Monthly Archives: March 2016

March Shopping Summary

Shopping

march-shopping-summary

Sweater (seen here)| Necklace | Earrings | Leggings

Once again I’ve managed to add items to my closet without dipping into my bank account! How, you ask?

Well, the sweater, necklace and earrings were all purchased from Le Tote where I have credit from being an ambassador and from people using the code ERIN25 to get $25 off their first month.

These AMAZING leggings were purchased using dollars I earned from this here blog, thanks to you guys clicking on my affiliate links.

And speaking of these leggings, I’ll be talking about them and the company in a Fitness Friday post soon. Not because it’s sponsored. Nope. Just because I think it’s an awesome concept.

Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers 

What to wear to the dog park

Viagra and clonidine

Speaking of my furry partner in crime, this past weekend we had perfect dog park weather. Well, perfect for spring, anyway. Perfect for Chewie would mean it was warm enough for the kiddie pool and the hose to be out. That boy loves him some water.

Anyway, we took the opportunity to take some weekend casual dog park trip photos.

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Jacket – Velvet c/o Shopbop (same) | Shirt – J. Crew (same) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – Sperry (same

Key components of a dog park outfit?

  1. A jacket with pockets so you can carry extra bags, keys, phone, and maybe a tennis ball.
  2. A shirt that’s easily washable. You will get fur on you.
  3. Jeans. You will get slobbered.
  4. Shoes that you don’t mind if they get a paw print or two on them. You will get stepped on.

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You also get to see me in fill-on weekend mode. Meaning, you get to see me with my hair up. I rarely wear my hair up except on weekends. I’m still working on perfecting the messy topknot. My Type A personality has some issues with it.

Strangely, dog slobber and fur don’t bother me nearly as much. Which is why I think I need this t-shirt in my life. Seriously. I don’t think it could be any more accurate.

Chewie, however, was dying to go play, as you can probably see from the photos. And by “play” I mean try to get some dogs to chase him and then give up and stand next to us until we ask him if he wants to go home. He gets along great with other dogs but is also more than happy to be at home. Just don’t ask to come into our apartment without a LOT of warning. He won’t be too thrilled with that.

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Furry Cameo

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Fluoxetine and abilify · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

With the return of Daylight Saving Time we also get the return of…..Chewie cameos!

Yes, now that I can take photos outside after work again you’ll be seeing quite a bit of my furry partner in crime.

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Sweater – Le Tote (same) | Jeans – Old Navy (similar) | Boots – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) | Earrings – Poshmark (similar

Chewie is super smart and has learned that when we get the camera out it means that he gets to go outside. He doesn’t always cooperate during the photoshoots but overall he’s pretty good.

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Plus, the roof of our apartment building is currently undergoing some major construction which means no rooftop photos for the time being. And when there are going to be courtyard photos instead it definitely means Chewie gets to come. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

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By the way, my husband starts (yet another) new job this week and we’ve re-signed our lease to stay in our current apartment for at least another year. So hopefully we’ll be here when the roof is finished so that I can get some more photos with the Chicago skyline in the background!

Also, shoutout to my friend Bethany who is starting a new job this week, too! She needed an almost entirely new wardrobe due to a new dress code so I took her shopping a few weeks ago. She was less than thrilled to have to buy new clothes so I tried to make it as easy as possible for her. If you hate clothes shopping I’m more than happy to have you follow me around the store while I hand things to you to try on. Sort of like your own personal shopper but with less pressure to purchase anything!

SIA: Turkish Tulips

Style Imitating Art

This round it’s Jen‘s turn to pick our Style Imitating Art inspiration and she chose a textile print from a Turkish caftan. She felt that the bold, bright colors and the floral motif was a great choice for spring.

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This detail is from a caftan from the 16th century of the Ottoman period. As this post states, “Caftans with tulip, cloud and ‘dot’ motifs are frequently encountered in the 16th century when the Turkish art of the fabric was highly advanced.”

So many ways you could go with this inspiration piece. Would you choose red and blue? Add in some gold? Or just use the floral pattern as your base?

Whatever you decide, you can send your photos to Jen by 10 PM Pacific time on Monday, April 4th to be featured in the round up on April 5th.

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Hydroquinone tretinoin fluocinolone acetonide cream Fluoxetine and abilify · Viagra users forum

When I was chatting with Katie from Personally Paleo on Saturday she was asking me about whether or not I had any series on my blog. Well, of course I do! Style Imitating Art, to mention just one. But it reminded me that I hadn’t done a Pinterest Parallel in awhile. So here’s one for you.

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Cardigan – Old Navy (similar) | Dress – Neiman Marcus Outlet (similar) | Boots – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) | Scarf – NYC street vendor (similar

I based it on this outfit that I saved on Pinterest. I mean, it’s pretty simple. A black dress with brown riding boots, a tan cardigan, and a leopard print scarf. I’ve had items like this in my closet for years. I even have two “little black dresses” that would have worked for this outfit.

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Jason and I took these photos outside my parents’ house. They live on a golf course and this tunnel goes underneath the road. I was hoping that it would be less windy down there but, alas, not so much. Also, we forgot our camera so we borrowed one from my parents. Resourceful, that’s us.

looplooks.net occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services…..like these boots. 

A different pop of green

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

It’s been all about green here on the blog lately so here’s an outfit without any green in it. I mean, it’s surrounded by green, but the outfit itself is mostly gray.

gray moto jacket with gray sweater

Jacket – Macy’s (similar) | Sweater – Express (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Boots – H by Hudson c/o Shopbop (similar)

Yes, these are the last of my photos from the Garfield Park Conservatory. For now, anyway, I definitely want to go back in the summer and get some outdoor photos, too!

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And, in case you needed it, here’s some proof that I actually wore this outfit to wander around the conservatory. Sans jacket, of course. I think I mentioned it was warm in there!

I also wore this outfit to work. I like this moto jacket because it functions more like a blazer than a jacket. This way I can wear it over something but still take it off and have a complete outfit underneath. In this case I kept the outfit simple with just my watch as my jewelry. In the past, though, I’ve also paired it with pearls, Recommended dose of prednisone for poison ivy, and professional looks.

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Lowest dose of lisinopril

Lowest dose of lisinopril Fluoxetine and abilify · Style Imitating Art

I had several outfit ideas in mind when it came time to interpret this week’s SIA choice but since I was planning to wear it on St. Patrick’s Day I knew I had to wear my green pants.

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Sweater – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Shirt – J. Crew via eBay (similar) | Pants – Express (similar) | Shoes – Kate Spade c/o Shopbop (similar) | Necklace – Groopdealz (similar) | Watch – gift (same)

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The design on the dragonfly’s wings reminded me a bit of leopard print which is why I went with my leopard print shirt instead of just wearing the black sweater alone. Also, it was finally that weird temperature that allows you to layer up top and wear ankle pants. I think the secret is that it needs to be in the high 40s, low 50s all day. That’s Fahrenheit, by the way.

The necklace was a last minute addition but I think the black and gold, plus the shape of the baubles, nicely echo the shapes and colors of the brooch.

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In other news, I got to hang out with Katie of Personally Paleo this weekend as part of her Core & Coffee series. It’s such a fun idea: workout together and then go get coffee or food and chat. We took a kettlebell fundamentals class at OTG Bootcamp and then went to Windy City Cafe. I won’t say much more but I’ll let you know when the full post is up over at Katie’s blog!

Also, don’t forget to check out 14 Shades of Grey tomorrow to see how all of us interpreted this week’s art!

 

 

The secret to working out at lunch [Fitness Friday]

Fitness

Have you ever wondered how I manage to squeeze in a workout on my lunch break? How in the world do I have time to get sweaty and still look presentable back at the office. Well, I’ll let you in on the secret.

Don’t shower. Just blow dry your sweaty hair. Yep, that’s it.

what you need to workout on your lunch break

I buy all my makeup stuff and hair stuff at Ulta

I’m not kidding. I sweat like crazy, especially when I do cardio on at the gym over my lunch hour. But I don’t shower and I don’t use dry shampoo. I just blow-dry my hair, touch up my make-up (sometimes washing my face) and put on more deodorant.

Of course, it does help that only a few of my strength workouts, which I do most of the time, don’t leave me dripping sweat. But, on the days I do my HIIT workouts over lunch I still don’t shower. I just don’t have time.

how to workout at lunch

But, as you can see, I don’t go back to the office looking like something the cat dragged in. Nope. The hair dryer is a magical thing.

You know what else is pretty magical? These Invisibobble hair ties.

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They are designed to hold your hair back without leaving a crimp or a crease like a regular hair tie. They come in three sizes: original, power, and nano.

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I received these hair ties free of charge so that I could try them out and tell you about them. They did take some getting used to because I actually don’t have that much hair and I’m used to wrapping a regular hair elastic around my ponytail until it’s stretched to within an inch of it’s life. These I don’t have to wrap as much to keep my hair in place when I’m doing low intensity exercise. When I’m running, though, I find I have to get them in just right or my messy bun just becomes a sad ponytail.

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I also like that they’re made of water-resistant resin. You have no idea how gross a regular hair tie gets when I sweat. Yuck!

The Invisibobbles seem to return to their original size after being worn, unless some of my other hair ties. I’ve been using the same two for about two weeks now, though, so we’ll see how long they really last. Regardless, the fact that they minimize the post-ponytail crimp is key when you workout on your lunch break! So, I’ll keep using them for as long as they’ll have me.

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Recipe of the Week: Apple Cinnamon Slow Cooker Pork Loin

I like to assemble this meal before I know I’m going to be out for most of the day on a weekend and then I just have Jason toss it into the crockpot about three hours before I’ll be home. Jason doesn’t like fruit with his meat so he usually picks out the apples. I made this on Sunday and it was perfect for me, Jason, and one of my friends. Paired with roasted new potatoes and cauliflower and we were good to go.

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This week’s workouts:

My trainer has me on a new workout regime that he calls “Boring But Big”. You can read all about it here. I just started it on Monday and it feels weird to only do three to four lifts at the gym and not even lift as heavy as possible. I’ve been told it will make me MUCH stronger and build some killer muscles, though, so I’m willing to give it a shot.

  • Monday – Legs + Pi Day Run (3.14 miles)
  • Tuesday – Upper Body
  • Wednesday – HIIT treadmill workout
  • Thursday – Legs
  • Friday – Upper Body
  • Saturday – 8 mile run + Kettlebell fundamentals class with Personally Paleo (planned)
  • Sunday – Rest

Erin Go Bragh

Casual Friday · Fluoxetine and abilify

First, I have to say thank you for all the wonderful comments on yesterday’s post. It’s interesting; on Tuesday night I attended my first Idea Potluck and was blown away and inspired by everyone who spoke. It was just what I needed to remind myself that sometimes you just need to put yourself out there and ask and you will be happily surprised at what the universe gives you in return. So, thank you, everyone, for reminding me that being who I am is perfectly fine.

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Vest – Old Navy from Jen (similar) | Shirt – Le Tote (same) | Jeans – Old Navy (same) | Boots – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) | Necklace – c/o T&J Designs (similar

Even if who I am is a gal trying to take pictures outside her parents’ house, which happens to be situated in the windiest part of all of Central Illinois.

Anyway, today is apparently St. Patrick’s Day although Chicago celebrated last weekend. I avoided the crowds downtown and still got to see the green river on my walk to work on Monday morning.  I also figured that since you’re supposed to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day I’d share this outfit with a greenish vest. It’s close enough, right?

I mean, even though my name is Erin (which basically means Ireland), the closest I’ve ever come to Ireland is an Irish pub. Even if my dad tells me it’s as authentic as you’re going to get in the States. I also plan to drink a Guinness (Nitro IPA) tonight. So, you know, close.

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Motivation Level Equals Low

Viagra and clonidine · Casual Friday

A few weeks ago I went to Femme du Coupe’s mixology fundraiser with a friend and ended up chatting all things blogging at a late night Shake Shack run with Kit from The Kittchen.

Side note: it was my first visit to Shake Shack and I have to say it’s the closet thing I’ve found to my hometown love of Steak n Shake.

Anyway, Kit is probably my role model. She not only hustles harder than anyone I know, she’s truly genuine and wants to see people succeed. If I could only figure out how to channel a third of her…skill? Drive? Hustle?

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Jacket – Le Tote (same) | Shirt – Target (same) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – Tretorn c/o Shopbop (similar

By the way, if you want to try Le Tote for free, just leave me a comment with your email addresses and you can get one free Tote to try! 

Anyway, I’ve been feeling pretty blah about a lot of things lately. Not sure if it’s the weather, some stupid stuff going on at work, or what, but my motivation is super low right now. One of the things I talked to Kit about was that my blog feels stagnant. My readership hasn’t grown in awhile (not to mention my social media following) and, while I try not to base my self-worth on that, it’s just so hard to be such a small fish in a big pond and still keep up the motivation. Especially when I’m trying to balance a full-time job, a husband, a dog, working out, volunteering, and trying to come up with photos to take and things to say.

So, friends, if you’re reading, can you leave me a comment? A tweet? Say something nice on Facebook? I just need to know I’m not putting words out into the ether for no reason. Thanks!

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looplooks.net occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services…..like these shoes.