Friday, October 29, 2010

Personal Shopping for Heather.

I have always loved clothes. My parents have hours of video footage of be putting together crazy outfits and prancing around the house explaining my choices. Granted, my tastes have improved since then (I like to think) but my love for clothes and my enthusiasm for putting together outfits hasn’t faded over the years.

Over the last few years my friends have started coming to me for advice when they need the perfect outfit because the thrill of the hunt is half the fun for me. Usually they’ll tell me the occasion and their price range and then I’ll come up with something I know will look great on them, that falls within the restrictions they give me price wise (I’m waiting for the day when someone says the sky is the limit).

My Mom has always said I would be the perfect personal shopper because a. I love to shop (and if I was spending other people’s money I could do it more often) and b. I have a flare for knowing what would look good on someone else. She allows me to pick out things she’d never pick for herself and she tries them on and I’d say 90% of the time – she buys them. What can I say, I have a gift. My sisters have become slightly less reluctant to let me guide them over the years though their styles are opposite of each other and rather unlike mine.

Recently though more and more of my friends have signed on board for my help. This week my friend Heather gave me the challenge to find her the perfect dress for a rehearsal dinner. Like myself, she’s recently been working hard to get in shape and was ready for something fun to wear out to show her hard work and support her friend who’s getting married. We talked through a couple ideas but the one that I was most set on was that she should wear purple. A. because purple is so-hot-right-now and B. because it’s a flattering color on most people, including Heather. For go to dresses I like Asos (they have free shipping, both ways – so no stress about returns) and occasionally lulus (although that’s more Aub’s favorite than mine).

Asos is a powerhouse for dresses – use the weapon wisely my friends.

I sent her several options but we both agreed this was the best option:

This dress is $94 on Asos website - but I suggested she rewear it for New Years Eve this year, to get a little more bang for her buck. : ]

If you've got an event coming up and you want my input I may be up for the challenge. Stay in touch - I love to talk clothes.

Love,
B

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Maura Kelly Blog Post.

To know what I'm about to speak of, read this first: http://www.marieclaire.com/sex-love/dating-blog/overweight-couples-on-television

As a formerly plus size girl myself (before losing 50 lbs this year), I'm sensitive about weight related digs. We live in a culture that puts entirely too much emphasis on size, weight, and looks in general. Above that, not everyones fat by 'choice' or even by their own doing. Many things factor into weight and health. Now to have a magazine blast overweight people, as this paragraph in particular does:

So anyway, yes, I think I'd be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other ... because I'd be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I'd find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair.

is really shocking to me! As a former Marie Claire subscriber myself I've been shocked to see them stand behind what Maura wrote. My thoughts? She was unfair, out of line, and down right insensitive. Even when she added a somewhat half-hearted justification after the backlash from the original post, I'm not convinced she didn't mean it just the way it came out.

With eating disorders running rampant in young women today, I'm applaud to say the least by Marie Claire's post. What are we teaching women? When you have a platform such as a magazine, it's important that you are wise with your words - you are influencing a great number of people. With great power comes great responsibility, does it not?

I may no longer shop in the plus size section and to be honest I've never felt better about my body and my weight than I do now, after 6 months of hard work to get to where I am. That being said, I believe that I was no less worthy to be seen kissing a boy I love in public when I was 50 pounds heavier than I am now. And I would argue that if Maura Kelly is that easily disgusted perhaps the problems lies within her own attitudes towards people and body image, not in the people she views as inferior.

I hope that there will be consequences for Maura's blog post, as I'm sure the ramifications for those insecure women who read that article will be far-reaching and long-lasting.

A great reminder that our tongues are powerful tools of destruction when we allow them to be. The bible calls the tongue a restless evil, full of poison.

My thoughts from where I stand now are these...take care of your body, it's the only one you get. Work and fight for the body that you want, and love the way you look. People can be beautiful at any size and any shape. Never be ashamed of how you look. Don't be discouraged by narrow minded people. Try not to allow yourself to believe that you are the only one who believes you can get to where you want to be...it's more than likely not true.

I've been watching this season of the biggest loser for the first time and I'm so inspired by these people who are going after what they want. Getting in shape and fighting obesity isn't an easy journey but it's also not an impossible one. There is always hope.

Love,
B



Freebies Every Day.

I try to keep you all in the loop on my latest and greatest finds. So, here’s my latest addiction: http://www.allyou.com/. Check them out. You can get a free sample of something every single day. Some of the samples haven’t been things that interested me but some I’ve been excited about (esp since sample sizes are perfect for traveling) are facial lotions, hair products, snack bars, coupons off groupons, etc.

You get to select which samples you want to receive and which you don’t but honest, who doesn’t want free? I also love getting mail so that’s an added bonus. Anyway, check them out – you can look through the October calendar to see what samples they did this month and get an idea if you’re interested.

Love,
B

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Keeping it Fresh.

If there's one thing I've learned from my recent troubles with weight loss plateau's it's that you have to keep your workouts fresh. Keep surprising and pushing you body to new levels, new moves, and new records. For those of us (ahem, me) that are incredibly competitive even with our own selves, this can actually be fun!

So, in the name of keeping my 2-a-day workouts fresh I have invited Jillian Michaels back into my life in 3 new ways...

I do weight lifting videos in the mornings and cardio in the evenings, typically (depends on how crazy my week is). But I look forward to trying these 3 new videos for my morning workout routines when they arrive (ordered them today). I'll keep you posted!

Love,

B

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Plan to Create.

I love to have a game plan. Plans give me something to get excited about. The funny thing is, for years I’ve made fun of my sister because while I love to get excited about a shopping trip, a vacation, or a girls night out – she likes to have time to build excitement for a restaurant. She hates going to one of her favorites last minute, because she doesn’t have time to savor the excitement about being able to eat there. I’ve always thought this was extremely weird. Food is food. My favorite part about eating out is not having to clean up. But if you asked me 5 minutes beforehand, I’d be fine with that. I don’t need time to get hype about food.

I booked my holiday flights freakishly early again this year, per my usual. So in prep for holiday festivities I like to make plans that get my excited. Ok, now were getting to the heart of what this blog entry is REALLY about. Out with the old and ill-fitting and in with the new, new, new! New clothes in new sizes! I’ve decided to finally say a loving farewell to all my ill-fitting clothes from before I dropped 50 pounds and say and ecstatic hello to new clothes in my new (smaller) sizes. Here comes the plan part….

As with most 25 year olds, I don’t have a huge clothing budget during which I can randomly go buy a whole new wardrobe (wouldn’t that be nice). So, I’ve devised a plan, that’s complete with a ‘look book’. Oh yes, I am this intense about clothes.

I am retiring all my fabulously too big clothes to the local consignment shop where I hope to sell quite a few of them in the next few weeks. The money I make from selling said clothes, in addition to a couple coupons and gift cards I’ve been storing up – will make for a fun trip to the outlet mall, the week before Thanksgiving. This way, my clothes will fit when I get to see my extended family for the first time since my biggest loser-dome AND I will have a few warm items so I won’t freeze my wimpy Florida tush off up north.

Brilliant? I think so. But it gets better…

You know I’m OCD and all…so I’ve created a fall/winter ‘look book’ with all the stylish outfits I’d like to have in my wardrobe. I used magazine clippings from People StyleWatch/Glamour/ In Style/etc. That way I can assess what I already have to work with in my current wardrobe and what I still need to complete my favorite looks. I also make notes on each one about other combos that would also work with some of the same main pieces. It gives my shopping trip a focus and helps me have outfits that got together, instead of just great pieces with no plan on how to work them.

After writing this I am making a mental note to judge my sister less for her food obsession since clearly we have more in common that I thought…

Love,
B

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Balancing Acts.

My family is frequently annoyed by my overzealous attempted to plan ahead. I plan my life about 4 months in advance at all times. This, by the way, is making it super annoying that I haven’t found time to go to Coach and pick up my 2011 Coach calendar insert yet. Anywho, back to topic. I like to plan, plan, plan. Now, I know for people who are a bit more ‘plan as you go’ this can be frustrating or frazzling at the least. But the trick is, if you don’t plan ahead things just don’t seem to happen.

I may be a freak about booking my Christmas flights in August and talking about summer vacation over Thanksgiving break but in my defense – I get a plan and I get things done. If I say I’m going to be in Indy for a wedding in Oct, I’m there. If I plan to see my sister in the spring is Raleigh, I go. I’m consistent and committed when I set my mind to do something.

I’ve recently been struck with how frustrating it can be to be friends with people who aren’t thorough in their plan making and dedicated to the plans you make. Nothing frustrated me more than wasted time. I am purposeful in how I spend my time, even if that means that I write ‘block time’ in big letter across a Saturday and spend the whole day at the pool catching up on my latest novel. Some may say that takes the fun out of things, scheduling them I mean, but if it means that you actually get a day of fun – what’s so wrong with that?

What bothers freakishly OCD people like me is when the people you map out time to be with, don’t put the same amount of care into their time with you. I do not like to be kept waiting for extended periods of time. I hate excuses, as I firmly believe it takes as much effort to be late as on time. I also hate cancelled plans. Sure, you may get the bird flu once in a blue moon and have to put our plans off for another weekend but over scheduling yourself and giving me the ax? Doesn’t sit well. What that communicates, in my opinion, is that our plans just didn’t quite rank on the priority list.

After you graduate college and you get your start in the real adult world, you quickly realize that your relationships truly are what you put into them. What I’ve had to really work at in this department is that I truly loath talking on the phone. Hate it. I dread the sound of my phone ringing. I hate listening to voicemail. And my tendency is to never return a single call…I mean, can’t I just respond with a text or an e-mail?! While texting and e-mails have their place in the world, they certainly can’t always be a substitution for a good phone call.

I’ve had to accept that since I live ridiculously far away from all of my family members and some of my closest friends, phone calls are going to have to be a part of my weekly, if not daily life. That being said, I do frequently schedule ‘phone dates’ so that I know I can catch the person I owe a chat too and get the full scoop on their life when they aren’t trying to check out at the grocery store and I’m not in the middle of prepping for bible study or trying to watch one of my Dad’s games on TV. Ya know?

I have to say, if they do away with people being allowed to talk on the phone while they drive, I will be in serious trouble. While I respect that texting while driving is an unnecessary risk – I make most of my phone calls behind the wheel. Don’t worry all your cell phone crazies, I have a blue tooth! But for those of us who are in offices 8+ hours per day, in the gym an hr a day, and trying to keep up with about a million other tasks – the car is one of few places we can get phone calls made! I talk to one of my family members every morning on the way to work, and usually one every day on the way home.

I suppose to point of this entry is to say that how much effort you put into your friendships is a reflection of the value you place on them. Whether or not you mean to communicate a lack of priority, you may be doing just that. It’s worth putting some thought and effort into how to fit your life around your friends, and not make them feel like you're squeezing them into the cracks of your life.

Love,
B

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cardi v. Sweater Boots.

I've been seeing ton's of bloggers talk about Ugg's new Cardi boots. I love love love them but for $140 and as a Florida resident myself, it's hard to justify them. I did find a much less expensive version by of all places, Old Navy.
Here's the $140 Ugg Cardi (found on Zappos.com)


Here is the much more justifiable $34.50 Old Navy sweater boot:

Also comes in black and a charcoal grey.

I think I might need a pair of these for my trips up north, don't ya think?

Love,

B

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dove: Self Esteem Weekend.

This weekend is Dove’s Self Esteem weekend. Sadly, there were no public events surrounding this for me to participate in here in Tampa and with the chaos of my current schedule, I wasn’t able to plan one myself. But I love the idea of a self esteem weekend enough that I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share a message. On Dove’s website they’ve been asking women what they would say to their 13 year old self. What a sweet idea.

I started thinking about myself at 13. We had recently moved to Tampa from Clemson, South Carolina. I was feeling alone. Insecure. Overwelmed. Emotional (what 13 year old girl isn’t?). I was trying to figure out how to deal with all of the feelings I had about being in a strange place and having to start all over, again, with making friends. In a nut shell, I was still trying to figure out how the game of life is played.

Here are some of the thoughts I'd pass on to myself at that young, vulnerable age...

- Your sisters will always be your most loyal confidantes, appreciate them.
- You are strong. You will survive a great many things, including this rough patch.
- You are never alone, not even when you feel abandoned.
- Your life will not turn out the way your expect, it will turn out better.
- Surround yourself with the right people, they make all the differance.
- Be courageous.
- Cherish every moment.
- Be uncompromising in your expectations - good things are always worth the wait.
- Be yourself, the right people will love you.

Want to send your 13 year old self a message or read some advice other women wish they'd been able to tell the younger version of them? Click here.

Dove Self-esteem Weekend is this Friday-Sunday. Consider how to encourage healthy self-esteem in the youth around you and in your peers. Also, I challenge you to think about the advice you'd offer yourself a few years back - and then find a way to pass it on to those who still might need it.

Love,
B

Complete.

Just finished my morning workout (abs and arms) and wanted to share one of my other inspirations. Though I've never watched a season of Biggest Loser, I'm incredible inspired by this young lady, Ali Vincent:She looks amazing and she's keeping it off. I've been doing biggest loser workout videos in the morning so she and I are getting some sweating in together - and I just continue to think she's awesome. What I love about the show even though I'm not much of a TV watcher myself, is that it's inspiring people that never thought they could get in shape before to get after, work hard, and get where they want to be.

One of my facebook friends has a quote on their profile that says, 'anything I set my mind to, I set my grind too'. Maybe a few more of us need to adapt that motto.

Love,
B

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Butt Kicking.

So after getting really off tract for 3 days over the weekend it’s time to really kick my fitness and weight loss back into high gear. How you may ask? I’m glad you did. Two-a-days. Two-a-days aren’t exactly a foreign concept for a girl who grew up on the sidelines of football fields, watching her Daddy coach. There’s a reason that before the players go into their season, they go through two-a-days. They shock your system and they kick your butt…they also get you in optimal shape before the ‘season’.

Season can mean different things for those of us not involved (or no longer involved) in sports. For me I’m entering the healthiest season of my life, or so I hope. I’m also in the middle of event season for work which means a crazier schedule and more physical demand on my body. To me, preparing for that has been crutial, especially with some of my stomach issues I’ve shared with you about before.

I am now in two-a-days mode with weight training and cardio bursts in the mornings and longer cardio workouts in the evenings. I’m also still taking 1 day completely off per week (this is usually Sunday or Monday). My workout schedule is sometimes thrown off when I’m on the road. Not because it has to be, but because I tend to let myself off the hook since the events are so physically demanding for me.

As a little added motivation/incentive/reward for my hard work at 2-a-days I bought myself this little number…

If you want to consider the two-a-day lifestyle for a bit, I’m really enjoying the biggest loser workouts. I do a cardio video and either legs, arms, or abs in the morning and then an hour of cardio after work in the evenings. It’s a good routine for me and I don’t feel like I’m over working the same muscle groups. I also like to do the Biggest Loser boot camp workouts from time-to-time.

The videos are great because you can do them at home, in your living room, and they aren’t time consuming! I for one, do NOT want to get up at 5am to workout. So with the videos are my morning routine I can get up at 6:15, be done before 7, and at work by 8:30. Everyone has to find what works for their schedule and I am no exception. But as someone who’s disciplined but not necessarily a ‘morning person’ this has worked out well for me.

Love,
B

Confession.

It is a dream of mine to have my own library. A place in my home where I can escape and be surrounded by lush, beautiful furniture and rows and rows of books. Where I can tuck under a throw blanket and get lost in my journey through my latest novel. I've considered making what will one day be my guest bedroom in my current house into a library but with only 2 bedrooms it seems impractical. So we'll tuck this dream away for another day, when rooms are a little easier to come by.
I found these pictures on the Barefoot Contessa's website as I was lusting after home libraries...




Can you even imagine what incredible decorating one could do with a library? Ah, my head is just swimming with ideas.

Love,
B

Monday, October 18, 2010

Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina...

Whew. Time to unwind after yet another wild weekend. I flew out Friday morning for Charlotte, North Carolina to work our Panthers Father/Kids Experience.

We were blessed with beautiful weather while we were there. Cool in the mornings and evenings – high 70s and sunny during the day. What more could you ask for this time of year? Sadly, not many leaves had changed yet, so we didn’t get much of a taste of ‘fall’ while there but maybe on our Baltimore trip in 2 weeks. I would have loved and extra day or two to enjoy downtown Charlotte and really get a chance to be-bop around.

My Mom grew up in the Carolinas, my parents met there, and both my sisters and bro-in-law currently live there. So the Carolinas certainly have a special place in my heart. My gut feeling is my family (minus me) will all migraite back there eventually. I’m a Florida girl through and through but even I love a weekend in the Carolinas, any time of year. I won’t be too disappointed if I can travel there and see all my family at once some day.

No matter where I go it’s always good to come home! Crawling into my bed after a weekend away is a feeling that is rivaled by few others. After a long week of preparing for the event at work, and preparing my condo to have people over Sunday, I returned late Saturday night. After a day in the kitchen (my whole house smells of sauteed onions) it was great to unwind in front of the Colts on Sunday Night Football with friends last night. I love making memories in my little home and of course I love to eat football food! I’m blessed with great friends…and at the moment about 7 2 liters of diet soda – should be a productive week.

For the record, if I ever had a lot of money my first big purchase would be a maid. Seriously. I’m freakishly obsessed with having a clean home but I don’t particularly like cleaning. So that would solve all my problems. I’m thinking I may ask Santa for a maid for Christmas. Think that would work? I’m not sure if Santa brings people to other people. Hm.

Looking forward to a week in Tampa and playing catch up at life. Seeing friends for lunches and coffees. Hopefully finishing my latest book, ‘Last night at the Chateau Marmont’. Perhaps a couple of bubble baths. Long walks on Bayshore. Hopefully time to write a few overdue notes to friends. Just generally getting caught up on being me.

I hope that I’ll find myself here on the blog a bit this week…I’ve had ideas of what to write swirling in my head this weekend and I want to find time to put some of them down here.

It’s good to be home.

Love,
B

Thursday, October 14, 2010

NFL Picks - Week 6.

For the record all your doubters - I went 10 and 4 with my picks last week and got 10 bonus points to take the lead in my works pick ems. : ]

Here are my week 6 predictions:

GB over MIA
SD over STL
NE over BAL
PIT over CLE
KC over HOU
NYG over DET
PHI over ATL
CHI over SEA
NO over TB
NYJ over DEN
OAK over SF
MIN over DAL
IND over WAS
JAC over TEN

The end.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Fall Must-Have: Over the Knee Boots.

Ok so for the beginning of fall, which hasn't really happened yet here in Tampa - I wanted to tell you my fall must-have which I have already indulged in and worn despite a lack of chilly weather here...

Over-the-knee boots!

I love boots. I have 4 pairs myself. A classic below-the-knee, heeled black leather Kenneth Cole pair. I've had those for a few years, have them resoled once because I just love them too much to let them go. And honestly? They still look fabulous. I have a below-the-knee brown Steve Madden pair that also has a small heel. These are a bit more casual but cute with dresses especially. Then this year after a funny incident in which I got a collection of coupons that saved by 60 bucks AND found 80 dollars on the ground - I invested in a grey slouchy pair of Sam and Libby boots and an over-the-knee, slight wedge pair of black leather boots - by Audrey Brooke (called the Mandee). You can still get a pair like mine on DSW's website for 99.95. So that would be my under $100 suggestion.

But I also wanted to share this link to Cheao Chic Daily's post about over the knee boots that are all a steal! Here ya go. All of her suggestions are over the knee and under 100 bucks.

Happy boot hunting friends.

Love,
B

Deals in Unexpected Places.



Found this BCBG bag for $19 at Sam's Club. Loved it. Bought it. Found it online on ebay for $90. Felt like I got quite a steal. : ] Thought I'd share that sometimes you can find deals in the strangest places.

Happy hunting.

B

Monday, October 11, 2010

Coping with Candy.

In leau of my recent commitments to a healthier lifestyle - October is a tough month! Candy is a big weakness for me.

I rely heavily on women's health magazine's website for weight loss, health, and excercise tips and tricks. I also enjoying taking the quizzes they post from time-to-time that highlight what 100 calories look like. Right now they have a quiz you can take (www.womenshealthmag.com) that shows 100 calories of candy. But I thought I'd make you a list here...

100 Calories of Candy can be eaten as:
- 3 1/2 snack sized twizzlers
- 5 starbursts
- 8 dots (ew)
- 13 1/3 Candy corn
- 28 milk chocolate m & ms
- 60 smarties
- 1 2/3 snack sized Yorks
- 2 twix minis
- 3 milky way midnight minis
- 1 1/4 snickers fun sized
- 4 3-muskateers minis

So happy halloween month and best of luck keeping your candy portions in healthy range. ; ]

Love,
B

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Airport Chic - Round... 5?





I know I'm a little overly obsessed with airport styles. But when you travel a lot you can't help but notice what people wear when they travel, and not usually in a good way. It's crutial to be comfy for travels, but being put together is also a must. You never know who you might meet. Thanks to people's StyleWatch here's a few new celeb airport styles I'm digging this week...


Kimmie! She's always stylish. And one of my favorite things about her? She actually wears things more than once. Good girl. These shoes are more than I would go for, but overall I like the look.


Sleek and stylish - lovin it.

Ange...not my fav star but I like her look here.


This is totally not something that would look good on me...esp in that hat! But for her, it works.

Love,

B




Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ashley Greene is Everywhere.

It seems lately that everywhere you turn (the page) there's another photo or article about Ashley Greene. You may know Greene from her role as Alice in the Twilight Series. Or perhaps because recently people can't stop gabbing about her dating a Jonas brother. But the more I read about her, the more I become a fan. She seems at least in interview to be down-to-earth, a true fashion lover, and in many of her spreads she really keeps things pretty casual and natural (which I read her say once is really her true-life style).

Here she is from Frugal Fashionista the blog -

I love her outfit. She has such a cute sense of style and she seems to know how to dress her body. I have to say the shirt they suggest for the frugal fashionista doesn't do anything for me...but I've got to give it to Greene - she knows how to rock the purples.

Love,

B

Quirky.

I was a strange child. I know this will surprise few of you. If you know me, not much has changed since then. I am just an odd-ball by nature.

My coworker was telling me yesterday about her granddaughter losing her first tooth. She said her g-daughter couldn’t decide if she was happy or sad about it. I pondered this for a second and then told her the following story about myself as an (odd) child…

My parents had to empose a cap on how many teeth I could lose per week. See, I’ve always liked to make money. I was born to be an entrepreneur if you will. So when I figured out that losing teeth = making money I decided pulling teeth really wasn’t so bad. I pulled 2 the very next day, that weren’t loose by the way. Don’t ask.

Along with having a bit of a strange streak, the doctors figured out while I was still quite young that I have an abnormally high tolerance for pain. Yeah, great combo. So the day after losing a tooth I pulled 2 more that were thankfully baby teeth, but were obviously not ready to be pulled just yet. My Mom had a look of horror as I proudly displayed my 2 more teeth (read: $10 bucks) to her with a mouth full of bloody toilet paper. Oh yeah, she was one proud parent!

After that the rule was you couldn’t pull more than 1 tooth at a time, and they had to be wiggly for a day first. My mom was afraid I would pull all of them out in a week (I was 5, mind you). I will say I was one of the only children I know who had all their teeth pulled before their 10th birthday. Yeah, I was a freak. When other (normal) kids would freak out because a tooth started getting loose I’d always offer to help them yank it. It’s a wonder I had any friends as a child.

Love,
B

Friday, October 8, 2010

Inspiration & Before/Afters.


Inspiration. I think every person should have their go-to people when we’re lacking inspiration. Someone who’s been where we have been or maybe is just doing what we do, better. I laughed when one of my guy friends told me yesterday that I’m his ‘muse’, that he’s inspired by the way I live life and being around be always pushes him to want to be more or do more. I love that!

Though admittedly I have a long way to go in a LOT of areas, I don’t mind being that for someone else. No one’s perfect right? But we can have a take it or leave is approach to where we find our inspiration, right?

This year one of the people I’ve found inspiring on my journey to a healthier (read: smaller) me has been Jennifer Hudson. With a powerhouse voice, a chart-topping career, a new family (kid and fiancĂ©e), and weight watchers – this girl has really kicked some butt lately. I love a girl who can do it all and be beautiful, confident, and fashionable along the way! So here’s my official props to her – get it girl.

I had 2 failed attempts with weight watchers back in the day. By failed I mean I was the failure, not the actual program. They gave you so much flexibility with what you could eat, I just kept flexing a little too far. I’m an all or nothing girl, I can’t have too many options. Sad, but true. For me the ‘biggest loser’ mentality has really worked quite a bit better.

I swore to myself I would never do an unflattering before and after of myself on this blog…but some rules were made to be broken, right? So here ya go lovies.
6 months and 50 lbs ago...

And now, to date and minus those 50lbs. : ]






Here's to seeing what the next 6 months might hold. : ]

Love,
B

Thursday, October 7, 2010

NFL - Week 5 Picks.

Ok, I had these posting for a bit last year during football season and they were enjoyed by my (few) male readers mostly. So here we go ahead. My predictions for the NFL - Week 5. I went a little renegade on a few so beware friends…

- Jacksonville over Buffalo
- Baltimore over Denver
- Indy over Kansas City
- Green Bay over Washington
- St. Louis over Detroit
- Chicago over Carolina
- Cinci over Tampa
- Atlanta over Cleveland
- Giants over Houston
- Arizona over the Saints
- Dallas over Tennessee
- Oakland of San Diago
- Philly over San Fran
- Jets over Favre (Vikes)

For the record, these are not who I want to win necessarily – they’re who I took to win in the pick em at work.

Love,
B

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Trends I'd Try...

I joined People's Style Watch Magazine's A-list this week and I weighed in on trends, which I would try and which I will not. I'm 'borrowing' a few of their images to show you new trends this fall that I'm totally on board with...


Love the style of this 'skirt' look. Just bought one myself recently - in a black skirt form, not a dress. Loving it.




Sequin blazer? Don't mind it I do. I like the look on the left best. Dressing the sequin look down with jeans? Perfection.




Animal prints. You all know from my batch pad that I love a good animal print. I have a great dress by Michael Kors in leopard print and you can bet I'll be busting that out this fall.




Boyfriend blazers - check. Way ahead of this one - I bought one at J Crew months ago.



Black and blue dresses. Um yes. Colts blue? I will do that in just about any form. Count me in for this trend, friends.


Sparkly LBDs - done and done.

Just so you know, a few of the trends I'm saying no to for a variety of reasons -

- Weird brown and white dress (think J Lo in her tye dye number)

- Shorts. A. because I hate them B. because they look terrible on me and C. because shorts just don't below in the fall to me.

- Kimono jackets. Just no.

- Ruffled blouses - I need no extra volume up top, thanks.

- Silk dresses. I don't do silk, it's too much work to keep clean.

- Body suits. Enough said.

- Straw purses. Repeat after me people: Leather.

So there you have it folks. My fashion opinion on some of the latest trends. Check out http://www.peoplestylewatch.com/ to cast your votes.

Love & fashion faux pas,

B

The Wedding Weekend - Candy and Josh.



You know I always have to debreif from any trip on the blog. It should come as no surprise to you then that I have some thoughts and pictures to share from this weekends trip to Scottsburg, IN as well…

I finished my 46th book of 2010 on my second flight yesterday – Liz Tuccillo’s How to be Single (a novel, not a self help book…I feel the need to defend myself about that). I’m not going to do a book review on it because honestly, I don’t feel inspired to say much about it other than this: it was not to my standards. The writing was so-so. The plot was a bit tired. The morals were somewhat lacking. And the ending was predictable and a little too ‘I will survive’ for my taste. Glad it’s over, glad to be moving on to book 47.

Thanks to an odd leg of my trip, I can now at Missouri to my list of states I’ve been too. Confession here it did take my 2 maps and some effort to figure out that I was indeed in Kansas City, Missouri and not Kansas City, Kansas. Why they would have a city named the same that close together but in two different states is really beyond me. I personally think that’s a terrible idea. Apparently the Nascar girls sitting beside me on my flight from KC to Tampa yesterday spend the entire weekend going back and forth between the two and could barely tell them apart. Hm.

I always have the most interesting travel experiences. After nearly missing my flight from Indy to KC yesterday, I sat in the very last row of the plane next to a couple who graciously allowed me the aisle seat after I ran a little frazzled and sweaty onto the plane during ‘final boarding call’ (there was a wreck on the interstate and Mom and I could barely get there). Turns out, not only were they precious – they’re moving (from KC) to Tampa in 3 weeks. We exchanged info and I will not be their first Tampa friend. You know I love a new friend. I had such an amazing experience getting settled into Tampa myself that now I really try to make others feel at home quickly.

The weekend was a bit of a whirlwind but of the best variety. I impressed even myself by how quickly I got from my condo, to parking, to the airport, checked a bag, thru security, grabbed Starbucks, and got to my gate – in literally 40 minutes total. Am I super woman or what? It was unnecessary since it meant that I had to sit at my gate for longer than I anticipated but better to sit and read then stand in line being wanded and groped for explosives.

I flew through Chicago Midway for the first time. I’ve been to O’Hare my fair share of times but never Midway. It’s surprisingly small for an airport in the greater Chicago area, and easy to navigate (much more so than O’Hare). I had a short but sweet little layover there en route to Indianapolis Friday. It was uneventful.

After landing we were able to slip over to Dad’s office for a quick visit. He even let us stay for lunch, which by the way is delish – having people cook you meals everyday at work would be life-changing (especially for my waistline). Though my visits with my parents never feel long enough, it was nice to get an hour in with Dad before I headed south to Scottsburg and he headed way farther south to my territory for the weekend of work.

Mom and I went out for frozen yogurt before I needed to get ready and head towards ‘the burg’ for the rehearsal and dinner. Unfortunately that yogurt made our stomachs hurt for 2 days. Ouch.

I wore my fabulous new dress and shoes I showed you all a few entries back, but sadly, we didn’t take ANY pictures of the rehersal dinner. I know, what is wrong with us? I’m hoping SOMEONE took some during the rehearsal and maybe I can find them on facebook at some point. Gr. That’s what I get for being too lazy to go back out to my car and get my camera. Boo becca.

Saturday morning we girls got our hair did… here we are make-up-less but hair done and obviously happy about it.





The wedding day was actually far more relaxing than any wedding I’ve ever been to let alone in! We ate subway and hungout at the house after our hair. Then we got ready at the church, took pictures, and still had a little down time before our walk down the aisle.
Candy was a beautiful bride. I loved her dress as you’ll see in some of the pictures below and she was absolutely stunning in it. Don’t worry Josh (since I know how much you love being talked about on my blog) you were super handsome yourself!

I didn’t know Lauren or Sam the other 2 bridesmaids before this weekend – but once you’ve dressed and undressed each other a few times, you’re practically family. Glad to know them both. What fun, sweet, and special girls they both are. Looking forward to hopefully getting to hangout with them again in the future.

It was great catching up with some of the Coach girls from back when Candy and I met. Laura and Sarah - so much fun seeing you both.
I'll close this entry with a few pictures... (some borrowed from others facebooks - hope you don't mind!)
Love,
B