)! I feel like I never get awesome deals like that!

{blazer} Charlotte Russe- similar
{t-shirt} Old Navy
{heels} Target

I'm also wearing my Apple of My Eye J.Crew inspired pave bracelet and my Wet Seal anchor earrings...I swear, these go with everything.

Do you enjoy the theatre? What's your favorite production?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ladylike Details

My pseudo-sister-in-law got me this fabulous top for my birthday, and I'm so excited to finally have the perfect top to wear with my floral shorts (they're tough to match)!

These babies are such a steal at $12.95 a pair at H&M, so needless to say, I have a couple prints on hand. The blue floral is hands down my favorite though.

(I only took one picture because I wasn't digging the white on white, but it was too cute not to share)

{top}: H&M (similar)
{shorts}: H&M
{necklace}: Charlotte Russe (similar)

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I found this top at Wet Seal the other day, and I'm not sure if my impending birthday made me want to buy a crop top or if I just fell in love with the polka dots, but either way, it made its way into my bag. It was blistering hot when I originally wore it, and I paired it with high-waisted black shorts, but I thought the rolled up jeans gave it more of a laid-back vibe (which is what I've totally been feeling since I've been sick for a week straight).

It's super loose and really comfortable, so it's perfect for those days (like today, obviously) where you don't really feel like getting dressed.

(I'm trying out a new way to get pictures taken, so forgive the amateur shots for now)

{top}: Wet Seal
{jeans}: AE
{necklace}: Forever 21

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

LBT: Little Black Tee

I looooove Old Navy and their clearance sales. I got two of these super comfy tees for $3 each! I've been looking for simple graphic tees that I can pair with a ton of different skirts/shorts/pants, and these are absolutely perfect! They're back to $7.97 now, but that is still such a steal, so snag some now!

I really need to find someone to come and take photos for me because this was seriously the only decent one in the bunch-the self timer is exhausting! Aaaaanyways, here are the outfit deets...

Shirt: Old Navy
Skirt: Old Navy (similar)
Necklace: H&M (similar)

What do you think? Have you hopped on the graphic tee train yet? They're so versatile and easy to wear!

Monday, July 22, 2013

OOTD: Birthday Girl!

It's my birthday! 

Twenty-seven feels fantastic already, and I thought today would be the perfect occasion to pull out my Apricot Lane Peoria backless maxi dress (it's a stunner). Piled my hair into my signature topknot and added some gorgeous jewels from Wet Seal and Apple of My Eye Jewelry, and I was set!

photobombed by Harv! ;)

photobombed again-he just can't resist!

Dress: Apricot Lane Peoria (similar)
Earrings: Wet Seal (similar)

That's all for today, still trying to figure out where to celebrate tonight, I'm in the mood for a patio and some live music!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Steal Her Look: Vanessa Hudgens

Ahhh...I am in luuuuurve with this look by Vanessa Hudgens. 

I mean seriously...white on white with neutral heels (with a metallic touch)? Utterly fabulous

Check out how you can make the look your own (although you might want to wait until it's not 95 degrees outside-holy heatwave, Batman)!

That's all for me today, I'm too hot to even think straight.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Ear Accessories--Love 'Em or Leave 'Em?

It seems that almost every store I have shopped in recently has been selling ear cuffs (or I should say ear cuff because there's usually only one) and other awesomely deviant ear jewelry, and I will admit, I'm slightly infatuated by the trend. I don't know if it's because it makes me feel exotic-which I am so not, or if I just think they're another cool way to accessorize, but whatever it is, I dig them, and I'm hoping you do as well.

It seems that as I grow older I'm more willing to take fashion risks (you'd think it's the other way around, right?) and lately, it seems that's all I've been doing. I got my first cuff from Charlotte Russe, but I have yet to be able to wear it anywhere. I think I need the perfect outfit and venue to bring out these babies, and hopefully my birthday celebration next weekend will be just that.

"Hi, I'm sweaty from the gym, please ignore my uneven skin"

Ear Horn--H&M--$5.95 (in stores only)

Check out some of these other awesome ear jewels, and try one today-at these prices, you can't go wrong giving them a try!

Turquoise Teardrop Ear Cuff
*MKL Accessories The Jeweled Leaf Ear Cuff in Green and Gold

I think I need all of these.