Monday, July 10, 2017

Sweet Summer '17

It's been a whirlwind of fun the last few weeks for us. We have packed in the activities and non stop fun! We had a great 4th of July celebrating with friends, eating and drinking all the fresh summer foods, hit Holiday World/Splashin Safari, visited my parents in Jasper, and are generally having the best summer ever!


Strawberry Moscow Mule (Muddle strawberries and mint, add vodka, ginger beer and squeeze of lime)

Cheese and meats from Garfield Park farmers market

4th of July party with my high school friends


Roman loved riding the paddle boat with the boys






 Great (exhausting) trip to Holiday World and Splashin Safari. Roman loved the kid's slides and pool.


Brunch at Milktooth


Roman caught a fish at the lake with my parents

Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Headed into a holiday weekend, and I can't wait! Here are my favorite finds of the week.

I love this pink plaid top and shorts from J.Crew factory. I would wear them separately or together. They have a cute blazer in the plaid as well. Queen Bee earrings from J.Crew factory as well. I've been eyeing this gold watch. It's on sale for under $60, which is a steal for a watch.

I love the ties on this peplum top from H&M. I was kind of over the peplum trend because I wore them to death a few years ago. But I might make an exception for this top.

Have you guys shopped at Mango? Such cute and trendy pieces at great price points. Both ruffled skirts, mules, jumpsuit, cut out top, and handbag are all from Mango. Check it out.

I keep seeing these espadrilles on the Nordstrom site. Several colors on sale for $31.46 (random price)

Monday, June 26, 2017

4th of July

I have declared the 4th of July to be my favorite holiday for many years. I don't know if that is still true because Christmas is awfully fun when you have kids, but I do still absolutely love the 4th!! I like any excuse to dress in theme or make themed out food. Here are my current favorites for the 4th.

I've been eyeing this dress from J.Crew for awhile. I've always loved this apron style dress and have long searched for a sewing pattern to make one. I have only found vintage patterns that no longer exist. The dress is on sale now, but has limited sizes. This red gingham romper is only $23 from ASOS. Red OTS and Navy polka dot are from H&M. Red one shoulder top is from Gap. Chambray and white jean shorts are from J.Crew. Striped suit is from Amazon. I have a different one, a knockoff and it fits perfect! I included this wrap skirt because my sister and I had matching skorts exactly like this when I was in 5th grade. I believe we even wore them in our Christmas picture. I need to ask my mom to find it. I love that it's back in style!

Bow flats from Target. My love for Sugar lips is still going strong! I have these puff ball earrings from J.Crew and love them. Chain link necklace is also J.Crew. Hat from Nordstrom. Sometimes I really want a fanny pack. I know, I know! But how cute is this Clare V. striped one? Striped shoes, chambray hat both from J.Crew. Striped sandals, and towel from Target. Bag of the summer is from Shop Suey Boutique for $68.



We have been invited to a few parties this weekend and I plan to bring some type of appetizer or dessert. I think both of these look really easy and festive!



Check out my recipes page for other great ideas to make or take to a party. The black bean and corn salsa is always a hit! Another great option are my wings or grilled bacon jalapeno chicken tenders.

Happy 4th of July everyone! I hope you have a great holiday.

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