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Week 2 Minimalist Work Wardrobe Challenge Roundup

August 14, 2017
I'm a little behind in getting this up, but two weeks are down with two more to go in this month long challenge!

This week I started to feel the limitations of only have a handful of items at my disposal.  This challenge is showing me I really like having more options and the minimalist lifestyle probably wouldn't be a great fit for me long term.  However, I also had the thought that if you made it into a 15 piece collection you'd get more options, but could also easily include weekend/casual looks with it.

One item I have really been enjoying is my duster.  I never had one in my closet, so having this pieces adds some drama to an otherwise 'boring' outfit.

Here are a few duster options (including the one I have) - Amazon, Nordstrom, ASOS, H&M

Scroll down to see all my looks from last week!

Week 1 Minimalist Work Wardrobe Challenge Roundup

August 6, 2017
 Here's a photo round up of my first week using only 10 pre-selected pieces from my wardrobe to wear to work.  I've already found some pitfalls and will continue to make these pieces work, but overall I like the fact that I'm not overwhelmed in the morning with too many options to pick from.

Tuesday - Lightweight sweater, black crop pants, heels
Wednesday - White t-shirt, midi skirt, heels
Thursday - White blouse, black crop pants, heels
Friday - Lightweight sweater, skinny jeans, white blazer, heels

I would recommend finding a pair of shoes that really works for you.  There are days I wish I was in flats, but overall these heels are comfy because they have a more blocky style heel (instead of a traditional pointy stiletto heel).  My current favorite option is the Friday look, it WILL be going into a regular rotation.

First thing I've learned is if you're not a fan of wearing the same item twice in a week, but multiples of it.  As you can see I wore the sweater twice this week, and more than likely one top will need to be worn twice each week.  If you're a particular germaphobe or can't get on board with wearing something twice before washing, then pick up two basic t-shirt (probably your least expensive option).

Second tip is to work with layering.  You'll see eventually that mostly this capsule is 7 looks, but then you can expand them  easily with layering the blazer or duster on almost any look.  Make sure you under layer pops out from the sleeves to add dimension and that casual 'styled but not trying' look.

I'll keep you in the loop next week, but always follow my IG page for daily looks, plus my makeup looks!

2 Month Fitness/Lifestyle Update

August 2, 2017

It's been two months since I last talked about my efforts to get myself back into a healthy lifestyle and integrate a fitness regime into my daily life.  Just wanted to touch base for those of you that needed some motivation and a real life look at the struggles of a mom.

Here's where I started:

Weight - 206.6 lbs
Body Fat % - 33.9%

Arms - 12.5 in
Bust - 42.2 in
Waist - 34 in
Hips - 46 in
Thigh - 24 in

Here's where I am now:

Weight - 204 lbs
Body Fat % - 32.6%

Arms - 13 in (0.5 in increase)
Bust - 40 in (2.2 in decrease)
Waist - 33.25 in (0.75 in decrease)
Hips - 45.25 in (0.75 in decrease)
Thigh - 24 in (no change)

I took my normal progress photo, but as you can see - not a lot has changed.  I've been struggling to get up and hit the gym at 5 am because Elizabeth has a crazy sleep schedule still and sometimes Jonathan gets up at 5 am also!  I know I should then be hitting them gym after work, but since my husband stays at home full time, I feel selfish and that I should be going home to relieve him from that giant duty.

2 month progress

However, I think I see the light in the horizon.  I have started a Strong Lifts program that only is 3 days a week, something that is completely manageable for my current schedule.  It will also help me reach my squat, bench and pull up goals I lined out in my past post.  I also plan on fitting in one cardio session a week to gauge my 5k time.

Nutrition has been a big downfall for me as well.  I'm a very emotional eater, and when I've had a long day at work and it's been particularly difficult with the kids, I turn to chocolate, sugar and snacks.  I've never been about restriction with my food, working out has allowed me to eat in moderation whatever I wanted.  However, without consistent exercising these occasional breaks in proper nutrition add up (on the scale).

I'm hoping to turn a corner this month, better meal prepping, better workout management.  I've turned to a small community on social media for motivation and my BF and I will Snapchat each other workout selfies to keep us accountable since we can't physically work out together.

August Challenge - Business Casual Capsule Wardrobe

July 31, 2017
While I cannot take credit for the idea, I'm super excited to try a new challenge in August.  One of the many people I follow on Youtube, Miss Louie, put together a 10 piece/25 look capsule wardrobe for the office environment(watch it here).  That sparked my interest, as sometimes I desire to be minimalist, and other times I desire to have ALL.THE.THINGS.

So, over the course of August - Monday through Friday - I will create looks from the following 10 pieces.  Many of these pieces I already had in my closet, and a few I picked up because I realized I had some holes in certain categories.

Lightweight Sweater

Tank dress

Cropped trousers
Skinny dark wash denim
Pleated midi skirt

White Blazer
Taupe Duster

Nude heels

I'll round up my outfits each week (I will still be doing daily photos on my IG) in a post and talk about what challenged me in putting things together, or what I learned about making one particular item have more longevity.

I'm excited to learn with you as to how to make less work more!

The Road Back

June 1, 2017
So, it's been nearly 8 months since I've last written -- some things have happened.

We had our baby girl in April, and I've been focusing on spending quality time with her and Jonathan while I've been on leave.  But there are things that are not far from my mind.

This post will be a little different, focusing on my plan to get back onto my pre-pregnancy health and fitness lifestyle.  I believe that it doesn't divert too far from my regular content, because for me, I feel best in my clothes when I'm also healthy and they fit well (duh!)

So -- posts will be coming back.  I'm hoping to use some of the free time from work to get some content photographed and come up with a regular schedule of posting.  While also keeping those interested informed on my progress back to my pre-pregnancy size.

Please note that I said size, nothing about weight -- I truly believe weight doesn't matter as long as you're happy with your shape.

So here we go - bout to get personal

Let's take you back to January 2016.  I was in good shape, but we had found out we were pregnant and I had ramped down workouts and become more lenient with nutrition.  Then, at our 12 week appointment there was no heartbeat -- we had lost the baby.  It was heartbreaking, but our family worked through it.  I vowed to allow my body to prepare to get pregnant again, but I was going to ramp up with workouts to take my mind off it.

Over the course of the next 5 months, I got into the best shape of my life.  I had reached my goal weight (and it matched my drivers license!) and I felt confident in almost anything I wore, especially swimwear.
 July 2016 - me not afraid to rock a cropped shirt

I loved going to the pool since I wasn't afraid of what my body looked like

Then in July, we found out we were pregnant again - and I came to a crossroads.  I decided to stop working out - out of fear that exercise could cause another miscarriage.  And with that, nutrition started to take a back seat as well.

Fast forward to now.  As of June 1, 2017 I'm ramping myself up to take the road back.  I've taken my measurements, weight and starting progress pictures and putting it out there so that friends and family can keep me accountable.

Here's where I'm starting:

Weight - 206.6 lbs
Body Fat % - 33.9%

Arms - 12.5 in
Bust - 42.2 in
Waist - 34 in
Hips - 46 in
Thigh - 24 in

As for what I hope to achieve -- by the end of this year, here are my goals

1 - Perform at least one unassisted pull up
2 - Squat my body weight (at that time)
3 - Bench 135 lbs
4 - Run one sub 30 minute 5k

Please note I have no body weight or measurement goals, but I believe shooting for the above goals will reap the same benefits.

I plan to documenting meal plans, workouts, weekly reflections in a planner to make sure I'm not back sliding and that I have great documentation to pull from past weeks that worked when I'm feeling unmotivated.

I'll check in once a month with progress measurements and photos as well as what I've been doing to reach my goals.

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