Currently | September

How is it September already?! I say that every month but I’m serious – I feel like it was just barely June. Alas, the first Wednesday of the month means it’s time for the Currently Link up with Anne and Lowanda, her co-host for September!

september currently

Celebrating | 8 years! Hubs and I have our 8 year wedding anniversary next week and what a journey it’s been! Currently, we don’t REALLY have any plans, money is a bit tight for us as Hubs continues his post-MBA job search, so we may just do a small day trip as a family this weekend (pending Little Man’s stomach bug we’ve been fighting since Monday) and then later this month enjoy a date night when they have parents night out at daycare ($25 for four hours?! Absolutely!!).

Watching | The Bold Type. It’s a bit cheesy and I don’t think I’m the target audience but I’m a sucker for shows like that (makes sense that Devil Wears Prada is one of my all time favorite movies.) and given that Cosmo was my reading material of choice back in my 20’s, this is like living a previous dream in television format. Seriously worth a watch.

Welcoming | Fall. It was fall like weather this past weekend in CT and I am SO ready for all of the pumpkin-y, apple-y things. And boots, scarves and cozy sweaters (aka the ADORABLE tops I picked up during the Nordstrom sale.)

Preparing | for the INBOUND conference in Boston later this month. Travel and hotel booked. It happens the week of my next Body Back Transformation session so at least it’s week 1 and not week 5. I’ll be fitting in workouts, a run, and limiting my booze in take although that’s sometimes inevitable at events like this. The most fun part of prep? Prepping my conference wardrobe. September in Boston is my favorite time of year!

Photographing | Nothing lately – I’ve been in a bit of a slump but I want to get back into it – I’ve been trying to be more regular on Instagram, but alas, one day is great and then I don’t post again for two more days. Whoops?

Join the Currently link up with Anne on the first Wednesday of every month! 

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Fit4Mom Body Back Transformation Recap: Lessons & Before/After

Friends, I’m at the end of my first Body Back transformation journey. A journey it’s been and a journey it will continue to be. I already signed up for the September session and I’ll be kicking butt with these women at least two nights per week going forward because I just feel so flipping awesome thanks to this program.

You are stronger than you think.

Handstand pushups? Sure thing. Rocky punch sit ups? No problem. Three rounds of 1-minute planks and 45-second side planks? I got this. Twenty-pound bicep curls? Easy peasy! My body is stronger than I ever gave it credit for and when you stop to think about it, you can do anything for a minute. One of my coaches said something the last week of class that really resonated as we went into our assessment – “The workouts didn’t change. You got stronger.” 

Fail to plan, plan to fail.

When I don’t meal plan, I fail my body and myself. I slip backward into bad habits. By not planning, or setting yourself up for success, you’re more likely to “fail.” That being said…

There is no fail. It’s a journey.

Journey it is. There’s no perfection here. That glass of beer with colleagues? No problem. The glass of wine with Junior League? Make sure to bring lunch and get your workout in. It’s a journey and it’s just beginning

Stronger together

The women that I worked out with inspire me so much. They push me and challenge me and lift me up when I don’t think I have one more rep in me. I am so grateful to have found this village and to get to spend the time with them each week that I do. 

All about that accountability

Having the accountability of showing up to class (hi. I paid for it!) and getting my food journal checked out every week forced me to hold myself to a higher standard. I was less likely to go to happy hour with colleagues (not that we go to happy hour often but I stopped altogether for the past 8 weeks, indulging only for special occasions like a dinner with my bestie or date night to a brewery with the hubs.) and also letting myself eat lunch out only once per week also kept me accountable. Not only did I save money on lunches brought from home, but I also developed healthier habits. 

It’s not just about the scale

Total loss is only about 3 and a half pounds. BUT the inches man. My clothes fit better. $hhh!!!!tttt,   I wore a black t-shirt dress that I would NEVER have worn 8 weeks ago. Total inches lost? 6.5”. With 2” coming off my hips (they don’t lie) and 1.5 off my waist. Clothes that once looked awkward are fitting better than they have in a couple of years. The scale only tells a partial story friends, consider how your clothes are fitting. 

Being healthy doesn’t have to be hard

I didn’t cut anything out of my diet. I ate MORE but I ate better. Your body needs fuel. Eff the shakes. Eff the “cleanses” – been there, tried that. Eating healthy, whole foods is just what my body needed and it’s working. Skipping meals won’t help, and I bet as soon as you’re done with that whole “intermittent fasting” trend, you’re going to just put the weight right back on. Healthy doesn’t have to be hard, nor does it have to be expensive. But you do have to be mindful of what you’re putting into your body. 

Make it a family affair

Our family has transformed – not like that – but hubs and I are healthier together. He supports my journey. I am so grateful he’s taken the charge after work when I peace out after dinner to get a hot evening run in or jaunt off to my body back workouts. We’ve laughed together getting through the at home workouts in our basement after bedtime and recently, we started a 30 day push up challenge with my sister-in-law on the west coast. It’s absolutely become a family thing. 

My biggest accomplishments?

Increasing my push ups from 3 to 10. Increasing my squats from 39 to 62. Increasing my plank time from 1 minute and 14 seconds to 2 minutes and 7 seconds. Increasing my bicep curls from 23 to 30. I can solidly do 18 sit-ups – an increase from 5 at the start of this and my side plank (which I loathe) increased almost 30 seconds from 43 seconds to 1:09.

As for my body?

The photos show it all.
3.6 lbs down
6.5 inches lost

I still have a ways to go to get to my goal weight BUT I’m on the right track. Where as I was straddling the 160 line (aka too close to my weight at 39 weeks pregnant), I’m much closer to 155, my goal for next round is to get to 150 because I know the impact that those 5 lbs will have on my running, my strength and my overall level of health.

It’s a journey my friends, and my coaches – bless them – never fail to remind us of that through the ups, the downs and every hurdle in between.

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What I Wore: Weekend Casual

This weekend had some pretty amazing weather for an August in Maryland. The high seventies, zero humidity. Completely unlike Maryland weather for this time of year.

Friday night, I kicked off the weekend with a solid closet clean-out (see some of my listings on Poshmark with more to come!) and was super excited to come across an old black Lululemon racerback tank I had. Even working moms need to have casual attire and I’m a HUGE fan of athleisure (though you probably wouldn’t know it from my mostly office friendly outfit posts).

This outfit was super comfortable and perfect attire to hit up the Annapolis 10 miler expo, a nearby brewery and run some errands in Annapolis with the boys. As long as the weather is cooperating, this will probably be a weekend wardrobe regular (at least for the time being!).

black and white outfit

[Tank (old, similar, similar, similar) | Jeans | Sandals (similar) | Necklace]

summer casual outfit

Fun fact: I bought these pants pre-Body Back to replace an old pair that tore (damned chub rub rubbing holes through the thighs of my favorite pants) and now, they’re too loose in the waist by a solid couple of inches… Even after I dry them. *sigh*

Happy Wednesday my friends!!

Linking up with Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday 

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August Obsessions

Happy August friends! I took a break in July, but my monthly obsessions (aka top five things I’m loving at the moment) is back!

august obsessionsAugust Obsessions

1. Pacifica – Wake Up Beautiful Night Mask.  Okay, beauty products aren’t typically my thing but I grabbed this on a whim from Target one day and I’m obsessed. I use it a couple times per week after I shower (I shower at night). Don’t rinse, but leave it over night and wake up with smooth, glowy skin. Seriously. It’s my favorite.
2. Cottony workout tanks. I bought one from Fit4Mom (seen here) that I LOVE. I got this one from Old Navy recently for like $10 – I’m super jazzed. Also, love these ones from Under Armour and one similar to this Pima Cotton one from lululemon but for the budget friendly gals, check out this one (in multiple colors!) from Old Navy. I know you’re not supposed to wear cotton to work out, but these light weight cotton blend tops are super comfy to work out – especially for my Body Back workouts.
3. Bed Head – Dumb Blonde Purple Shampoo. So recently, I went blonde. I used to be blonde – somewhat naturally. But after I got pregnant, I stopped dying/highlighting my hair. Alas, I wanted a change and found the BEST stylist in Pasadena, and she recommended purple shampoo to keep my hair from getting brassy. Of all the times I’ve previously, highlighted my hair – no one ever recommended this and I’m really liking the way it’s protecting my hair color.
4. Swing dresses. Specifically this one from Old Navy. And of course, one of my favorites – the lularoe Carly dress. Super comfy. Dress up with block heels. Dress down with sandals for casual Friday. Give it a nice, long statement necklace and boom – dressed in like…five minutes. Easy peasy.
 
5. Cold Shoulder tops. I really, really tried to not love this trend. But I do. I have this dress from Amazon, a couple of cute tops from LOFT and I love them all. All of them. They’re flirty, easy to dress up and just… on point for the summer. Don’t judge (i know this trend has a lot of naysayers 😉 ).

What are you obsessed with this month? 

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Giving the Cold Shoulder

There are many trends when it comes to fashion that I kind of… raise my eyebrows at. Wide-legged pants. Off the shoulder tops (as much as I wish this worked, it’s simply not practical for me). Cropped anything (specifically cropped tops), midi skirts (I wish. I’m too petite), but there was one from this summer that kind of grew on me…

The cold shoulder top. AKA the less annoying sister of the Off the Shoulder top.

I was skeptical initially because some styles are just…over the top and impractical for those of us who need to support the ladies. But, once I tried them on, I really really liked the subtle flirtatiousness of the style. Granted, some are REALLY over the top and frilly, but LOFT, IMO has been killing it with the cold shoulder look this summer.

cold shoulder top

[top (similar) | white jeans | shoes (similar, similar) | sunnies | necklace]

loft cold shoulder top

Black and white is such a classic, classic look and one that I wear often – I loved this find from Loft. It’s great with a pair of shorts on the weekend OR a nice pair of pants for work. I spotted my HR director wearing white jeans dressed up – previously a “friday only” type of piece for me but I dressed these up last week and it worked perfectly for my business casual office.

Here are a few of my favorite cold shoulder tops lurking around the interwebs right now:

What about you? Have you tried the “cold shoulder” trend? What are some trends that you love (or love to hate?)? 

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#MDBlog Blogger Dinner Recap

Y’all, I’ve failed you as a blogger lately. Life is just busy, so busy I almost forgot to renew my hosting and my blog almost died a sad, anti-climactic bloggy death. Alas, I fixed it. I’m not done with you yet blogosphere. 

Earlier this week, I paid a stupid amount of money to GoDaddy to restore my blog from that anti-climactic death. My credit card had some fraud and I forgot to update the card. I saw the emails but omg. I failed my blog. Ish happens. You get it.

Since I paid all that bling, I’m committed to doing better. You see, this was all perfect timing for me to get a kick in the bloggy butt.

MD Blogger Dinner

I’ve been slightly active in an Instagram pod with some local Maryland bloggers. Earlier this week, we got together to have dinner at Alexandra’s Restaurant at the  Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City (beautiful by the way!) to talk blogging and make new friends.

turf valley ellicott city md

Because really, what else do you do when you’re around people who – full time or hobbyists – do the same thing as you do? We talked blogging and social media.

turf valley resort ellicott city md

In addition to the fantastic company, we had some delicious food – the meal was Mediterranean dips with pita, buffalo cauliflower with goat cheese and crab sliders. And of course, it would be a blogger event without some adorable swag bags. 

MD Blogger dinner

[Many thanks to Visit Howard County for the adorable swag bags!]

So many thanks to all the fantastic bloggers: Theresa (who set the shin dig up!), Fadra, Jess, Sara, Tanvi, Christy, Alicia, Fatima, Shelly, Pam & Terri, Liza, and Jennifer.

Re-Inspired

That all being said, I’m…inspired y’all and I want to do more with my little corner of the internet. I think I might finally be kicking this rut goodbye! 

If you remember, my blog, back in its heyday six, seven even eight years ago, help me take part in so many fantastic opportunities. I went to conferences. I worked with some pretty spectacular brands.  I tried, back in those good ole days to make as an influencer before influencers were really a thing. 

But friends, while this blog is never ever going to produce thousands of dollars in income or have a large email list, I do want to be more active on my facebook page (because I spend far too many hours on there anyhow), instagram more (because…outfit selfies) and I have some video blogging goals friends – thats right. I’m figuring out how to incorporate it but sometimes? Writing is just too much. I want to nurture my audience the way bloggers should. The blogger dinner reminded me just why I love marketing and social media and blogging to begin with – the community. It’s just a community that needs a little more nurturing.

[Disclosure: Though we did receive dinner and swag for freesies, all opinions of the businesses involved with our Blogger Dinner/meet up are my own] 

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August Must Have Box

I have been lusting over the must have boxes for a while. I like getting packages, I like getting fun mail and this? This was a fun surprise. I’m constantly seeing the Must Have boxes promoted so I’m so excited I received one and am able to review it for you all!

This month’s theme was Celebrate – a special box because the POPSUGAR Must Have box turns FIVE this month! Lisa Sugar and her team of editors have been curating their favorite items for five. freakin’. years. This month has some of Lisa’s favorite brand obsessions to celebrate – birthday style!

Additionally, in celebration of five fantastic years, POPSUGAR is running a different giveaway where each week a limited number of subscribers can be eligible to win products from brands like Kendra Scott, Tarte Cosmetics, and FIVE grand prize winners (!!!) that will win something from Cambridge Satchel Co and a 1 year subscription to Must Have. Yes, please.

So what was in the August  MUST HAVE box?

…All sorts of fun stuff! Check it out…

Meri Meri Gold glitter candles | Fringe Studio Free Spirit Journal (sponsored by Jeep!) | First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Bouncy Mask | Dogeared Friendship bracelet with small open heart | Goodie Girl Chocolate Chunk Cookies (gluten free!) | Shoptiques.com gift card | Pastel Cheers Lacquered Tray ]

Seriously – this stuff is so fun. The journal will definitely come in good use for me…

popsugar must have box

As will the Shoptiques gift card. Free money? Absolutely, THANKYOUVERYMUCH.

shoptiques

While bracelets aren’t my favorite, this bracelet from Dogeared is so pretty and understated. I’m a big fan.

friendship bracelet

And little man has already tried snagging those cookies multiple times – I’m saving them for Wednesday when I’m done with this Body Back session.

gluten free cookies

Want to enjoy all these fun, celebratory goodies? Maybe you have a pal celebrating a birthday (subscription boxes make FANTASTIC gifts!)? You can get your celebratory Must Have box here – use code PARTY for $10 off! 

[Disclosure: I did receive a complimentary Must Have Box from POPSUGAR. All opinions here are my own. ]

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WHAT I WORE: Summer Florals

Mostly in summer, I tend to wear a lot of dresses. But occasionally, I’ll sport pants on the days when it’s not sweat-your-tuckus off hot. White jeans are great for casual Friday, and most often, I’ll sport black pants for the every day.

When I saw this peplum back top on Audrey’s blog earlier this summer and I bought it up in 3 colors – black floral, red floral and white. Mostly because, like I’ve said, I like to buy things in multiples. Which I do. Often. (I have no shame in admitting this.)

 

I dressed it up with a pair of nice black ponte pants (that were too hot for the weather outside. WHOOPS) but because this top is black, you can sport it with any number of bottoms – white, olive or maroon.

And because I’m original (NOT) I love the black and white look of this same top… in white. With black pants and a pop of cognac with the shoes (though today I’m rocking leopard print heels)

(Also this pic totally captures my summer ‘do that I recently got updated. So fresh and delightfully blonde!)

As for the fit, definitely size down – the black top is a small (though tight in the arms) and the white is a medium but it’s a touch big in the body. Some colors are currently on sale for $29.90 so snatch it up! It’s a great transition/summer piece that I’m sure I’ll be sporting well through the fall even with a bright cardigan.

Summer Florals
Happy Monday my friends! 

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Currently | August

How are we already in August??? Seriously? Where has time gone?!

Anyhow, first Wednesday of the month means it’s time for the Currently Linkup with Anne and her co-host to share what we’re currently up to!

snacking (on) | All of the body back snacks. My favorites? Apple slices and peanut butter (i’m a big fan of the Mott’s pre-sliced organic apples because there is nothing I loathe more than slicing apples). Kudos to me for sticking to my strawberry/cream cheese and toast afternoon snack the other day instead of indulging in left over office cake.

anticipating | “Vacation.” I’ve said repeatedly that going to Connecticut to see family isn’t always a vacation for me – vacation this year was our Disney trip and it was delightful. But since our budget is tight and we couldn’t pull off our Delaware beach weekend for Labor Day, we’re considering a weekend up north and making a day trip to Naragasett in Rhode Island, and obviously tracking down all the fun things with little man because there are many fantastic parks up there.

borrowing | so many library books. My digital hold list is maxed out and I’m plowing through books faster than a dump truck in a snow storm. Recently finished Small Admissions, currently reading The Light We Lost and Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty (because I love a good Lianne Moriarty book! I started this when I was waiting for some books to come up from my hold list), next up: Every Wild Heart by Meg Donohue.

admiring | All of my fellow Body Back mamas. Seriously, these women kick some serious butt. This program is no joke and these mamas are driven, motivating and just fantastic to spend two hours a week with. I’m in some serious admiration of these fantastic women.

purchasing | a new curling iron. After my stylist curled my hair so fantastically, I’m really trying to learn how to do that ish on my own…so I’m on the prowl. We’ll disregard my fun finds from the Nordstrom sale 😉

What are you currently up to?

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VLOG: Audacious Goals

I’ve been thinking a lot about goals lately. I have many of them – become marketing director at my company (which I finally told my boss about yesterday – talk about putting yourself out there!), run a sub 1 hour 10k (which I told my running coach about the other day), do a real pushup, run marathon #5 and bike 100 miles…among many others.

The thing is, without sharing your goals, as I learned back in my lululemon days, no one can support you in achieving them. So share them with your support network – family, friends. Find an accountability-buddy to push you to accomplish them.

So after I did my core & lower body workout the other day, I was inspired to put my goals out there in my first ever video blog as part of my blogging goals which is really to evolve – adopt either podcasting or vlogging regularly and get more video marketing skills. I think that’s where the engagement is at and I want to put myself out there more to attract more opportunities as a blogger.

 

It’s a work in progress and a bit rambly. But I’d love your feedback on it!

What are your big audacious goals?

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