Thursday, June 22, 2017

Gingham One Shoulder Top

 
I made this top a few weeks ago using the New Look pattern 6507. I got the fabric from JoAnn Fabrics.  I cut the size small pattern. It was easy to follow and I think it turned out well. I actually added an inch to the bottom of the shirt as I thought the pattern seemed too short. I wish I would have added more. It's borderline crop top length if sewn based on the pattern. I also hemmed up the ruffle by an inch. If I make this again I may cut a medium to fit the arm hole better.
 
 
 
 

I tried the top on with a skirt and shorts. You can see the length of the top untucked with the shorts. This was before I hemmed the ruffle.

Finished top.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sweet Summer '17

Happy Summer '17! It's been a good one for us already. Roman is at a great age for outdoor activities! He loves his pool and slide. He can't get enough of the hose and watering everything. It's almost always a fight to turn the water off. He's going on the 2nd summer of "mow mowing". He gets his mower out every day and especially loves when Dan or the neighbors are mowing too. He collects sticks from everyone's yards and prefers to go barefoot like grandpa.

We have a bucket list of activities for the rest of the summer including Holiday World, making ice cream, swimming, going to the zoo, playing with friends and cousins and going to see our first movie.

It's a joy to watch Roman play and do all the fun things we did as kids. We're looking forward to the days of summer ahead.


 








 
 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Finding my Fitness

In the last year I have trained and run a 1/2 marathon, completed the 12 week Kayla Itsines BBG workout program and most recently am finishing up The Faster Way to Fat Loss program. My entire life has been spent trying to lose weight. Sadly, I think most women can say the same thing. Starting in high school and still to this day, I have been working to attain a better body. I'd give anything for the high school body I thought was too big! Geez. But back to present day, post pregnancy and in my thirties I've been trying to find the right balance for me. I have always loved working out. I have done every workout there is yoga, boot camps, home videos, running, etc. I beat myself up every day that I don't work out, but yet my body hasn't changed in years. If you know me, you know I am addicted to sweets. Actual addiction. I can and did eat bags of candy and boxes of cookies on a daily basis. And because I love to bake, if I didn't have any sweets around, I would just bake some!
 
I finally got desperate and realized I had a problem and it was going to get worse if I didn't stop. I needed to change my diet. Eating healthy is freaking hard! I love to cook and bake. Dan and I love to try new restaurants. Eating is our entertainment and a way of life for us.
 
Last year a fashion blogger I follow started posting about the Faster Way to Fat loss and I was intrigued. I didn't understand the program and didn't want to pay for it. Then 6 weeks ago a friend of mine on Facebook posted her own results from the program and I found myself really drawn to it based on her results. My friend Lindsey loved the FWTFL program so much that she decided to become a coach. After several questions and a few tears I signed myself up.
 
I am finishing the program this week and signing up for another one to keep my progress going. I really didn't want to post these pictures because the "before" is somewhat embarrassing, but I felt like maybe I could help someone else. My flat stomach is back! Yes!!! I'll always have my stretch marks and extra skin #mombod, but at least I can feel better about wearing a swimsuit.
 
I have lost inches and my clothes are fitting better. I'm excited to start another round with Lindsey next week!
 
I took this picture following a 30 minute run and sprints. I also had a shirt on, but wanted to show my results. :)
             Week 1                                     Week 3                                      Week 6




Some information about the program: Please note, these are my own descriptions and opinions. Please refer to the actual program for more official descriptions and feel free to ask me any questions.

This is unlike any other program I have heard of and is a little confusing. I have learned so much about nutrition through the process and hope to make this a lifestyle, not just a 6 week program. This is NOT a quick fix if that is what you are looking for. You will lose fat and gain an important knowledge of nutrition along with a set of workouts.

The program incorporates intermittent fasting, carb cycling, and tracking of macros.

Intermittent Fasting- Basically your body is either fed or fasted. When you are fed you are not burning fat. This program asks you to create a feeding window. So basically I start eating at noon every day and finish at 8pm. I workout in the morning and am burning fat because I am "fasted".  It's not really that hard. I drink coffee and water and then just eat lunch, snacks, dinner, snacks. I am never hungry and in fact find it difficult to eat enough in the window some days.

Carb Cycling - This program includes low carb days. 2 days a week I eat less than 50g of carbs.

Macros- The program uses the My Fitness Pal app to track calories and macros. It's important to not only eat a certain amount of calories every day, but for them to be the right calories. Macros are protein, carbs, and fat. Before this, I was eating mostly carbs and protein. You have to have the right balance to burn fat.

Workouts - This program includes workouts for 5 days of the week. They include cardio and weights which can be done at home or at the gym. There is also a beginner workout included.

If you have any interest in the program, please ask me any questions. My friend Lindsey is starting a group next Monday. Here is the link to her group. I will be in her group and I would love to have some friends with me.

If you are interested in the creator of the program, please see this link for Amanda Tress, Faster Way to Fat Loss.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Friday Favorites

This gingham H&M dress came in the mail and I love it! I can't wait to wear it. I thought it was a little pricey for H&M at $50.00 but I used a 40% off coupon.

I'm kind of obsessed with this bow neck dress from Banana Republic. I love this style and am happy it's trendy again. A few years ago I had several tops with bows at the neck and really wish I would have saved them.

Another gingham dress. Ugh! I know, but I love them all! I like that this Express dress is a jumper and the straps tie in a bow.

I bought this one shoulder Nordstrom dress for $26.00. It's super cute, but I may return it only because I don't know if I really need it.

Cute chambray tie top is J.Crew.
Ruffled darker chambray top is Loft.
Hat is Nordstrom.
Ring is Sole Society

I'm looking for a cognac color pair of slide that criss-cross like these Nine West ones. But black would work well too!

Isn't this clutch cute? Natural looking handbags seem to be all the rage among bloggers. I like the green fringe on this one and The French Basket has a few other colors.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Sewing the trends

I am pleasantly surprised and very pleased that so many trendy patterns are now available. A few years ago, I could never find patterns for clothing that was currently on trend. I have found several this year that I would love to make! Here are some of my favorites.

Clothing is from Draper James (Reese Witherspoon's line) at Nordstrom.
Wrap skirt pattern - Simplicity 8133
Shorts/Pants pattern - Simplicity 8389

ASOS gingham dress, J.Crew yellow dress
New Look dress pattern 6512

Old Navy green dress, Nordstrom one shoulder dress,
New Look pattern 1107

Tiered maxi from ASOS
dress pattern - McCalls 6558

Friday, May 19, 2017

Get the look

A few weeks ago Dan and I went out on a dinner date and then met up with some friends. It was finally nice enough to wear summer(ish) clothing. I wore this one shoulder ruffle top and striped handkerchief. My top is from Francescas and my scarf is from Zara. Neither are online anymore, but I found several more options to get the same look.

Nordstrom $79.00 // Madewell $59.50 // ASOS $35.00 // Abercrombie dress $39.00
J.Crew $64.00 + 30% off // AE $29.50 // Old Navy $16.25

Handkerchiefs
Old Navy// J.Crew
J.Crew // J.Crew
Target // Old Navy

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday and Mother's day weekend! I'm headed to my parents house for the weekend since Dan is traveling for work. I'm hoping for a little relaxation and a break from the single parent life. Dan will be traveling quite a bit over the next month, so it's nice to have some help. I'm looking forward to nice weather as well! Over this rain.

Have a great weekend!

On trend and affordable round summer bag is from Target.  I really want this maxi from Target too but it's "unavailable" right now. I'm bookmarking it and hoping it becomes available.

ASOS seriously has the best dresses! Both this orange and striped one shoulder dress are from the online retailer.

I want these orange gathered carnation earrings from J.Crew, but also want them in white. I can't decide. I think I would probably wear the white more, but the orange are so cute and bright!

These slides are from Amazon and only $29.00

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

White Party

We have been invited to a "white party" reception this summer to celebrate a friend that was married in Hawaii. I love themes, so naturally I'm pretty excited! I've been searching for white dresses that lean more casual as I will want to wear it again. I don't have a lot of white in my closet already, but am considering wearing my own wedding rehearsal dress. Here are some of my favorite options. The first one is the current front runner. The 3rd one is a good possibility as well.

All dresses on the top row are from ASOS

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Gingham Goals

I'm loving all things gingham! I have found it everywhere and it's so fun for spring and summer. Above are some of my favorites. J.Crew really knows how to do gingham! Also, this AE romper is just like the dress I made myself last year in pink. And it's on sale for $24.99!

J.Crew bandana // J. Crew OTS top // Jeffrey Campbell slides // AE romper
J.Crew Factory multi- colored top //  Madewell shorts // J.Crew maxi dress // Target shorts
ASOS dress // ASOS ruffle dress // J.Crew bikini top // Target espadrilles

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Look for Less

I have been eyeing these pink Sam Edelman bow slides all season, but didn't want to pay $90.00 for them. I was pleasantly surprised to find the exact pair at Target. Yay! Sam and Libby is Sam Edelman's brand that is sold at Target. I have found the Target brand to be just as comfortable and the quality is as great as the more expensive Sam Edelman brand. I'm pretty excited about this find, but just can't decide now if I want the pink or blue and white striped pair.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Favorites

J.Crew had a dress and top in this rainbow stripe fabric last year and they were both ill fitting. BUT this year it has returned at the factory store in a skirt style that I already own and know will fit well! I can't wait to wear it! Indy readers: Did you know that a factory J.Crew store opened on the north side? It's in the same plaza at Nordstrom Rack on 82nd street. It's so much more convenient for me than traveling to the outlets in Edinburgh.

Lately, I've been obsessing over slides and mules. I love all the new styles. I really want this pink Sam Edelman bow pair.

I love that denim skirts are back in style and would love to have an embroidered one.

A few years ago I saw a blogger wear a trench coat style dress and I have been trying to find one. J.Crew just released this pink one in their new arrivals this week. I hope I can snag it on sale for work this summer. It comes in a khaki color as well, but the pink is very on trend.

 Friday Favorites:
Trench dress - J.Crew
Embroidered Denim skirt - Topshop
Striped Bow Mules - Topshop
Blue Gingham skirt - J.Crew Factory
Gold Slides- Steve Madden
Rainbow stripe skirt - J.Crew Factory
Pink bow slides - Sam Edelman
Blue dress - H&M
 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Jorts

I have never really liked wearing shorts. I much prefer dresses and skirts as they are more flattering on my legs, but as a mom I pretty much have to wear shorts in order to avoid wardrobe malfunctions. I usually wear the same cutoffs or navy chinos in the summer. This year I'm looking for a cuffed pair of jean shorts. I really love these high waisted distressed ones from JCrew! They are 40% off today, so I ordered 2 sizes to see how they fit. Here are some other options I'm looking at.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Bright Spring Colors

Spring is usually all about pastels, but I have always been a fan of bright colors! I have always gravitated towards anything with bold colors, (cobalt, sunshine yellow, fuchsia, emerald). I was all about color blocking when that was a trend a few years ago. I've moved on from that, but still love bright tops and dresses. Here are my current favorites.

Mara Hoffman yellow striped dress. Mara Hoffman bold striped dress. JCrew green gingham top. JCrew ruffled dress. Jeffrey Campbell blue mules. JCrew cluster earrings.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wednesday Wishlist

I'm dying to shop for spring and summer weather clothing! My birthday is this month, so every year, I mentally (and on my blog) put together a wish list full of spring clothes and accessories that I am hoping for. I have been eyeing "mom jeans" for awhile and really want a pair of tried and true Levi's. I can't decide on jeans or jean shorts. I'm kind of obsessed with this embroidered clutch purse. I think it looks vintage and like something my mom would have in her collection of purses. I have a thing for colorful stripes and think this crochet top is adorable! I've been eyeing new sunglasses (see what I did there ;)) and like a rounded tortoise shell frame. I like the rose color of these lenses. I've already posted this dress, but I keep coming back to it and thinking of all the great accessories that would go with it. I really need some new flats for work and I really like the Kelly and Katie brand from DSW. I love these blush colored ones and know they will be comfortable as I have a few other pairs of shoes from that brand. They are a good deal for only $39. I'm also looking for a bright colored new statement necklace and floral cell phone case.

 
 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Embroidered

Embroidery is a big trend right now. Here are some of my favorite pieces. I love all the tops, but also wouldn't mind rocking a jean skirt again!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Spring Break

Hooray for March!!! I wish I was going on a Spring Break trip this year, but sadly I am not. That hasn't stopped me from wanting to update my closet to spring/summer clothes. If I were going somewhere, above are the items I'd have on my wish list. I am actually on the hunt for a new swimsuit and sunglasses this year and the ones above are my favorites. It feels a little early to purchase, but it doesn't hurt to look!

Swimsuits: Pink Scallop - Target, Stripes - ASOS, Black scoop - JCrew, Blue and white 2 piece- Target
Hat - Jcrew
Shorts: Printed - JCrew Factory, Denim - Madewell
Sandals: Tassel- DSW (Sam Edelman), Gold - Old Navy
Accessories: Necklace - JCrew Factory, SPF lip color - Fresh Sugar tinted, Earrings- Bauble Bar
Sunglasses: Pink - Diff Eyewear, Gold - Le Specs, Green Tortoise - Quay, Tortiose - Le Specs
Dress: ASOS



Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday Favorites - Steals and Deals

I have been trying to watch what I spend lately and have only made a few clothing purchases this year. I always find winter to be a boring time to shop anyway and am always looking forward to spring. Over the last few weeks I have hit the jackpot with a few deals that I couldn't resist! I have seen several fashion bloggers wearing this ruffle top. It's adorable and can be found on Shopbop for $100, Chic Wish for $50 and Amazon for $25! So I promptly bought the Amazon prime version and plan to wear it for my birthday in March! Another Amazon purchase I made were these perforated peep toe booties. I love the gray color and I bought mine for $20! Amazon confuses me with their pricing because they are now $44, but still a good deal. They are super comfortable and I have worn them a few times since our weather has been unseasonably warm lately.

I mentioned last week that I needed a few new sweatshirts to replace my college ones. I bought this coral one from H&M a few weeks ago and I'm embarrassed to say how often I've already worn it! It comes in 7 colors and is only $12. It's perfect for winter or spring.

I also bought this IND hat for $17 on sale at South Boutique. It's sold out there, but you can find it at Fira Boutique or the Aviate website for $35. The Aviate site has several other cities and color options. They even have children's sizes.

Lastly, I got these silver mules for Christmas from Express. I haven't been able to wear them until recently and I LOVE them! They are so comfortable and look adorable for work.

Update! I just found the striped ruffle top in pink and red stripe too! $21 from A'GACI



Monday, February 20, 2017

Mexican Chicken Quinoa

I love this recipe so much! Mexican is my favorite food. We eat Mexican more than any other type of food, so this has been on heavy rotation. This recipe is a great mix of flavors and it's healthy!  But what I like most about this recipe is that it makes a 9x13" pan and will last us 3-4 days!

This recipe and photo are from Well Plated. I changed the ingredients to make it spicier. I will note my changes below.
 

Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 1lb of chicken cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 can of Rotel
  • 1 can of corn (and/or black beans)
  • 1 cup of plain greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese (could use mix of mozz and cheddar, Mexican, or some type of spicy pepper cheese)
  • Fresh Cilantro (optional for serving)

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13" pan and set aside.
  2. Place 1 1/2 cups of water in pot with 1 cup of quinoa. Bring to a boil, once boiling lower heat to simmer and let simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Fluff with fork and set aside.
  3. In a large pan heat olive oil over medium high. Saute peppers and onions for about 5 minutes. Add chicken and seasonings. Cook through.
  4. Add garlic and Rotel.
  5. Remove from heat. Add corn, black beans, yogurt, quinoa and 1/2 of shredded cheese.
  6. Stir until combined. Transfer to baking dish and cover with remaining cheese.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn heat to broil and broil until cheese is lightly browned. Keep a watchful eye, all ovens are different and this may take between 1-4 minutes.
  8. Top with cilantro.

Enjoy!
 
Notes: I use Rotel instead of roasted tomatoes. I sub a can of corn for black beans and sometimes use both. I usually use whatever cheese I have on hand, but spicy pepper cheese is really good!

 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Summer Sewing

Last summer I made two of the cutest dresses and for whatever reason, I never posted them. I love both of these dresses so much and can't wait for another opportunity to wear them. I made them both for a trip we took to Montauk for a good friend's wedding. My pictures aren't the best, but I still wanted to post.
 
Pink Gingham. You may remember I was obsessing over this style dress last year in this post. I ended up trying on the dress in Nordstrom and tracing the top onto a piece of paper in the dressing room. I knew I would never find a sewing pattern and needed a place to start. My mom helped me draft a pattern and I used a pattern I already had for the skirt.



This is the only picture I have from wearing it and it was too dark to edit the image properly.
 
Blue Stripe dress - I've had this fabric for a long time. It's really beautiful fabric! I even have a couple yards of black and white that I'm waiting on the right project to use. I decided to use the blue for this dress because I thought the pattern would be easy to match up the stripes. Matching patterns is harder than you may think. I used McCalls M7162 for the top, but had to add additional darts to make it fit correctly. Thank goodness for my mom, or I never would have been able to make it fit.






 
 I wore this to the wedding rehearsal.

 
So happy my mom came to the rescue and helped me finish both of these dresses, literally the day before we left. I couldn't have done it without her! Hopefully someday I'll have learned enough lessons to successfully sew and alter without having to ask her a million questions. Thanks mom!