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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Second Fix

I received my second StitchFix in the mail over the weekend while I was out of town.

The first time I got a Stitchfix I was a little hesitant about it.  You already know that I'm a really frugal person and I love thrift stores and consignment shops.  So, this was a leap for me - a dangerous one in that I may lose $20.  I know, it sounds pathetic.  But still!  I was really excited to see the box on my doorstep because I was absolutely thrilled with it the first time!  It's such a fun way to experience fashion and new pieces.  If you want to try it out click here or just click on the button on my sidebar.  You won't be disappointed.  Prom.

Right away it put a smile on my face because the letter I received from my personal shopper was extremely personal.  It even mentioned DWW!!
So, like I said before, in each box you get 5 items that are personally selected by your shopper based on how you fill out your style profile.  Along with each item, you get a little card with some styling tips showing you ways you could possibly wear the garment.  These are the 5 items I received in my second box:


Fate Simpson Jersey Twofer Top || Honey Punch Darlinghurst Plaid Popover Top || Last Tango Downing Cowl 3/4 Sleeve Tie Dress || Rapti Paisley Print Scarf || 
Matty M Finch Ruched Sleeve Blazer

As soon as I pulled everything out of the box, I was really excited to try it all on.  I gravitated immediately toward the Honey Punch plaid top and that was the first thing I tried on.

Blouse: Honey Punch c/o Stitchfix, Jeans: Levi, Boots: Steve Madden

This top is definitely a keeper.  I just love it!  I can already imagine wearing it with a cardigan, a denim jacket, under a sweater, with a skirt, tucked in, with boots, with booties... The options just go on and on.  This was definitely a spot on choice for me.  

Stop by throughout the week to see how I styled the other pieces from my StitchFix box!

Linking up for

Wardrobe Wednesday

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

NASCAR Red Down

Guys, I had the best weekend.  I got to spend it 2 of my favorite ways: with my family and camping.

I grew up camping almost every weekend when the season allowed for it.  I learned how to ride a bike and got my first set of stitches while camping.  We have camped in the snow, rain, and sunshine.  It's quite the tradition in our family.



There was one campground that was our favorite and we spent many weekends/weeks there; Fish Creek.  Since we have grown up and moved away, our campgrounds have had to shift with us.
Sweater: Ralph Lauren (old), Vest: Gap, Jeans: Joes, Boots: LL Bean

Since moving to NC, my parents have started coming to Martinsville, VA each year for the NASCAR race.  My brother and some of our best friends have also started to come.

I wasn't a huge NASCAR fan, but I have to tell you: You don't have to like racing at all to enjoy being at a NASCAR race!  There are so many other fun things to do like people watching, watching people do crazy things, and.....oh, people watching!

Stop by tomorrow to hear some of the crazy stories I have to tell you from this weekend.  Trust me, you don't want to miss it - NASCAR brings out the cray in people.


Monday, October 29, 2012

The Bathroom Stall & The Jonas Brothers

Tales from the Teacher's Lounge

So, I need to tell you a little story about my experience with the Jonas Brothers, a bathroom stall, and a very upset little girl.  A point of interest before the story begins: many of my students have other uncontrollable struggles that they are dealing with as if middle school isn't hard enough.

With that said, the story of the bathroom stall and the Jonas brothers:

So, one morning I was standing in the hallway attending my normal morning duties: greeting students, taking attendance, and supervising the hallway.  I saw this particular little girl at her locker, unpacking her backpack so when I walked into my classroom for Homeroom and noticed her missing, I went looking for her.  I first tried the office to no avail and then hit up the bathrooms on the way back down to my room.

I found this little girl (whom I absolutely adore to this day) curled up in a ball between the toilet and the wall in her stall crying her little eyes out.
I knocked on the stall door and asked her to come out.  "No!"
I asked her if she would open the stall door so that I could come in.  "No!"

I then decided the only thing I could possibly do was to pull up my skirt and crawl under that stall door to console her and figure out what in the world was causing her to be so upset.  So I did.  I crawled under that stall and I put my arms around that little girl and just held her while she sobbed into my shoulder.

After a while I asked, "What is the matter, honey?  What has you so upset?"
Her response, "Nick was supposed to call me last night and he didn't!"
"Nick who?"
"Nick Jonas."

Oh.  Nick Jonas was supposed to call.  I wasn't quite sure how to fix this because I couldn't exactly pull Nick Jonas aside and scold him for not carrying through on his promise.  So, I came up with the best solution I possibly could to get us both off the nasty middle school bathroom stall floor!  I told her that we could go back to class and she could write Nick a nasty letter detailing exactly why she was so upset with him and if she put it on my desk I would make sure to mail it to him so that he knew just how she felt.

She wiped those tears, got up from the floor, gave me a hug, and poured her little heart out onto a piece of paper for the new 45 minutes.
It was on my desk when she walked out the door.

I love middle school.
stillbeingmolly

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Epiphany

Last night I was sitting in a room full of beautiful women learning more about them and their inspiration for blogging at our October TriFABB event (at Graffiti Frozen Yogurt in Durham - yum!).

And on the way home, it hit me:
I don't have to compare my blogs to the others that are already out there.
If my blog is just like everyone else's it will fit in, yes, but that also means it will blend in.
A few of us started to get shy or even embarrassed when talking about our vision for our blog, myself included.  And as I was reflecting about my crazy day/week/month, I realized that I am really proud of what this blog has become and I'm really excited to see what the next 9 months has in store.  Because, although I started this blog back in 2010, I didn't start seriously blogging until August of 2012.

I've been critiquing DWW all this time by comparing it to other blogs that have been around for months or years or decades even.  That's just not fair.  Everyone and every thing has a starting place.  No one started with 800+ followers.  And like Marissa has said before, hosting a blog the "right way" is comparable to having a full time job.

I'm going to be honest: I didn't have a vision for DWW when it first started.  I just knew I was a young/new wife and homemaker and that I also work for a living.  I thought it would be fun to document the juggling act of becoming a wife, homemaker, co-habitant, etc.  I also think that (myself included) so many of us have no freakin' clue what we are doing when we get married.  I mean, I had never even lived with a man before (other than my dad and little brother) our wedding.  It is so different!  Different in good ways and different in compromising ways, but overall DIFFERENT.

So, when I first started reading other blogs, I wanted to be just like them.  I wanted to have readers love my writing as much as I loved theirs'.  And I wanted people to feel connected to me as I feel connected to some of my favorite bloggers.  So, foolishly I started trying to do some of the things that they were doing, forcing me to write about things I'm not entirely passionate about, or use a voice that isn't really mine, or ....the list goes on.  I'll be honest, a lot of the posts I've written I haven't even published because after re-reading them I've realized that they weren't "me."

Last night, after hearing all the girls (especially the newbies - I was so excited to find new blogs to read) talk about their blogs and what they do with them I realized my blog doesn't have to be a "fashion" blog to talk about fashion.  It doesn't have to be a "lifestyle" blog and avoid all things fashion.  In fact, I don't really have to put a label on it at all.  My blog can be like me: total, utter randomness.

So, I'm embracing my new attitude and outlook on DWW.  If and when I want to talk about fitness, I'll do it.  If I want to post a few pics of me strutting my stuff and having my hubs take embarrassing photos, I'll do that, too.  If I want to share a recipe or a story or a random thought or do a giveaway, it's okay!  Hopefully, my readers will continue to grow and appreciate what I'm doing here.  And hopefully they will still be able to relate with the real me.

So, I've started thinking about the things in my life that truly make me who I am:

  • wife
  • health/fitness nut (not a guru, but definitely a nut)
  • teacher
  • dog lover
  • bargain-rific shopper
  • fashion and accessory enthusiast (again - no guru)
So, with all that said (I know - I've said a lot- my bad), I've started thinking about some new posts I can incorporate into my weekly routine and I'm so excited about some of the things on my brainstorm list.  I know some of them may turn into flops and I'm okay with that, but I'm just really excited to embrace my own creativity and let this be the platform that it is slowly turning into.  

I'm super excited to start sharing some Tales from the Teacher's Lounge on Mondays.  I mean, what better place to get a story than a middle school teacher!?  And what better way to start the week than with a good laugh on a Monday!?

Thanks for listening to my epiphany and thanks for being a reader.  I'm honestly, overwhelmed with joy every time I see that there is a +1 on that counter.  It makes my heart smile to know that there are people out there interested in what I have to say.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

stitchFIX

Every Wednesday I read Kate's post about what she is currently loving and thought this would be perfect timing to share with you a service that I am always loving!


If you don't know what it is, you must click the link and see the genius minds behind this service!

So, here is what happens when you Stitchfix:
You sign up and they send you an invite.
You complete a survey answering questions about your personal style and items you want to incorporate into your wardrobe.
There is also room for you to share things you loathe so not to get a box of duds.
There is even a place for you to request a price range so that you don't fall in love with something completely out of your budget league.
The cost is only $20 and a personal shopper introduces you to new designers, boutiques, and labels.
The best part: if you don't want anything they send, you just ship it all back for free.
If you love something they send, you keep it, go onto the site and pay the balance because your $20 you paid goes toward your purchase!

If you want to see my first Stitchfix click here.
I loved everything in my box, but decided just to keep this dress:
I wore it in the wedding I was in last weekend.
Since the wedding was in PA, I wore a blazer over it for the ceremony.

Ladies, I have to tell you, I was slightly speculative of doing Stitchfix the first time I signed up for it, but I'm so glad I did.  It opened up my eyes to trying new things and allowed me to wear something that no one else in the room was in danger of copying.

$20 isn't bad for a personal shopper especially when your $20 goes toward your purchase.
Not to mention, this dress retails for $158, but through Stitchfix I was able to get it for under $80.
It is 100% silk and extremely comfy.

Try it out!
I think you will love it.

I already have my next Fix being delivered next week.  Can't wait to share it with you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Clean Eating Made Easy

So, I've been on this kick lately about goal setting and working out, contemplating joining a gym.  I've always been really concientous of what I eat and what I put in my body, but it hit me last night;
I feel like crap because I've been putting crap in my body.
Duh.

So in an effort to kick start my healthy eating habits back into orbit, I'm going to share some easy, clean eating habits with all of you.  I try to eat clean as much as possible. It is amazing how much better you feel when you are eating things that are good for your body.  Seriously, try it.  Dare you.

Some tips for eating "clean" and keeping your body healthy:

1. Eat whole foods.  I go by the motto: If God made it, eat it.  If He didn't make it, eat it in moderation.
I don't deny myself anything because I have found in the past that if I am limiting my intake of something, it makes me crave it more and then I over-indulge.  Whole foods simply mean you should be able to pronounce and define the ingredients on the package (if you are eating packaged foods).  It is best not to eat packaged foods and go for the perimeter of the grocery store.  However, if we're being honest, it's not always "do-able" to avoid packaged foods.
My typical shopping cart.
2.  People always say to me that they can't afford "real" food or that they don't have time to make things that aren't packaged/processed.  I'm sorry, guys, I have to call the bullpoopoo card on that one.  I am a VERY busy person.  No, I don't have children yet, but I do have a ton of stuff going on in my life that keeps me busy almost every night of the week.  And, if we're just having real talk right now, grilling a piece of chicken takes less than 10 minutes.  Making a frozen pizza takes 17-21.  Ouch.  Another thing, I've told you before that I coupon.  A lot of time I find coupons for meat including bacon, ham, pork roasts, and even chicken breast.  Watch the sales.  I know that a frozen pizza costs anywhere from $4-$7 and a pound of chicken typically sells for $2.99.  I just have a hard time listening to that excuse.  Sorry if I'm offending anyone, but I dare you to try it for a week - you will be surprised.

3.  Be conscientious of your cravings and what you eat to suppress them.  I crave chocolate and sugar and things like that, but I've noticed that if I just chow down on some random piece of candy it doesn't satisfy that craving so I end up eating a ton.  Instead, get dark chocolate or an apple.  Typically, those will satisfy me.

4.  Whole grains and fiber make all the difference in a diet.  Most of us do not have time to make our own bread.  So, when buying bread be sure to purchase whole grains and if possible, get something with added fiber.

5.  Drink lots of water.  Half the time we aren't even hungry.  We are thirsty.  And instead of drinking water, we drink soft drinks that leave us thirsting more.

I'm going to be honest and say that I fail at this regularly.  But if I'm being real, I really do feel better when this is my main diet.  Life has been crazy for me the month of October and that has led me to eat more packaged, frozen, processed foods and I'm suffering for it.  I'm lathargic, lazy, and just overall: feeling like poo.

Monday, October 22, 2012

To Join or Not to Join?

stillbeingmolly
Remember how I told you all that I sometimes am not extremely happy with my body?

Well, lately, I've really been feeling like a slug; I was sick for a while and wasn't able to run/work out and there was a lot of food around after the loss of my husband's grandmother so I didn't really stick to my clean/whole/natural/healthy food plan.

I'm sure all of that has something to do with it, but since then I've jumped back on my bandwagon of running, working out, eating healthier, and setting goals.  And I have been doing some contemplating...pruning if you will.

I'm trying to rid myself of bad and immerse myself in good.  Let's be honest, there isn't really anything negative about making healthy choices.  So, I find myself contemplating a gym membership.

This is a tough decision for me!  Let me explain: 
1. I love to run.  I love to run outdoors.  I'm not much of a treadmill girl.  However, in the event of a thunderstorm, a treadmill would be nice.
2. I teach a workout class for free 1 night a week at my church.  Yes, I teach it.  Which makes me question why I need a gym membership if I'm able to teach an aerobic class?!  Perhaps that is a pride thing.
3. I now carpool and would have to join the gym in my town in order to continue carpooling.  I'm not knocking the gym - I live in a small area, we aren't going to have a Nautilus - but it's hard for me to justify paying the same fee for a few pieces of equipment that I was paying for all the glory of classes, an indoor pool, racquet ball courts, and nautilus machines.

Any thoughts on this?  I understand this is a minor decision, but for some reason I'm really struggling with it.  Don't ask me why - I'm female??

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Goal Setting


Let's face it, gals.  Life happens.

And it doesn't always happen the way we plan for it to.
In fact, sometimes it happens in totally unexpected ways.
And, we aren't always able to bounce back from these unexpected events as quickly or as easily as we would like.  Leaving us with unfinished business and setting us back in our plan.

I've always been a goal-setter, a list-maker, a planner if you will.
So, when my world was tossed around a few weeks ago due to a death in the family, illness, and a jam-packed schedule...my goals, lists, and plans got tossed out the window.  I'm typically okay with it - as much as I am a planner, I am also spontaneous.  You won't see me jumping out of an airplane, but I definitely go with the flow of life.

So, when I realized just how far off track I was from my goals, lists, and plans, I realized I needed to get back on that track and decided what better way than to share my goals with the world?

You see, I'm a firm believer that the more people I have to hold me accountable, the higher chance I have of achieving whatever it is that I want to achieve.


So, I decided that on Sundays, I will try to set some goals for the week ahead, possibly even the month.  I love checking things off my to-do list and being able to look back at these posts and see that I've accomplished my goals will just make my heart smile.


Feel free to share your own goals in the comments area or blog about your own weekly/monthly/annual goals.  I would love to hear from you whether your goals are big, small, or in between.  I know that, personally, I appreciate the cheerleaders in my life and I would love to be a cheerleader for you.  We can do things on our own, but it is so nice to know you have someone out there rooting for you, in your corner through it all.  And definitely, feel free to kick me in the tail if you notice that I'm not reaching my goals.  Call me out.  Shake me by the shoulders.  Yell at me if you have to.  I can take it and I will appreciate it....eventually.

Goals:

  • To prepare at least 1 homemade snack to take with me this weekend to see my family
  • To run as often/long as I can at least 4x this week
  • To prepare at least 3 homemade meals this week
  • To add to my inventory for my upcoming craft fair
  • To get my StoreEnvy shop up and running
What are your goals?  Long or short term?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Scarf Giveaway Winner!!


I am so excited to announce the winner of the

Shoot me an email and we will get your scarf shipped this week!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wedding Attire & Frugalista Friday

Frugalista Friday Link-Up
**If you want to share your steal, deal, or sale of the week just grab the Frugalista Friday button from my side bar and attach it to your blog post.  Share the link in the comments below so that we can all see the awesome Frugalista skills you have!**

Already this week I've posted about the weddings I have going on in the months of October and November and how I am avoiding purchasing a new dress for each rehearsal/ceremony because of the expense.  And let's be honest, ladies, I don't get all gussied up often so I don't need 15 formal dresses hanging in my closet.  Teaching doesn't exactly call for that kind of wardrobe.

So, in an effort to save money, I've decided to wear the same dresses to multiple occasions and just 
re-style them so that they don't look like the same dress.  I'm also pulling out some bridesmaid dresses from recent years that can be worn again - thank God for the bride that considers this when picking dresses for their wedding party!


Here is a great dress I found at TJ Maxx to wear to my hubby's cousin's wedding last weekend:


I was a greeter at the ceremony and the bride (whom I absolutely adore) requested I wear purple to match her future sister in-law that was also greeting.

I happen to love purple and was not upset at all when she requested I wear a dress in this color.  I happened to be in Vermont over the summer and had some free time on my hands.  (I won't mention that said free time was because my husband missed his flight and I had to wait an additional 3 hours for him to arrive at the airport...might I add, he missed his flight because he was sitting at an airport restaurant eating.  men.)  I decided to go around to the local thrift stores (where I scored amazing deals) and hit up TJ Maxx.


Lucky me, I found this dress at TJ Maxx and thought it would be perfect for this occasion.  Not to mention, the state of VT has zero sales tax on clothing.  You read that right ladies, zero%.

Check back for future Frugalista Friday posts sharing the ways I've revamped a few dresses I've had hanging in my closet for the other rehearsal dinners/ceremonies/receptions I will be attending.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Furry Love

I'm not sure if I've quite expressed my love for animals/pets with you all or not, but if you follow me on Instagram, it's pretty clear (coachgaines13)

The other day my husband's aunt whom I've lovingly adopted as my own, sent me this forward.  I'm not gonna lie, typically, I speed through risking my life or my first born (yes, I understand neither of those things are truly at risk if I don't forward to 21 people by midnight of the 12th night of my birth month in an odd year) by not forwarding it, and send it to the trash.

For some reason, I took the time to read this one...perhaps because it said something about a dog in the subject line.  It made me cry, folks!  Yes, in front of my students, I cried.

I can't give credit where it is rightfully due because I'm really not sure where the email originated from, but I felt led to share it with you anyway.
My best friend, Ashley, her dog Ruger, Football, me, and Irie.
 A Dog's Purpose
"Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why."

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The Six-year-old continued,

"Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."
 Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:
  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them;
  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride;
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy;
  • Take naps;
  • Stretch before rising;
  • Run, romp, and play daily;
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you;
  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do;
  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass;
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree;
  • When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body;
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk;
  • Be loyal;
  • Never pretend to be something you're not;
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it;
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently

There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You 
surround yourself with good people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the positive. So, love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t.  Think good, happy thoughts!"

Photo bombers caught in action.

I can't even begin to describe how much love I feel toward these animals.  Does that make me crazy? Honestly, if I love my dogs this much, my heart just might explode when I have babies.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

LifeSTYLE: Menswear

From Runway to Real World
is a mini-series focused on taking trends found on the runways at Fall Fashion Week 2012
and styling them for real world situations.
Let's be honest, not all runway styles are realistic in real world settings, but that doesn't mean we don't want to enjoy what is currently trending.  Instead, tweak the style so that it suits your life!

Throughout the mini-series, I will have several guests posting about their favorite trends from the Fall Fashion Week runway.  They will share ways to style their favorite trend in the real world.
You can see Angela's post on the military trend here.
You can see my post on knitwear here.

This week's guest blogger is Marissa of Shabby, Chic, and Cheap.  She has become such a great friend to me.  We met through TriFabb and it's like we were destined to be friends.  It's incredible how much we have in common and might I just say....look at her eyes!
She's beautiful, ladies...inside and out.
*****

MOOOVE outta the way fellas! Your clothes are not just for you anymore! That’s right the ladies are taking over your closets!

Before I get into details I guess I should stop and let you know who I am!
I’m Marissa and I blog over at Shabby, Chic, &Cheap where I talk about affordable fashions, bargains, and my obsession with my new Aldo boots. No, seriously…they’re awesome!
But today I’m not talking boots; I’m talking menswear which I happen to think is very fashionable just check out my mens fashion inspired posts here and here! One of the many reasons I love being a woman is that our style can be so versatile. We can wear skirts or a tie. Pants or a tuxedo blazer. Pretty lucky huh?

For this post I decided to pair some skinny pants with a forest green tuxedo blazer with satin lapels. BTW for all you bargainistas out there this blazer was BOGO at F21! My sis got hers for $20 and I got mine for FREE! Yep, free.
The Receipt: Blazer- F21 (similar)|Pants - TJ Maxx|Shoes - Kohls|Tank - F21|Necklace - Mark by Avon
So what are you waiting for? Get off the computer and go raid your dads, hubbys, brothers, uncles, or grandpas closets! Thanks so much for having me over to guest post Lins! I hope your readers will pop by my neck of the woods sometime! I’d love to have you! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Laid Back Rehearsal

**What's that?!?!  You haven't yet signed up for my surprise scarf giveaway?!  Well, click here girl and sign up for the chance to win a handmade, surprise infinity scarf from Lulu's Mimi!!!

If you've been around a while, you know I've been stressing about the 5 weddings I have in the months of October and November!  Not to mention, the rehearsals as well!  I didn't want to go out and buy a bunch of new dresses to wear so I've been figuring out ways to style the dresses I already own in different ways so that it doesn't appear that I'm wearing the same ones in every single picture taken.

Last weekend, my hubby and I were both in his cousin's wedding.  It was a beautiful, outdoor wedding in a rustic setting.  Think open beams, cobble stone, and barn-wood.

The rehearsal was laid back so I decided it was entirely appropriate to rock my new ankle booties!
Dress: Target, Necklace: eBay, Booties: Urbanog
 I am absolutely loving these boots.  I saw some similar to them at Fab'rik back when we had our first TriFabb meeting and I considered purchasing them and put them back.  Then I saw Angela wearing them and realized I had made a mistake!  Unfortunately, when I went back to purchase them they were out of my size.  So, I scoured the internet and found this pair at Urbanog.com.


Not to mention, I also found a code for 20% off online and was able to get this babies shipped and all for less than $40.  Score in my book.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mustard Shower

I love love.
Don't you?!

Wedding season has hit big time around here.
My hubby and I have 5 weddings in the months of October and November!
I'm using about 4 dresses to wear to each of them (as well as the rehearsals) styled different ways
to avoid having to purchase multiple dresses.

Recently, I was able to help shower a friend before her wedding by co-hosting her shower.

The weather has been so goofy so I wasn't really sure what to wear to this shower because it is fall and I'm in the mood for fall, but the temperatures were in the 80s that day.

I also knew that the shower wasn't very dressy so I wasn't sure what to do.
I decided to go with polka dots - can't go wrong with polka dots - 
and a mustard cardigan.

Seriously, I've been living in this mustard cardigan since I bought it!
Who would have thought it would be so versatile?!
Cardigan: Gap, Tank: JC Penney, Skirt: Thrift, Necklace: BR
The matron of honor, bride to be, and me!

Looking forward to the big day.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Unexpected


Every once in a while, I come home from work or I get a sweet little text from my man saying
"Let's go on a date tonight."

And guys, I have to tell you, I just love unexpected date nights!  Especially when sushi is involved.


I'm also loving the unexpected pairing of black/brown and black/blue that is in style right now.  That is something I would have never done prior to this blog so I'm going out on a ledge and doing it!

Sweater: H&M, Jeans: Levis, Boots: Steve Madden, Necklace: Silpada
This was such a comfy outfit to wear out to an unexpected (but pleasantly surprising) date night.  It kept me warm in the chilly, fall air and looked put together in a short time.

What have you done unexpected this season?

**If you haven't signed up for my giveaway, click here and jump on it!*

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Becoming a Runner



A few months ago I did a few posts on what works for me in regards to diet, exercise, and workout gear.  Recently, some of the blogs I follow are talking about 5ks and even training for half marathons and it sparked a desire in my heart to talk about running as well because it is something I do regularly to relieve stress, pray, and get my mind at peace about things.

I know a lot of people have a love/hate relationship with running and I totally get it.

It's similar to my relationship with food: I love to eat it, but hate to see my waist expand.

However, I think we need to stop thinking about running as a means to an end and start thinking about it as a form of *free* therapy.  Seriously.  Don't stress about how fast or how far you are going, instead, focus on how you feel afterwards.

I refuse to lie to you and say I always feel good during a run.

I can honestly say, however, that I always feel good after a run.  I rest easier at night.  I feel better about myself.  I am less tired throughout the day.  I have more energy.  Whether I run 2 or 13 miles, it doesn't really matter.  What matters is how I feel because I ran.


People ask me all the time how long I've been running and they are always slightly surprised that I didn't start running until after I graduated college.  My high school was small and didn't even have a cross country team.  I did play sports all through high school and college and there was running involved in those sports, just not long distance running.  So, technically I've been a runner for almost 7 years.  Honestly, I can't remember what life was like when I didn't just lace up my running shoes and hit the road each day.

I started running by attempting to do a mile on the treadmill before my regular workouts.  
To be real, it sucked.  For a long time it sucked.
At some point, I was able to do a mile easily and started going further.

I have come to peace with the fact that I'm never going to be the first one to cross the finish line in a race and I'm never going to be able to run a mile in under 6 minutes, but I'm okay with that.  I don't have to be the fastest or most agile to be a runner.  I've completed countless 5ks, 5milers, and several half marathons.  In not one, did I place, but I did finish all of them.  
That counts for something in my book.

Once I was able to start running further than a mile, I started setting goals for myself such as running a certain amount of times a week, participating in a race, running a faster mile, or breaking my current distance record.  I've learned a lot about running by reading, researching, attending classes, listening, and failing.  

I've learned the importance of being fitted and purchasing the right kind of shoes.
I've learned the importance of hydrating and supplying my body with appropriate fuel.
I've learned the impact workout attire can and cannot make on me while I work out.
I've learned that I can go a little further if I will myself to do it.
I've learned that running is more mental than physical.
I've learned that a run can make a bad day go away.
I've learned that a run can be a celebration of the positive things in my life.
I've learned that sometimes its best to take the headphones out and just listen to my feet hit the pavement.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Ways to Save

Frugalista Friday Link-Up

Frugalista Friday isn't always about the outfit;
there are lots of ways I save $$ on a regular basis because let's face it people,
  1. I don't make much.
  2. What I save goes toward my shopping budget.
  3. Everyone loves a good bargain.
So, I use all forms of ways to save money on everything (not just my wardrobe) from groceries to magazine subscriptions to makeup.

A few ways I've saved money in the last month:
  •  Target Debit Card: What?! You don't have one?!  I understand you don't want the credit card, the fees, the blah blah blah, but ladies, this is a debit card!  You just connect your Target card to your current checking account and voila!  You have a Target debit card and each time you swipe it the money comes straight out of your checking account (just like swiping your regular debit card), but you also save 5% on all purchases.
  • Costco Membership: Okay, I'm going to break this down for you by sharing the items we buy most often in bulk from this store (Our membership fee is $55 a year.)
    Dog Food: We buy 1 bag every 5-6 weeks (for 2 med-large dogs) for $24.99
    Frontline: We buy 2 pkg (dogs w/ different weights) every 3 mos. for $39.99 each (compare to $30-$40 a month at vet)
    **If you have pets, you need a Costco membership**
    Dishwasher Detergent: We purchase this maybe twice a year (probably more like once) and it is less than $20.
    Wine: This is so much cheaper than anywhere else.  I don't go through a bottle a night (it's not that good for your heart), but more like a bottle or two a month.  I save a couple dollars each month by getting it here rather than the grocery store.
    Meat: I can't even begin to explain how much cheaper ANY kind of meat is here.
    K Cups: If you have a Keurig, you will save over $55 a year simply buying your KCups at Costco as opposed to paying almost $10 for 12-18 cups at your local grocer!  I get 80 cups for $34.99 at Costco.  Doesn't even compare, folks.
    Last but not least, Gas: Seriously gas at Costco is at least 10 cents cheaper per gallon.
  • AmEx from Costco: Guys, this credit card is one of the best things that's ever happened to my hubs and me.  Seriously!  Every time you swipe it you get a percentage of money back and at the end of each year we get upwards of $200 in return to us.  Seriously, the more you swipe, the more you get paid to have the card.  We always make sure we can pay it off and we use it for gas, groceries, etc.  We never make crazy purchases on it that we can't afford allowing the interest to take over, but we do use it when traveling and for larger expenses because we gain more money from those purchases.  Every year my hubby takes me to Charlotte for a fancy night for my birthday and practically everything we do is free because of this return.  Our hotel room is covered as well as our fancy meal (we can also use the points for hotels/airfare/etc.)
  • Carpooling: I understand this won't/can't work for everyone and I had chunked myself in that category as well.  Until one of my coworkers asked if I would be willing to try it.  Guys, I can't even being to tell you how much money I'm saving by not having to drive my car every day to work.  We take turns driving alternating each week and it's amazing how less often I am filling my car up with gas.  Not just that, it prevents me from randomly stopping at Walmart after my work day because someone else is in the car with me which saves me tons of $$!!
  • Thrifting: I know, I know, I said being frugal isn't just about the wardrobe, but let's get real, thrifting is one of the biggest ways I get to shop as much as I do because it doesn't break the bank.  Not just that, last week I volunteered at my local thrift store (for 1.5 hours) and while volunteering everything you shop is 1/2 price!  Guys, I walked out with an oversized sweater, a Mossimo blouse, and a navy blouse for $4.  (For sure you will see them in later Frugalista Friday posts) Boom!  So, go volunteer and get some half priced duds!
  • Coupons: So many of my friends tease me about this and my husband teased me until the first time I took him grocery shopping with me and he saw that bill go from >>$100 to <<$75.  He was impressed and hasn't said a word to me since.  I have coworkers that don't coupon, but subscribe to the paper so each Monday I get about 4 coupon fliers in my mailbox.  I'm forever grateful to those folks that are so willing to share.  I spend maybe 20 minutes a week cutting them and creating my grocery list around my coupons/ads in the paper.  For the money I save, 20 minutes isn't that much of a time investment.
  • Kohl's Rewards: I recently tried some of the mineral makeup from Kohl's.  It is hard to find products that are made in America and "American Beauty" happens to be one of them.  I also tried some eyeshadow and if you get coupons in the mail you can save anywhere from 15% to 30% on your purchases from Kohl's!  So, I scored both items for much less than I normally pay at Ulta or Sephora.
One of the best ways to save money is to get stuff for FREE
so click here and sign up for my giveaway!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Infinity Scarf Giveaway

If you've been around for a while you know that I'm a huge fan of scarves.
I wear them in any and all situations.
Scarves can be used to dress up, dress down, accentuate an outfit, or make a statement.

If you've been around a while, you also know that I make a lot of my own clothes.  You can even read about my first craft fair belly flop here.
So, in the spirit of giving which has already taken over my heart and it's only October, I thought I would do a Surprise Scarf Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive one of my infinity scarves in a surprise pattern.
You can how I've styled my infinity scarves here and here

Enter the giveaway below:
Good luck!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

LifeSTYLE: Knitwear

From Runway to Real World
is a mini-series focused on taking trends found on the runways at Fall Fashion Week 2012
and styling them for real world situations.
Let's be honest, not all runway styles are realistic in real world settings, but that doesn't mean we don't want to enjoy what is currently trending.  Instead, tweak the style so that it suits your life!

Throughout the mini-series, I will have several guests posting about their favorite trends from the Fall Fashion Week runway.  They will share ways to style their favorite trend in the real world.
You can see Angela's post on the military trend here.

I came across this great post from Glamour showing the twelve "most wearable" fashion trends and thought you might be interested in taking a peak.

Knits were huge on the runway for fall 2012 and I just so happen to be a huge fan of knits.
Fall is my favorite season simply because I can wear knits and boots and be cozy and warm.

Missoni
Obviously, I'm not going to wear all those layers or those head pieces to work each day.
However, I do love the layering and mixing of knits that is taking place.

Via
I'm also loving the homemade, chunky look that is going on here.
Also loving her red hair, but that's besides the point. Red hair is so hot.

Sweater Dress: H&M old (similar, love this option), Leggings: Old Navy, Boots: Rack Room (old)
A sweater dress, leggings, and boots take this runway trend to the real world.
If it were colder, I could add a knit scarf or beanie.

How do you wear your knits this time of year?

Linking up for Wardrobe Wednesday
Wardrobe Wednesday

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pears

Writing this blog and paying more attention to fashion and what looks good on my body and bodies similar to mine has really opened my eyes and made me realize that for some time now I've been in denial about what my body type actually is.  And I came across this great visual:
Via
All this time I've tried to convince myself that I was the "athletic" body type until I finally looked at this picture and realized I am more of a a pear/hourglass.  I was in denial because it's not what I wanted to be.  Gals, I've realized it's ideal! In fact, I've realized that all the women in Hollywood I find most beautiful fall into these categories. Now, I'm not knocking all those other smokin' body types, I'm just finally embracing mine!  And learning how to appreciate it.

Look at all these fabulous, beautiful women with this body type...
Via
Via
As I've been watching and playing with my own wardrobe, I've learned several things about dressing my body:
  1. Just because something is trending doesn't mean I'm going to look good in it.  And it's okay.
  2. Not all skinny jeans are made the same especially for a girl with a booty.
  3. Low waist pants do not look good on me; they land at the widest part of my body.  High waist pants accentuate the smallest part of my body.
  4. Pencil skirts are my best friend.
  5. Hemlines appear longer on a hanger.
  6. A womanly body deserves womanly attire.  Graphic tees and short shorts are not appealing on me.  Nor are they on most women in their late 20's.*sorrynotsorry*
  7. Modest is hottest.
  8. Quality undergarments make/break an outfit.
  9. Only buy things that look good on me - not on the rack.
  10. Statement accessories accent what we want to accent.