Sunday, December 30, 2012

Saying Sunday

Don't use the excuse it's too cold to run outside in the winter.
Under Armour is by far the best apparel for running outside in the cold.
Below is a pic I took before I headed out for a run Friday night at dusk. It was a windy 37 degrees.
This gear will keep you warm without a bunch of bulky clothing. Most importantly you will dry quickly, keeping you from being wet and cold.
Here's how I stayed warm:
Under Armour ColdGear Catalyst Hoodie, $75 at Dick's Sporting Goods
The material is light, stays dry, and the hood is stretchy and stays put when running. I absolutely love the color of this hoodie!
Under Armour ColdGear Compression Mockneck Long Sleeve Shirt, $50 at Dick's Sporting Goods
Another great light weight shirt, tight fit, and a great base layer.
Under Armour Women's Blustery Headband, $18 at Under Armour
This headband is awesome and covers all of your ears. It's made of a soft fleece material and is snug enough that it doesn't slip out of place. I also liked that it kept my headphones in place.
Under Armour GoldGear Liner Gloves, $25 at Under Armour
These gloves kept my hands warm and were long enough to keep my wrists covered as well.
Since I was running at night, I wore a pair of my black running tight pants, which have a design made of reflectors on the calfs.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saying Sunday

This should help you get your sexy back.....
unless those three men are wearing hoods and carrying guns, in that case you may want to run.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Festive w/out an Ugly Sweater

This year my co-worker and friend decided to be really festive with coordinating attire to both of our  annual work functions: the Christmas Party and the Holiday Luncheon.
Let this be a reminder that you can be festive without breaking the bank or sporting an ugly sweater!

For the work party we wore these super cheap dresses from Old Navy (see post Domesticated Officer for more). Since the brand is cut super big, we added our own black patent belts. I paired mine with my black patent Loubs :)
For the the lunch, we went more casual and comical. Sporting these Naughty and Nice shirts, also from Old Navy, each only $10. I loved the bright colors and the sequins and everyone had to comment, "didn't you get the two mixed up?" HAHA

I paired my shirt, with these beautiful and very bright True Religion Skinnys...the photo doesn't show how vibrant the color they really are! Trish paired hers with these gray pants and cute red shoes!
Our CFO is the guy in the middle.
Make the holidays fun and show a little cheer through your attire :)

Suds in the bucket....

I really disliked the way this dish washing soap bottle looked at my kitchen sink, but I wasn't about to put it "away" somewhere after each use. Hand soap dispensers are not a good option for dish washing soap since you have to pump. So I was excited (I know this is sad) when I saw this idea on Pinterest of using a glass oil bottle with a pour spout as a dispenser.

I'm not in love with the glass etching on the side of the bottles (I really hate when people label everything) but do like the look of the streamlined clean glass bottle.

So before:

and after:
I purchased the bottle at Marshalls for $3.99....I haven't decided if I should also do the hand soap in a smaller glass bottle. I like the hand soap with a pump though....
Possibly a stainless bottle?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A girl can dream.....

My Dream Designer Christmas List :)

Burberry Brit Cotton Check Blouse, $295

Burberry Giant Check Print Scarf, $350

Speedy 35, Louis Vuitton, $790
Marc by Marc Jacobs Gold Blade Watch, $250

Christian Louboutin Pigalle 85 Patent Pumps, $625

Frye Heath Harness Disc Boots, $358

Christian Dior, J'adore Parfum, $62-105
 oh and one last thing an Hermes Belt :)


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saying Sunday

"Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of your time. There are too many mediocre things in life; Love shouldn’t be one of them.”
Dream for an Insomniac

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saying Sunday

When I saw this, it really made me think and I hope it does the same to you.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cash for Clothes

Consignment shops and Ebay are a great way to turn those items you don't use into cash. Ebay however can be time consuming, from listing, correspondence, and then shipping. I prefer taking my items to the store and having them sold that way.
My favorite store is called Wear It's At and it's located right on Main Street in Reisterstown, MD. Don't let the bright colored exterior full you, this store is stocked full of designer gentility used and often brand new clothing, shoes, handbags, and other accessories from brands like Hudson, Coach, Tiffany and Co., Chanel, Tory Burch, and Louis Vuitton. Wear It's At only sells items that are high quality and authentic Everything is exceptionally priced and they have 50% off sales frequently.
I have stopped by other consignment shops and was totally grossed out by the smell as soon as I walked in the door. Back in college I went to a Plato's Closet and they offered me $5 for a Coach purse and the store resembled Goodwill. I can assure you, Wear It's At is not at all like these type of stores- it's both clean and organized.
I have been a customer & consignor of the store for a few years now and have made a fair share of money selling items that were just sitting in my closet. The consignment process is simple: drop off items and they get put out for sale. If they sell you can get store credit or a check and if they do not sell you can pick them up or have them donated to a local women's charity Suited for Succeed.
The staff is super nice and if you follow them on Facebook or Instagram you can see some of the latest hot items instantly.
**Hangers pictured above are simple and easy to make! Google "DIY covered hangers" for step by step instructions and patterns.**

Dinner Specials

Week after week, it seems my husband and I make the same things for dinner. We eat a lot of salad, boneless chicken breast, and of course veggies. To try to break out of our food rut, I picked a week of dinner ideas (found from online blogs and Pinterest) and planned a menu. When looking for recipes, I looked for ones that were healthy or could be modified to be healthy. Additionally each item was something we have never made before.
I got all the necessary ingredients on one shopping trip, so I was not running out each day for different items. I sent my husband an email in the beginning of the week with each day's dinner idea and I link to the recipe. We take turns cooking dinner and this made it easy for both of us, since he could make dinner on the nights I was in class.
In the end we found some recipes we loved and a few that were complete misses. It was fun trying new recipes and we found we liked the simplicity of a planned dinner, especially during a busy Thanksgiving week! This is a great way to try all those "pins"! There are also websites that provide a week of dinner recipes, complete with shopping lists (HERE ).
Here is a snapshot of the menu, complete with pics and links!
For each I'll give a brief review.

Tomato and Black Bean Salad
This was such a tasty side salad but took a combo of a few recipes to get it just right.
To start I skipped the parsley (I don't think it would have added that much flavor either way) and used a low fat balsamic vinaigrette and fat free feta.
The first recipe was lacking the wow factor we hope for. I decided to spice it up and added lemon juice (which Kraft recommended here HERE). I also added cucumbers (recommended here HERE ). Another recipe recommended sugar (HERE). To keep it healthy and add the flavor it was missing, I used a little bit of Truvia.
The addition of the cucumbers, sweetener and lemon juice made it just right! Left overs tasted great and were perfect for lunch the next day too!

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken
This recipe is super easy and healthy. We did not modify the recipe in anyway, except we did scale it down in size since it was just two of us. It had good flavor, but it was just okay. Probably not something that we will make often.
Spinach Chicken Parm
This was by far our favorite and we have made it a few times since! The only issue is the recipe itself. If you read the recipe comments, many others recommend modifying the steps so we did as well.
We coated the chicken with egg and milk to make the breadcrumbs stick better and also added Italian seasoning. We sauteed the chicken and removed it from the pan, then sauteed the spinach and lastly the sauce- all separately. This helps keep the chicken's crisp and the spinach from being over cooked.
Bacon and Tomato Pasta Salad
This was terrible and definitely something I will not make again. I used shell whole wheat pasta and used a low fat precooked bacon (Hormel Brand). Overall the bacon flavor dominated the dish. This was a total miss.
THURSDAY: Thanksgiving :)
7 Layer Salad
I have had a version of this before at a cookout this summer. To make this as healthy as possible, I used low fat mayo, Truvia, fat free sour cream, and fat free cheese. We had to scale down each ingredient to make it for just two. The only mistake I made on this was using red onions instead of green (which I was out of). The red onions were way too strong and dominated over the other ingredients. We also used the same Hormel precooked low fat bacon. This saves time and calories.
We really liked this and it was filling as a meal. I'm glad I got to try this recipe out at home, so now I can take to a cookout in the future.
**I forgot to take a pic of our 7 Layer Salad, but it looked just like the one above :)
What are some of your best recipes? I'd love to try them out!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Old Navy??

I am not a fan of cheap clothing. Inexpensive or on sale, yes. But cheap, no thank you. It has been my experience that clothes that are "cheap" from stores like Kohls, Forever 21, and Old Navy, fall apart, fade, and over all are ill fitting. My logic is why spend money on something that is not going to last or even worse not look good on? I rather spend a little extra and get an item that will be in my wardrobe for years to come.
But sometimes, you are in a pinch or you just get lucky....
With all that said, I went against my own advice and stopped into an Old Navy store recently. I was out shopping and this vibrant red dress caught my eye in the window on one of their creepy mannequins. I went into the store and looked at the dress. Turns out, the one on the mannequin was the last one in the store and just so happened to be my size. An employee got me the dress and I tried it on. Just as I expected, the dress was cut way to big and was very "boxy" throughout the middle. I just loved the color so much, that I decided with a nice leather belt across the waist, I'd be able to pull it together.
Well, that same helpful employee also informed me that everything in store was "buy one, get the second half off". I looked around and found one silver dress also in my size without a price tag. Turns out it was an Internet only item and had been returned. I tried it on, it was also cute and ill fitting, but for the price I decided to buy it and have it altered at my dry cleaners. (If you don't already do that, I highly recommend it. I get many dresses and pants tailored and it's fairly inexpensive. Pants are usually $10 and dresses around $20.) Paired with my black Express belt and some Louboutins, I think I can dress up this cheap number.
Many of the items in the store were cheaply made and I felt like I really got lucky with the purchases I made for the price I paid. I wore the red dress, with a brown leather Jessica Simpson belt, and my Frye Boots to a friends baby shower/tea party. Friends were suprised when I said the dress was from Old Navy :)
To keep these items in tact, I will get both dry cleaned (even thought the tag provides machine washing instructions).
Here are images of my finds and I swear in person (and on) they look better! The red dress is a very bright color and the picture below does it no justice.

New City-Same Blue Box

I have long heard of this "too good to be true" Nike Women's Marathon held each year in San Fransisco. As one runner described, the race is so unique featuring a, "Ghirardelli chocolate mile, bra bar, pre-race expotique and probably the most talked about feature, the Tiffany & Co. finisher’s necklace served upon silver platters at the finish line by handsome tuxedo clad local firefighters". Proceeds of the race go to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In other words, this is my kind of race!
If only it was closer....well now it is! I was so happy to open my email and see a message from Nike informing me that this same race is coming to DC! The only drawback is that it is only offered as a half, instead of a full.
Registration is open now and the price is discounted for college and graduate students! The race is only open to 15,000 people, so it will sell out quickly.
Here are some of the awesome Tiffany and Co necklaces for the finishers of the San Fran race! I can't wait to see what mine will look like :) In addition to the necklace, runners also get a Nike Dry Fit t-shit.
For more info and to sign up, visit NWM26.2