Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sometimes you need Motivation. My motivation? MIAMI.

I have 24 days- yes, 24 days to be bathing suit ready for a spur-of-the-moment trip I decided to take with some girlfriends to Miami. Am I freaking? Maybe a little....ok, yes I'm freaking A LOT. Over the past 2 months I have been terrible to my body by eating all the typical holiday food and not keeping up with the gym. Things are turning around TODAY. As I'm sure most of you have the same goal, or should I say- New Years Resolution to be healthier- I am going to share my plans to get back into shape with you all...without killing myself trying.

1. Start counting. I know it can be a disaster trying to count all the calories of everything you eat, but it's the only way to really control your intake. One of my girls told me about the MyFitness Pal application for Droid/iPhone which actually counts your calories for the day. It's a God send. Seriously. I've become addicted. You enter your height, age, weight, and how much you want to lose and it tells you how many daily calories you are allowed. AND- the best part about it- it's a FREE download. Upon entering your meals and snacks, it subtracts the calories from your daily count and tells you how many you have left. Totally awesome.

2. Hydrate. Drink Lots and lots of water. Add lemon to your water to help slim your waistline. They say you need 8 glasses of water a day. Aim for 8 if not more. If you have run out of calories for the day and are still hungry, fill yourself up with lemon water. Plus, water is GREAT for your skin :)

3. Cook. Eating at restaurants when you are trying to stay on track can be very tricky since you don't see for yourself whats added to the food. If you love to eat out, limit yourself to once or twice a week and opt for a healthier plate like grilled chicken or salmon. And yes, I'm no Rachel Ray and have caused a few kitchen fires in my time (Hell, I tried to make chocolate pretzel rods over Christmas and I ended up with a burned finger, a broken glass and a fire in the microwave....don't ask), but I have been slowly learning to cook so I have total control over what is added to my food. I visit sites like Bettycrocker.com all the time to get recipes since I have NO clue on what foods to cook together...other than meat and potatoes...which I will not be making for awhile....

4. Commit to exercise. Now you don't have to do anything drastic and sign up for the Zumba Advanced or Body Pump with 50lb weights class since you think it will help you work harder. Starting off with a hard workout will just lead to frustration if you cannot complete the exercise and make you want to quit. Start out easy and work your way up the scale. I got this recommendation from InStyle.com and it totally made sense to me. If you have trouble going to the gym and exercising for 45min straight (I do, I get pissed on the treadmills when I'm about to hyperventilate at 20min running at 5.0 while the person next to me is running at 10.0 for 45min with NO problem. PSH- overachievers) then break up your exercise. Do 10-15 min of running/walking in the morning, a 10min walk at lunch time and then another 10-15min run/walk around dinner. This way you are not killing yourself in the gym and you are still getting exercise.

5. Leave the snacks on the shelf. In other words- DO NOT buy chips, ice cream, cookies, sweets, etc when you go grocery shopping. By not having them in the house, you will not be able to eat them if you get cravings. Stock your shelves with fruits, veggies, lean poultry, lean meat, whole wheat pasta and snacks like the mini-popcorn 100 calorie bags, rice cakes, cereal and hummus (delicious with veggies).

Of course, its with the help from girlfriends and InStyle.com that I have listed these tips, so thank you to various sources- you are my first step (and those who are reading) to help us get on track to a healthier lifestyle :) And you know, a healthy body = glowing skin.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

"You're Cut Off!"...and no, I don't mean hearing this from a bartender.

This afternoon I have been watching the TV show, You're Cut Off on VH1. I saw the preview for this show and I originally thought it was something different- more of a intervention type show- than what it really is. Think of 10 over the top spoiled chicks who are used to having 3 BMWs, a personal servant/chef, spending $10k on clothes a week and NEVER cleaning a day in their life....while being label sluts....x 100. THAT is this show. Ok, ok I can't talk too much because I love my labels too....but this is seriously a joke. I mean, the girls do not even know what a coupon book from a grocery store is. Yes, maybe it's not their fault for being brought up like this...but seriously, its sad. The point of the show is to teach them to clean, to save money and to write resumes to find a job to support themselves. Seriously? I've had a resume since I was 20 and in college.

In one of the episodes they are forced to bargain shop to teach them that its OK to not spend $3,000.00 on an outfit. Some of them learned something, but some didn't and their catty words talking about cheap clothes made me want to throw my remote at the TV. They even have a weekly award for the VIP- Very Improved Princess. Please, ladies- you are all Princesses in my eyes whether you are wearing a real diamond or a $10 cubic zirconia knockoff.

Ladies, let me tell you something..it is NOT about having the best of the best, but having confidence while wearing it. You can have a $50 outfit and make it look like a million bucks by adding some accessories to it. While shopping at places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls or running to red line sales is where I have found some of my favorite pieces that can be worn over and over again. Plus, WHY spend full price when you can find it cheaper? That extra money can go to a new lip gloss, eyeliner or martinis.

Let me give you a bargain shopping secret- find your nearest TJ Maxx/Marshalls and find out their shipment day. The shipment day is when they get all their new stuff and if you go this day, you can get all the new things while its still there. Growing up, my mom and I would go to TJ Maxx almost every Tuesday because we found out thats when all the new things came in. Next, sign up for your favorite stores emails so you can see when they are having mind blowing sales. Bloomies and I have a great relationship when it comes to sales. By singing up for emails, not only will you get updates of new apparel and sales, but you will get coupons too. I have definitely benefited from being on the Sephora, Nine West, Bloomies, Nordstrom, Banana Republic and Express mailing lists. Also if you are located near an outlet mall, sign up for their promotions and be ready for holiday weekends, when the prices really come down!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

"‎Do not allow people to dim your shine because they are blinded. Tell them to put on some sunglasses, cuz we were born this way bitch!" Lady Gaga

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you all had beautiful holidays and made some awesome New Years Resolutions. Mine is to BLOG more, despite my crazy busy schedule.

So I was browsing some Lady Gaga quotes and I came across the one above...I want to say it's from her new album coming out soon since it's title is "Born This Way," but I'm not positive. Anyways, I read it and it made me think of people who have put me down in the past- bad friends, x-boyfriends, or haters. Yes haters. We all know some. Anyways I really took a liking to this quote because its true- why change yourself or feel bad about yourself because someone else is intimidated or jealous of you? You SHOULDN'T. Be like Lady Gaga and tell them to get some sunglasses and get used to the shine because that's who you are- you were born that way. BAM.

Ok, so after that Girl Power-esque moment I'll get back to blogging about today's topic. One of my dear friends who I barely get to see because she lives in Boston (and happens to share my love of the book Bergdorf Blondes), asked me what the top 10 items a girl should have are, all while considering public transportation that includes to/from work in the freezing cold. Well ask and you shall receive:

1. One great pair of jeans- you always need a great pair of jeans. Boot cut is always in style and you can wear them with heels, tucked into boots, sandals, chucks, flats, etc. Some other styles of jeans are harder to wear with all shoe types, but boot cut is always a good cut. Also, if you didn't learn anything from my previous post, AVOID stonewashed jeans. A darker denim is great. Affordable jeans: Ann Taylor Loft, Banana Republic, or I.N.C have great sales where you can buy great quality jeans without dropping a small fortune.

2. A nice pair of flats- flats are an essential. They are wearable for Happy Hour, the weekend, shopping, walking to/from work (switching into heels at work- I do it all the time!), you get the picture. You'll want a solid color- black/brown always work depending on what color you wear more. Affordable flats: Aldo has a great shoe selection and has sales. I still own a pair of 3 year old black flats from there that cost me $40 and they are STILL in great condition. If you are willing to spend a little more, invest in a pair of Tory Burch flats. While they are more expensive, they will last you years and one you have them broken in, you can wear them for HOURS. Just don't wear them in the rain, because I nearly ruined a pair in torrential down pour...which brings to number 3...

3. Rain boots/Snow boots- they keep you DRY! I have written in previous entries about rain boots. They are fabulous and a must-have, especially for all you ladies who have to deal with crappy weather in public transportation. The good thing about rain boots too is you can wear them in not only rain, but snow and slush. If you live in an area that gets more snow, definitely invest in a pair of snow boots instead. Affordable rain boots: I'll be honest with you all, my rain boots are from Target and cost me $30. They are awesome. Also look at places like Laila Rowe, I have some friends who have bought rain boots there and cost around the same amount. Hunter rain boots are really big right now too, so if you have the money to spend on them ($125 for the original) then by all means do so. They also come with the socks you can buy- so if you have a solid color boot you can spice them up with cute designs from the sock since it peeps out of the top of the boot!

4. A great skirt or trouser pant and blazer- hello, every professional MUST own a trouser pant or skirt that can be paired with a matching blazer, but must have the ability to be worn separately too. You will get more wear out of both pieces if you buy them in a solid color- black/navy/brown/tan- so you can mix and match with other pieces from your closet. Affordable suits: New York & Co always has sales- ALWAYS. They have a good selection of sizes too and sell them as separates so you can get a great fit. Sometimes the suits that come together don't fit as well as mix/match since so many of us have issues with a larger chest/smaller bottom half or vice versa!

5. Classic pump- in either black or brown (again, depending on what color you wear more). You should own a classic pump that can be worn with jeans, dress pants, a skirt, dresses, etc. Affordable pumps: Nine West. They have amazing pumps that are timeless, last for a while and are comfortable (thats a winner in my book). Sign up to get emails from Nine West promotions- I got 2 pairs of shoes on sale once for $40! Yes, TWO pairs! They have great sales and an awesome outlet store too if you can find one by you!

6.A Longchamp purse - yes, I know they are $150, but this bag is WORTH it. I promise you. Out of all the designer bags I own (yes, I'll gloat a little, but only because I am OBSESSED with my purses), My large black on black Longchamp is one of my favorites. It is perfect for toting around tons of stuff and great for traveling. If it gets dirty, you can easily wipe it down with a wet wash cloth and did I mention it holds a TON of stuff? This is great for all you dealing with public transportation- big enough for all your normal things PLUS a book to read, your heels (if wearing your flats on the commute) and your breakfast/lunch all while looking great on your shoulder. Find them at Nordstrom, Bloomies or online.

7. Cold weather gear- Scarves, gloves, hat, etc. If you are going to be standing outside waiting for a bus in subzero temperatures, you NEED heavy duty gloves, a thick scarf and hat. Affordable weather gear: look at places like Macys for gloves, scarves and hats. They usually have them on sale too.

8. A warm coat or jacket. Find one in black/brown or a jewel color, like purple, royal blue or emerald green. I have a purple coat I got from Ann Taylor 2 years ago and I LOVE it. I wear it more than my black coat! Opt for a longer hem if you are going to be dealing with the cold a lot. A knee-length is good and if you wear a lot of skirts, try for a mid-calf or ankle length. Affordable coats: Victorias Secret catalogue or online, department store sales, TJ Maxx. I have found coats before at all of these places for a good price.

9. A LBD- the Little Black dress. Everyone one needs one. You can wear a LBD in SO many ways- you can wear it with fun shoes and tights, with statement pieces, with a blazer or tuxedo jacket, with a leather jacket and boots for rocker look- the list goes on and on. Affordable LBDs: SALES at places like Macy's, Bloomies or other department stores. Also you can look in Forever 21 for cheap finds!

10. A pair of flat or low-heel tall boots. These boots will keep you warm, and if they are flat you can wear them with ease in public transportation. There are tons of styles to choose from, and right now they are very in style. Affordable boots: DSW and Nine West both have great selection. I bought a pair of over the knee boots from Bloomies for $130 on sale and I have been living in them this winter. They are great with tights, leggings, skirts, jeans- and if they aren't too racy, you can wear them to work!

These are all just the staple pieces. Remember ACCESSORIES and SHOES. My friend in Boston said there is a huge hipster population, so she needs to fit in with that also. Vanessa, buy accessories to fit in with this style, because...it's not going to last forever so theres no use in spending the money on them, when you could put the money towards actual statement pieces you need. Buy a studded skinny belt you can wear with jeans or put around your LBD (I've seen some at Target). You can always add a scarf, a statement necklace, polka-dot tights or a cool pair of shoes be it boots or chucks to your look.