Sunday, July 31, 2011

Once Upon a Friday Night

... a sweaty chick threw some clothes on and pulled her frizzed out hair into the ever-famous "blogger bun," ate Thai food for dinner and frozen yogurt for dessert, and lived happily ever after.

And then she spent the rest of the weekend recuperating from difficult workouts, shopping for Jillian Michaels' Ripped in 30 meal plan, and recovering from a week of fussy children. Is it sad that I look forward to "getting dressed" even for the quickest errands?

shirt: LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl's
jeans: Charlotte Russe
wedges: Sbicca via Ross
earrings: Cat Moore Design via Ariana's giveaway!

For you busy moms, do you enjoy getting a little bit dolled up just to grab take-out or go to the store? I'm curious to know if I'm one of the rare ones who looks forward to these little opportunities to put on something other than yoga pants and a sports bra!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Intense Adoration: THE BAG

Okay, so I don't ever have anything fancy to share with you guys. I read so many blogs that feature designer clothes, shoes, and bags, and I'm perfectly fine over here in Targetland and Old Navy City. HowEVER, I have had my sights set on a Coach purse for at least 7 years. At least. Husband told me that he wanted to propose with one (ring inside). Then when that didn't happen, he wanted to give me a pair of diamond earrings in one. And when that didn't happen, I just wandered through the Coach outlet, aimlessly, looking, touching, smelling, and fully taking in the beauty... knowing it probably wasn't in my Wal-Mart budget reach. I was right.
Enter: The wedding last week. I was *this* stressed out. I mean trying to corral a 2.5 year old, take care of myself, nomad through northern Virginia, oh... and be an active part of all the pre-wedding and wedding events, I just kind of lost it. Thankfully, my mom slipped me (err... let me have) two of her Xanax before I left her house earlier in the week. She warned me, faithfully, to only take half a pill at a time. Well, that worked great until the day of the wedding, when I flaked out and left my last half of a pill in my glasses case at the hotel. By the time we were on our way to the reception, I called my brother's cell phone, frantically asking for mom in fear that a panic attack was right around the corner. He said, "I have something better than a Xanax. Meet me outside the reception site and I'll take care of it." So, I'm still frantic, thankful that my brother is going to give me drugs... then wondering where my brother scored something better than Xanax.

I met him outside the restaurant in the Galleria and he said, "Come with me for a minute. Just a minute." And I went with him down the escalator. I'm still wondering what illegal drugs he has hidden in his wallet in the moment. And he taps my shoulder, points straight forward (to the Coach store), and says, "You don't need a Xanax. You need a Coach bag." Then, I hyperventilated and said I needed a Xanax to deal with this shock. We had about 3 minutes until people started looking for me at the reception and of course, I walked in, looked for five seconds, and found IT. IT, my friends. IT. THE BAG.

After a week in its beautiful gift box, which the sales person wrapped right in front of me, knowing I'd had a tough day, I finally decided that my house is safe enough. You don't understand. I don't own things like this. I'm still in shock and can't believe this happened to me. One thing you should know about my brother is that his heart is 10 sizes too big and his wallet is lots bigger than mine. Okay, those were two things about my brother. Basically, he has a bit of a spending problem. And this time, I couldn't come up with a good lecture for him.

Thanks, Ry. :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Project Self: They Got Married

... and I slacked off.

If you've been reading all week, you know I've been sharing each day of my brother-in-law's (and new sister-in-law's) wedding! Obviously, we ended up at a wedding at the end of the three day celebration and THIS is what we wore:

(excuse the quality- we did a quickie photo shoot with our car trunk as the tripod between the ceremony and reception!)

on me: dress - Light in the Box, shoes: Cabrizi
on him: Everything's rented from Men's Wearhouse
on Little S.: dress - Cinderella collection (from Burlington), socks: Target, shoes: Stride Rite, bow: local artist

If the bride hadn't stolen the show with her gorgeous dress and pink high top Chucks, this little one would have taken the cake! (The groom had blue high top Chucks to match!)

basket: A.C. Moore

And as Husband climbed in the car to rush over to the reception site, I basically threw the camera at him and begged for this shot! I originally hated this dress (because it didn't fit) and after some alterations, matching it up with the hairstyle (which I tweaked a bit on my own), and finding white shoes that I could live with, I think the whole look turned out very classy. Please ignore the beads of sweat all over my face. It was only 100 degrees.

And it's Project Self time! I swear I haven't given up on my journey! I'm still at the very beginning! But coming home from a week of busy chaos eating pretty much whatever I want, I've had a difficult time getting back on my regular 5-6 small meals a day + regular workouts. Zoe wants to kick my ass, I swear. She's like, "Hey, mom... I'm bored. Take me running. Now." And I'm like, "Oh my GAAAHHH, it's a million degrees outside. YUCK!" So, instead of going running and suffocating, I decided to buy Jillian Michaels' Ripped in 30 DVD. Best idea of my life. And by best idea, I totally mean that I can't feel my arms, my legs are cramped, and although I only finished the first workout last night and second this morning, I don't know how I could possibly make it to day 3, much less WEEK 3 (there are four weeks). But the quote from Jillian, "I have one job and that's to make you look crazy, ridiculous, sick, insane, amazing," totally sold me.

So, here's the news of the week....
0.8 up
70.6 to go.

The gain was well deserved, although it's hindering to see the scale to up, even when I didn't work hard to make it go down. So, my friends, HOW do YOU get back on track after vacation?
If your secret is to never get off track, you are superperson and I cannot follow your ways.

Are you taking great care of yourself? Exercise? Healthy eating? Well-being? Share it with us! Project Self is a BLOG HOP!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wedding Day: The Hair Appointment

Yesterday, I mentioned that I HAD to go to Forever 21 in the mall. The real reasoning behind that shopping trip was that I completely neglected to bring something to wear for our hair appointment on Saturday morning. Sure, I could have worn pretty much anything I had in my suitcase, but the truth of the matter is that I needed something that unbuttoned or that I could take off down my body, without messing up my hair. Enter: my first maxi dress (other than the one I made a while back). Also enter: I didn't carry my sewing machine on my trip... silly me. Therefore, I had to pick up the most INSANELY high heels of all creation (think Megan). Unfortunately, I forgot to take OOTD pictures amidst the mad chaos that was Saturday morning and luckily, the MOH had these gems on her facebook page. I guess I'll just have to recreate the outfit for you and photograph the shoes, too!

Warning: These photos are rated PG-13 for mad cleavage. The ladies are crazy. I can't help it.

dress, shoes (not pictured), necklace: Forever 21
clutch: Target

I wanted to live in this dress for the entirety of the weekend, but I had to change into my bridesmaid dress around 2 p.m. So... I wore it, again, on Sunday. New group of people. They were never the wiser. Until now...

For those of you who are following my Project Self posts, I've DEFINITELY hit a road block this week. Coming back from semi-vacay has been so difficult for me. Jumping back on the bandwagon as far as a regular workout schedule and planned meals just hasn't happened, yet. Stay tuned for this Friday when I ask YOU for tips on how to get back in the swing. Included in tomorrow's post will be the culmination of the wedding weekend outfit posts, including the best man (ie: Hubs), the flower girl (ie: Little S.) and a bridesmaid (ie: me). 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wedding Friday

The Friday before the wedding, we got up early, had breakfast at Silver Diner (nom nom!) and went to the mall. I HAD to visit Forever 21, because I'd never been in the actual store! Little S. enjoyed the Disney Store and Legoland (or something of the sort). It was over 100 degrees, so I opted to stay extra comfy in a cotton knit. In retrospect, the dress doesn't look fabulous on me, but at least it was breathable!

dress, shoes, belt: Target

Friday evening, we had the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. I knew I needed something comfortable because we'd be driving back and forth between Tyson's and Arlington. Oh, and I have a two-year-old to chase around! Target came in handy, once again, with the perfect dress.

Have a great day!

Monday, July 25, 2011

27 Dresses

... or maybe a few less.
I really did love getting gussied up for days in a row while in northern VA for my brother (and new sister!)-in-laws' wedding. We started the celebration on Thursday afternoon with a quiet evening at the bride's parents' home. Homemade sangria and homemade pizza filled our tummies and we had lots of fun chatting about Kathleen's (hey, sister!) and Brent's relationship. I also got to meet her closest friends and spend time with her mom and sister, which was really nice! Little S. did a great job fitting in with the ladies, ate some pizza, drank the virgin sangria, and watched Yo Gabba Gabba! on our new iPad.

dress and sandals: Target
watch: New York & Company (it stopped, though. sad face.)
shiny skin: c/o 110 degree temps + 100% humidity

Apologies for quality, but I jacked this from the MOH's facebook. I look good making salad, right?
YES, I made that face on purpose. Or maybe I just look like that in the kitchen.

I'll be posting more outfits from last week + Little S. in her flower girl garb throughout the week! I hope you all have been enjoying your summer. I sure have! I go back to work for the first time in THREE WEEKS tomorrow... 

Also, if you donated an item in my 400 Follower Giveaway, definitely check out the winner's (Tara!) post about the prize package. She was so sweet to individually thank each and every person who sent something! 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Project Self: Goal 1!

It took me a while to finally get to it, but I celebrated meeting my first goal on Tuesday! You might remember how I talked about my reward system a little over a month ago and now that I've finally indulged in a "prize," I can't wait to meet my next goal! At 180, I'mma get somethin' sexylicious to make me feel extra good about all the hard work I'm doing! I encourage you to do the same! There's nothing like celebrating your new body in something you look and feel excellent in!

I just realized, however, that I need to edit my reward system because I've already done a few of the things on it... Oopsie. Honestly, I couldn't have gone any longer without new running shoes. My knees and shins were hurting and after a jog, I felt like the bottoms of my feet were standing on concrete for days. My best friend also gave me highlights while I was visiting my family's cabin, so I kind of did that, but I'll probably still do it again and go all out at 160. I guess I only have to change the 170 reward. So let's see...

170 - three new workout outfits
There ya have it. Documented.

I took Little S. with me to get my pedicure and they did her toes for free! I went a head and got a full set of acrylics since we're in the wedding this weekend and I felt like I really needed a rewarding afternoon after finding out my tooth (yes, that SAME tooth that's been giving me hell since last August) is going to have to be extracted. I cried my eyes out, went to Tropical Smoothie, and walked right over to the nail place. Take that, stupid tooth.

I let the people convince me that I wanted pink and white gel nails instead of an acrylic French manicure. They showed me examples and I have no idea what the difference is... So I went for this one. And then I realized this was $20 more expensive. Duh.
Oh well... I deserved it, right?

NEWS OF THE WEEK! I don't have access to a scale this week, so I'm sticking with last week's weight to be safe.
0 down
69.8 to go

Since we're out of town for my BIL and future 
(as of TOMORROW) 
SIL's wedding, I've been working my tail off in the hotel fitness center. For the love... No rest for THIS woman! Do you work out when you're on the go?

Ready. Set. LINK!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Woven Camellia

When I found out my friend from high school and college, as well as sorority (it's a lot easier to describe it that way) sister, Nikki, opened an etsy shop, I knew I had to find out what she was making! Woven Camellia is a beautiful collection of feather, fabric, and knit accessories, all handmade by Nikki. Her talents have wowed me since the opening of her shop and I absolutely can't wait to support her as she moves forward with this business! Nikki donated a gorgeous silk flower hair pin to my giveaway winner and it is STUNNING! Here's what Nikki had to say!

"Hello everyone! I'm Nikki from Woven Camellia. I'm a gal with too many hobbies and way too little time in the day! I opened a brand new shop on Etsy this past spring, and it's been an exhilarating journey so far. Right now, my shop focuses on fun hair accessories for going out or every day wear, but I'm looking to expand my line to include hand knitted accessories for the fall. One thing you should know about me is that I'm painfully camera shy, so instead of a picture of me, please enjoy these photos of lovely ladies wearing some of my hair clips."

Nikki, your work is incredible and I'm so proud of you! Thank you, again, for donating to my giveaway. I know Tara will love her beautiful hair pin!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

think pretty thoughts

In keeping with thanking my lovely giveaway donors, next up is the sweet, sexy, and super strong blogger behind think pretty thoughts, Katy. Katy donated a skype session with a beginner diet and exercise plan, tailored for the winner's wants, needs, and goals. She did the same for me a while back and her advice has really helped me kickstart my new lifestyle. Katy is not only chock full of awesome information, but her writing style is addicting. She'll become your best friend in the matter of two sentences and you'll definitely be going back for more! Wait 'til you see how gorgeous she is, too! Here's what Katy had to say!

"Hi, I'm Katy! My blog is called think pretty thoughts. How would I describe myself? Basically, a lady in the kitchen, but a freak in the gym.  I post outfits, workouts, and nutrition tips and advice. I've been known to become best friends with readers. Come hang out!"

It's kind of hard to take all the pretty, right? NO. You think she's drop dead gorgeous, now? Wait 'til you get a taste of that personality. Total package? Lucky Charlie. 

Thanks, again, Katy!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Get the Green

Yesterday was singlehandedly one of the busiest days I've had in months. Little S. and I left the houseat 11 in the morning and didn't come home 'til after 4:30 in the afternoon. We got shoes for my BIL and future SIL's wedding this weekend (I'm a bridesmaid), ruffly socks for Little S. (she's the flower girl), dresses for us to wear to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, had lunch (at Target, because we roll like that), dropped some items off at the post office (I feel like I live there), went to my dentist to get a release and send stuff to a *new* dentist... I feel like there were more errands, but I'm scatterbrained and don't remember anything past those. 

I took the erranding opportunity to get dressed for real, which I haven't done almost the entire time I've been off work this month! I was glad to find that my skinny jeans fit me, again! And I haven't had the chance to wear this shirt since I bought it last year. I purchased it online from New York & Company and when it arrived, it was the ugliest shade of mint green and made me look completely sick. My skin got all yellow and it was really not becoming, so I pushed it to the back of my closet. When I pulled it out in April, it didn't zip on the side, so I slapped it in the yard sale pile. Ugly color + too small? Forget about it. Well, I decided to give it a new life with some RIT dye and overdyed it to a darker green. Then I kept it in my "we'll see if I can wear these clothes in a few months" pile. Voila. 

I'm still not sold on the color, though. What do you think?

blouse: New York & Company
jeans: Charlotte Russe
flats: Gap (handed down from Whitney)

Wow. My boobs look really good in this top.
Did I just say that?

I won these beautiful earrings by Cat Moore Design from a celebratory giveaway on Fatale Fashion! I love them so much and can't wait to wear them all.the.time! Thank you to Cat and Ariana! These babies are so lightweight, I don't even know I'm wearing them!

Here's to a busy rest of the week! We're heading to VA tonight, getting new tires on the car in the morning (not by choice, but out of necessity... ughhhh), driving from Husband's parents' place to mine, staying the night there, then traveling to the DC area on Thursday to start celebrating wedding festivities! Hopefully I'll have some posts pre-written, but rest assured there will be LOTS of pictures upon our return! Husband is the best man, I'm a bridesmaid, and Little S. is the flower girl. We'll be dressed to impress all weekend long! Then it's back to work on Monday! 

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Blonde Ambition

Remember how last week, I featured Meredith, because she's amazing and donated to my giveaway? Today, I'm featuring the lovely Leslie of A Blonde Ambition! She's a wonderful blog friend who has helped me completely re-look at the way I view personal style. Leslie put together a beautiful online personal style portfolio for me last year and donated the same type of e-Style session to our giveaway winner! When I asked Leslie to tell us a little about herself, here's what she had to say!

"Hi y'all! I'm Leslie and I'm the blonde behind A Blonde Ambition! I'm southern, newly engaged and well-caffeinated. I started my blog in July 2009 as a way to catalog all of my random thoughts and ideas and along the way have met some pretty incredible people. My blog is all about, well, pretty much darn near everything. On any given day, you could find fashion tips, home decor, event planning advice or random personal's a delightful mish-mash, really. Come on over and say hey!"

Leslie's blog is bright, inviting, sweet, and inspirational. Please give her a visit, stick around, and make yourself at home with all of her southern charm! Thank you, girl! 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Project Self: What Does This Mean?

I stepped on the scale this morning and was so disappointed. I didn't lose an ounce this week! Friends, if only you knew how hard I've been working and how conscious I've been of everything I've been doing and everything I've been eating... I know there will be weeks like this. I've had one before- very early in the process. But I really pushed myself over the edge with my workouts this time and my meal plan has been fool proof.

What am I doing wrong?
What does this mean?
What changes do I have to make?

Obviously, something needs to be tweaked.
If you have insight, let me know. I don't expect to see major number changes on the scale every week, but when I really push myself and make the right choices, I expect to see SOMETHING. Maybe, because I started strength training two weeks ago, I'm gaining muscle? Don't we all love to tell ourselves that one?

I don't have any photos today, friends. I'm still in my jammies, trying to get everything situated for our yard sale tomorrow. If you're local, please stop by! We have lots of men's and women's clothing, shoes, electronics, dishes, stuffed animals and beanie babies, children's books, and obviously miscellaneous odds and ends! I've been so frazzled trying to get ready for this sale that I definitely thought I'd been burning some extra calories outside of my scheduled workouts.

0 down
69.8 to go.

Do you have any insight about what I can do to kick start the weight loss again? 

Ready. Set. LINK!

Friendship Bracelet Swap!

I'm participating in the Friendship Bracelet Swap with Chasing Davies!
You should join in the fun, too!

Chasing Davies

I found this in such perfect timing! While raiding the attic for items to sell at our yard sale this weekend, I found my huge box of threads and beads that I used to spend HOURS crafting with! I'm pretty psyched. Not gonna lie.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bridal Shower Flowers

Just in case you didn't know, I'm kind of a master bridesmaid. Let's see... I've been a bridesmaid 6 or 7 times and a maid of honor (okay, matron...) one of those times. I think I've mastered some of the skills you need to become a master bridesmaid and one of them is creating a tail kicking bow bouquet. At the bridal shower, one of the bridesmaids uses a paper plate and all of the gift bows to create a bouquet that the bride will use as her stand-in on the night of the wedding rehearsal. Have you seen a better one?

Hey, Jen, please don't kill me for putting you on the blog. I love you! You're the most beautiful bride and I'm sooooo excited to watch you become a Mrs. in less than 2 months!

Jen has been one of my best friends since we were 13! Or maybe it was 14, but I'm pretty sure it was 13. Okay, 8th grade. That makes it a hell of a lot easier. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding (almost five years ago!) and I'm so happy she asked me to stand beside her while she marries the man of her dreams in September! Most of you know that I traveled up to Virginia to visit my parents last week. The main reason of the trip was to get to Jen's shower! I elongated the vacay, of course, to spend time with family! Bridal showers are tricky business when you don't know the crowd, so I had to choose pretty safe attire. I kept it classic and comfortable, but tossed in some color so I could express myself a bit!

dress: Simply Vera*Vera Wang via Kohl's
belt: New York & Company
shoes: Bandolino via Ross, gifted by Rochelle

This little photo shoot was courtesy of my little brother and took place on my parents' deck. I asked him to take interesting pictures and look around for good background opportunities. His idea? Blow Little S' bubbles. Done.

To keep everyone safe and private, I won't name names! But here's Jen (oops, hey name dropper) and some of her bridesmaids (and that amazing bow bouquet).

What are some wedding traditions you love?