Five Things

That made me smile this week:

1.She’s a Beauty” by The Tubes. David Foster mentioned it when he was out to dinner with his wife on RHOBH. He’s fluent in the language of brag, and likes to talk about the songs he wrote and people he’s worked with. But that song title sort of rang a bell so I looked it up and downloaded it immediately.

2. These pants that were in an email that Nike just sent me. Is it weird that I open a lot of the promo emails I get from stores? I’m always curious what their new stuff looks like. I think I would work out better if I was wearing these.

Capris

3. I visited Carrie in NJ with our other bestie, Karla, last weekend. I’m pretty sure we didn’t stop talking for 48 hours straight. Friends + NJ + the sun = Fantastic.

4. This picture. It’s the background on my phone because I think it shows the true essence of my older brother and myself. It makes me smile every week. (I believe it was the first day of first grade for me, so that’s why we have our game faces on, and I have a sack of stuff to put in my cubby or something)

Back to School

5. The fact that my taxes were filed, period, end of story.

How was your week?

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Shopping for Summer Dresses

I know it’s only starting to feel like spring but I’ve already got summer on the brain. I have a few weddings to attend this summer, and my new hobby is dress shopping. I’m having trouble making final decisions though, so I need some help.

Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Probably printed or floral, because I’ve overdone the lace overlay trend, and I don’t want to look like a bridesmaid in a plain dress.
  • Somewhat structured, at least in the bodice. I dream of a big flowy maxi dress, but if it’s not cut well for me, I know it will look like a huge tent. So I need to be strategic.
  • Budget friendly, but not a cheap throw away dress. I have limited occasions for a non-work dress, so I don’t want to break the bank.

Here are some of the top contenders:

Anthrogreen

This maxi from Anthropologie seems interesting and summery even though it’s a darker green. It’s pricy at $198, so I’m wondering if it’s worth it.

anthrotier

Another one from Anthro. It’s a little less structured, but there’s a chance that the tier on top is flattering. I think it’s really pretty and priced pretty well at $128.

nordstromfloral

This one from Nordstrom seems like a perfect spring/summer luncheon/event dress. I love a sheath dress, and it’s a decent price at $118. I think I could even pull a day to night look with it if I had an event to go to right after work.

 

NordstromdressAnother Nordstrom dress by the same designer as the one above: Adrianna Papell. I like this because it’s a twist on the standard sheath with an interesting geometric print and different neckline. Also decent price at $118.

Nordstromdress2If I were to go a lace direction, I think this option is a nice spin to the standard lace overlay. I know it looks a little blobby in this picture, but I think up close, and in person it would look a little better. It’s another Nordstrom find at $138.

 

So the question is, what do I chose? What dresses or spring/summer trends are you gravitating towards this year?

 

New to Me

Here are a few recent discoveries that I’ve made that might not really be new, but they’re new to me!

1. The TV show Parenthood on NBC. This show definitely flies below the radar. It’s not a scandalous reality show, trendy drama, or hilarious sitcom. It came on right after another show I was watching a few weeks ago, and I’ve started to get hooked. It has plenty of big stars: Lauren Graham, Ray Romano, Dax Shepard, etc, which sometimes backfires, but all the characters are so down to earth in this show, that all the ensemble cast of big names really works.

parenthood

2. Almond butter. I realize that all the fitness and healthy lifestyle bloggers have been putting almond butter and other exotic nut butters in their oatmeal for years now, but I’m new on the bandwagon. I’m kind of obsessed with Justin’s brand almond butter with maple syrup. I love it in oatmeal, or with carrots as an afternoon snack.

maple-ab-jar

3. Toms shoes. I needed a pair of commuting shoes that fit between Ugg and Rainbow seasons. Something for the 40-60 degree days in the spring and the fall. I like to wear different shoes while I’m commuting so I can be comfortable and preserve my work shoes a little longer. Usually Toms are about $50, but of course the ones that caught my eye were about twice as expensive. While I don’t think they’re supper supportive walking shoes, they’ve been great for commuting and weekend errands so far!

Toms

4. Squeegees! I enjoy a clean house. I think I’ve mentioned that before. The main window in my living room is three sliding doors that lead out to my balcony, and I noticed they were getting dingy. I attempted to clean them with Windex and a paper towel, and they came out very streaky. Not OK. So the other day, when I was cruising the cleaning aisle in Target, the squeegees caught my eye. The rest is mirror and window cleaning history.

Squeaky clean!

5. The TV show Southern Charm on Bravo. This one is new to me and everyone else because it just premiered a few weeks ago. It’s similar to some of Bravo’s other recent reality show about 20, 30, and 40 somethings living the good life in a fun city (i.e. Shahs of Sunset, 100 Days of Summer, etc.). This one is about a bunch of well-off friends in Charleston, SC. It’s such a beautiful change of scenery from the standard LA or NYC, and I’m already totally hooked. Bravo gets me every time!

SouthernCharm

Spring Cleaning: Organizing Your Dresser

We all know it’s the time of year where we like to start bringing out our spring and summer clothing.  Though it is hard to believe warmer weather is right around the corner (especially after the six inches of snow South Jersey got last night), it is time to start thinking about reorganizing your closet.  If you’re not quite ready to dig out those spring/summer clothes, try reorganizing your dresser to get a new clean fresh look.  I actually stole the idea below from Sadie when I last visited her.  It’s a great idea to organize your hair products and perfumes.  It also makes it look very classy.  I used a silver serving tray that I had lying around that never got used.  I gave it a good polishing and it gave my dresser a whole new look.  It also made me organize everything around it.  I have an owl necklace stand compliments of Karla and an earring carousel on my dresser as well.
IMG_0322

I have a lot of jewelry.  One of the drawers of my dresser is made specifically for jewelry organization.  However, the one next to it was just a felt-lined drawer.  I have a lot of vintage costume jewelry from my grandmother that needed to be organized in something other than their original boxes to allow me to see what I had to choose from.  I saw on Pinterest that teacups can be placed in drawers to organize jewelry.  I happened to have some extra expresso cups and saucers lying around that I never put to use.  I repurposed them into something great.  I can now see all my options.  Try it and I guarantee you will love the easy access to all your beautiful accessories!
IMG_0321

Last Five

songs I downloaded on iTunes (girly edition).

1. “Bobblehead” by Christina Aguilera. I think this is a little bit of a throw back. I heard part of it on this youtube video and I looked it up. It definitely has a gimmicky sound that could be annoying to some, but I like having a little variety in the mix.

2. “The Wire” by HAIM. So this was a song I saw on VH1 about a month ago (does anyone still watch VH1 anymore?). And then I heard it again the other day and decided I needed more of it in my life. Usually I find songs like this boring, but HAIM got me on this one (and the video is kind of funny too).

3. “Don’t Save Me” by HAIM. This is proof that I’m hooked on HAIM. After I downloaded “The Wire, ” I decided I needed this one too. And I was right. I’m sure I’m late to the party on this band, but if it’s not on my Top 40 radio station, I don’t know it.

4. “Picking up the Pieces” by Paloma Faith. Another VH1 discovery. I guess someone has to watch Top 20 Countdown on the weekend. I saw the video while I was at the gym which means I saw it without the sound. And it was so random and strange I had to look it up. I was glad that I did.

5. “Really Don’t Care” by Demi Lovato feat. Cher Lloyd. This discovery is by way of Pandora. It came up on my One Direction station and I had to have it. It’s a great workout song, and I find it energizing during a busy day.

demi-lovato-album-cover-900-600-04-01-13

Old Stand Bys

Workout clothes might be my favorite topic. I wear them everyday, I take a lot of interest in them. I love trying out all the new fabrics, patterns, and silhouettes that the athletic apparel companies come out with, but there’s something to be said for the basics. I have pieces in my dresser that are a little pricey, crazy, or activity specific, but at the end of the day there is core wardrobe of basics that are durable, comfortable, affordable, and awesome for every workout.

Here are my favorites that I will buy until the companies discontinue the style:

Tops

This basic Under Armour tank. It usually comes in several colors, and I love it for anything from weights to Pilates to cardio. It stays put whether you’re upside down or right side up!

UAtank

When it comes to a tee shirt, I love this Nike option. It’s a company staple so they come out with new colors all the time, and keep the style the same. I like it because it’s not skin tight so it’s perfect for days that I’m not looking for something comfy, but a big step up from a standard cotton tee shirt.

NikeLegendT

Bottoms

I think bottoms can be a little trickier than tops because they ride up, fall down, are see through when you bend over, or just plain unflattering. These ones from Under Armour though, are the definition of basic. They work for everything from spin class, to weights, to Pilates (no zipper on the back). Every time I wear these I wish I could wear them 24/7/365 because they are that comfortable.

UAcapris

When it comes to running I have a few requirements. I need a drawstring, a pretty high rise, and a little zipper pocket on the lower back for my keys. These Nike capris meet all the requirements, and I think I usually get an even more affordable version of these from the Nike outlet.

NikeCapris

Based on my observations over time, I’ve realized you can go two directions for running shorts. You’re either a spandex person, or a Nike tempo (or other brand equivalents) person. I am a spandex person. Always. These are my go-tos from Nike. Comfortable, light, and a slightly longer inseam (5 in.) than the shorter version (3 in.) makes them age appropriate for everyone older than 17.

NikeShorts

Sports Bras

I have done extensive research in this category. This is obviously very dependent on your body type, and I require maximum support. I cannot tell you how many times I have bought a sports bra because it claims to be my size and/or be extremely high impact/high support, and they just don’t live up to any of the claims (I will not name names…). Time and time again I come back to this very basic compression bra from Nike. I have tried all the imitators, but no one does a compression bra like Nike. Plus, just like all these other basics, they often release it in several colors and patterns every season.

NikeBra

Socks

I’m pickier than you might think when it comes to socks. After trying several of the fancier brands, it turns out Champion makes my favorite in their target line. They are the perfect combination of low profile, and fluffy. Socks are a goldilocks thing for me, they’re either too thin or too thick and fluffy, but few are just right.

targetsocks

Shoes

I am a New Balance sneaker girl. I like the lightweight, basic nature of these ones that I’ve been ordering at a discount from DSW for a couple years now. When you find a shoe that works you need to stick with it!

Sneakers

What are your old stand bys, when it comes to workout gear?

The Self-Tanning Solution

I have two weddings coming up in the next three months.  Due to my fair skin type, I am unable to tan by sitting underneath the sun’s bright rays.  It’s actually a blessing in disguise since skin cancer runs in my family to begin with.  Due to the fact that my sunburn will never turn into a tan, I have to resort to other means of tanning.

The Tan Spray Stall – In preparation for a wedding in the past, I went to a tanning salon with a friend.  Talk about comical.  The spray tan booth is simply intimidating.  I entered the booth completely naked which is always an uncomfortable situation for me even if there isn’t really anyone watching (although I always find myself seeking out the exact location of the hidden camera…I have yet to find one but I know it is somewhere!).  Then a little voice comes out of a speaker telling me which way to face and how to put your arms.  The 16 year old working there who tells me the positions before I go into the room is a pro so she glides right through it and I’m thinking “Where do I put my hands? Which way do I turn my body?”.  I basically know I’m screwed from the start.  The spray session takes about 8 minutes, which included the application of the bronzer.  There was so much liquid covering my body that I had to take paper towels and even the application out.  When I emerged from the room, my friend was laughing.  I looked like a raccoon in the dark.  The whites of my eyes were glowing.  They said not to take a shower until the next morning but I decided to nix that and I took my shower about 4 hours later.  I managed to get a pretty good tan without look too unnatural but I must say I was freaking out the whole time.  I thought I was going to have to scrub myself with a Brillo pad to remove an orange streaky tan.  Luckily, I was able to pull it off but I never want to experience that again.  You can tell I have a nice healthy glow in the pic below.

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St. Tropez Self-Tanner – My love of QVC comes in handy again.  Since I vowed never to go back to the spray tan booth, I decided I would have another go at the self-tanner.  I have tried Tarte’s version before but I don’t think it achieved the tan I was hoping for.  It just so happened that last week, one of the Today’s Special Values was St. Tropez Deluxe Self-Tanning Mousse.  I watched the presentation and saw instant results.  Needless to say it came yesterday and I made my first application this morning.  I made sure to exfoliate in the shower and then apply lotion to the areas I planned on applying the mousse.   I then applied the mousse evenly in a circular motion and saw instant results.  I am going to let it set for at least 8 hours before I take my next shower.  The results are amazing and I can’t wait to apply another round tomorrow to achieve an even darker richer color.  I don’t have any pics now, but I’ll be sure to post the wedding pics as soon as possible.  I can’t wait to go to this wedding in San Antonio with my beau (that’s for you, Karla).  Texas, here I come!

st. tropez