About Me

february-goals

Five Small Goals [February]

About Me

Back in January, Bri introduced that she was going to focus on five small goals each month. I thought, ‘What a great idea!’ and then never did anything else.

Well, that changes today! Bri posted her update on January and her five February goals this week and I’m not going to procrastinate any more! Here are my five small goals for February.

february-goals

  1. Do our taxes – Normally we’d have these done by now but we’re still waiting on a few things. Jason had three jobs in 2015 so that is going to make it interesting. Yay for TurboTax!
  2. Buy my personal training certification study materials – We got our bonus and raise information at work this week and I know where some of that is going! I’ve decided to go with NSCA because that’s what my current gym trainer has and I love him. He’s also already said he’d be a resource for me if I need help with anything.
  3. Read at least one book – I’m flying to Florida in two weeks and I love to read on the plane. I just need to find a good book. Any recommendations?
  4. Try a new restaurant – Is it cheating to put this on the list when we already have reservations at RPM Steak for Jason’s birthday on Friday?
  5. Schedule at least one happy hour with friends – I’m really bad about reaching out and scheduling things with people so if I put this as a goal hopefully I will hold myself accountable.

One other slightly more obvious goal for February? Run the Gasparilla Half Marathon (the reason I’m flying to Florida).

There are so many things I want to accomplish this year but I’m pretty bad at goal setting. Hopefully having a little list each month will help!

Linking up with Writes Like a Girl

 

 

 

What’s Up….Saturday?

About Me

Hey there, everyone! I’ve got a fun little bonus Saturday post for you today.

I just found out about What’s Up Wednesdays from Mel, Sheaffer and Shay and thought it would be a good way to start incorporating more “personal” stuff.

What we’re eating this week: 

I mentioned the Chicken Avocado Burgers yesterday. My friend Anne commented that she’s been making those for years. And, yes, I totally got the recipe from her. She knows a good recipe!

Other items we’re having this week? Tacos. Always tacos. I alternate between making them with ground turkey and lean ground beef.

Monday I had pizza at Nellcote. Wednesday I was out late at a photo shoot (!!) and ended up making myself pancakes and eggs for dinner.

So, yeah, a little all over the place.

What I’m loving:

One of the gals I follow on Instagram posted the most awesome workout leggings from Forever 21! I know I just said I’m not shopping but AHHH! Hide my credit cards! These are also amazing.

What we’ve been up to:

This past week was a bit crazy and I barely saw my husband! Monday night I went out to dinner. Tuesday night I attended a complimentary Orangetheory workout class with my running club. And Wednesday night I took advantage of an awesome photo shoot deal with That’s A Doozy and Tim Rothe Photography. Photos will be on the blog once I get them!

What I’m excited about:

I’ve been talking to my personal trainer about getting my NSCA certification (that’s the one he has and since I love him to death, why not be the same?) and he seems super amped to help me out. So, once I have the money to get the books I’m going to start studying!

What I’m wearing:

At this very moment I’m wearing my favorite t-shirt and jeans. I actually wore the same tee to work on Wednesday and took photos while wearing it along with my new faux leather leggings, a black, white and gray plaid top, and polka dot sneakers. Hope to share those photos soon!

What I’m doing this weekend:

Goals? Go for a run with the pup, maybe stop by the Randolph Street Market, get coffee and a doughnut at Sawada, and create a blog “media kit”. Still not sure exactly what that means but I hope to figure it out this weekend!

What I’m looking forward to next month:

At the end of February I’m traveling to Tampa to run the Gasparilla Half Marathon! I may have to break my no-shopping streak to buy a pirate-themed running outfit.

Photo Jul 23, 4 02 21 PM

How working out affects your wardrobe

About Me · Fitness

I don’t really know how to write this post without sounding like I’m bragging or like I’m vain or, I don’t know,  like there’s something wrong with me. Because I’m not writing it for any of those reasons. I’m writing it because I’m proud and I want to share something that’s been working for me.

And what is that something? Strength training.

Photo Jul 23, 4 02 21 PM

Tracking journal customized and provided c/o Journal Menu

I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Wait. This is a style blog. Why are you talking about working out?? Don’t you have a fitness blog for that?”

But here’s the thing: working out can change your body. And when your body changes it changes what you wear.

For example, take these three dresses.

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Which are all from Le Tote, by the way. Which I love because it lets me try things I wouldn’t think I could wear…until now. Try it yourself for 50% off with code ERIN25. Sales pitch over. 

Last year at this time I wouldn’t have felt comfortable wearing them. In fact, for the longest time I didn’t feel comfortable in a wrap dress at all. I felt like they clung, showed every bump I had (or imagined I had) and just weren’t flattering. Never mind a body-skimming knit dress that could possibly enhance a bulge or two.

Now, I know, you’re rolling your eyes and thinking that I’ve always looked just fine. But, when you’re in your own body and wearing your clothes every day you can tell when something is off. In fact, I noticed it with my red and green pants.

colored-pants

When I replaced my original red pants I had to go up a size. Actually, I had to go up two sizes. And I almost replaced these green pants that I’ve had since 2012 because they had gotten too tight in the waist. I haven’t been a couch potato in years, but clearly whatever I was doing (running all the time) wasn’t doing enough.

But last fall I met a woman in my office who had an enviable physique. I asked her what her secret was and she told it was the book Thinner, Leaner, Stronger. So, I bought it. And it became my bible. How to eat, how to workout, what to lift at the gym. I even got a personal trainer that I meet with once a week.

And it paid off. I lost 10+ pounds, I’ve got almost visible abs for the first time in my life. I’ve got muscle definition in my arms that sometimes you guys even comment on. I can deadlift 1.5 times my bodyweight. And I’m even a faster runner! I don’t follow TLS as religiously anymore (I mean, I do have to train for triathlons and try amazing drinks) but I still workout 4-6 days a week, mostly doing strength training.

journal-menu-pages

Journal Menu lets you choose what type of workouts you want to track and customizes the pages in your journal to match

So, believe it or not, I’ve actually had to re-buy those red pants TWICE, getting them in smaller sizes each time (thank goodness The Limited still sold them!) and now the green pants are a tad bit loose. Actually, a lot of my clothes are too loose. Most of my pencil skirts are too big at this point. Thankfully I rarely have to wear them. But, I have expanded my dress options because now I feel much more comfortable in knit dresses!

I am proud of what I’ve accomplished and, I have to say, I’m thrilled that my wardrobe options have expanded! I never thought I could wear a wrap dress but, look, here I am rocking one.

I promise I’m not being compensated to tell you about Thinner, Leaner, Stronger and while I received the Journal Menu for free I’m not getting paid anything additional to include it in my life. I just really think it’s awesome that yes, you can make a significant change to your body if you really want it.

If you want to know more, just ask. I know that talking about weight and body shape and what you look like isn’t necessarily “polite” conversation, but it’s such a huge part of my life right now and has had such a big impact on even my wardrobe that I felt weird not sharing.

Now, excuse me, I’m off to find some more dresses that make me feel like a million bucks.

June 4, 2015 - 4 of 4

weekend-shoes

Weekend in Words

About Me

weekend-shoes

 Friday | Saturday | Sunday 

Happy  Monday, everyone! I hope you enjoyed your weekend. Mine was super busy and, as such, no outfit photos again today. However, it sounds like many of you enjoyed last week’s Monday post so I hope you enjoy this one.

For the past three years I’ve spent the first Friday and Saturday in May working at the Wisconsin Marathon. A friend and I drive up from Chicago to Kenosha, Wisconsin on Friday morning and spend 12 hours on our feet in a hotel conference room handing out race bib numbers and t-shirts. Runners are generally nice people so it’s actually fun. Plus, I get to help answer lots of questions from people who are doing their very first race.

Saturday morning we wake up at 3:45 AM to get ready, eat breakfast, put on all the layers, and get to the race site by 4:45 AM. My friend and I typically work at the runner info booth and this year wasn’t much different other than that we were also doing bib pick-up and registration for the newly added 5K. However, after all the races start we have plenty of time to goof around.

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The weather was absolutely beautiful and this was the first year I wasn’t freezing while being outside for another almost 12 hours.

And because I’m crazy I decided that Sunday morning I would also get up early and join my Live Grit team for a 43 mile bike ride. I meant to get a picture of my bike shoes but they’re not all that exciting. The ride, though, that was an adventure. Thankfully other than having a near-miss collision with some of my teammates (everyone is fine; no worries) my ride went smoothly. Not so much for lots of other people in our group, though. We had several mechanical issues, two people missing turns, and lots of other craziness.

By the time we got back from our ride I was exhausted but it was too nice a day to not take Chewie to the dog park. So, off we went so he could play in the water.

chewie_poolOf course I knew I’d get wet so my flip flops made their first dog park appearance. I would apologize for not having my toenails painted but, let’s be realistic, I hardly ever have my toenails painted.

After the park Chewie and I both passed out on the couch until Jason got home from his day of racing his car and we went to dinner at our local bar.

And here we are on Monday. I’ll be putting up a round up of the Top 10 Remix post soon but after that, well, I’m out of outfit photos and not sure when I’ll be taking more. So, don’t worry if you don’t see me around for a few days. However, I do have another fun giveaway to the Randolph Street Market coming up so don’t go too far!

Weekend in Words

About Me

The beginning of the week are the most difficult days for me to post outfit photos unless I have free time on the weekend to shoot an outfit or two.

weekend-shoesFriday | Saturday | Sunday

Which is why I’ve been thinking about making Mondays a little bit more about me instead of just an outfit photo or two.

Thoughts?

Anyway, this past weekend didn’t start off so great. Unless you go back to Wednesday when Jason and I went to a Bottle and Bottega painting event at Geek Bar. Jason was a Kickstarter supporter of the bar but we’d never been until last week. I convinced Jason to join me because he could paint a Death Star. And a TARDIS.

paintingsCan you tell whose is whose?

Thursday evening Jason and I went to Brooklyn Boulders, the indoor climbing gym near our apartment.

10838150_10152559741952035_513488758920131896_oOlder photo but you get the picture

Friday afternoon was a work event at Dave & Buster’s so by the time I got home I was pretty wiped (and, admittedly, pretty buzzed from the free open bar).  Both Jason and I basically fell asleep super early because Jason had to be up at 4AM in order to be at work at 6AM (and I had had one too many beers). This is why I sometimes can’t get outfit photos on weekends; my photographer works two 12-hour days in a row.

However, instead of outfit photos, I spent my Saturday morning arguing with several doctor’s offices trying to get a prescription filled. Let me tell you, fighting with people to get your anti-anxiety medication refilled is SO much fun. I hate talking on the phone on a good day. On a day when I’ve been out of meds AND have PMS? Yeah.

Sorry, that was probably TMI. Just trying to keep it real.

Anyway, once I FINALLY got someone to agree to refill my medication, I met a friend at Randolph Street Market where I sampled some yummy pesto and smoked sea salt while perusing both the vintage and non-vintage wares.  I ended up buying some vintage serving platters for myself and a few fun things for gifts. I’m looking forward to going back this summer when there are even MORE vendors to choose from!

vintage-dishesThen it was lunch in Greektown before hopping over to Live Grit to help them celebrate their one year anniversary. I helped start their Tuesday night run club, they’re teaching me how to swim, and they convinced me to do my first triathlon this summer.

Oh, speaking of which, if you need a new training swimsuit and don’t want to pay full price I highly recommend doing the swimsuit grab bag from Swim Outlet. You pick your size, brand and style and they pick the pattern and colors from what they have leftover from previous year’s models. I didn’t care what I got color-wise so this was perfect for me!

swimsuitIt’s this same $70 suit but instead of black and pink mine is bright blue and pink and was 50% off

Sunday morning I went to the Tri Gear Swap Meet hoping to score a wetsuit. I promptly learned that I will be paying the extra money to Live Grit so that they can help me figure out how to put on the darn thing!

After that it was over to Maggie’s for a clothing swap! I finally got a black collared shirt and the cutest red sweater (among some other things).

sweater

Sometimes I get stressed out when I can’t get outfit photos for the blog and I do miss just writing about my life without worrying about if I have pretty pictures (or, heck, any pictures at all!)

So, I hope you don’t mind the occasional “this is my life” post!

Behind the Instagram

About Me

One of my blogging friends, Katie, recently did a post where she showed what was really going on behind the carefully crafted Instagram shots she had shared recently.

I try to do a decent job of sharing both great outfits and not-so-great outfits here on the blog but it can be easy to only show life highlights. I mean, who wants to read about the grumpy stuff all the time, am I right?

Still, I thought Katie’s idea was genius and, after seeing several other bloggers do the same thing, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. It also helps that I haven’t had a chance to take any more outfit photos yet this week so I needed some filler 🙂

instagram1

Original caption: Apparently someone in unit 416 left the Easter ham in the oven a bit too long.

What I was really thinking: I’m strangely calm about the fact that our building could have burned down. I’m mostly just annoyed that no one can figure out how to turn off the fire alarm. Thank goodness the weather is nice since we have to stand around outside!

instagram2

Original caption: Radler and gin? Well, okay. #palomino #milwaukee #dangerzone #brunch 

What I was really thinking: I just ran my second fastest half marathon ever and I have no friends or family here to help me celebrate. The bartender took forever to get to me and I’m so lonely and woe is me and OH LOOK FOOD.

instagram4

 Original caption: A little bummed that I spent a good chunk of a beautiful Saturday inside, but I loved helping people register for the Good Life Race in #oakpark! #fleetfeet #runchi

What I was really thinking: Thank goodness they let me enter registrations and do troubleshooting all day! If I could do this for a living I’d be in heaven.

instagram3

Original caption:This morning’s post-run fuel brought to you by @eastmanegg and @thewestloopisthebestloop #thewestloopisthebestloop

What I was really thinking: The amazing sandwich I’m about to have is NOT on my diet and I don’t care. But, man, it would be nice if I could eat whatever I wanted no matter how far I ran or how many weights I lifted.

 

top-10-remix

The Top 10 Remix Challenge

About Me · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

I’ve mentioned it a few times since last week, but Sarah over at Sarah’s Real Life is doing this crazy thing where she challenged us to pick 10 items from our wardrobe that we feel represent our style. Items that we felt just screamed out as us when we saw them. Items that we knew had “us” written all over them. And then the goal is to wear at least one of those items in every outfit until the end of April. Here, I’ll just let her explain it.

Picking out those 10 items is actually harder then you’d think. Why? Because how many of us really know our style? I feel like I had a pretty good handle on it when I had to dress business or business casual. A little traditional. A little preppy. The occasional trend throw in there.

Now, though, I’m struggling. Casual has always been the hardest dress code for me. And it doesn’t help that I’ve actually lost 10 pounds and reshaped my body using strength training over the past few months so many of my clothes fit me differently now than they used to.

So, since I’m struggling to figure out my casual style, I also struggled to pick out 10 items that really screamed “ERIN” when I looked at them. But here’s what I came up with.

top-10-remixWhite blazer | Leopard flats | White jeans |Red pants/skirt | Gray fringed scarf | Rhinestone cluster necklace | IL Love You Forever tee | Red tweed jacket | Navy and white polka dot top |Leopard print button up shirt

How did I decide on these items? Well, I decided to frame the question as, “What items in my closet did I A. buy full price because I had to have them, B. lusted after and searched out after I couldn’t stop thinking about them or C. would be upset and immediately try to replace if something happened to them?”

And these are the items I came up with. Some have been in my closet a long time. Others are newcomers. And, yes, I wrote pants/skirt up there. I really wanted to include my new red skirt but Chicago weather in April is totally unpredictable. So, if it’s playing nice I’ll wear the skirt. If it’s not, I’ll wear the pants. And based on the weather forecast so far it’s looking like pants weather.

I’ll tell you more background information about each of the pieces as we go along. I hope it will be fun for both of us!

outtake-1

Inaugural Bloopers Post

About Me

In the past I would go through all the photos I took for a post, delete the ones I didn’t like, and keep the ones I would consider using on the blog. This meant that I deleted all the bloopers. Unless it was something I considered amusing enough to post such as  this one or this one.

However, in the past six months or so I’ve been keeping all of the photos on my computer and saving the ones I want to use in posts to Dropbox. So last night, in honor of Fran and Miranda‘s prompt for us to post bloopers, I went through and found some to share with you.

outtake-1

Thanks for the knee kisses, Chewie.
outtake-4

Hair in my face, belt doing something strange, and a dog who wants nothing to do with being in the picture. Total score.

outtake-5

God, I hate trying to use this stupid remote.

outtake-2

Yep.

outtake-3It’s windy in the Windy City.

Where to find me today

About Me

I have a Stitch Fix item review I need to write but haven’t had time. So, instead of reading that post today, here’s where you can get your Loop Looks fix for the time being!

Getting the Most From Your Little Black (or other neutrally colored) Dress – Guest post on Librarian for Life and Style

Closet Consultation Inspiration – LocalLux was inspired to write a post about being bold and beautiful based on my latest closet consultation.

I’ll be back tomorrow with an outfit featuring my favorite pair of pants!

And, if you still haven’t done so, take this moment to vote for your favorite outfit from July!