Friday, February 25, 2011

{Liquid Lust}

Happy Friday! Is it just me or has this week flown by? Busy, busy, busy! I just have to say a huge thank you to friends & acquaintances alike that have stopped me recently to tell me how much they love reading this blog! It is great to check out the thousands of hits the blog has received & know that my personal "escape" is liked & admired by others. Thanks for the encouragement!

Well, I am fast approaching my one year anniversary at my gym...and I must say I have learned a little more about myself. I discovered my love for classes such as pilates, spin, core strength training & the occasional cardio craze class, my undying love for the medicine & Pilate's balls, how a good/long stretch sesh literally calms me down & how I still hate to run (big surprise!).

I've never been one to torture myself over not going to the gym, but I do think at least 3 days a week should be designated for some type of exercise. I do not claim to be a gym goddess, but I do love the feeling after a good workout...even if it's at home or outside. When the warmer months hit, the gym often takes a backseat to hiking, canoeing, nature adventures, etc. In my opinion, exercise should be fun & not turn into a restraint in our lives. Do what you can, when you can...but remember that your body matters!

I have the same feelings towards food: keep a healthy mindset, but let yourself enjoy eating! Just because you order a salad doesn't mean it's necessarily healthier than the other meals on the menu you're smart about your food & educate yourself on what is & isn't a positive for your body. Don't focus solely on what not to'll drive yourself insane! There are so many resources for healthy recipes (lately I've been loving's recipes) and hundreds of blogs devoted to healthy eats! Which brings me to today...good ole' Friday...when many of us will go out for happy hour or out over the weekend to celebrate our hard work this week.

Be careful! I know those happy hour specials look awesome but remember...the higher the alcohol content often means the higher the calorie content. I have known a few females in my lifetime that have obsessed over their diet to the point of watching every single meal they ate...just to go out on the weekends and drink away the calories they saved during the week. Drinks can be tricky: watch out for the mixers, syrups & soda's that (when added to a spirit) can more than double the calorie content of a drink. Alternate between alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks, choose a light wine or beer, mix cocktails with water/club soda/natural juices or skip the mixer altogether if you're trying to watch your liquid diet. A few popular cocktails I love are:

Mojitos: These minty cocktails are naturally low in calories. Just ask the bartender to go easy on the syrup.

Champagne: A drink favored by runway models, it's a good option and will save you extra sugary calories.

Sangria: The fresh fruit adds a healthy dose of vitamins and fiber. If you opt for the red variety, it has the added benefit of artery-protecting flavonoids.

Bloody Mary: Tomato juice provides the good-for-you antioxidant, Lycopene, and the spices may help rev up your metabolism.

Classic Martini: Since they're 100% liquor, they are naturally lower in calories.

Life is short. Indulge a little. Don't let exercise or dieting get in the way of your happiness...but live a healthy lifestyle knowing that you are treating your body with the best of intentions. We don't need to be carrying precious cargo to realize this...we ARE precious cargo! Hope you all have a fabulous weekend :-)

All images via Google

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

{I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar}

As a female, I think it is very important to pamper oneself. Especially when it comes to the body. After all, we work hard and end up balancing quite a lot in our lives...many of us will even take on the role of supermom!

Su·per·mom: A mother who performs the traditional duties of housework and childcare while also holding full-time employment.

In this day and age a lot is expected of a woman, so finding the time to treat our bodies right can sometimes get put on the back burner. However, I do think it is important (no matter how old you are) to remember this: life is short, so enjoy it while it lasts. Make time for yourself! Designate days during the week for exercise, drinks lots of water, get a mani/pedi every now & then, start a daily devotion, plan a getaway for YOU, nominate a night to be completely lazy (no chores!) and so on and so forth. One of my daily routines is full-body moisturizing after an evening shower...there is nothing more soothing or calming! We need to recharge our batteries often...and we also have to realize that we can't do it all on our own. We can try and be superhuman...but as super as we are we can't get away from being human. Can I get an amen? One great way to enjoy "me time" is a fabulous bubble bath, so check out these LUSHful products:

Image via Google
(being a woman has its perks :-)

"Taking joy in living is a woman's best cosmetic."
Rosalind Russell

Friday, February 11, 2011

{In The Nude}

Since Christmas, I have been looking for the perfect pair of pumps in a nude color. Yes, a black stiletto is always in and a red heel makes me feel super sexy...but a pair of pumps in a beige color would probably top both of these options for me. In my opinion, a nude pair of pumps will go with virtually any outfit...which is exactly why I wish for a pair every time I put on a colorful outfit that doesn't necessarily fit under a black or red heel category. Now, I'm not exactly the kind of girl to don heels frequently...but I do like to wear them to work when I'm feeling sassy or out on the town. Considering I'm already semi-tall (5'7''ish) it has been a challenge to find this kind of shoe. I am a huge fan of Steve Madden shoes, which is why I think these pumps are adorable but a little too much for my personality & already-above-average height:

Now, I did come across a shoe by Jessica Simpson (yes, I know, what in the world am I thinking) that has about half the heel of the ones above and seemed quite roomy in a wider version...but of course, it hasn't been until now that DSW has even had it in stock! I've heard a mixture of reviews: the shoe is perfect, the shoe is uncomfortable, the shoe goes with any outfit, the shoe isn't worth it...sigh.

I haven't yet seen this shoe in the flesh, so I do not know how it will work out...but I have tried it on in the other colors and it seemed fine. I'm still making up my mind (and if anyone out there has a better solution, I'm open to anything and everything) but at the end of the day...there is really only one pair of shoes that would fit my "perfect nude pump" mindset. Of course, it will probably be a long time before I can afford these shoes (if ever) but they are d i v i n e:

Image via Google

These red-soled shoes are red-hot...the kind of heels that scream "Yes, I know...envy me and my amazing shoes!" For these, I wouldn't mind towering a little over everyone else. Well...maybe one day.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

{Spice Up Your Cubicle}

After my initial interview for my current position, there was certainly one thing that had to be done if I got the job: a cubicle makeover. Unless you're a lover of fluorescent lighting, drab mauve walls and old dark gray carpet...a change was absolutely essential. If I'm going to be productive at my job, you better believe I'm going to need some color. I came prepared on my very first day with a box full of items...including little metallic butterflies to be strategically placed where they would reflect the most light. They helped...but I began to pray fervently for real sunlight and even tried a few ritual 'sun god' dances. Just when I thought a higher power was completely ignoring my desperation for natural lighting, a brand new work space with a wall length window opened up next to my boss' office and it was offered to me. My prayers for sunshine quickly turned into prayers that my coworkers wouldn't immediately start plotting my death. Luckily for me, I'm still here. However, for anyone out there that is need of a cubicle spring cleaning, I've got you covered. I am looking into some new ideas to decorate my cube area and these items from Urban Outfitters might strike your fancy:

Add a little color & a little bit of "home" to your workspace!

Who said you can't have a fabulous rug in your cube?

Reflects both light & those pearly whites!

A little desk decor, minus the jewelry...

Need a cute new way to stash paper clips or push pins?

I am accustomed to the personalized posters, wall of photo's and occasional holiday decorations in the world of cubicles...but if we spend the majority of our time in our workspace, why not make it as comforting as possible? Even when it comes to getting organized, The Container Store knows how to have fun with it!

Brilliant idea for bringing spices to work!

Add some favorite "break" reads to your work space...

Easy way to add color & organization to your desk!

Ditch the ugly office trash can & go for a pattern!

I don't know about you, but this post already has me plotting a whole new cubicle for the spring! If you don't want to spend a lot to give your work space an upgrade...pick some ideas and DIY. I definitely have a couple of things in mind. For example, what about painting multiple picture frames a specific color to add that pop factor to your space?

Image via Google

Or creating a fabric covered cork board? Pick out a base cork board, the fabric of your choice, the supplies you will need to put it together, a nice frame (optional) and voila!

Image via Google

Happy Decorating!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

{Second Hand Love}

How many clothes are hanging in your closet or sitting in your drawers that you no longer wear? How many excuses have you made to keep that one pair of jeans that you can barely squeeze into? Have any old jewelry that you keep stored in a box that remains unopened? Or handbags that you've been ignoring since high school? I have been guilty of all of the above! Are we really going to use these things ever again or are we just plain old hoarders? Now, I'm a total believer in getting good use out of my attire. I still wear a pair of gray slacks I've had since the summer before starting high school (they still fit right!) and I'm definitely a fan of getting wear & tear out of my outfits. However, for all of those things that no longer fit your physique or go with your current fashion sense, why not donate?

I've recently started making it a habit to go through my room at the start of a new season and make sure I'm not holding on to items I'll really never use again. If I see something questionable, I try it on and justify why I should or shouldn't keep it. I average about a shopping bag worth of tops, pants, shoes & accessories that I either (a) give to my Mom to take to the girls at her school, (b) show to my brother's girlfriends to see if they want dibs or (c) directly donate to an organization. For some, the idea of wearing hand-me-downs is a no-go...but when I was younger, I used to love sifting through older girlfriend's giveaways to see if there was anything "cool" for me to keep! Wouldn't it also be cool to know that your donation will put a smile on someone's face?

If you're not going to use it, give it away! Find a charitable organization (like The Salvation Army or the Purple Heart) to donate to or simply ask around your social circle to see if anyone could use what you're trying to get rid of. Retail therapy is a great feeling...but it's just as great as giving away old retail to someone who could use it more!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

{Hallmark Holiday}

A lot of people have different opinions and views on Valentine's Day. When I was a little girl, this special day was always known as "Dad's Day" because it was the one holiday where my father took charge: a breakfast made up of donuts, hot chocolate & sweet treats, as well as little gift bags and Valentine's just from him. Even when my siblings and I were in school, we still woke up to the same type of set-up at the table & it was always very meaningful...and still is. To me, the hallmark holiday was always a fun day devoted to telling those you love how much you treasure them without having to be in a romantic relationship.

Image via Google

Of course, not everyone sees it the way I do. I have had my share of encounters with individuals who have gone over the edge about how decorating (or even talking about the day in general) is offensive because they do not have a significant other. Well, first I'd like to say four words of advice: get some self esteem! Secondly, there are a lot of events surrounding this day that are fun for couples, groups & even singles alike!

While I do feel blessed to be in a relationship with my sweetheart (and be treated like the princess I've wanted to be since kindergarten)...Valentine's Day doesn't have to be pigeon-holed to roses, presents, fancy dinners or spending the weekend away (although these things are always nice) can be about just having a good time with those that mean the most! Even if you're in a relationship, who says the ladies should get all of the special treatment? Guys need to be spoiled too! So in keeping up with the belief that any excuse to have a good time is a reasonable one, check out these fun ideas for Valentine's Day 2011:

Be a part of the National Zoo's frisky & fun-filled event!

You can even drink wine & eat cheese too!

Get handcuffed and go through the exhibits!

Raise money for the homeless while tasting savory treats at M&T Bank!

This will definitely be on the radar for next year!