Bra Facts 101 by Aerie #AerieReal

Aerie Bra Facts 101 #aeriereal

Let’s face it– bras are the most functional part of a woman’s wardrobe.  Forget the cute leopard print blouse, the gingham button up, your favorite cotton tee or that strapless LBD—without a good bra, none of these pieces would be complete without the proper bra.

I recently discovered Aerie when I blogged about their “Real You is Sexy” campaign.  I also blogged about their bra fitting guide after testing out several styles.  I own several bras from Aerie now and love their fit, colors and styles…plus their prices are amazing!   And now, Aerie is at it again for the ladies with a series of helpful infographics, including Bra Facts 101  below.

Aerie Bra Facts 101
Anything surprise you in this Bra Facts 101 infographic?  I personally didn’t realize that the lifespan of a bra is only 6-9 months.  WOW.  Admittedly, I have some bras in my possession that are considered to be “antiques” by that timeframe!  I think I hang onto them because they are comfortable (meaning the band and straps are stretched after years of wear.)  Definitely some helpful tips to consider when it comes time to go bra shopping again!

I love that Aerie has produced this helpful resource for all the ladies. They are a brand that is not only offering a great product, but also tools (like their Bra Fitting Guide) and ideologies (The Real You is Sexy campaign) that are helping to redefine what it means to be sexy and find bras that are functional and fit properly.

Check out the full infographic of tips of Aerie’s tips here on Aerie’s blog, including 9 Bras Every Girl Needs and Troubleshooting Your Bra Fit.  Such great resources!

Did any of these facts surprise you?  Which infographic did you like best?

And remember—if you post a photo of yourself in an Aerie product (or just a product) with the hashtag #aeriereal on Instagram or Twitter, your picture will appear on the Aerie website!  Get to shootin’!

Disclosure: The is a sponsored post brought to you by Aerie via Quality Blue.  I received an Aerie gift card as part of my relationship with the Quality Blue Community.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Q&A with Rachel Cahayla-Wynne, Pure Barre Studio Manager

purebarredeerfieldgrandopening_thumb.jpg

Ever wonder what it takes to be a Pure Barre studio manager?  This month, I interviewed Rachel Cahayla-Wynne, the Pure Barre studio manager in Deerfield, IL.  She has been my instructor in several classes and her bubbly personality and eagle eye for great Pure Barre form is the best and makes for a wonderful class!

Learn more about Rachel, her dancing background and her daily routine below…

Pure Barre- Q&A with studio manager Rachel Cahayla-Wynne
What was your background prior to becoming a Pure Barre Studio Manager?

Prior to becoming the manager of Pure Barre Deerfield I danced professionally for over 10 years, most recently with the Louisville Ballet.

rachel ballet
When did you discover Pure Barre and what did you think of it?

I first discovered Pure Barre when I was moving to Chicago and was looking for teaching positions.  I came across an ad for Pure Barre teachers and then discovered that there was a studio in Louisville where I was still living.  I went the next morning to try class.  I thought because I was a professional ballet dancer the class would be a breeze, I was wrong! I loved how challenging it was and how I felt the next day!

How would you describe your workout style/routine?

My workout routine is a big combination of cross training at the gym (elliptical, swimming, core strengthening), ballet classes, some running, and of course Pure Barre!

How did you become a Pure Barre studio manager in Deerfield?

Susanna Johnson owns 7 Pure Barre studios in the area including the Evanston location where I first started to teach.  Deerfield was the last to open and when they started looking for managers for the studio I interviewed and luckily received the position!  [Getting the studio up and running] was a lot of work but a great experience!

pure barre deerfield grand opening
Describe a typical day in the life of Rachel, a Pure Barre Studio Manager!

There is really no typical day! The best I can describe is waking up at 3:45 am (I used to have to leave at 4:30 to teach in Evanston and just never broke the habit!). I then do a bit of work (my staff is used to getting early emails from me!) and take my dog Laila out for a walk.  After I head either to the studio to teach the 6 am class or go to the gym first. Once at the studio I spend most of my day teaching, educating people on Pure Barre, working on how to get the studio more involved in the community, meeting and greeting our amazing clients, taking class myself and lastly all other daily tasks that go into running the studio!  I do sneak out during the day to take ballet class a few times a week as well (sssh!) and then I usually try to be home by 7 so I have some time with my husband before I call it a night!

rachel- deerfield family days
What are some of your current specials/rates going on now (or in the future?)

We have many different packages and promotions that target a lot of different people such as our Baby Bounce Back and Bride to Be Special- both 3 months unlimited for $375, Student and Teacher Discounts which include 10 classes for $100 and of course our New Client Special- 30 days unlimited for $100.  For those who do not fit into any of those categories, we also offer some month to month contracts, the best one being our 12 month contract that is just $175 a month for unlimited classes!

What do you love most about Pure Barre?

First off, I love the workout, but besides that I love the community that we have! I think it is very unique for a fitness studio to have such a family feel.  I love getting to know each and every person that walks through our door and then witness them fall in love with Pure Barre and become a part of our family!

reachel teaching 100th class for a student
What would you say to those considering a class, especially those unfamiliar with Pure Barre?

We get a lot of people who are nervous to try their first class and I always emphasize to them that our classes are made for all ages and all different fitness levels.  Our instructors are trained to modify each exercise to either make it more challenging or less depending on the specific circumstances of each client (injury, pregnancy, etc.).   I want all new clients to know that our class is verbally-driven, so they should really listen to the cues from their instructor. If they have any questions or feel lost during class they should definitely call their instructor over or speak with them after class.  Pure Barre is a completely different workout then what most are used to so of course there is going to be a slight learning curve.  Typically after 3 classes you should really start to understand the technique but we emphasize that you be open with us and ask us questions.  We are here to help and guide you and want you to get the most out of our class that you can!

Thank you so much Rachel for your answers!

Learn more about Pure Barre Deerfield and check out the latest happenings on their Facebook page!

Check out my other Pure Barre posts:
- 5 Tips for Pure Barre Newbies
- 5 Ways Pure Barre Helps Runners
- What to Wear to Pure Barre Class

Disclosure: Pure Barre Deerfield provides me with classes in exchange for blog promotion.  All opinions are my own.  I write about it because I love this workout, my local studio and the instructors!  All photos courtesy of Rachel and/or Pure Barre Deerfield.

Stitch Fix Review #3 [August 2014]

stitch fix review- august 2014- what to keep

It’s time for another Stitch Fix review!  This time around, I was a bit more specific with my requests for my Stitch Fix stylist.  I pinned several Stitch Fix items on my board, and also requested plain, bright color tops, a pair of classic skinny jeans and a more neutral maxi skirt than the one in my second fix.

stitch fix review- my fix
The note from my stylist said that not everything was available (meaning, none of the items on my Pinterest board- total bummer), but she did deliver on the neutral maxi skirt, skinny jeans and a couple bright color plain tops.

So let’s jump into and see exactly what I got for this fix!

Stitch Fix Review 3- August 2014
First up:
Breyson Split-Neck Tab-Sleeve Knit Top by 41 Hawthorn ($48)

I do love the color of this top and the fact that you can wear the sleeves long or roll them up and secure them to make 3/4 sleeves, but the material is very clingy and shows everything—you can see what I mean with the shot of the back of it.

Breyson Split-Neck Tab-Sleeve Knit Top by 41 Hawthorn
back- Breyson Split-Neck Tab-Sleeve Knit Top by 41 Hawthorn

close up Breyson Split-Neck Tab-Sleeve Knit Top by 41 Hawthorn, stitch fix

Next up:
Bowie Solid Dolman Sleeve Top by Laila Jayde ($58)

This is a great fall color but I’m just not a fan of dolman sleeve tops.  I already have broad shoulders and don’t want to emphasize them!  Plus, the top was a little too sheer for me (especially for a sweater) and not worth the $58 price tag—even if I applied my $20 styling fee as the credit towards it.

stitch fix Bowie Solid Dolman Sleeve Top by Laila Jayde

stitch fix Bowie Solid Dolman Sleeve Top by Laila Jayde  close up

Also in the photos above is the third item:
Adorra Ankle Length Skinny Jean by Just Black ($88)

These jeans were very nice- had a bit of stretch to them and were classic with no embellishments, which I like.  The wash was a tad dark for my liking but I did consider keeping these, despite the price tag (finding jeans is a tough task!)
stitch fix Adorra Ankle Length Skinny Jean by Just Black

stitch fix Adorra Ankle Length Skinny Jean by Just Black, close up

And also featured in these photos is the one accessory in my fix:
Lynx Layered Beaded Necklace by 31 Bits ($48)

This necklace was included by my stylist because it was similar to this one on my Pinterest board.  Very pretty and the colors worked well with the two tops in my fix but there is no way I’m going to pay $48 for a necklace!  (However, if I was going to keep everything in my fix and get 20% off, then I would consider it!)  Although I think it was pricier because it was made by or proceeds went to help women in Africa so at least there is a social cause behind the high price tag!

Lynx Layered Beaded Necklace by 31 Bits, stitch fix
Lynx Layered Beaded Necklace by 31 Bits, stitch fix

And rounding out the fix:
Mallory Mixed Stripe Maxi Skirt by Gilli ($68)

I had asked for more neutral colors in a maxi skirt, and my stylist delivered.  However, I just wasn’t a fan of the stripes going in every direction and the front panel.  As my husband said, “it looks like they ran out of fabric in the middle and sewed in that piece!”  Needless to say, I’m not keeping this one—I was hoping for a neutral black & white maxi skirt with subtle stripes like this one, but oh well!

stitch fix Mallory Mixed Stripe Maxi Skirt by Gilli
So there you have it!  In full transparency, I don’t think I will be keeping anything from this fix but I’m hoping the next fix will be a home run!  I pinned several more items and have really asked for just items I’ve pinned so I’ll be sure I love them!

What do you think of this fix?  Anything I should have kept?

Stitch Fix Review August 2014- what to keep
And if you want to sign up for try out Stitch Fix, I would recommend trying it out for at least one fix!  It’s just $20 for your fix and the $20 will be applied as a credit towards anything you keep.

Sign up here <—please note, this is my affiliate link.

Read my other reviews:
Stitch Fix #1
Stitch Fix #2

Linking up with: Style Elixir | Lauren Elizabeth | Midwest Style Bloggers

What I Ate Wednesday: Zucchini Edition

zucchinipizzabitesbyskinnytaste_thumb.jpg

Lately, I’ve been on a bit of a zucchini kick.  I blame it on my parents, who have a huge garden and have been giving us tons of fresh vegetables- including zucchini.  That said, I wanted to share a few recipes I’ve whipped up lately featuring it!

1- Zucchini Pizza Bites
My Mom made these as an appetizer and they were SO good!  Totally guilt free and satisfies your craving for pizza!

zucchini-pizza-bites by skinnytaste Source: Skinnytaste (how they are supposed to look)

Zucchini Pizza Bites, adapted from Skinnytaste
Ingredients:
-
4 slices large zucchini 1/4″ thick
-olive oil spray
-salt and pepper (or to reduce sodium and keep the flavor, use Mrs. Dash salt-free seasoning)
-2 tbsp marinara sauce
-1/4 cup shredded part skim mozzarella (The bags of shredded cheese work best because they melt faster than the fresh stuff, so you won’t overcook the zucchini while you wait for the cheese to melt!)

Directions:
Cut zucchini about 1/4 inch thick. Spray both sides lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper (or Mrs. Dash). Broil or grill the zucchini for about 2 minute on each side. For additional flavor, stir in Mrs. Dash into your marinara sauce. Top zucchinis with sauce and cheese andbroilfor an additional minute or two. (Be careful not to burn cheese!)

How mine turned out.  (It’s not about how they look, it’s about how they taste, right?!)  SO delicious!

Zucchini Pizza Bites

2- Kung Pao Chicken with Zucchini Noodles
These noodles in the dish cut down the calories but still taste like noodles.  The bowl is filled with flavor- salty, sweet, sour and spicy!
Kung-Pao-Chicken-Zoodles by skinnytaste Source: Skinnytaste

The recipe can be found here.  NOTE: Besides the ingredients, you will need a spiralizer to cut the zucchini.  (Rookie mistake-  I only read the ingredient list and not the recipe beforehand- whoops.)  In any case, know that CVS/Walgreens carries those “As Seen on TV” Veggetti tools which did the trick for me :-)

This dish was incredibly delicious.  I also brought it for lunch the next day…you know it’s good then!

Kung Pao Chicken with Zoodles

3- Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

This recipe from the Food Network looks so good.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I intend to! My boss mentioned that she tried this and it turned out great.  Can’t beat crispy chips without the carbs!

Zucchini-Parmesan-Crisps by food network
What summer fruits/vegetables have you been eating a lot of lately?

Any other recipes featuring zucchini that you swear by?

Chambray and Linen City Mini Skirt

IMG_2062_thumb.jpg

chambray and linen city mini skirt, j crew
closet up: chambray and linen city mini skirt, j crew
j crew chambray and linen city mini skirt Shop the look:
Skirt: J. Crew Linen City Mini skirt via consignment store (other colors on sale, factory version)
Shoes: Target
Chambray: J. Crew Factory (polka dot version, dark wash, light wash)

Happy Tuesday!  I’m still catching up from the whirlwind wedding weekend, but I can tell you that it was a blast!  (Click here to see a sneak peek of the photos from the photographer’s blog- she did a great job…and the Milwaukee lakefront was the perfect backdrop!)

In other news, here is an outfit I wore recently with a chambray shirt and “linen city mini skirt”—a bit on the casual side, but still put together.  I got this skirt at a local consignment store (where I sell all the clothes/accessories I no longer want) and stumbled upon this J.Crew skirt.  AND…it still had the tags on it!  It was originally priced at $79.50 I think, but I got it for just under $16 after a 20% off sale at the consignment store (oh, and I may have gotten a super cute moisture-wicking hot pink long sleeve top with thumb holes…like I said before, I can’t resist fun workout clothes!)

What were you up to this weekend?  Any good consignment store finds lately?

Geometric Print and Statement Necklace

black and white geometric print, statement necklace

black and white geometric print, statement necklace
black and white geometric print, statement necklace
black and white geometric print, statement necklace
black and white geometric print, statement necklaceGeometric print black & white top: Target (no longer available–found on clearance)
Statement necklace: J.Crew Factory
Pants: The Limited
Shoes: Target

Random thoughts:

1- I am still waiting for my SheInside blazer to arrive from my July budget.  Hurry up already!

2-  Today is my intern’s last day for the summer.  It’s going to be weird without her there (and subsequently more work for me to do once she leaves- booo!)  PS- I officially feel old- she never watched Saved by the Bell.  What?!

3- I plan to go to Pure Barre tonight and I’m so excited to get in a class this week.  It’s been busy!

4- My 20×45 summer remix went fantastically well for me.  And as icing on the cake, one of the pieces I included was my LBD.  Much to my surprise, it was picked up on DivineCaroline.com!

How to wear an LBD- DivineCaroline.com
5- I decided to skip my Fabletics order for this month.  There were a few things that caught my eye but I am trying to be mindful of spending, knowing that my StitchFix is coming next week and I gave some really specific feedback, so I may end up keeping items from the fix.  But then I hear news that Jillian Michaels is launching a line of workout clothing at K-Mart…and Wantable (which I love) will soon be following suit.  This may be a budget buster for a gal that has a fitness clothing obsession…

6-  I am a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding in Milwaukee, and my husband is officiating!  (He got ordained online.)  Looking forward to celebrating and all the fun festivities!  (Which reminds me- I have an awful racerback tan…I’ll have to resort to sunless tanner in just that area…this could be bad..)

What’s on your mind?  Any workout apparel junkies out there?  Plans this weekend?

Linking up with Vodka Infused Lemonade | Mix and Match Fashion

REM Fit Total Sleep Recovery System Review

REM-Fit Total Sleep Recovery System Review

REM-Fit Total Sleep Recovery System Review

A gal needs her beauty rest, am I right?!  But a gal who is active also needs rejuvenating, restorative sleep.  You know, that awesome sleep where you barely move and the covers stay perfectly on top of you…when you wake up and say “Wow, I feel completely rested and ready to tackle the day!”  Yeah, THAT kind of sleep.  It’s hard to come by!  But to help you get more of those days, there’s the REM-Fit Total Sleep Recovery System by Protect-A-Bed.

The REM Fit Total Sleep Recovery System is designed to help those who embrace an active, healthy lifestyle by providing a rejuvenating sleep environment. REM-Fit is a lifestyle, which stands for Rest, Energize and Motivate.

What are they all about?  Well, they are firm believers that exercise and rest are necessary for mental and physical balance, and are key components of a healthy lifestyle. And in order to help energize the body for the physical requirements of today’s active lifestyle, sleep is essential.  They know that a restful night’s sleep helps the body recover and motivates athletes to push their physical limits the next day.

So they created the REM-Fit Total Sleep Recovery System, which consists of pillows, bedding and pillow protection products.  I got the chance to try out the Adjustable Pillow, Smooth Mattress Protector and Smooth Pillow Protectors.

R.E.M.-Fit Total Sleep Recovery System
Their pillow protection products include Tencel, which aids in thermo-regulation, wicks away moisture, is hypoallergenic, has antibacterial properties and provides a soft, silky-smooth sleep zone for those with sensitive skin.  It has a long list of benefits…
R.E.M.-Fit Total Sleep Recovery System
The pillow is super squishy, but also pretty firm and heavy- which is how I like my pillows.  After a few days of sleep on it, I noticed that the stuffing would move a bit around my head, but overall, it still offered pretty nice support.

R.E.M.-Fit Total Sleep Recovery System- Pillow Covers
The pillow cover was great and helped regulate my body temperature and wick away moisture, which was great for nights when I took a shower before bed and had some wet hair which makes it hard to get asleep right away!

R.E.M.-Fit Total Sleep Recovery System- Pillow Covers

The mattress cover was probably my favorite item in the bunch.  It has a “Miracle Membrane,” which sounds kind of odd, but it maintains mattress hygiene for more restful sleep.  It stops bacteria from growing, wicks away moisture and keeps you cool and comfortable when you sleep.  Sometimes I get really hot when I sleep so this thermo-regulating feature was amazing!

R.E.M.-Fit Total Sleep Recovery System, Protect A Bed
You can see the shiny/waterproof material on the underside of the mattress cover, but the top of the cover is silky to the touch (even though we are just covering it up with a fitted sheet!)

R.E.M.-Fit Total Sleep Recovery System- Mattress Pad
We put it over our mattress, which also has an added memory foam topper, and the cover fit perfectly.

R.E.M.-Fit Total Sleep Recovery System- Mattress Pad
All in all, I was pretty impressed with the REM Fit Total Sleep Recovery System.  I hope to have many more super restorative nights of sleep in my future so I’m ready to tackle the day!

How often do you get those “awesome” nights of sleep?

sleepSource

Disclosure: I received the R.E.M. Fit Rest Adjustable Pillow, REM-Fit Energize Smooth Mattress Protector and Smooth Pillow Protector to review via Fitfluential.  All opinions are my own.

Linking up with  Olives n’ Wine.

20 x 30 Summer Remix Challenge Recap

20 x 30 summer remix leopard print skirt

20 x 30 summer remix leopard print skirt

Happy Monday!  I can’t believe it, but this is the last post for the 20 x 30 summer remix challenge.  Except I don’t think I can refer to it as a 20 x 30 challenge.  Why?  Because all in all, including this set of 7 outfits above, that brought me to a grand total of 45 outfits!  I am still shocked that I was able to take 20 pieces of clothing and make 45 outfits.  A 20 x 45 challenge!  Just goes to show you how versatile your closet really is– you don’t need a lot to have a lot of options! I’ve become incredibly aware of how easy it is to remix my closet without having to head out to the store and shop.  Really exciting stuff for me!

If you recall, I decided to organize my remix by using anchor pieces to create new looks.  Week 1 featured my floral dress as the anchor piece and week 2 featured outfits centered around my pair of white denim jeans.  Week 3 featured my coral pencil skirt and little black dress and week 4 featured my cream pencil skirt and jeans.

This final week features outfits centered around my leopard print skirt. Below are larger shots of each outfit (note that shopping links can be found in my original “20 pieces” post here.)

Leopard print top, white button upA workweek chic look: white button up, leopard print skirt, navy heels

Leopard print top, maroon sheer blouseGreat workwear for the office on hot days: Maroon sheer blouse with white cami, leopard print skirt, nude heels

Leopard print top, navy v-neck teeA casual Friday look (if your office doesn’t allow jeans): Navy v-neck tee, leopard print skirt, nude peep toe wedges

Leopard print top, navy v-neck tee, mustard cardiganMustard cardigan, navy v-neck tee, leopard print skirt, nude heels

Leopard print skirt, white peplum top, navy heelsWhite peplum top, leopard print skirt, navy heels

Leopard print skirt, white peplum top, navy blazer, nude heelsAdding the blazer gives it a completely different look: navy blazer, white peplum top, leopard print skirt, nude heels

Leopard print skirt, white peplum top, cargo vest, nude heelsAnd layering with a cargo vest gives it a more casual (but still put together) look: cargo vest, white peplum top, leopard print skirt, nude heels

So, which look is your favorite?

20 x 30 summer remix leopard print skirt
Below is an image you can pin for reference.  I am SO pleased with the sheer number of outfits I came up with.  Granted, some are just taking a basic shell or top and adding a blazer, cardigan or vest over it– but it really creates a different look!  When I did this challenge, I wanted to be realistic and choose items I could wear to work so it would be a practical remix for me.  And I think I’ve got a ton of “corporate chic” outfits to choose from now!

The full 20 x 30 summer remix challenge recap/roundup of posts:
My 20 pieces
Week 1: featuring a floral dress as the anchor piece
Week 2: featuring white denim as the anchor piece
Week 3: featuring coral pencil skirt and little black dress as the anchor pieces
Week 4: featuring cream pencil skirts and jeans
Week 5 (this post): featuring leopard print skirt and recap of all 45 outfits!

Which look is your favorite from my 20 x 45 summer remix challenge? 
Have you done a remix before? Was it more casual or workwear items?  What did you learn?

PS- Did you know I have TWO giveaways going on now?  Both end Tuesday…check them out and enter here:
Fort2Base race entry giveaway
Little Black Dress makeup set by Jouer ($68 value!)

20 x 45 summer remix recap, 20x30 summer remix

Linking up with:
Fizz & Frosting | On the Daily Express | More Pieces of Me | Fashionably Employed | Greater than Rubies | rhea, et cetera | Still Being Molly

Workout in Style

sticky be socks, barre socks

This summer, my workout routine has been pretty…routine.  I typically aim to do 5 workouts a week, with 2-3 days being running, 1-2 days for Pure Barre classes, and another day is typically doing strength training at a group exercise class at work (i.e.- Muscle Scuplt or Tabata).  I’m not really doing any training for anything, besides my 2014 schedule of races.

I just discovered a free run club in the area and met up with a friend for their Tuesday speed workouts.  I couldn’t remember the last time I was on a track– brought back the good ‘ol days of soccer conditioning and two-a-day practices!
running speed track workoutTank: Fabletics | Capris: Old Navy (all kinds on sale now!)

Otherwise, I’ve been meeting up with friends for runs at local forest preserves, hosting some fun runs as a Fort2Base ambassador, and hitting the pavement around my neighborhood.

garmin running shot
(I always wear sunglasses when I run.  Not sports sunglasses.  Regular ones– I guess it’s my “thing.”  I just like protecting my eyes!  My favorite pair are my hot pink aviators…but I got a cute pair from Firmoo.com to try out…what do you think?!)
firmoo sunglassesI think they are too long on my face but the quality is quite nice and it came with a cleaning cloth and tiny screwdriver which I never seem to have on hand!

I have also been taking Pure Barre classes, which I really enjoy (and as a great compliment to running!)  It’s low impact but SUPER challenging, with strength/weights, plyometrics, yoga, ballet and pilates all rolled into one.  (Check out my posts about it here.)
lift tone burnCapris & Tank: Fabletics

IMG_20140701_185840Tank: Fabletics | Capris: Old Navy (all kinds on sale now!)

I don’t know about you, but I love rewarding myself with fun new workout clothes for extra motivation, and to get rid of some of the old, nasty t-shirts and tanks from college…and high school.  I like to workout in style..what can I say?!  That said, I’ve been LOVING my monthly purchases as a VIP Member in Fabletics.  (Read more about it here, including my past reviews!)  Their capris and leggings are such a fantastic quality, and they always have fun prints and colors.  Definitely comparable to those higher end workout brands, but much more affordable!  I have added several pieces to my workout collection, which is now a combination of Old Navy, Target and Fabletics.

Last month, I got the Vaasa Sports Bra and Cayman Top as part of my monthly clothing budget via Fabletics.  The top is so unique and breathable for running or barre class!  The sports bra is incredibly comfortable too and offers a fun cut different than my standard racerback bras.  It isn’t high support so not great for running, but great for most everything else!  If you want to sign up, you can get your first outfit (top + bottom) for just $25 with my referral link!
Fabletics- Cayman Top and Vaasa Sports BraTop/sports bra/capris via Fabletics, socks c/o Sticky Be Socks, shorts via Target (on clearance now!)

Besides finding fun and functional workout tops and bottoms, I also have added sticky socks to my closet- they are SO helpful to have during Pure Barre class so I don’t lose my grip and slip around during exercises. Recently, the folks at Sticky Be Socks sent me over this pair that says “Be Great.”  They have tons more colors and sayings too…check it out here.  I love how bright and fun these are!

sticky be socks, barre socks
What brands/styles do you wear for your workout routine?

PS- Did you know I have TWO giveaways going on now?  Both end Tuesday…check them out and enter here:
Fort2Base race entry giveaway
Little Black Dress makeup set by Jouer

Little Black Dress by Jouer {Giveaway}

little black dress jouer

Last week, I talked about how I won a makeup collection from Jouer via Birchbox (original post here).  I loved the Blushing Beauty collection that I tried, but they also have another collection called the Little Black Dress.  It contains two eyeshadows (pink champagne and licorice), mineral powder blush and moisturizing lip gloss– a $68 value!  Such a great palette- chic and timeless!

little black dress jouer
That said, Birchbox is letting me give away a Little Black Dress by Jouer collection!  Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.  US only, please.  Winner will be selected at random.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t forget to enter my other giveaway going on now: a free race entry to Fort2Base!  Enter here.

Fort2Base Giveaway!

fort2base 2013

I can’t believe August is tomorrow (where is summer going?!)  Regardless, I made a goal for myself to run one race a month.  My race for August is Fort2Base.  I wrote all about it here, but in short, it’s a challenging and unique race where civilians get a glimpse at the military base!  There are two race distances: 10 nautical miles (11.5 miles), which begins at historic Fort Sheridan and end at Naval Station Great Lakes via the spectacular Green Bay Trail.  I did this race last year and really enjoyed it! The second course is 3 nautical miles (3.45 miles) within the private expanses of Naval Station Great Lakes.

fort2base_thumb.jpg

Plus, the shirts are orange this year and the 3NM and 10NM medals are pretty sweet.  And you get Sam Adams beer at the post-race party.
forst2base 2014 shirts

 

I’ve co-hosted two fun runs and gave away free race entries to Emily and Amy and am personally signed up for the 10NM option (although I really haven’t been training for it by covering any long distances…so we will see how it goes!)

And as a race ambassador- I am giving away a free race entry to Fort2Base- winner gets to choose the distance!  Enter the Fort2Base giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FYI- This Friday is the last day to register in order to get your race bib personalized so if you can’t wait, sign up for Fort2Base here and use Fort2Base discount code 2014F2BPETERSEN10 for 20% off either race distance! Registration is ahead of last year and even with the addition of 30% more spots in the 10 Nautical Mile event, it is on track to sell out in the next few weeks.

fort2base 2013

Looking for some other runs to do this fall?  Check out my 2014 race schedule and discount codes here.  Happy running!

July 2014 Clothing Budget

July 2014 clothing budget

July 2014 clothing budget

July 2014 Clothing Budget:
1.  Striped Hooded Pullover via Old Navy: $14.00 [worn here]
2.  Jean Jacket via Old Navy: $28
3.  Oula Tank via Fabletics: $14.26 [worn here]
4.  Cayman Top via Fabletics: $20
5.  White Boyfriend Blazer via SheInside: $29.50
6.  Crystal Candy Statement Necklace via J. Crew Factory: $19.50 on clearance [worn here]
7.  Black Gold Flower Earring via SheInside: $4
8.  Tan Bow-Tie Flats via Old Navy: $15 [worn here]
9.  Vaasa Sports Bra via Fabletics:  $13

=$157.26
-$227 in income earned (via blog campaigns, consignment/eBay sales, etc.)
=$69.74 under for July!

Last month in my clothing budget recap, I said I was going to try to reel it in and I feel like I did–and the numbers don’t lie!  I also knew I had some income coming in this month from blogging to treat myself with, which was awesome.

Now that I am on week 4 of my 20×30 summer remix challenge, I feel like I am MUCH more aware of what I should be buying, so I feel like my budget reflects that more than previous months.  Last month, I knew I wanted a jean jacket, so this classic dark wash, stretch jean jacket made it into my closet. (I did receive a jean jacket in my July StitchFix, but the wash was too light for my liking.  And speaking of StitchFix, you’ll see in my review that I ended up not keeping anything from my latest fix.  Nothing in my fix was worth keeping in my opinion…but now I have a board with some of my favorite items so next month could be a different story!)

Otherwise, I had been eyeing the SheInside blazers for a long time and finally ordered one…still isn’t here yet but I know this will be a super versatile item in my closet (the black earrings from SheInside were thrown in to get free shipping).  The J.Crew Factory necklace was on final clearance and was SUPER cute…I feel like I was missing a summer statement necklace so this filled the void.  And then there’s Fabletics.  I LOVE their workout gear!  The Vaasa sports bra is super comfy and cute and looks awesome with the white top with mesh back– perfect for Pure Barre class!  (Sign up and get your first outfit for $25 with my referral link!)

Linking up with Franish and her crowd of fabulous budgeting bloggers and  Olives n’ Wine and I do deClaire.
To view my past clothing budgets, click here.

20 x 30 Summer Remix Challenge: Week 4

20 x 30 summer remix featuring cream pencil skirt and jeans

20 x 30 summer remix featuring cream pencil skirt and jeans

Happy Monday!  So last week, I hit 27 outfits in the 20 x 30 summer remix challenge.  This week, I have another 11 outfits to share with you!  I can’t believe how versatile the 20 pieces I selected really are!  I was so daunted by this challenge at the beginning, but now that I’ve hit over 30 outfits- I’m feeling prettttty good.  Next week is the last week of the challenge, where I will share a recap (and bonus!  a few more outfits…I was going for some “extra credit.”)

If you recall, I decided to organize my remix by using anchor pieces to create new looks.  Week 1 featured my floral dress as the anchor piece and week 2 featured outfits centered around my pair of white denim jeans.  Week 3 featured my coral pencil skirt and little black dress.

So this week features outfits centered around my cream pencil skirt and dark wash jeans– two closet staples in my opinion!  Below are larger shots of each outfit (note that shopping links can be found in my original “20 pieces” post here.)

cream pencil skirt, maroon sheer blouse, cargo vest
Cream pencil skirt + maroon sheer blouse + cargo utility vest + nude heels

cream pencil skirt, black tee, teal blazer
Cream pencil skirt + black v-neck tee + teal blazer + leopard print heels

cream pencil skirt, cargo vest, pink lace top
Cream pencil skirt + pink lace top + cargo utility vest + nude heels

cream pencil skirt, navy blazer, pink lace top
Cream pencil skirt + pink lace top + navy blazer + peep toe wedges

cream pencil skirt, multicolor tank
Cream pencil skirt + multicolor ruffle tank + navy heels

cream pencil skirt, snakeskin print top, pink wedges
Cream pencil skirt + snakeskin print top+ pink peep toe wedges

cream pencil skirt, maroon sheer top, cognac belt and flats
Cream pencil skirt + maroon sheer blouse + cognac bow belt + cognac flats

black and white striped tee, cargo vest, jeans, pink peep toe wedges
Dark wash jeans+ black and white striped tee + cargo utility vest + pink peep toe wedges

navy blazer, multicolor tank, jeans, navy heels
Dark wash jeans + multicolor ruffle tank + navy blazer + navy heels– a nice look for “casual Friday” at my office!

mustard cardigan, pink lace top, leopard scarf, jeans, nude heels
Dark wash jeans + pink lace top + mustard cardigan + leopard scarf + nude heels– nice look for cooler days

navy tee, mint flats, mint statement necklace, jeans
Dark wash jeans + navy v-neck tee + mint flats + mint statement necklace

Which look from this week is your favorite?

Stay tuned for the rest of the remix challenge!

To recap this far…
My 20 pieces
Week 1: featuring a floral dress as the anchor piece
Week 2: featuring white denim as the anchor piece
Week 3: featuring coral pencil skirt and little black dress as the anchor pieces
Monday, August 4: Final looks/challenge recap!

20 x 30 summer remix featuring cream pencil skirt and jeans
Linking up with:
Fizz & Frosting | On the Daily Express | More Pieces of Me | Fashionably Employed | Greater than Rubies | rhea, et cetera

Life Lately this Summer

It’s been a whole week since my last post, so today you get a little “brain dump” complete with random happenings featuring my life lately this summer!

Repainted the wood trim exterior on our house.  I LOVE the intricate detail…but painting it?!  UGH!  Let’s just say I have a love-hate relationship with that trim.

exterior window trimSpent time in downtown Chicago for a day of meetings.  Brought back memories of when I was an intern there…and the views were killer!

edelman, chicago
Won this Blushing Beauty Collection from Jouer via Birchbox and got to test it out recently.  It included four pieces: a matte powder and bronzer duo, a powder eye shadow duo in Chocolat and Peach, a tint and highlighter duo in Whisper and Feather, and a  lip gloss in Cherish.  I put them on after applying foundation and concealer and love how natural it all looked!  I would definitely wear this for work, weekends and special occasions- just my style!

jouer blushing beauty collection
Jouer makeup

Got our 5 minutes of fame! (Okay, more like 2 seconds.) The DIY Ottoman that my husband built was featured on Tiny House Nation, a new series that just premiered on the FYI network! Check out the full episode here.  Couldn’t believe it when I got an email from the producer…still shocked!

tiny house nation- diy ottoman
Went on a cupcake date with a friend at the Couture Cupcake Cafe.  Their cupcakes were not only delicious, but were inspired by designers like Jimmy Choo, Betty Johnson, Christian Dior, Christian Louboutin, Chanel, Burberry, etc.  Ah-ma-zing.

cupcake trio
Hosted food club book club this month.  (Oh yeah, and we read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point.)  I made Kelly’s famous chocolate chip cookies and this super easy & delicious cheesecake dip with only 3 ingredients.

book club food
Attended a blogger event at Sullivan’s in Lincolnshire, hosted by Beth. (Can you tell my summer revolves around food?!)

Chef Gray demonstrated how to make the restaurant’s new featured menu item, The Summer Fling: a signature filet and fresh Maine lobster half. He also made the world’s best macaroni & cheese.  That stuff was legit! If you haven’t heard of them before, Sullivan’s is a vibrant American steakhouse, known for its hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, and award-winning wine list. With locations all over the nation, specifically including Chicago, Lincolnshire and Naperville, Sullivan’s also offers options for vegetarians, vegans, and those with dietary restrictions like gluten intolerances or food allergies. #SullysLincolnshire

sullivan's lincolnshire #sullyslincolnshire
And if you’ve read thus far, I’ve got a little giveaway for you!  I’m giving away a free appetizer (up to $16) at Sullivan’s!  Anything from the Cheesesteak Eggrols to the Roasted Garlic Meatballs are up for grabs!  To enter, simply post a comment on this blog post, telling me what you’ve been up to this summer!  Winner will be selected at random on Friday, August 1st.

What have you been up to this summer?

Update: Congrats to Katie A., the randomly selected winner!

20 x 30 Summer Remix Challenge: Week 3

Week 3- 20x30 summer remix with coral pencil skirt, black dress

Week 3- 20x30 summer remix with coral pencil skirt, black dress

This week, I have 12 more outfits coming at ya for my 20 x 30 summer remix challenge!  Out of the 20 pieces I’ve selected, I’ve come up with 27 outfits so far…and I’ve still got two more Mondays to post the other outfits I’ve come up with!  Week 1 featured my floral dress as the anchor piece and week 2 featured outfits centered around my pair of white denim jeans.

This week features outfits centered around my coral pencil skirt and my black dress- two super versatile pieces!  Below are larger shots of each outfit (note that shopping links can be found in my original “20 pieces” post here.)

Black dress, mustard cardigan, peep toe gladiator wedges
Black dress, mustard cardigan, peep toe gladiator wedges

Black dress, black and white striped top layered over the dress, teal blazer, peep toe heels
Black dress, black and white striped top layered over the dress, teal blazer, peep toe heels

Black dress, belted cargo vest, leopard heels
Black dress, belted cargo vest, leopard heels (one of my favorite looks!)

Black dress, pink statement necklace, pink peep toe wedges
Black dress, pink statement necklace, pink peep toe wedges

Coral pencil skirt, black v-neck tee, cargo vest, nude heels
Coral pencil skirt, black v-neck tee, cargo vest, nude heels

Coral pencil skirt, white peplum top, nude heels
Coral pencil skirt, white peplum top, nude heels

Coral pencil skirt, black v-neck tee, peep toe gladiator wedges
Coral pencil skirt, black v-neck tee, peep toe gladiator wedges

Coral pencil skirt, multicolored tank, navy blazer, navy heels
Coral pencil skirt, multicolored tank, navy blazer, navy heels
Black dress, white button up, leopard heels
Black dress, white button up, leopard heels

Coral pencil skirt, black and white striped tee, black statement necklace, black peep toe heels
Coral pencil skirt, black and white striped tee, black statement necklace, black peep toe heels

Coral pencil skirt, navy v-neck tee, nude heels, ivory statement necklace
Coral pencil skirt, navy v-neck tee, nude heels, ivory statement necklace

Coral pencil skirt, snakeskin print top, nude heels
Coral pencil skirt, snakeskin print top, nude heels

Which look from this week is your favorite?

Stay tuned for the rest of the remix challenge!

To recap this far…
My 20 pieces
Week 1: featuring a floral dress as the anchor piece
Week 2: featuring white denim as the anchor piece
Monday, July 28: Week 4 Looks
Monday, August 4: Final looks/challenge recap

Week 3- 20x30 summer remix with coral pencil skirt, black dress

Linking up with:
Fizz & Frosting | On the Daily Express | More Pieces of Me | Fashionably Employed | Greater than Rubies | rhea, et cetera