Thursday, September 27, 2012

boot weather.

Whoooooo's ready for fall fashion!! I'll tell you who....THIS GIRL!! Anyone who knows me knows that I loathe summer and crave fall and winter all year long. I know, insert "head scratch" here. Don't get me wrong, the first sun-tan of the year, natural blonde streaks in your hair, sundresses, wedges, the beach with a margarita in hand - love it. However, 90+ temps including insane humidity, too-hot-to-use-your-oven evenings, back sweat?? NO THANKS. I would trade all of the sundresses and natural highlights in the world for year-long Fall (with a good few months of winter thrown in there, but then just right back to Fall). What do I love most about the Fall? The FASHION!! Boots, big, roomy sweaters, leggings, tights with corduroy skirts, gloves, jackets, SCARVES (!), adorable hats and ear-warming accessories, all of it! And considering I'm a girl who is always hot (temperature-wise, of course), I crave this weather more than anything.

That being said....what are some Fall staples to keep in your closet? And what are some typical outfits for a a day/night in this chilly weather? Well, let's observe, shall we??

1.) A good pair of riding boots: This is pretty standard. Nothing says ease and comfort (and warmth) on a chilly day like a pair of "to the knee" or "over the knee" riding boots. Black, tan, brown, gray, whatever. With popular fall hues such as brick, hunter green, indigo, plum, and my all-time-favorite, mustard yellow, any shade of boot will compliment your outfit perfectly.

Franco Sarto
2.) A casual yet "can be dressed up" jacket: Whether it's a trench, denim-material, or short and double-breasted with a hood, you can't go wrong when splurging on a sturdy,"transitional" (weather-wise) jacket. Sometimes you just need something to throw on with your leggings and uggs to run to the store. Or maybe your friends planned a winery trip and, although you don't have to dress up like the Queen will be there, you still want to look fashion-savvy - after all, you know there's always that obnoxious photographer friend hanging around (a.k.a. ME). I really stress this with the men in my life, as well. Getting Tony to understand the importance of a wardrobe piece such as this is similar to trying to explain The Pythagorean Theorem (that's right) to a 4th grader. Hence why I will be shopping for him, without him : )
Nordstrom - Junior section

Urban Outfitters

I have to say, of the handful of places I've looked for jackets, Gap has been my favorite! So many different options and styles - plus, you can't beat the prices!
J. Crew
Banana Republic


Boyfriend WILL BE in one of these (or something like it) by the end of October. He's so lucky to have me.
3.) SCARVES!! Oh, how I love scarves. I wear them all year long, you will rarely find me without a scarf around my neck or at least in my purse (seriously, I'm wearing one right now). Probably my favorite place to find scarves is Urban Outfitters, they have so many! With a plethora (i so love that word) of lengths, styles, and patterns you can literally buy one for each day of the week in one trip. I'm partial to the infinity/eternity scarf - so simple to just wrap it around without having to worry about tags sticking out or it slipping off from around your shoulders. These, in my opinion, can seriously make an outfit. Take a plain white T and skinnies with flats, add a bold-colored/printed scarf and BOOM you've got yourself an outfit! Ditch the flats for heels and you can even pull this off for casual Friday at work or a casual date night with the man.
Modcloth (mustard yay!)

Urban Outfitters

4.) Chunky sweaters: Think brisk fall nights outside on your patio, fire pit going, cup of hot tea or cider (or wine.....), cuddled up with your man/lady/kids/dog/etc. under a blanket. HELLO, chunky, warm sweater weather! OR....finish it off with leggings and a pair of those riding boots, chic denim jacket, throw your hair in a top knot, add some red lips (my fave, of course) and you're good to go for dinner with friends on a cold November evening.

Lauren Conrad for Kohl's


American Eagle

There you have it, friends! What are, in my opinion, four Fall must-haves to keep stocked in your closet. As far as accessorizing them, well you'll just have to rely on that creative ability I know each and every one of you have deep down inside! But, for a little inspiration, feel free to peruse some favorites from My Pinterest Boards:
Can't wait to see what fall outfits you all come up with (a.k.a. please share)! And ladies, don't forget those transitional weather items for your fellas ; )
Later, taters!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Motivation Monday!

Happy Motivation Monday, friends!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend  : )  Mine was quite low-key which was exactly what I needed - a.k.a. MAN was I workouts, bad, fat-girl eating, sleeping in, the works.  So I myself was in dire need of some motivation today.  Unfortunately, I think the weather change here in the StL got the best of me as I was battling a stuffy nose and a bit of a sore throat throughout the day.  I attempted an evening run but I can tell you, it did not go well.  Probably because minus half of a turkey sandwich at lunch I had nothing in my stomach besides coffee from the morning.  Told ya, clearly not feeling all that up to par.  But hey, at least I tried, right??

Since I couldn't seem to get myself motivated physically I decided that a trip to Trader Joe's was in order - no more skipping meals!  I picked up some fresh produce, trailmix for on-the-go snacking, some lean turkey for my lunches and organic flatbreads for dinner this week.  When I got home, though I was basically at Starvation Station by this point, I found myself so inspired/motivated by my healthy grocery choices (seriously, so simple!) that I whipped out the ever-dependable Pinterest workouts and knocked out a good 25 minutes of strength and a little bit of cardio with a core challenge workout and a short circuit of  jumping jacks, mountain climbers and, are you ready for this?  BURPEES!  Who enjoys burpees??  No one.  Yet I felt so motivated by the healthy, clean items I bought at TJ's that I managed to fit them in without even thinking about it.  Who knew a trip to the grocery store could hold so much power??

In short, a lesson from today's post that you can take with you is simple - making healthy eating choices can give you the boost of energy and motivation you need on a blah, "I'm going to lay in my bed and watch 'Friends' all night long and not even LOOK at my tennis shoes" kind of evening.  And that whole, "I've eaten like crap this whole day already so it's a lost cause" belief is nothing more than an excuse.  Just because you helped yourself to the donuts in the office kitchen at breakfast doesn't mean you've screwed yourself for the rest of the day, and can therefore eat large portions of crap for lunch, snacks and dinner.  Consider that "donut" your treat for the day and spend the rest of the 24 hours eating clean and lean.  It'll help get those endorphins going and you'll be more prone to get a workout in before turning in for the evening.  And as always, most importantly, don't lose that faith in yourself.  YOU are your biggest supporter and strongest force of success  : )

'Til next time, loves!  Have a great night  : )

Sunday, September 23, 2012

an engagement celebration.

Back in August one of my best friends and very favorite people in the entire world, Maggie, got engaged. Regardless of the fact that her fiancé is a, dare I say it, Cubs fan (bleh), Mags, or Marge as we often call her, without a doubt really picked herself a gem. Mike is a wonderful guy whom I absolutely adore, and I could not be happier that these two found each other. As for Marge, I cant even begin the describe what an amazing person she is. So kind, funny and smart, and just one of the most easy-going, fun people I have ever had the pleasure of being friends with. We met in college, had every class together my senior year (save money and share textbooks? Hell yes.), and then proceeded to have every part-time and full-time job after graduation together, as well. I'm so happy that we have stayed such good friends, not sure what I'd do without her :) As if the announcement of their engagement wasn't exciting enough, at their engagement party Marge asked me to stand up by her side on her big day as one of her bridesmaids. AHHHHH!! I could not be more honored and thrilled to be a part of she and Mike's big, wonderful day!! There will obviously be more photos to come as the wedding festivities begin (probably not until after the 1st of the year...), but right now I'll just share a few from the party :)

Brian, Mary and Marge
FAVES!! Marge and I

Marge and her bridesmaids (minus sisters)
Mo and the Colleens!
the kiddos!!
MOB (middle) and friends
Sis and friends!
Aaah, Annie! And beautiful mom, Katie :)

ugh, if she must....
the WISEST of men :)

Marge, I love ya, girlfriend. Can't wait for more celebrating and especially for the big day :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Motivation Monday!

Back again, as promised, with another Motivation Monday post for all of you swell people  : )  Again, my apologies for missing last week, when you go out of town your whole world goes out of whack, including your blogging schedule.  That brings me to this week's Motivation Monday post, which will discuss how to stay motivated with your health and fitness plan while out of town/on vacation.  As you read about here the boy and I were on an east coast adventure last week for a buying show for Tony's store.  Obviously we took some time to stuff our faces with some delightful, local fare (fresh seafood, anything italian, gelato, wine, yada yada yada) accompanied by very little no time to exercise.  Let me also just get it out now that I neglected to pack my running shoes so that wasn't even an option.  So what does one do in this situation?  No running shoes, barely any time at all to squeeze in a workout, did I mention no running shoes? Well, there are a few things you can remember when you're preparing for a trip of this caliber:

1.)  PACK YOUR RUNNING SHOES....don't be a fool like me and pack every shoe you own for a five day (including two travel days) trip but forget your running shoes.  'Nuff said.

2.)  Keep that Pinterest app handy.  Oh, have you heard of Pinterest???.......Pinterest is jam-packed with  at home fitness routines and strength training circuits.  One of my favorites here only requires a little space and two full water bottles.  Seriously?  Those are waiting for you in your hotel room when you arrive! (Just don't open bar charges are a bitch)  Most of my favorites (onetwothree, and  four) don't even require any kind of weight-replacing prop at all.  They take about 10-15 minutes, if even, and when done up to three times can burn as many calories as a 30 minute run on the treadmill.  And again, you're not even leaving your hotel room.  WIN.

3.)  Pack your goals in your suitcase.  Don't forget the goals you made for yourself.  Your goals in your hometown should be the same goals you have in a different city.  Obviously you may give yourself a break when it comes to your diet - who doesn't splurge on vacation??  But something like writing your goals down on the hotel pad of paper and taping them to the corner of the bathroom mirror is something simple that can keep you on track, as well as motivate you to knock out one (or a few) of the workouts mentioned above in the morning before you head out for more exploring.

4.)  When booking your hotel, look for places with fitness centers, running/biking paths, or parks nearby.  Obviously on business trips, like this past one for us, you don't always have a choice regarding where you stay.  Again, this is where those pinterest workouts come in handy  : )

5.)  Don't forget to take a step back to look around.  HUH??  What I mean by this is when you're out and about on vacation, sampling new foods and wines and what not, take a minute to breathe, look around, and take a mental picture of your temporary scenery.  Think about the fact that you won't be there in a few days and take note of what you want to remember the most.  By the time you're finished looking around and appreciating your surroundings you may not even be hungry anymore.  Besides, half the time you continue to eat even though you're full - mostly because whomever you're with is still eating or wants to try another appetizer or something.  Politely tell your friend you're full, and maybe encourage squaring up with the server and taking a long walk to take some pictures for your memory album.

6.)  Get after it as soon as you return home.  Don't let jet-lag stop you from getting back into the gym or your daily biking routine as soon as you get back from your vacation.  We returned home this past Friday at around 7:30 PM and by the time we got home had been in four, FOUR, different states that day total.  Even so, I was at my Physique class (a.k.a. bootcamp torture from hell) the very next morning and then ran a 5k with friends on Sunday morning.  Do whatever you need to do - set three alarms, lay your workout clothes and shoes out the night before, invite friends to go with you to a class or for a run so you have someone counting on you - whatever you need to go to get your tush in gear.

Contrary to what I mentioned in this post here I did NOT make it to my personal training appointment today (remember that bootcamp from hell I talked about above?  Or should I call it the muscle-killer??  Yeahhh....) so I don't have any news on how that went, but my rescheduled appointment is for next Saturday so there will be a post about my new fitness regimen to come in the next couple of weeks!

I'm sure all of you have some other ideas for staying motivated whilst out of town and as usual, please feel free to share!

That's all for today's Motivation Monday post, have a wonderful rest of your evening, loves  : )

Friday, September 14, 2012

I heart you, east coast.

Happy Friday, friends! Sorry I have been MIA this week, and an even BIGGER SORRY for the lack of a Motivation Monday post. Tony and I have been in Boston and Connecticut for the past five days and Monday was our travel day. To make up for it I can promise a.) a little preview of our trip which I shall include below, and b.) a reaaaallly good MM post this coming Monday. I start with a new personal trainer that day so I guarantee I will be feeling especially motivated and energetic this week to come :)

On Monday morning we flew into Boston and spent the next 48 hours walking in the cool, low to mid-60's weather, eating our body weight in fresh seafood (LOTS of lobster and crab, to be exact), exploring the different neighborhoods like Beacon Hill, Newbury Street (did someone say shopping????), and the Italian section called The North End, and pretty much just gazing at the gorgeous views of water, sailboats, and sunsets on the Boston Harbor. Tony had never been to Boston and my family has been to the city as well as Cape Cod a few times, so I did my best to show him the ropes. Late Tuesday night, after a visit to the iconic "Green Monstah" at Fenway Park for a Red Sox vs. Yankees game, we drove off to Connecticut for a three-night stay at the Mohegan Sun Hotel and Casino. Tony had a buying show for his store so we spent the majority of the days stocking up on our holiday items for the store, as well as the standard sauces, pastas, olive oils, spices, and other specialty items that we carry throughout the year. On our last day, today, we drove from Connecticut to Providence, Rhode Island and took a stroll through Federal Hill, the Italian neighborhood that is also referred to as "The Hill", just like St. Louis :) We drove back to Boston a few hours ago, had one more delicious meal on the water (lobster and crab, of course) before heading to the airport. Our flight leaves in a couple of hours and as excited as we are to get back to our family and friends, I can't help but feel sad to be leaving my favorite city. Boston, I've loved you since I first met you in high school - you never disappoint. 'Til next time!!

p.s. more pictures to come soon :)

lobster roll....YUM.
Cannoli from modern pastry in the north end.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

a birthday list.

Greetings! I know I said I would be M.I.A. for the next couple of days for my scary birthday but I've decided to get one more post in before all of the hooplah begins. I was thinking today about how my life has been thus far, and whether or not I've met any of the life goals I've set for myself in the past (grade school, high school, etc). Well, let's re-cap, shall we?:

1.) No, I am NOT married with three children (yet......hee heeeeeee)

2.) No, I have not lived in another city (EPIC FAIL on my part)

3.) No, I do not own a house

4.) No, I have not run a half or full marathon

Good job, Gina. Kudos.

These were just a few goals that I had set for myself in the past that all had a desired date of completion. For example, when I was in junior high I thought for SURE I'd be married by the time I was 25 and definitely have a child by the time I was 27. And I thought this for ALL THE WRONG REASONS. When I was younger, 13 to be exact, I thought I should be married with at least one kiddo by now because I just figured that's how it worked. You graduate college, you get a few years of work under your belt, and then you're expected to be a mama. Just goes to show you how naive I was in my youth ha. This also has nothing to do with how I was brought up so lord only knows where I got this notion! I also find it hilarious that my 13-year old self assumed I would have enough money and responsibility to own a house (BAH!). Yeah right. I can't even take out the trash without a reminder (thank you, Leslie).

All of this being said, I have decided that it's time to set some new life goals, or, a "birthday list", if you will:

1.) Yes, I will wake up every day, take a deep breath, and thank God that I actually did wake up (a little dismal, I know, but hey, nothing's guaranteed, right?)

2.) Yes, I will do something active each and every day. Even if it's simply my set of eight yoga poses I try to do every morning before the shower, or a walk with my best friends after work. I WILL be active everyday for the next 365 days.....and then we'll go from there.

3.) Yes, I will continue to make life goals but not forget to focus on the here and now, and live in the moment before those moments pass me by (insert Barbara Streisand HERE).

4.) Yes, I will tell my friends, family, and the boy how much they mean to me each and every single day.

5.) Yes, I will learn to budget my money better! I WILL!

So there you have it, just a few life goals that have come to my mind on the eve of my 27th year of life. Along with these goals, on my birthday list we can also include some Tory Burch boots, anything leopard print, bright red and pink lipsticks, iPad camera accessories, a Kate Spade watch, and just unconditional love from each and every one of you : )

Hope you all have a fab week, check back in a few days!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Motivation Monday!

Happy Labor Day, everyone!! What a cruel thing I've done making myself do a motivational post on a national holiday that basically REQUIRES laziness and fat-girl food-induced comas.....nonetheless, I promised motivational thoughts every Monday, and that my friends is what you shall get! Thanks to my ever-resourceful boyfriend, I've decided this week's post will be short and sweet, and slightly different from the past two posts. By that, I mean, tonight I will be discussing the motivation behind time management and organization. I know what you're thinking....snooooooze-fest. But this is one thing that I, as well as every other person in America, struggles with. All I am going to do is bullet-point a few tricks and tips for time management, organization, and how to stay on top of both:

  • MAKE A LIST. In fact, make twelve. Make them specific and assign each item on your list a date for completion.
  • Categorize your list. Think about the errands you have to run and things you need to get/get done and make sure you plan your routes and stops accordingly - nothing is worse and more frustrating than having to backtrack.
  • Don't procrastinate. Not a whole lot to explain there. Just stay on top of those lists :)
  • Make time for sleep. Sleepiness = laziness = procrastination = FAIL. Lots of sleep (a.k.a. at least 8 hours) leads to time management which therefore leads to productivity and what I like to call gettin' shit done.
  • Surround yourself with others who you know excel in organization and time management. This, like energy and motivation itself, is contagious and those who excel have a way of rubbing off on others around them. I have a friend (Jessica, one of my bests!) who is insanely organized. Seriously, the girl could win awards. Whenever I'm feeling especially lazy all it takes is a call to her or a visit to her ridiculously organized, entirely too grown-up apartment to get that boost and motivation I need to, again, get shit done.
So, there you have it. I know, a little boring and generic, but again, it's labor day and two days away from my 27th a.k.a. Scary Age birthday. However, I do hope that some of you get something out of this post. I especially believe in bullet #1 and bullet #5. You'll rarely find me a.) without Jessica somewhere close-by and b.) without a list in my purse - yes, I prefer the old school method of hand-writing my lists on a piece of yellow Legal Pad paper. Find what works for you and stick with it.


Speaking of, what do all of youuuu do to stay motivated with time management and organization??


As I mentioned before, it is my birthday in a few days so I will most likely be MIA in the blog world for the next few days. I can promise a MUCH more interesting subject matter upon my return.


Happy Monday, all!! Have a great start to your week : )