Loving the short sleeves now that the weather is halfway decent! I picked up this black lace tee with a teal lining at Loft Outlet in super clearance. I just love the texture and pattern with the pop of color!
Checking in for Week 3 on the Hungry Girl Diet! Similar to week 2, I came off a weekend where my husband and I were out of town so didn’t have much time to do food prep and was still recovering from my cold and getting some energy back so I could jump back into my workout routine 100%.
Here’s a few of the meals I had:
Grilled Cheese Platter (this was SO dang good- so creamy and cheesy!)
This week was also a busy one with work projects/events…oh, and a team building event in the city that consisted of this:
It was all part of a Chicago Chocolate Tour with stops at Sprinkles Cupcakes, More Cupcakes, Argo Tea, Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland and a Belgian bakery (can’t remember the name). Delicious, but not so great for the diet. YOLO right?!
After indulging a bit at this event (and at Easter), I noticed how sluggish my body was after consuming sweets and candies versus how full/fueled I felt after eating fruits & veggies. Incredible how I can notice a difference and am more tuned into it as a result of this diet!
Anyways, despite the crazy schedule and chocolate awesomeness this week, I was down 1.2 pounds, bringing my total to nearly 5 pounds lost since I started. I’ll take it! Definitely room to improve and stick to the plan a bit more, but trying my best as I go!
And now that I’m feeling better, I am back full swing with my workouts and half marathon training (which is two weeks out by the way- ahh!)
Workout plan for this week:
Monday- Pure Barre class- done!
Tuesday- 6 mile run- done!
Wednesday- off/walk with Izzy
Thursday- Pure Barre class
Friday- Body Pump class
Saturday- 3 mile run
Sunday- 6-8 mile run
And check out this info from Hungry Girl that includes reader questions about the plan, including the HG Diet app and on substitutions, Weight Watchers tie-ins, and more!
I love remixing items and Caitlin of Greater than Rubies is truly a remix master! She did a winter remix that I pinned. I knew I had to do a style swap and recreate one of her many outfits featuring my knockoff herringbone vest that I got for under $20 back in January.
I opted to swap the striped tee for a red sweater and then instead of red pants, I opted for my new black pants from J. Crew Factory. I picked them up earlier this month to replace my pair from Target that aren’t so great in the quality department (they are extremely faded and worn after a few washes…boo!) The pants from JCF cost just a little bit more, but not much, and the quality is SO much better. And they are stretchy, which I totally appreciate.
PS- Have you seen my giveaway for a 5 class package from Pure Barre? Enter here!
It’s always great to treat yourself, and I’ve opted to do it with fitness apparel and clothes via Fabletics and Le Tote. Surprising right?!
Anyways, I’ve gotten a few goodies in the mail lately that I thought I’d share with you…first up is my latest outfit this month from Fabletics! I got my first outfit for $24.95 (you can too!) and blogged about my experience here. Then I got my second outfit. This month, I opted for this super comfortable ensemble:
This was the Keystone outfit, complete with leggings a racerback tank and infinity scarf. This is perfect for lounging around or hitting up barre class! I have to say, the leggings and their capris from Fabletics are SUPER comfy and are great quality and the prices are reasonable…even more reasonable if you are a VIP member- you pay $24.95 for your first outfit and then $49.95 a month thereafter. This is perfect for lounging around or hitting up barre class! I’m already eyeing my next outfit…this one, this one, this one or even this one look fun! Definitely want some colored bottoms next…so many colors to choose from!
Interested in trying our Fabletics for yourself? Get started here (<— my affiliate link) and let me know what you think!
Next up was my latest box from Le Tote. I received my first box last week and blogged about it here, wore the items that week and was curious to see what else I would get so sent my items back (no laundry needed!) for another box o’ fun. Here’s what arrived:
Although everything fit in terms of the right size, the cut of the pieces wasn’t for me. The dress was too short for my liking (although super cute!) and the graphic sweater was short in the torso and made me look boxy. The cardi was fine but nothing out of the ordinary so I opted to send this one back right away for a new box! I’m hoping to get this shawl, or this top or this dress…fingers crossed!
Give Le Tote a go and get unlimited boxes and free 2 day shipping for a monthly fee (and bonus: no laundry!). Sign up here (<—my affiliate link)
How do you treat yourself? Any fun subscriptions that you look forward to in the mail?
PS- Have you seen my giveaway for a 5 class package from Pure Barre? Enter here!
So after a very successful week 1 on the Hungry Girl Diet, I was looking forward to week 2. Weeks 2-4 on the Hungry Girl diet plan allow for much more variety for each meal. For example, week 1 would have three recipe options for breakfast (oatmeal, eggs, Greek yogurt), but now the the variety has expanded with two more options for each meal and you can switch up lunch and dinner options any day of the week. I didn’t really get tired of the meals in week 1, but was excited to try some new recipes!
Here’s a sampling of the dishes from the week:
Top left- Veggie-rific Salad (tasty!), top right- Big burger with side salad (delish!), bottom left- Ginormous salad with chicken (yummy!), bottom right-Chicken So Low Mein (Ick. Not a fan of the House Foods Tofu Shirataki Noodle Substitute.)
I have to admit- I wasn’t as strict on myself this week as I was in week 1 (it was a pretty stressful week at work). I did indulge in a few treats and had a couple lunch meetings at work, but I tried to keep in under control as best as I could.
To top it off, the month of April is quite busy at our house. We are out of town 3 of 4 weekends this month, so it’s been a little tricky to adhere to the diet on weekends. (Great timing to start a diet, I know. But there is never really an ideal time, right?!) And last week, I got a nasty sinus/cough thing (and am still trying to get over whatever bronchitis-like beast it has morphed into), so I took several days off from working out since I had low energy.
So how did I do this week in the end? I gained a half pound. Not bad, considering everything!
Looking to week 3:
On Sunday night after spending the weekend in Indiana, I was able to plan out the weekly menu, grocery shop and prep some meals for the week to make sure I’m set up for success! I’ve been pretty good on Monday and Tuesday, but I’m at an off-site meeting all day Wednesday and am going on a Chocolate Tour in Chicago on Thursday. Wish me luck…I’m a chocoholic so this will be interesting!
PS- Have you seen my giveaway for a 5 class package from Pure Barre? Enter here!
Did you notice I got a blog makeover? I am loving the new design and layout! Feel free to browse around and let me know what you think. HUGE thanks to Vanessa at With Great Heart Creative Studio!
And I realized that I haven’t posted my workout plan for the week! So here goes– this week is my longest run for half marathon training, and I’ll be doing it solo. Wish me luck (and good weather!)
Monday- Tabata class
Thursday- Barre class
Friday- Long run (12 miles)
Saturday & Sunday- rest (traveling for Easter)
Speaking of workouts, here is more of a deep dive into one of my workouts that I’ve been doing recently:
Barre class was something that I have never tried or even heard of until not too long ago. Typically, my workout routine has mainly been mostly running with a few group fitness classes thrown in for some variety. But I had been hearing about how awesome barre classes were and luckily, a Pure Barre studio opened nearby so I had to try it!
Image above courtesy of lilablog.com.
What is a barre class like? Well according to Pure Barre’s website:
In just 55 minutes, you will achieve a total body workout targeted at the areas of the body women struggle with most: seat, hips, thighs, abs, and arms. Each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretch section, which will help you achieve a long, lean, and strong physique (no bulk!) The Pure Barre technique is low-impact, protecting your joints by avoiding any bouncing or jumping.
Pure Barre is truly the fastest, most effective way to change the shape of your body, producing results in as few as 10 classes!
The concentration involved while taking Pure Barre allows you to block “life” out for the hour, creating the mental benefits similarly obtained by the practice of yoga or meditation. A transformed body and a clear head in just one hour—it doesn’t get much better than this!
Right when you enter the Pure Barre studio, it’s very open and inviting. You don’t have to be a dancer or ballerina either…it’s for women of all shapes, sizes and ages. Everyone is there to get in a great workout, and even a Pure Barre veteran will be challenged at class.
Wondering what to wear? I recommend wearing leggings or capris (no shorts) and a top that is form fitting so you can check your posture and poses in the mirror. In fact, right when you enter the studio, there is a great retail section with all kinds of cute gear, including sticky socks (which help you grip the floor!)
As for the workout itself, it’s no joke! From the moment you start, you are making tiny movements that work every area of your body. The Pure Barre instructors use the mantra “lift, tone, burn” and experience that in every aspect. The instructors are wonderful and make sure your form is correct, while keeping the class moving.
You also use equipment, like bands, balls and hand weights (trust me, you’ll feel the burn even with 1 pound dumbbells!)
Anne, Katie and I recently took a class together and had a blast…it hurt oh so good!
I have taken a few classes so far and hope to continue incorporating barre into my half marathon training. If I keep it up, I have no doubt I’ll have some seriously lean legs, toned arms and sculpted abs.
And now here’s the fun part! Rachel, the manager at Pure Barre in Deerfield, IL, was gracious enough to let me giveaway a 5 class package. That’s a $105 value! Use the Rafflecopter widget to enter below.
(Note: classes can only be used at the Deerfield location. Classes must be used within 30 days of activation.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And you get can a whopping 10 extra entries in the giveaway if you post a photo of yourself in a Pure Barre move on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (just be sure to tag Pure Barre Deerfield in your posts!) Looking for ideas? Here are a few (note that I’m still working on perfecting my form)…or just be creative!
Good luck…hope to see you at the barre!
I’ve blogged before about Milwaukee-based Wantable and their amazing accessories, intimates and beauty boxes. After getting all three, I’m definitely liking the accessory boxes the most, and have adjusted my subscription accordingly.
I just got my latest Wantable accessories box and got some fun goodies I thought I’d share:
I got a hammered gold statement necklace that would look great with a basic dress so it can stand out as the focal point. It has almost a tribal feel to it and I don’t have anything like it in my collection.
I also got an infinity scarf featuring a bold chevron print, which will go so well with a few items in my closet! The silver watch is super classic, but doesn’t go all the way around like a typical watch. I’ll have to get used to that…I’m so used to standard watches that have a clasp. It just feels weird otherwise!
The box was rounded out with indigo drop earrings framed in gold tones. These beauties are so chic for day or night! The earrings and scarf are definitely my faves in this box. I think this box may be my favorite so far, although this box was a close second. It’s interesting to see how the boxes have changed over time. I feel like I’m getting more quality pieces as time goes on.
Have you tried any box subscriptions? What’s your favorite?
Note: this post contains my affiliate link.
So I’ve been hearing a lot about Stitch Fix and Le Tote. Both are similar in that they are fee-based subscriptions where you can get fun new apparel & accessories shipped to your door to try on at home. You keep (and purchase) what you like, and send back the rest.
My first Stitch Fix doesn’t ship until mid May, but I already received my first Le Tote box, so wanted to review that now! (I’ll plan to compare the two for a future blog post!)
What I like about Le Tote is that it reminds me of Netflix for apparel/jewelry. You “heart” items in your closet that you like. The more you “heart,” the more personalized your tote will be. You also get unlimited totes each month. (But you do have to send everything back to get a new tote, otherwise, you will be charged for the items you keep.) There is free 2-day shipping both ways, so you could conceivably get a few boxes worth of stuff in a month to use! Otherwise, you can keep everything as long as you want—2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, whatever–but you will still be charged the monthly fee ($49.95) until you send back the items in the prepaid envelope they provide OR buy the items in your tote. And the best part? They take care of the laundry!
So here is what I got in my first shipment-
Only one item in the tote (the yellow top) was something I “hearted.” Overall, I liked everything except the hi-low sweater (just not my style…I’m not down that that trend.) Everything fit well too (you fill out a size profile when you start.)
The pieces are a nice quality and Le Tote offers brands like Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, Piperlime and Anthropologie.
So first up was this bright yellow top, which I loved! I paired it with the bangle and earrings. Just wish it wasn’t so sheer (you can see my tank top through it.)
And here’s everything in one shot-
So there you have it! It was fun to get a few new “trendy” pieces to make more outfits with and try on in the comfort of my own home. In the end, I decided to send everything back and see what else I get in my next tote since I “hearted” more items since then. We will see what comes in the next tote!
It’s about time I got to the Ringing in Spring 10k recap! This past weekend, I participated in my first race of the year in Valparaiso, Indiana called Ringing in Spring 5k/10k. I participated in the 10k last year (Time: 54:04) and did the 10k again this year. It’s a well organized, USATF certified race and 100% of race proceeds benefit the Valparaiso Family YMCA and its fitness programs.
My Mom joined in this year and walked the 5k (not to mention she did another 5k race the weekend before- SO proud of her) My cousins also joined in on the 5k too—it was a family affair!
It was a bit chilly outside to start at 9am, but once I got moving I was good to go. I didn’t have a specific goal in mind, just wanted to see what I could do. I figured if I try to push myself a bit, it would make up for the 8 mile long run I was supposed to do for half marathon training (only 2 extra miles- no biggie.)
The walkers and runners all started at the same time, and although I assumed they told walkers to “start in the back,” no one seems to listen to it. So the first mile was spent weaving in and out of people. I was a bit frustrated by that but then I saw the most awesome sign ever and literally laughed out loud.
I checked out my watch after the first few miles and saw I was averaging around an 8 minute mile. I couldn’t believe it! At that point, I tried to keep up that pace in hopes of a 10k PR. Most of my running this year has been on the treadmill doing intervals so I guess that must have helped because I didn’t feel like I was going that fast!
Sweet action shot by the race photographer—I was JUST about to get my wave on for the camera…
I finished feeling great and tried to kick it at the end (although I was just about out of energy…I kept thinking…I’m gonna PR…I’m gonna PR!) And then…I did!
The thing was, the printout was different than the website results. The printout posted in the pavilion and on the TV screen with live results said I did it in 49:49 (8:02 pace), but the timing website said my chip time was 50:16 (8:06 pace) and total time was 50:50. So which is it?! (Either way, it was a PR for me over this 10k at 51:45 so I’m happy!)
Place: 81 of 446
Gender place: 23 of 256
Female 25 to 29: 2 of 29…which got me a fancy medal!
What I loved about the race:
1) No paper race packets…instead, I got a “virtual” race bag via email with special offers, etc. Good call.
2) Option to forego the race shirt (I did this because I have WAYY too many shirts to count.) Also brought down the price. I ended up paying $16 (and got a $5 rebate for doing a trial run of Active Advantage) which brought it down to a whopping $11.
3) Option to switch race between 5k and 10k while you are on the course. How nice is that?!
When is your first race of the year?
Towards the end of March, Lisa Lillien released her latest book, The Hungry Girl Diet. It is a four week program that claims: “Big portions. Big results.” I own several Hungry Girl cookbooks and love Lisa’s TV show and really wanted to give this a try. She claims that HG test dieters lost an average of 10 pounds in four weeks, with some losing more towards 20. I’m standing up in two weddings in the next couple months, so I was STOKED to try it out.
(And random sidenote: my friend Kelly met Lisa recently in Chicago! So jealous!)
Anyways, I started by stocking up with all the food for week 1. I’ve never consumed so many fruits and veggies before! It took quite a bit of prepping on Sunday, but was well worth it. If I didn’t prep, I wouldn’t have been successful throughout the work week. And there are dishes. Lots of dishes. All those storage containers really add up!
Each day contains three meals and three snacks, which you can eat however you want. I usually had mine mid morning, one in the afternoon and then one as a “dessert” after dinner. All of the recipes she has are for single servings, and the diet is set up to be roughly 1300 calories a day. Of course, she notes that if you have 75+ pounds to lose or if you are a frequent exerciser, you should add in more snacks. On some days when I was super hungry, I did add in some extra snacks (I blame it on the half marathon training.) Also, LOTS of water. One glass with every snack and every meal. She encourages water in the morning instead of coffee to fill you up, but I’m not quite there yet—still need my cup in the AM!
As for the portions, they really are quite big! Take breakfast for example. The oatmeal portion was seriously HUGE (my bowl was about to overflow), but it was rather bland. Next time, I’m adding WAY more cinnamon and trying sweetened soy or almond milk. The eggs/english muffin was perfect for a quick breakfast during the work week. Raspberries/blackberries are fiber powerhouses according to Lisa, so she sneaks those into the diet here and there too.
Lunches were pretty good too! But again, lots of prep, so be prepared. (And in case you can’t tell, the salad on the left is accompanied by Greek yogurt, the veggies on the right are accompanied by dip.)
Dinners were good too! HUGE portions. On the left, the steamed broccoli slaw/cabbage (a tiny bit of olive oil and marinade on it for flavor) with salad, tilapia and shrimp was pretty good (I added the shrimp), and the veggie stir fry was my favorite dinner thus far. SUPER flavorful and I didn’t even miss the rice that I usually would add to it.
I also made a HG version of fettuccini alfredo with broccoli slaw and Laughing Cow cheese wedges with chicken. There’s a reason I didn’t post a photo of it. It looked like….hmmm- well, not appetizing. But the taste wasn’t terrible!
And since I’m a sweets girl, I’ve found a few tricks that help curb the sweet tooth: Sour Patch Kids gum (seriously, just like the candy) and Target’s version of the VitaTop, Yasso Bars and Veggie Muffins. YUMMM.
I also picked up some Quest bars, which are SO tasty and full of protein. Like 20+ grams. Whoa. (Check out Sierra’s review on them).
So at the end of week 1, I’ve lost four pounds! I definitely feel a lot better after switching up my eating habits drastically (I am a chocolate bar a day kinda gal so this was HUGE!) Still trying to find that happy balance in adding extra snacks due to half marathon training, so we will see. The portions really are quite large and leave me feeling pretty full. Weeks 2-4 on the plan have a lot more variety in terms of options for meals.
Week 2- bring it!
Are you doing the Hungry Girl diet? What do you think?
Happy Friday! Today I’ve got a casual Friday look featuring a camel/orange tunic that I absolutely adore. I layered it with an orange cardigan, then finished it off with jeans and my trusty cognac boots. I’m hoping my feet will see the light of day soon. I mean it IS April…
On another note, I need your help! I got new headshots at work and I want your vote on which one I should use…weigh in and let me know which option you like best. (And no, I’m not vain, I just want to get opinions from people that know me and don’t know me to see which photo resonates best with them!)
I got this top last month as part of my March clothing budget. I got it from a local consignment store where I usually try to sell clothes that I don’t plan to sell on eBay. Of course, I had to look around while I was there and stumbled upon this Banana Republic shell for $11.99! I love the colors and pattern, and knew it would work well with my maroon pants. (Seriously, these pants have gotten some great wear! Check out my 3-day remix with Erin, and this outfit.)
Do you have a go-to consignment store in your area? And good finds recently?
And congrats to Brynn, who won the earrings from Majestical Jewelry!
Happy April Fool’s Day! In honor of today, I’m hosting a link up where we celebrate our lounge wear. And let me be clear…I personally don’t feel like loungewear should be worn with cute heels and a blazer. I think it should be for, well, lounging!
For today’s outfit of the day, I chose to showcase this SWEET gem of a t-shirt that I got recently at a clothing swap, along with my neon floral PJ pants from a fancy hole-in-the-wall place call TarJay.
This is the kind of outfit I’ll jump into after work or on the weekends. I’m classy like that.
And if you don’t know the “Hide ‘Yo Kids, Hide ‘Yo Wife” reference, watch this news report. (Fair warning: It’s super catchy and will get stuck in your head all day long! Legit.)
And for your viewing pleasure…a collage of me lounging in my loungewear:
So there you have it! Link up with me and show me your ratty sweatpants, hilarious t-shirts, snuggly hoodies, comfy yoga pants and whatever else you lounge in below!
Favorite thing to lounge in?
It feels weird that today is still March, but regardless, I’m wrapping up my budget for this month! As you recall, I’m trying to stick to my resolution to buy only one item a month (with some fine print). The great part for this month was that I earned some income selling a few things online/at the consignment store AND I won $145 in a blog giveaway! (I couldn’t believe it when I found out…I was SO excited. Trust me.)
As a result, I used some of this money to cover some purchases and technically didn’t spend ANY money out of pocket, and still have $93 to carry over into April! WOO HOO!
Here’s what I did get for my March clothing budget:
-Gladiator open toe wedge- DSW- $20 (after DSW Rewards certificate)
-Black booties- DSW- $25
-Maroon print top- Banana Republic via Consignment Store- $11.99
-Pink gingham button up- J. Crew Factory (option, option)- $30
-Versital T/Inga Legging- Fabletics- $5.95 (after member credits); read my review of this outfit here
Side note: I’ve already worn the pink gingham a few times and LOVE it. It’s been on my list for a while and I’m glad I just walked out with that only. There were quite a few other JCF items I was lusting after, but I’ll have to wait it out for another 50% off sale.
As for items on my wish list moving forward, here’s where I’m at:
2. Gingham button up shirt
3. White lace tank or tee
4. Colored denim
5. Spring/summer dress for special occasions
6. Floral, patterned or fringe scarf
7. Spring coat (perhaps a trench?)
8. Black casual pants to replace my current pair
9. Wrap/open sweater to replace my current one
And since I feel like I am just purchasing completer or replacement items, I thought it’d be fun to try one of the new services out there that is like Netflix for apparel to add some fun pieces here and there on a “rental” basis. That said, I’ve decided to try Le Tote and StitchFix. My first Le Tote should be coming soon, and StitchFix doesn’t ship until May 13th. I’ll definitely compare the two in a Le Tote versus StitchFix battle and let you know which wins! Have you used either? Thoughts/preferences?
How did you do this month?
PS- just a couple reminders:
-Don’t forget to enter to win a pair of statement earrings from Majestical! Enter here.
-Grab your sweatpants, yoga pants, shorts, hoodies, t-shirts, you name it! Link up with me TOMORROW (yep, April 1st) for a loungewear link up! It’ll be fun, I promise.
Well March certainly went by fast, am I right? Hard to believe that I am five weeks out till the half marathon! After enduring long runs on the treadmill, this was my FIRST outdoor run on the trails! I met Kim for a nice 10 miler at the local forest preserve. The first loop was great and the ground was still a little hard, but by the second loop- everything was super mushy from the sun. Needless to say, my feet were soaked afterwards!
Photo courtesy of Kim
This week’s training plan includes:
Monday- 3-4 mile run
Tuesday- Muscle Sculpt class
Wednesday- 5-6 mile run
Thursday- Pure Barre class
Saturday- Ringing in Spring 10k
Sunday- Barre class (at studio in IN with my Mom and cousin!)
And in somewhat related news, I had pre-ordered the Hungry Girl Diet book and it came last week. I read through it quickly and really want to try this plan over the next four weeks. The food is clean, healthy and the portions are quite large!
It’s a little tough to get the menu planning done because mix and match fruits, veggies and proteins in the meals. While I want to mix it up for variety, I also don’t want any food to go to waste and my menu for the week has to be pretty detailed to make sure I’m using the right combos of things in the right recipes. Luckily, the hubs is an Excel whiz, and it working on some fancy spreadsheet that will “computerize” it all for us. Something about pivot tables, magic formulas, coding, blah, blah blah!
We’ve made some good stuff so far…the oatmeal portion is HUGE! (It’s a little bland, so I plan to use a LOT more cinnamon next time, or use almond or soy milk instead of skim for some extra flavor.)
Dinner was pretty tasty too! I was surprised that I actually liked the steamed broccoli slaw/cabbage with a small drizzle of olive oil and a drizzle of marinade or dressing (we used Lawry’s Garlic & Herb).
What’s on your menu for the week? What’s your workout plan look like?
Have a great week!
PS- Have you entered to win a pair of statement earrings from Majestical? You totally should. Enter here.
And don’t forget to link up with me on Tuesday for a loungewear link up! It’ll be fun, I promise.