Fish Out of Water

[Top: 1, 2, 3, 4
Bottom: 1, 2, 3, 4]

It's that time of year again, ladies!  Swimsuit season.  I hear the groans of excitement all the way over here!

It's inevitable that you will be spending some time this summer in a swimsuit, even if it's to take a shower because you just aren't ready to face the naked music.  And if you're like me and love the beach, you're going to be spending a significant amount of time in this.  Might as well have one or two that you love!  I suggest having three bathing suits - two nice ones, one that you're okay with getting messy.  And of the two nice ones, make sure one of them is a one-piece.  And take my advice, ladies - steer clear of the tankini.  Tankinis are only flattering on the people who should never have to wear tankinis/one-pieces.  They don't hide what you're trying to hide by not wearing a bikini, they just accentuate it.  

And don't knock the one-piece either, there are so many adorable options!  I purchased a bandeau one last year and I'm hooked to it.  The one-shoulder one seems to be calling my name.  I also have had scallops and bows on bikini's on my list for a while. 

See?  I hate bathing suit season and look at me already thinking of purchasing three bathing suits!  See, you can do it!  Embrace the sun and get some Vitamin D (and look cute doing it, too!)


Work It Out: Part II

[Tank Top, Yoga Pants, Yoga Mat - Target; Flip Flops - Reef at DSW; Water Bottle - Gift]

Continuing my series on working out and getting healthy, I started with an outfit I wear to yoga.  Which leads me into what I love to do to stay active and a sample workout schedule.  Yoga definitely kickstarted my workout regime.  I found that I really like YogaFit due to it's strength training and ability to get your heart rate going.  

My workout schedule goes like this:

Monday - Zumba: I'm not the biggest fan of Zumba, I find the hype of a little overdone, but I am friends with my instructor and she's wonderful.  The class I go to is non-competitive and a very welcoming environment where I don't feel self conscious about my "Taylor Swift moves".
Tuesday - Yoga: I love yoga.  I love that everyone is good at something and everyone isn't good at everything.  It's a very different type of workout but I've definitely seen my progress which is highly rewarding.
Wednesday - Run: I love the Couch to 5k program.  Seriously, give it a try.  I hate running with a passion, and I'm now running 5ks like it's my job.  I still hate it, but it's very rewarding to be able to do something you never thought possible.  My biggest suggestion - run outside.  I never saw results in my weight loss nor my personal endurance until I started running outside.  
Thursday - REST!
Friday - Do a Pinterest work out for toning
Saturday - Run or Yoga
Sunday - Run (if I did yoga on Saturday) or Pinterest Work Out (if I ran on Saturday)

You may not always stick to this schedule.  Many times when I know I'll have a busy weekend, I work out on Thursday and get two runs in during the week.  But having a set schedule will keep you on track because you won't be thinking "Oh... I'm going to workout... I don't know what yet but I will".  You will have more reasons to talk yourself out of it!  If you stick to this schedule, you'll be surprised at how regimented your life becomes.  My boyfriend now knows Monday is Zumba and Tuesday is Yoga and expects to eat later because of it.

[Headband, Tank Top, Sweatshirt, Leggings, Socks - Target; Sneaks - Asics from Zappos]

Invest in some workout clothes.  If you will be spending this much time in them, you deserve to have some nice and comfortable clothes.  I love Target (we all know this) but I also love their activewear section because it's affordable but higher quality than most stores with those price points.  Remember to layer if you plan on working out outside.  It's important to stay warm which in the spring and fall can be challenging.  I like this light sweatshirt and longsleeve tops over tank tops because they breathe and keep warm.

Also, if you have long hair like me, make sure you have many hair ties, headbands, and bobby pins.  When running, I always have my hair in a high pony with a headband or bobby pins to pin my bangs back.  Sweating and wiping hair out of your eyes is not pleasant.  To that point, make sure your hair is appropriate for your activity, like yoga or Zumba.  I prefer high buns and braided pigtails for these because the ponytail tends to whip all over the place and get in the way.



It's going to suck.  And you will get discouraged.  Just know that you can do it!  Your healthy life is just around the corner.  And like an advisor of mine once said:

Sitting is better the lying down.
Standing is better than sitting.
Walking is better than standing.
Jogging is better than walking.
Running is better than jogging.

You can do it, no matter what the level, and you are on the cusp of a healthier new you!


Pippa Says: Crochet

Trends are amazing, aren't they?  I'm fascinated by them and for some reason, Europe is always ahead of our time.  I was reminded of this when looking back over my blog from when I was abroad documenting the trends (this was 5 years ago - eek!).  For example: Glitter everything, chunky sandals and booties... Duh!  I should have really seen these things coming.  So this pic of Pippa was a year or two ago, but she loves crochet dresses - and it's a huge trend now!  Here are some other crochet pieces to get you on trend.


I Work Out! Part 1

[Shirts (All 3 - White T-Shirt Here), Sports Bra, Leggings, Shorts, Socks & Watch - Target; iPod Shuffle - Apple; Sneaks - Asics from Zappos]

I added this last weird pictures solely to show the weird veiny-ness of my hands.  What is going on there?  I look like a 15 year old with 70 year old hands!

Okay... so anyways... EXERCISE!  I hate it.  That's right, I'm not going to sit here and tell you about how much I love working out and how it's so wonderful and running 5 miles every day is awesome - I get such a rush!  No, I hate exercising.  I hate every minute of it.

But it's incredibly necessary.  

I'm not fat.  I'm not close to fat.  I've never been close to being fat.  Okay, except for the time I looked like this:

(This was a thin day back in the early 90s)

But aside from that, I'm not telling you I work out because of my weight, even though that has something to do with it.  It's all about being healthy, folks.  

First, my whole family is crazy thin.  Seriously, my brother called me the "fat one" for the longest time.  Being blessed with a great metabolism isn't all it's cut out to be.  For starters, high blood pressure runs on both sides.  It's a medical marvel on how such tiny people have such high blood pressure (I have my theories but we can discuss that in an email).  So don't go thinking "oh well aren't they just lucky."  We have our issues, too.  But the luck with weight is a big mask, too.  Because I was never overweight, I never felt the pressure to work out.  And because of that, my endurance was awful.  It was almost scary.  I knew that to be at a healthy weight for me and my body I needed to work out.  That may have meant losing some pounds, but that's ok.  I still eat full meals (I had Sonic today, complete with an Ocean Water, weakness) and snack when I'm hungry, but I am more conscious of my portions.  I'm in love with poutine (french fries with cheese and gravy) and I have some seriously ugly heart disease throughout my family.  Some people may be on the "heavier" side in their mind, but they have perfect vitals.  I on the other hand need to look at food as less of a fat builder and more like an artery clogger.... so I watch what I eat.  And I work out.

Working out is a chore for me.  But I feel guilty when I don't.  And you know what else?  LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL.  Things happen, and you never know what is around the corner, but if you could prolong your life, would you?  Of course!  I don't love it, but I love the benefits, and I know I'm a healthier and better person because of it.

So how do you start?

1. Join a gym.  I don't love gyms, and I'm only drawn to them if they have classes, but if you're anything like me, you're going to get what you pay for.  I am more motivated to go to the gym and work out since I am paying for it.  Why waste that money I could be spending on shoes if I don't go?

2. Make a "Work Out" Pinterest board.  There are tons of easy work outs to get you started on Pinterest.  You can even start by following my workout board on Pinterest.  Find ones that seem "doable" and start there.  If you don't know a move, find it on YouTube.  I like researching my moves anyways to make sure I'm doing them right - like one of my best friends told me, "10 seconds of a plank in perfect form is better than 30 seconds not in perfect form" (and she's a reliable source).

3. Find a confidant and motivator.  It's hard.  And it will only be harder before it gets easier.  There will be times when you think "what's the point?"  It took me around 6 months of working out to start seeing results, and that's really demotivating.  Find someone with whom you can share your progress.  Sometimes this person goes through the process with you, other times they don't - it doesn't matter, just have someone you can lean on when you need it.

4. If you think that you're going to add running into your work out regime, I suggest getting an iPod shuffle and watch.  I love the shuffle because it's small and clips on to your sports bra, so it's one less thing you have to worry about.  I also used my credit card points to purchase it, so that was quite a nice little gift to myself that cost nothing.  The watch will be used later (you'll see) but make sure it has a timer and a stopwatch that are relatively easy to use/understand.  It doesn't have to be fancy - I got mine at Target during a Cartwheel 25% watches deal.  Trust me, the iPhone doubling as an iPod/timer seemed like a good idea at the time...

Next post, I'll be sharing my work out schedule.  I am not even close to being a "work out enthusiast" nor do I have enough knowledge to make this a regular occurring topic on the blog, but one of my absolute favorite bloggers out there, Marion, just started a fitness blog (because what full-time working mother with a business on the side doesn't?  seriously, I want to be her when I grow up) and it's wonderful - there are so many awesome people on there, too.  PLEASE check it out if you want to start working out - this group of women (and maybe men?) definitely satisfy tip #3.

Here was my motivation for running this past weekend.



BBQ Style

I'm not a big meat eater, but if you cook it on a grill, there's a good chance I'll at least try it.  I love summer for so many reasons, but a big one is cooking out on the grill.  I could make grilled anything - especially lettuce - every day!

Since sitting out by the barby is one of my favorite evening activities (as long as there is a beverage in my hand), I take great interest in what I wear - it must be comfortable since I'm in the heat, by the heat, and sitting outside.  But I also need to look cute for all of the instagram pics - duh!

Here are three BBQ outfit options:


7 Days in Target: Days 1 & 2

I've decided to challenge myself with the ultimate Sarah challenge - can I wear only Target for 7 days.  That means 5 days worth of "business professional" and 2 days of fun.  I love Target, and while I do not think you should solely shop there, I also want to make the point that you can find fashionable outfits that don't break the bank.  So here we go (I will have you note that I take these pictures after work, so yes, I do actually wear these clothes.. and I don't look as good after 9 hours).

Day 1:

[Dress, Tights & Flats - Target; Glasses - Warby Parker]

Okay, Okay, the glasses aren't Target, but I'm blind as a bat, I can't help it.  I think that my roommate's Great Dane, Duke, adds to the pictures.  I think I look incredibly regal, eh?  This dress is a little casual so many times I add a blazer, but I was doing some spring cleaning, so I could pull it off.

Day 2:
[Necklace, Cardigan, Tank Top, Skirt, Tights, Watch & Wedges - Target]

This is a perfect fall outfit, but what I really love about this skirt (besides being long enough to make my employer happy), is that the plaid in the skirt makes the combinations endless.  I've worn brown sweaters, navy blazers, and plum cardigans with this.  I also feel very intelligent and scholastic in this.


Weekend Getaway

When one of my best friends from college decided to move to Arizona for a couple of months, the other musketeer and myself (why yes, we call ourselves the "Musks" like really cute kids do) decided this would be the best opportunity to explore the desert.  And to remind her that if she decides to move west permanently, she won't get to see our beautiful faces as often.

After living abroad for 5 months, I learned how to pack like a freakin' Greek God.  Call me Packeus.  Lame joke... okay so anyways, I got so good that I packed for a whole week in Minnesota once in an LLBean carry on - and I had to go to a wedding!  I managed to bring a curler & hair dryer on that trip, too, so this one will definitely be looking up (Liz, I'm hoping you have one of those...)

So how does one pack for a 72 hour trip to the desert and look adorable?  I'll tell you my secrets!

1. First, make sure you know your airline's carry-on policy, and double check the TSA website.  I'm traveling Southwest, which is a very loved airline, but depending on who you travel, you may find that you're only allowed one carry-on, the carry-on sizes are absurd, or you have to pay for any checked luggage.  I love using the large L.L. Bean Tote for my "carry-on" and my small Vineyard Vines Gettysburg tote for my purse.  Both hold their contents well, are durable but malleable, and are staples in my closet.  Also, make sure you know what you can carry size-wise when it comes to liquids - and make sure you have the appropriate size ziplock baggie.

2. Make a list of everything you will want to take with you.  A lot of times I utilize stars/asterisks/other hieroglyphics to denote different things such as things to pack right before I leave, items that I need to go in to plastic baggies, or things I can eliminate if I have too much.

3. Lay out all of the clothes you want to take with you.  This will make you see what you have and what you still need.  I like to wear my most difficult items to pack on my travels - so my booties, jean jacket & hat are set aside to wear on the plane (and I make sure I have an outfit to wear them with on the way back).  If you haven't worn an outfit you're imagining before, try it on to make sure that you are satisfied with how it looks.  I love bringing blacks, whites, and other neutrals with statement pieces.  Those statement pieces tend to be for "nights out".

4. When packing, start with your shoes - those are going to be your skeleton.  I started with my sneaks and shoved socks & underwear into them.  I then put my other shoes around them.  Add your sleepwear/work out clothes to the bottom and then start with bottoms working your way to the top with your most delicate items.  Try and fill in holes here an there with bras, makeup brushes, etc.  Some say to pack so that what you want first is at the top, but to maximize on space, I pack this way and unpack when I get to my destination.

5. Finally, separate your liquids from your solids.  Make sure your liquids are on top of all of your items - you'll need to pull those out for the metal detector.  If there are items that you may want to have easy access to, utilize your purse tote - you probably won't use all the room in it!



[Top - Old Navy; Necklace - Lou Lou's; Skirt - Target; Shoes - DSW]

When I saw this skirt on Margo of Classroom Couture, I knew I needed something similar.  My work BFF was with me when I saw this number and told me it was hideous.  I gave her a "pish posh" and took it to the dressing room anyways.  When I came out, she said it was like a new skirt.  Sure, off the hanger it may look like an ugly 70's upholstered couch, but it definitely gives the color burst that is necessary for this lovely weather.  Plus with all of the colors, the top/shoe/accessory combinations are endless.

Did you ever find an item that took on a transformation when you put it on?


Insta-Lately II

[Boyfriend's Candy Loot; AB demanding attention; Craft Night; Saturday Morning Breakfast; Indian Buffet; Work Besties Ice Skating; Neon Sneaks; Birthday Lillies]


Chasing Pavements

[Dress - Ya; Cardigan - J.Crew Factory; Heels - Audrey Brooke at DSW; Necklace - Target]

My mom used to say when we would travel to my grandparents's house in Delaware that we could always tell when we got into Maryland because the roads were smooth.  I guess our sidewalks are kind of like that, too.  When I go on my runs, it's almost like trail running on some of these ways.

Anywho, I bought this dress last year, but I still love it.  I didn't know how I felt about the mullet skirt (sorry, hi-lo) but it's definitely grown on me.  The color is different, it's very proper, but I love the peek-a-book back (you may know, I'm a serious back detail fan).  The best thing about this dress & the back detailing is that you can still wear a regular bra with it!  I can't tell you how many times I have to hike up my strapless bra, which is so cute, lemme tell ya.

How do you feel about the hi-lo/mullet skirt style?