Monthly Archives: November 2016

Just a sweater and some leggings

Viagra and clonidine · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

So, I fully admit that I think I blew my entire plan to save money by not shopping when I went to the Moonfish Pop-Up shop earlier this year. You already saw my black top, jeans and necklace, but I also purchased this amazing sweater. Because, you see, when I told Sarah that I didn’t own anything to really wear with leggings she basically refused to let me leave without trying it on. And, of course, I loved it.

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Sweater – LA Made via Moonfish | Leggings – c/o Moonfish | Boots – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same

It’s so soft and cozy and….long. So, yes, it covers my butt. And, yes, I’m wearing leggings as pants. But, as I mentioned the Rate of miscarriage from depo provera, they’re structured enough to feel like skinny jeans.

This sweater can also be worn off-the-shoulder, but that always feels kind of awkward to me. So, instead, I’m sticking with the cowl neck that is just slouchy enough to be comfy but not so crazy as to be overwhelming.

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However, it turns out that my office at work cranks the heat near my desk when it’s cold outside! So, for once, I won’t necessarily be bundled up all winter. I’m sure, though, I’ll find enough opportunities to wear this sweater. I mean, wouldn’t you?

SIA: Tempest in a Hat

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

I think I must still be in a food coma because I’m struggling with writing something interesting today. We celebrated Thanksgiving with my family and then Jason’s family so there was a bit of travel and a lot of food!

On Thanksgiving proper we were at my parents and, although I had a different outfit originally planned, I ended  up in my favorite black jeans and this cobalt blue top. And, true to form, it was only after I had it on that I realized it worked perfectly for this week’s Style Imitating Art choice.

And of course I had to borrow a hat from my mom since she had the perfect one sitting in her closet, unworn!

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Scarf – gift (similar) | Top – Express (similar) | Jeans – Paige c/o Shopbop (same) | Shoes – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same)

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I also didn’t do any Black Friday shopping, although that’s not unusual for me. I think last year I bought a purse but that was it. This year? Nothing as of yet. And I’m totally okay with that. Instead, on Friday we went for a 3.5 mile walk, drank margaritas, and played Sequence.

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Saturday we drove to Indianapolis to visit Jason’s family where I got in a 12 mile run before spending the rest of the day with them.

Now it’s back to the grind for a few weeks before I take a short vacation to Santa Fe, New Mexico and then celebrate Christmas!

Things I’ve worn 100 times

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Shopping

Don’t forget to enter the Moonfish giveaway!

I have this habit of wearing something 100 times right after I buy it because it’s foremost on my mind. Currently it’s either these flats or, since it’s gotten colder, these boots.

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Cardigan – Le Tote (same) | Necklace – Le Tote (same) | Jeans – Paige c/o Shopbop (same) | Booties – Steven c/o Shopbop (same

I enjoy buying shoes from Shopbop because they carry my two favorite brands: Sam Edelman and STEVEN. They even restocked my favorite Sam Edelman riding boots.

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These jeans are also my favorite black jeans I’ve ever bought. Highly, highly recommended.

And, guess what? It’s all on sale, just in time for holiday shopping for yourself or someone else.

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Sale ends 11:59 PM Pacific on Monday, 11/28

Last year during this sale I bought my leather cross-body tote bag. This year? I haven’t decided yet. I’m debating either another pair of the Sam Edelman flats because they are SUPER comfortable. Or maybe a pair of Sperry duck boots. Or maybe I’ll be generous and buy some Christmas gifts. Anything you want me to pick up for you?

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All Moonfish, All the Time [Giveaway!]

Viagra and clonidine · Casual Friday · Shopping

Remember my post about how I Rate of miscarriage from depo provera that I would actually wear out in public thanks to Moonfish? Well, I finally  made it to a Moonfish pop-up shop and, let me tell you, they have so many other cute things and Sarah, the woman behind Moonfish, does a GREAT job of picking out items for you to try on that you probably wouldn’t have picked yourself but, once you have them on, you can’t imagine taking them off.

For example, the entire outfit I wore literally the day after I went shopping at the pop-up at Beermiscuous.

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Scarf c/o Moonfish | Top – LAMade via Moonfish | Jeans – Principle via Moonfish | Shoes – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) | Necklace – Soko via Moonfish

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These jeans, you guys, These jeans. I want to wear them every single day. They are the best fitting pair of denim I currently own. Finally! Jeans that fit my waist AND my thighs. And they were around $100 which, yes, is more than Old Navy but for something I can wear all the time now? Yes, I want many, many more pairs.

Which is why I will be doing my best to attend the next Moonfish pop-up at the end of November.

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In the mean time, I have a great giveaway of just two of the awesome items you can find at Moonfish: a hat with a furry pompom and a wonderfully cozy scarf!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Want another chance to win something awesome from Moonfish? Check out Erica’s giveaway!

SIA: Tempest

Style Imitating Art

Guess what! It’s finally acting like winter here in Chicago and it basically came out of nowhere. Last Friday it was 70 degrees and I was running in shorts and a t-shirt. On Saturday I had to wear leggings, a long sleeved top, a jacket, gloves, and a hat for my run.

Which is why I think Salazar’s pick for this week’s Style Imitating Art, “Tempest” is quite appropriate.

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Source

This painting is by a Florida artist named John Larriva, who according to his CV, is actually a year younger than me. He’s got some really interesting items on his website (for sale, even!) and I recommend you go check it out. He even did an “Inktober” challenge where he tried to do a new drawing each day for a month. Pretty cool.

I’m looking forward to interpreting this piece because I’ve actually been drawn to neutrals, black, and simple outfits lately.  Shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with something. Especially since with our cold weather arrival hats are completely appropriate, too.

As always, if you want to participate, snap a picture of your outfit inspired by this artwork and send it to 14shadesofgreyblog@gmail.com by next Monday, November 28th.

My own six pack ab experiment [Fitness Friday]

Fitness

I recently read an article titled “I Got Six-Pack Abs in Six Weeks. Here’s How I Feel One Year Later” and a lot of it really resonated with me.

Granted, I didn’t get six pack abs in six weeks, but I did get them over the course of about a year and a half.

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November 2015

I was lifting weights 4-5 days a week, doing HIIT training one or two days a week and doing a long run on the weekend. I was also tracking every gram of fat, carbs and protein (aka macros) I ate about 85% of the time.

I felt amazing. I loved how I looked. And I didn’t think it was affecting my social life too much. But, in the interest of full disclosure, I lost my period (yes, I’m talking about that again). I mean, I’m not planning on using my reproductive system but I understand it’s not healthy to go into amenorrhea.

So, I kept my workouts pretty much the same but stopped counting every macro I put on my plate. I posted about specifically trying to gain weight this past February. Well, I’ve definitely put weight back on.

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November 2016

I still look pretty good, though! And while my jeans aren’t falling off me anymore, they all still fit. I’m still feel awesome, can still lift really heavy and, heck I’m training for a marathon!! Someone at work recently asked if I was still following my meal plan and I said that since I was marathon training I needed to eat more. So, I do.

But here’s the rub: just like the author of that article, body image is weird after you get six pack abs and then (kind of) lose them. You think, “Oh, I have to keep it up! Everyone said I looked amazing! What will they think when I don’t look like that any more?” Or, “My love handles didn’t used to hang over these pants…did they?”

It’s weird. So weird. I can’t imagine what people who do body building or bikini competitions go through!

Still, though, I’m glad I did it. I actually learned a lot about how to eat to fuel your workouts and re-fuel afterward. I learned a lot of new recipes that I still make. I still love lifting and refuse to cut back even though I’m marathon training. But I also learned that I love wine and ice cream and pizza. However, I admit, I still feel a bit guilty when I eat those things. So, yeah, if you want to get six pack abs and you’re not naturally predisposed to them, just know you can probably do it, but it might not be easy physically or mentally to get them or keep them.

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  • Monday 11/7 – Lower body strength workout + 5 mile run
  • Tuesday 11/8 – Upper body strength workout
  • Wednesday 11/9 – 5.5 mile run
  • Thursday 11/10 – Lower body strength workout
  • Friday 11/11 – 2 mile run (treadmill) + upper body strength workout
  • Saturday 11/12 – 10 mile run
  • Sunday 11/13 – Rest

Renting the Runway…in Person

Shopping

I’ve mentioned Rent the Runway in the past a few times. I rented a dress from them for a friend’s wedding, wore one of their dresses when I went to the horse races for the first time, and rented a tulle skirt from them when I wanted something fun to wear to a dog prom.

The first Saturday in November Jason and I attended the Illinois Science Council Science Cocktail Party and I wanted to use it as an excuse to dress up. Their emails always say to wear “weather appropriate cocktail party attire” but also go on to say that if you don’t feel like dressing up you can wear jeans and flannel, too. So, really, it’s anything goes!

I was debating wearing my gold dress (sans blazer and tights) or renting something from Rent the Runway. I debated until it was too late to order something online. But, wait! Rent the Runway has a brick-and-mortar location here in Chicago! I made an appointment and showed up on Saturday afternoon to a dressing room full of dresses for me to try on.

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1 (same in red)| 2 | 3 | 4

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1 |2 | 3| 4

Plus a few others (like this one and this one) that I didn’t take pictures of. Although many of these look great in photos, they didn’t all fit perfectly. Until I tried on the one on the bottom right. fullsizerender-3It was kind of like when I was trying on wedding dresses; I knew this was THE one. It fit perfectly, the slit made it more fun than a regular sheath dress, and the colors, pattern and fabric made it a great choice for a fancy-but-not-fancy event.

Being able to try on so many dresses was the perfect way to choose something. Plus, since I was   doing a same-day rental I was able to get accessories for $15. The dress itself? $30 to rent! It retails for $465 so this was a great deal. Plus, as I tried on dresses my stylist would go out to the floor and find more things for me to try on as she saw the items on me. I didn’t even have to leave the fitting room area!

Plus, after I wore it I just put into a bag and dropped it at the UPS store! I didn’t even have to go back to the physical location to return it.

I highly recommend using the Rent the Runway location in Chicago (or find one near you) if you need a dress for an occasion. They also rent fancy clothing (blazers, jackets, tops, etc) and accessories (purses, jewelry). It’s so much fun to try on so many fun things that I could never afford normally. Now, I just need more reasons to wear fun dresses!

This is not a sponsored post. I just had such a good time and wanted to share it with all of you! 

SIA Round Up: 108 Years and Four Outfits

Style Imitating Art

Chicago is still full of “W” flags celebrating the Chicago Cubs first World Series win since 1908 so I feel it’s more than appropriate to dress as though you were inspired by the 1908 scorecard I chose for this week’s Style Imitating Art.

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First up we have Salazar who went with a striped scarf and loafers to echo the socks and shoes depicted on the cover. Plus, like me, she chose a blazer!

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Next up we have Jen who, as always, nailed the details! A baseball tee, blue and red, and a baseball diamond? Amazing.

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Then we have Mike who says he doesn’t normally wear hats but was feeling it was appropriate this time. I’d say he definitely nailed the menswear look, too, but I think he has an edge on some of us.

Finally there’s me in my black blazer and plaid top.

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Thanks to all of you for participating! Stay tuned for next week’s pick!

SIA: 108 Years Later

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

For this week’s SIA I had grand plans to come up with something baseball or menswear inspired, take pictures at a local baseball field or even take a trip up to Wrigley Field (which is six miles away from me). However, this past week left me feeling…not so good. And then with the time change and going out of town for the weekend I ended up having to sneak in a few photos last evening just as the sun was setting.

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Blazer – The Limited (same) | Top – Langford Market (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – Nine West (same

I actually got this outfit idea from my mom. When I was visiting this past weekend she said that this week’s art choice reminded her of this top. So, I went with it. The colors echo those in the scorecard cover and I went with a blazer instead of a cardigan to echo the men’s wear.

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I’ll have a round-up of other outfits inspired by this week’s art on the blog tomorrow. Want to participate? Just send a photo to looplooks@gmail.com today!

 

Hiking at Starved Rock [Fitness Friday]

Fitness

So, we’re all still here, yes? Some of us might not want to be right now. I know I’ve spent the past few days with that feeling you get when you could cry at any minute and there’s a heavy ball that moves between your chest and the pit of your stomach. But, I have to remember that there are still beautiful and wonderful people and places in this world and that we all fight for what we believe in, yes?

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One of those beautiful places (ugh. I feel so ridiculous writing that. Anyway…) is Starved Rock State Park. I distinctly remember going there as a kid but, until last weekend, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been there. My friends Margaret and Vinod invited Jason and me to tag along on a photography outing last Sunday. I honestly had no idea what to expect since it had been so long.

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We met up with another one of Margaret’s friends and they chose our starting location. We ended up hiking from Parkman’s Plain to Kaskasia Canyon, which I’m guessing is about two miles. I was wearing my GPS watch but didn’t turn it on because I just wanted to enjoy the walk.

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Oh, yeah, I was also carrying all Jason’s camera equipment. He’s been my sherpa at enough races, we figured it was about time I did some work around here!

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The boys taking photos

I figure it was about a four mile hike, round trip to the waterfall in the canyon and back. We started our hike around 9:30 or 10:00 AM so there weren’t that many people on the trail. It was lovely and peaceful. img_1902

And we would have stayed out there for longer if we had brought more food! As it was, we (okay, I) got hungry and needed to find a real meal STAT.

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I think this farmhouse is a little too far away to ask if they have sandwiches

So, back to the car we went and, after a few snafus, we ended up at a great restaurant in downtown LaSalle called the Uptown Grill. I highly recommend it if you find yourself in the area!

Overall it was a nice day with some fun memories and something I’d like to do again. I hear it’s quite lovely in the winter, too. If you need an escape and have the means to get to Starved Rock, I would recommend it.

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  • Monday 10/31 – Upper body strength workout + 4 mile run
  • Tuesday 11/1 – Upper body strength workout + 4 mile run (6×400 on treadmill w/ warm up & cool down)
  • Wednesday 11/2 – Rest
  • Thursday 11/3 – Lower body strength workout + 6 mile run
  • Friday 11/4 – Lower body strength workout
  • Saturday 11/5 – 9 mile run
  • Sunday 11/6 – 4 mile hike