ditch the puffer coat

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Madewell motorcycle jacket in vintage merlot & bow ring (similar); Lululemon vinyasa scarf (other colors); Sanctuary ‘Grease’ legging; Steve Madden ‘Ecentric’ leopard sneakers.

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J.Crew Factory Peter Pan collar top (similar); Sanctuary ‘Grease’ legging; Steve Madden ‘Ecentric’ leopard sneakers; Madewell bow ring (similar); Banana Republic Art Deco necklace (similar); Alex and Ani bangles (Birthstone, Zodiac & Path of Life).

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Madewell motorcycle jacket in vintage merlot & bow ring (similar); Lululemon vinyasa scarf (other colors); Sanctuary ‘Grease’ legging; Steve Madden ‘Ecentric’ leopard sneakers.

It’s that time of winter I want to hide my puffer coat in the hopes that some cosmic force will change the weather into something warmer and more palatable. Fortunately, it’s in the 30’s (which has been better than the single digit temps we’ve been experiencing as of late). Warm enough to ditch the puffer and get my leather moto jacket back in rotation. Barely warm enough to expose a bit of bare ankles (hey there, almost forgot you existed), emphasis on the barely. I could stand it for a quick walk with Bella, as it turns out she hates the cold weather like me.

Have you been (slowly) transitioning out of winter clothing yet? Hope it’s toasty and cozy where you are.

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KOKO, baby

We just watched a wonderful documentary, Keep On Keepin’ On, over the weekend (via Netflix DVD). The endearing friendship between the renowned jazz musician, Clark Terry, and his protege, Justin Kauflin, was inspirational and heart-warming. Here’s the trailer:

We loved Clark Terry’s advice to Justin Kauflin about achieving a plateau of positivity in order to overcome life’s obstacles, whether they be external or self-inflicted. We will long remember this invaluable lesson, thank you CT.

In keeping with this theme, I achieved a couple of mini-milestones health-wise in the last month. A year ago, I had my annual bloodwork panel and it wasn’t great. High blood pressure and high cholesterol were the results. I had to make changes for the better, so I joined My Fitness Pal and bought a FitBit. Since then, I quickly realized that I needed to be acutely and constantly aware of what I was ingesting (no more mindless eating) and to keep moving (with a new daily goal of 10,000 steps). I had bloodwork done last month and my blood pressure and cholesterol levels are back in the healthy range. I know that losing weight and moving my body as much as possible were the keys to getting me back on the health track.

Over the weekend, I finally hit to 20 pound weight loss mark (I still can’t believe it):

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Also, a follow-up to my workout top review (blog post here) where you can see the top (and me) in motion. By the way, I love the rowing machine, it’s low-impact and works out your entire body. It’s so efficient.

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So, I’m going to keep on keepin’ on. Have a wonderful week, xx!

recent purchases

It is 5 degrees outside, ugh. I needed to be reminded of what it’s like to be warm outside and feeling the sun on your bare skin. So, a little retail therapy was in order. Forever 21 is kinda hitting it out of the park for spring/summer clothing this year. It was hard to stop at just the following 5 cute items.

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Embroidered peasant dress. I bought this dress in the cream/red color last June (see me wear it here and here) and it was a quick favorite for the summer. So, I was excited Forever 21 brought it back and in navy/white. I love that it’s in navy, I’m hoping I can get away without having to wear a slip underneath (you will need one if you buy the cream/red version).

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Embroidered denim shift dress. This joyfully reminds me of a Madewell sleeveless top that I bought on sale late last year (in this post), the light denim blue fabric with black embroidery. Now, I can’t wait to wear both. Plus, pockets!

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Faux suede slides. Dead ringer for the $125 Joie slides out now. Now that I have Bella, I love shoes that are easy and fast to slip on and off for walks. I just got a pair of Uggs (my first pair), which are perfect for winter walks with my dog.

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Pointed faux leather loafers. These are so cool, I can’t stand it. I see these with all of my slouchy pants and boyfriend jeans. They also come in all black, but I really dig the graphic black and white combo.

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Woven pleated culottes. I’m dipping my toe into the culottes pool. Didn’t think I would but you see enough fashion week street pics of all these fabulous outfits with culottes, your curiosity gets the best of you. I just started a new Pinterest board called Culottes, if you need coaxing. I figured these would come in handy when you don’t want to have your skirt embarrassingly blow up on a windy day/evening. I also see these in my future for long flights, I get antsy in my plane seat and appreciate the freedom of wearing culottes.

So, there you have it. Now, all I need is a tropical vacation or some early spring weather. Have you purchased any new spring/summer item, care to share?

3/7/15 update: I love everything except for the culottes. They fit and are cute, but I’m on the fence. I’m going to see if I can style it to something I really like. The two dresses are fantastic, the denim shift with black embroidery looks like it could be a $98 dress from Madewell. I also love the 2 pairs of shoes, the mules are razor sharp and the slides are perfect. I’m also happy to report that I may now be a size small (squee!) since the armholes were a little big on me (I ordered mediums), but I’m going to keep the mediums since I can’t afford to go higher in the hemline with a smaller size dress (Forever 21 dresses are usually a little too short for me).

workout top review

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Essential performance long-sleeve top in fuchsia heather and granite heather.

I was in the market for a long-sleeve workout top for awhile but I couldn’t stomach paying nearly $100 for one at Lululemon. It’s also not cheap for a Nike top either (my other workout gear go-to). I stumbled upon this top while perusing through a LL Bean catalogue and was instantly intrigued at the reasonable price. I ordered the two colors you see above. Well, I love them. I ordered one size down, a small, and it’s comfortable and fitted against my body (but not tight). There’s ruching (talk about flattering) on the lower sides and thumb holes. It’s also has a SPF of 50 in case you need the sun protection. My first impression was that the material is sooooo soft. I really didn’t want to take it off. Keep it up, LL Bean, and I may just break my Lululemon habit.

Here’s the stock photo with a model, so you see how it fits:

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meet Bella

Guess who joined our little family this past Saturday?

This little girl, Bella!

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We adopted Bella from a wonderful bulldog rescue (remember you save 2 lives when you adopt–the adopted pet plus the animal that gets to take his/her place at the rescue/shelter) and it was love at first sight. She’s 2 years old and is such a sweetheart. My husband grew up with a bulldog and he and his family are huge bulldog lovers (remember Henry from this post?). I think Bella loves us already and we definitely love her back.

So, I’ve been helping adjust to her new home (super easy, she’s instantly settled in) and trying to get her on a schedule and training her (small yet meaningful successes with each passing day). We are so lucky to have Bella in our lives, she melts my heart everyday.

Here are some more Bella pics (her favorite hobby is napping!):

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Our first family photo (taken on Saturday, our first day together):

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Do you have a pet? Please share your love for your pet(s) here.

my Super Bowl weekend

Here are some more outfits and pics from the long weekend I had in Arizona:

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ASOS navy sweater (similar); J.Crew Ludlow pants with sequin tuxedo stripe & floral shield necklace; J.Crew Factory Isabelle calf hair leopard pump; Cara love knot hinge cuff (similar); Cartier tank watch.

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ASOS navy sweater (similar); J.Crew Ludlow pants with sequin tuxedo stripe & floral shield necklace; J.Crew Factory Isabelle calf hair leopard pump; Cara love knot hinge cuff (similar); Cartier tank watch.

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Marc by Marc Jacobs Persian Ink Gilded Sunflower Dress (similar); Alexander McQueen Chelsea ankle boots (similar); HUE opaque tights; Cartier tank watch.

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J.Crew beaded chevron popover; AG Adriano Goldschmied Stilt jeans; Steve Madden Ecentric leopard sneakers; J.Crew Factory yellow braided belt (similar); Cartier tank watch.

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My Super Bowl ticket.

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The view from our seats!

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Katy Perry at the half-time show. She killed it as well as the incomparable Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott (a huge welcome back!!!)

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Autumn Cashmere leopard sweater (similar); J Brand Houlihan skinny cargo pants (similar); Report Marks ankle boots (similar); Ray Ban aviator sunglasses.

Congratulations to the New England Patriots! It was an exciting championship game this year and lots of fun memories were made. Our Boston friends were beyond thrilled and we were so happy for their big win.

If you’re ever in Scottsdale, please check out The Mission restaurant. The Mexican food was incredible, everything we ordered for lunch was delicious and fresh. Get the ginger cilantro margarita, trust. They also had several taco kiosks at the Super Bowl tailgate, I may have inhaled 7 or 8 tacos. They were that good.

p.s. I’ve just joined Alice’s linkup on her blog, Happiness at Mid-Life. Check it out here to view a variety of winter styles!

Super Bowl XLIX

We just got back from Super Bowl XLIX, what a weekend in Arizona! We really enjoyed ourselves and it was such a relief to get away from the frigid temperatures back home. Although it rained everyday in Scottsdale (where our hotel was located), it was the most perfect sunny day for the Super Bowl and the fancy outdoor tailgate before the big game.

We stayed at the Hotel Valley Ho, which received very high marks from Valley of the Shoes. Mid-century at it’s finest, yet updated and well-appointed. It was Mad Men on futuristic acid. Here are some pics of our lovely terrace suite:

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Armor Lux via Madewell red striped top (similar); AG Adriano Goldschmied ‘Stilt’ jeans; Report ‘Marks’ boots (similar); J.Crew Factory yellow braided leather belt (similar).

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We spotted some celebrities this weekend, as can be expected, but the best was working out next to Lenny Kravitz at the boutique hotel’s gym (for 2 days!). He looks amazingly young and so fit, it’s hard to believe he’s 50. I normally don’t do this, but I took a pic on the DL (he’s bench pressing and wearing his signature sunglasses):

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Armor Lux via Madewell red striped top (similar); AG Adriano Goldschmied ‘Stilt’ jeans; Report ‘Marks’ boots (similar); J.Crew Factory yellow braided leather belt (similar).

Stay tuned for another Super Bowl blog post this week. Keep warm!

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