Thursday, October 30, 2014

Layered Looks for Fall

Little Bit of Class Little Bit of Sass
 
Hey gang!

Can I get a show of hands for how many of you love ModCloth?
I looove ModCloth!

A lovely lady from ModCloth asked me this week to write about fall style, inspired by pieces featured on their site. Scour their site and create a style board on polyvore for real stylists to view? 
I mean, twist my arm. 
Sign. Me. Up.

I didn't receive anything for this post and opinions are my own. Other bloggers are also writing about their favorite fall styles and winners will be chosen on a weekly basis by ModCloth stylists to be featured on social media. I would love to be chosen!

Now on to the challenge!

Layered looks are the only option in Chicago during about 9 months out of the year. 
Basically, I'm all over layers.

Honestly it's tough to choose which pieces from ModCloth to use for this post since there are soooo many that I want, but I found an incredible sweater that I must add to my bag! I would take it in all colors, but I'm featuring the Oatmeal shade below:

Fall Layers featuring ModCloth




The coat, the boots, the earrings and the sweater are all on ModCloth. How amazing is that coat?!?
I would wear this whole outfit to work or on the weekends out and about in the afternoons. I just love the whole look. I could seriously wear that sweater every day, too. Another way I'm picturing it is with some leggings, cozy socks, some coffee and a good book.

And because I was having fun, here's a look I'd love for a fancy evening out!
Sparkles and ModCloth Dress


I just adore that dress!! I would wear this to fall and winter events for sure! I love that the colors are unique and stand out without being obnoxious. It's just so pretty!

OK I better stop before I get carried away!



How would you style a casual fall look?

Have a good one!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Work It Out Wednesday: Week 3

 photo WorkItOutWednesday_zps7175f1b0.jpg

Hi gang!

My week is crazzzzy! This is my last week at my current job and I'm going nuts trying to wrap up everything! New job starts Monday!!!

Luckily, I've had my workouts to handle my stress.
I got a Gilt City deal for a new boxing gym in the neighborhood and I am SO happy to box again! If you have't tried punching and kicking an actual heavy bag you haven't lived! It's the best stress relief and is SUCH a fantastic hour long workout incorporating cardio with the boxing. I cannot recommend boxing enough!

I also enjoyed the fantastic weather on Saturday and ran outside. I sure hate running, but I sure do love how I feel when I'm finished!

Oh, by the way, I still ate a bunch (both healthy and not so much) and am chubby. I'm not trying to pretend to be something that I'm not with this series. Remember what I said about my lack of qualifications? Please keep in mind that I'm just trying to spread some wellness love as I fight the battle to live well myself.

In terms of new workouts, I have to share what I did on Tuesday morning:
{via}

{via}

How I made it harder: I almost did four rounds, but stuck with the three instead. No knees for the pushups, though! I would looove to do 30 pushups in 30 seconds, but I'm not quite there yet. Not sure I ever will be, but how freaking cool would that be?
Overall impression: Tuck jumps. Woof. The cardio was tough! I loved it! It was great to follow it up with an ab workout.
Sweat factor (on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is when I look like I just got out of the shower): Yikes. Gross. Total 10.
How I felt when it was over: Amazing and exhausted.
Would I do it again? Totally! This is a travel workout for sure. No weights needed. Just throw on some jams, get a timer and you're golden!

Weekly recipe:
{via}

Well hello there, meaty and cheesy happiness.
I have no idea how this is a Weight Watchers recipe but I sure am excited to figure it out. Weight Watcher Burrito Bake for 6 Points+? Why not?

Weekly motivation:
{via}
Ha. And I just loooove to make it sob. :)

Weekly workout sass:
{via}
...and margaritas, and wine, and hurricanes...
But seriously, I need this shirt.

Have a good one!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Six Months Ago...

...was a very happy day...













Have a good one!

Note: this was originally posted on Sunday, 10/26, but I wanted to join the link-up! :)
 
Wedding Wednesday

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Work It Out Wednesday: Week 2

 photo WorkItOutWednesday_zps7175f1b0.jpg

Hi gang!

Thank you so much for the positive feedback last week when I launched this weekly series. It gave me the extra boost to keep it going! If you ever have ideas for me, I'm all ears!

Let's get started, shall we?

First of all, I tried another Pinterest workout this week! I'm stacking them up like crazy on my Motivation Pinterest Board, so I will have plenty to share in the coming weeks.
(But again, please keep in mind what I said last time about my lack of official qualifications!)

Here's the workout I tried this week:

{via}

Gang. This is AWESOME.

How I made it harder: I added dumbbells to the squats for a little extra kick in the rear.
How I modified: as much as I pride myself in doing pushups without going on my knees, I unfortunately had to do that for this circuit.
New goal: 50 pushups in a row, no stopping, not on my knees!!! Who's with me?!?
Overall impression: Killer! And it was over in no time - maybe 20ish minutes? It was great!
Sweat-factor: On a scale from 1-10, (10 meaning that I look like I just got out of the shower) I was a 10 for sure!
How I felt when it was over: Fantastic and happily sore!
Would I do it again? Of course! How else will I meet that new goal of mine?!? :)

Weekly recipe:
{via}
We have been craving pork chops lately and consulted our absolute favorite food website, skinny taste.com, for ideas. This recipe popped up and our mouths started to water. We will be making this in the next week for sure!
Did any of you try the recipe from last week? It's one of our favorites!

Weekly wellness motivation:
{via}


Weekly wellness sass:
{via}

Have a good one!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Reflexology...Experiment?

Well hey there!
I sure do have a story for you today.
But first, some background.

I have kept my eye on Groupons lately because I have been really craving a massage. 
Unfortunately massages can be pretty pricey and I never indulge.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I saw a Groupon offer in my neighborhood for a 30-minute reflexology massage for $18! Plus, Groupon had 15% off throughout the site today (and tomorrow!), so I figured I'd give it a shot. Reflexology is new to me, but for $15 I could give it a go.

I made an appointment for today at 5:30 after work and was very excited all day.
Surely relief was on the way! 

Well, this place was...interesting.

I have had maybe three massages in my day. Each were lovely and were in my own room with glorious and peaceful music playing perfectly in the air.

There were no private rooms.
There were no screens or drapes.

At least the lights were dim.

Because I was NEXT TO strangers the whole time!
Am I getting a pedicure or am I getting a massage?

Also, of course I clunk and stomp right into the room without knowing it was a public space, and my bags and bangles clink and clank all the way to my public table for my public massage.

"Well, if these people can do it, I sure can," I huffed. "At least I didn't pay full price."
Besides, it's not a real massage - I wasn't getting undressed in any way.
However, my skinny jeans were a little difficult to hike up for the foot massage part.
Clearly I did not consider my outfit when I made my appointment for this public massage.

Finally I sit down and get comfy. Publicly.

"This is quite comfortable! I think I might enjoy this!"

(Slap slap slap slap) goes the patron to my right.

"Why on earth is the lady smacking his arm?" 
Luckily mine was head and neck for 10 minutes and feet for 20. No smacks for me! Yippee!

For the rest of this post there are no quotes, but this is what went through my head:

OK, this guy is touching my head. And my neck. And now he's pulling and turning my head and OH MY GOSH THAT HURTS! My neck shouldn't twist like that, sir. 

Soon after, the guy gets started on my feet. They had been soaking during his attack on my face.
OK this is going well.
Good thing this small towel covers my eyes and most of my face so I can keep my eyes closed without feeling rude.

OK my feet are feeling great!
Reflexology is fun!
TICKLES!
AHHH TICKLES!

Don't laugh don't laugh don't laugh

Then I finally remember: every pedicure brings out the giggles.
I'm rather ticklish on the toes.
Why didn't I think of that?!?!

So now I'm all tense because I don't want to giggle and I'm moving the towel over more of my face so no one can see my smile...although, it really was dark in there. Thank goodness.

Slap slap slap slap slap

Ugh, not again. This is so strange! Stop smacking that girl's arms! How can she like that? How am I supposed to relax when all I can think about is trying to not hear other people relaxing while I'm trying to not giggle? 

Sigh, I'm exhausted. And relieved.
The 30 minutes have expired.
...which also means that I no longer have to listen to the music of rushing water while I need to go to the restroom...

My feet feel glorious, though!
Unlike pedicures, however, I didn't have pretty toes peeping up at me in a pretty color.
Instead, I raced to put on my boots and clomped right out of that public massage room full of towel-covered, fully dressed (I think? I hope?) people.

I figured I better give a tip. This sign beamed up at me while the guy gave me some water:



And yes, I took a picture before handing him a $5. I thought I was generous.

Needless to say, Reflexology is not for me.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Work It Out Wednesday

 photo WorkItOutWednesday_zps7175f1b0.jpg

Hi gang!

I have a new series for Wednesdays!
No, it won't just be about working out.
Rather, every Wednesday I'll chat about wellness, including healthy recipes, little tricks to eat better, and motivation to get moving...with a new workout thrown in there from my Pinterest board.

Why?

Well, I think all of us could use some wellness inspiration. Plus it will keep me in check because even though I love to workout I don't always eat the healthiest. Keep me accountable and I'll keep handing you ideas. Win-win? I think so.

Keep in mind:
1) I'm not a doctor - everyone is different
2) I'm not skinny but I am proud of my muscles (that no one can really see but whatever I know they're there!)
3) I workout five days a week on average but it's not like I'm going nuts for two hours at a time. Basically, if I can do it so can you - and I'll show you how.
4) I'm really good at sweating. That has to count for something.
5) I don't necessarily workout to lose weight. That would be nice, but more or less I just simply don't want to hate how I feel. Ever feel sluggish and gross? Working out helps that. I never really change sizes, either, so it's not like I have to spend a ton on bigger or smaller clothes.

OK so here we go: week 1 of wellness.
Who's ready to get this party started?
(Just me?)

Today I almost overslept so I didn't get my typical 45 minutes workout routine in, which is what I aim for every day. By the way, 45 minutes includes stretching before and after a workout - it's important! I need to wake up earlier and bump it up to 60 minutes, but that's a work in progress!

However, just because I only had about 25 minutes doesn't mean that I took the day off.
I use Pinterest in times like this because it's easy to find many routines that you can do at home and sometimes without weights. In other words, time and space should not be the biggest issues.
No excuses!!

Here's what I did today:

{via}

How I made it harder: I added dumbbells to the lunges and squats. I would like to work up to 80  lunges per leg, but I did 80 total today (40 per leg).
Overall impression: I thought the lunges were the worst part, but I have bad knees.
Sweat-factor: I was dripping by the end, so this is a good quick workout in my book!
How I felt when it was over: exhausted, but I haven't had much sleep lately and I had bad food for dinner. Sluggish doesn't mean I can take a day off, though! I did it!
Would I do it again? Absolutely! This is especially great for traveling since you don't need weights or a lot of space!

Weekly recipe:
I have to share this since it's one of our favorites! We typically have it with broccoli and potato of some sort. It's delicious and nutritious!

{via}

Weekly motivation:
{via}

Weekly workout sass:

{via}

So what do you think?
Do you like this wellness idea?
Anything you would like for me to write about in particular?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Club 3-Year Anniversary!

Little Bit of Class Little Bit of Sass
 
Hey gang!
 
{via}
 
When Andrew and I moved to Chicago in May 2011, a week after grad school graduation, I was so excited for our new adventure. 
 
However, without a job and without the large group of friends like I was used to having in Ohio and in DC, I was a little anxious after we arrived.
 
Luckily, Andrew's friends from MSU were here, my Little from my sorority was here, I met amazing co-workers (once I landed a job soon after moving) and I met a darling gal through a friend of a friend. Thanks to these lovely ladies (and their acceptance of my silly planning emails full of exclamation marks!!!), the Hardcover Hotties Book Club was born.
 
I am a firm believer in girls' nights: I think that even though they can be rough on the wallet and the liver, that they are essential for the soul. 
 
For the past three years we have met about once a month, rarely ever discussing books for longer than maybe twenty minutes at a time. We're basically a bar-hopping club, trying a new bar each meeting. Sometimes we read a book around a theme, sometimes we read books that were movies so we would watch them together and other times we'd just vote on whatever we wanted.
Needless to say, it's been a lot of fun and twenty or so gals are now on the emails. We even get together for cookie exchanges around the holidays.
 
Curious about what we've read over the years? Here's our list! 
(OK fine, if you do the math you'll see that we haven't been insanely consistent about reading a book a month. Whateves.)
 
 
  1. Bitter is the New Black
  2. The Stupidest Angel
  3. The Marriage Plot
  4. Growing Up Amish
  5. The Shadow of the Wind (personal absolute #1 favorite!!!!)
  6. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
  7. Prep
  8. The Paris Wife
  9. The Casual Vacancy
  10. Breakfast at Tiffany's (then we watched the movie!)
  11. Cold Mountain
  12. Wild
  13. Gone Girl (personal favorite!!)
  14. The Sex Lives of Cannibals
  15. The Great Gatsby (then we watched the movie!)
  16. Where'd You Go, Bernadette? (personal favorite!)
  17. The Cuckoo's Calling (personal favorite!)
  18. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets
  19. The Wolf of Wall Street (I know it's raunchy but I really liked it! We also saw the movie!)
  20. This is Where I Leave You (personal favorite - I still need to see the movie!)
  21. Rules of Civility
  22. The Fault in Our Stars (I still need to see the movie!)
  23. The Book Thief (then we watched the movie!)
  24. Never Have I Ever: My Life So Far Without a Date
  25. The Silkworm (The sequel to The Cuckoo's Calling! Highly recommend!!)
Do you have any suggestions for what we should read next?
If you're in Chicago, please join! The more the merrier!