July 21, 2014

Favorite Wears: Lace Overlaid an Old Navy Dress

Making the most of the closet I already have, I dabble in layering simple things to make them less simple.  Take this Old Navy dress (now on sale for $11!), pair with Target lace overlay and wah-la, an outfit more unique than just a the dress alone.  

How do you amp up your simple pieces or already owned (and much worn) to make them feel more unique or new again?

{Outfit Details: Dress, Lace Top, Lips; Shoes - old from J.Crew; Bag - old via HauteLook}

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July 18, 2014

Transitional style from workout to meeting up with friends + a Giveaway!

Layering workout wear for normal wear
As I debuted last month, I'm sharing ways I'm learning to add workouts into my life, while still maintaining my busy schedule. In partnership and with the help of Fitness Culture's fabulous workout clothing, that doesn't pigeonhole the pieces to workout only, it's been quite easy!  

Weekends are a bit more flexible, but they're still hard to get away.  It's my time to spend with my family, but it's also a great time to catch up with friends or run errands.  So, I like to make the most of these visits or time spent out and about, scheduling around workouts. Plus, working out with your friends is a great way to stay in-touch and healthy!  

I met up my friend, Erin for just this sort of date, layered my workout gear under and above a flowy dress and wedges so I could simply transition into workout mode after meeting up for a drink and chitchat.  

Photos by the very talented Sarah Sweeney of One Sparrow Creative!

Next, we transitioned our outfits and date to Pilates by Kahley to get our abs whooped during a Pilates mat class. Kahley, owner and certified instructor across Pilates, barre, dance and as a personal trainer, has a beautiful studio in Overland Park, Kansas where people can workout in a variety of ways.  Because we loved (and hated) our workout so much, we're giving away a free month to try Pilates mat, jump-core, spin and/or barre classes to THREE people!  See the end of this post to easily enter!

Make sure to check out Erin's blog for more details on her outfit and how she transitions her clothes from workout to life (and vis-versa!).

Cropped Ballet Sweatshirt - c/o Fitness Culture
Dress - Free People
Cropped Workout Pants - Athleta
Wedges - Toms
Bag - Target
Tunic Workout Shirt - H&M
Black and white top - c/o Fitness Culture
Sneakers - Nike (similar)

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July 15, 2014

Nora's Baby Style + a Freshly Picked GIVEAWAY!

When we found out we were having a baby girl, I knew I wanted to make the most of at least some of the gobs of clothing we had already from Liam's baby days.  He had a lot of simple striped-type items, not everything was covered in trucks, so it's actually been quite doable.  And those items that are more "boy", I use as Nora's daycare back-up clothes.  So, often she is coming home in little onesies with dinosaurs or sporting themes all over! :)  

And then on the other hand, when I found out I was having a girl, while I think I did a good job of keeping a lot of my shopping spree desires in check, I was so excited to add some super girly pieces to our baby clothing collection.  Little girl's clothing is almost as fun to shop for as my own!  I love to mix and match the super frilly pieces with the more down to earth items, just as I would my own style.

two baby girl styles

These two outfits represent her typical looks.  She's either in a super cute, girly dress or a casual tomboy-like look with hand-me-down's from big brother, Liam.  Most often, you can also find her in a pair of moccasins - which in a fun color, like blue, really add a lot of personality to each look.

Our love for Freshly Picked moccasins started with Liam.  He received his first pair for Christmas from his aunt and uncle and learned to walk in them!  These type of shoes are so great for kids to learn to walk in, since they have a soft and thin sole to really allow for their little feat to develop and strengthen.  Besides that good stuff, they are freaking cute and uber easy to put on (even Nora's puffy little feet).

So, naturally, we want to share our love of these baby + kid shoes with one of you!  One winner will win their choice of moccasins in any color + size.  Enter through the Rafflecopter below. Please note, the winner that you choose for your giveaway can not have won any other giveaway including a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins within the last 60 days.

{If you aren't seeing the Rafflecopter, try logging on from a desktop and/or refresh the page to try again.}

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July 10, 2014

7 things I love about the Bar Method workout!

7 reasons to try Bar Method workout

Three weeks ago, I took my first ever Bar Method class - a lot nervous, I'll admit.  I'd heard how intense it was, and still really out of shape from baby (with a very mushy core), I was afraid I'd not even be able to do it!  But I did. I just let go of insecurities, and I tried something new.  Sometimes, the hardest part about doing something new is just showing up.  So, once I did... I quickly became hooked and here are SEVEN reasons why:

1. Total Body Workout: This is a one-stop-shop kind of class.  You work every part of your body, including muscles you didn't even know existed.  And you feel it the next day!  But in that good way where you know you worked your muscles, but can still walk down stairs and sit down, which is much more encouraging to keep going.

2. Scalable: The more you go, better you get at the movements and stronger you become it can actually get harder!  But there are all kinds of modifications to the movements that scale towards beginners to the advanced.

3.  Individualism:  Much like yoga, this workout if for you and you alone.  There is no competing against other's in the class, there is no comparing and there is no feeling bad if you aren't doing something just like someone else.  Every move can look different on everyone else, and you have to concentrate on your own movements, that there is no looking around to compare.  

4. Early Morning:  I hate morning workouts.  It's just not my best time of the day... but with a busy job, two kiddos, house chores galore, etc, I'm not finding any other time to get it in!  So, I've been dabbling with before-work workout sessions and have found this class (along with yoga) more tolerable.  The music is encouraging, but soft, the teachers are not yelling in your face, the movements are small, but impactful.  I tried a spinning class, too and that was way too much for me at 6am.  The loud music, screaming teacher, sweat flying just had me feeling like I was going to puke and then I was so tired the rest of the day.

5. Accountability:  I love how you sign up for classes online, synch it with your calendar and your set to go.  This method keeps you accountable, because if you don't show up - you pay for it anyways (or a fee at least).

6. Less Sweat:  As I've discussed, another way I'm sneaking in a workout is over my lunch hour (when my schedule allows).  This class works you in intervals, getting your heart rate up at strategically throughout class and not all at once.  I think this method allows you to work really hard, but with mini cool downs between, you sweat less.  Some people seem to not sweat at all, but I tend to sweat a little bit - little enough that I can freshen up quick, through back on my work clothes and get back to my day without looking trashed.

7.  Teacher Attention: This is huge.  Doing the movements right is key to getting the right workout.  The teachers (and I've had several the location I've been going too) are so attentive!  They correct you immediately when needed.  They also encourage you when you need the extra push, cheer you on when you are doing well and help you with modifications when you need it.  They really set me at ease during my first few classes, getting me started on the right foot and continue to make me feel really comfortable. 

What you will need to take a Bar Method class:

- Below the knee bottoms (required) and ideally, you want some ankle length pants as they feel a bit better when doing bar work.

- Socks (required) - any ol' kind will do, but you might want to get some with sticky bottoms.  They sell specific socks for Bar Method (I found mine at the studio, but you can purchase a bit cheaper here).  The sticky bottom helps you stay in place on the carpeted floors, I learned that after the first class as I was sliding around a bit too much!

- Water (recommended)

And really, that's it!  The minimal needs this workout requires also makes it easy to jump into a class without having to tote too much around all day (like too work).

Have you tried a Bar Method Class (or version of the ballet-dancer inspired workout)?  Curious your thoughts!  I plan to stick with it at least a few more weeks to see progress, as after 3 weeks of going about 3 days a week (they recommend you go 3-5 days per week), I'm just starting to feel and see some changes.  So I know it's making a difference!

*Images via Elle Jackson Photography

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