wearing the blues with a side of stripes

Here are three recent outfits where most of the items are from J.Crew Factory. I mention this because they are doing an additional 31% off your total online purchase today with code SPOOKY (free shipping too, for any dollar amount). It ends tonight!

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J.Crew Factory turtleneck sweater in heather sky; Madewell skinny jeans in dusty wash; Report Marks bootie (old, similar).

The sweater is a size XS and it fits true to size. It’s very soft and is not scratchy at all. The turtleneck is very comfortable, not tight and not loose. It definitely keeps my neck warm, which is super cozy. I love how the arms start at the shoulders, I am not a fan of dropped shoulders or dolman sleeves. I’m loving the skinny jeans in grey, the color is versatile and matches with every other color. The booties are old but the lighter nude color complements the baby blue color of the sweater rather nicely.

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J.Crew Factory chambray shirt; Caslon cropped chinos in navy peacoat; Vans leather slip-on sneakers in navy (sold out, similar); Target metallic leather belt (very old, similar).

The chambray shirt is old, but I still love it. The fit is big on me since it’s a medium, but it’s workable when it’s fully tucked in. The cropped chinos have become a wardrobe staple, I’m so glad I purchased these in olive and dark grey in addition to the navy. The Vans sneakers are very comfortable and so easy and fast to slip on and off. Perfect shoes to wear to an airport fow when going through security. How cute is the metallic belt to add a little zing to the all-blue outfit? I can’t even remember when I bought it at Target, maybe during the early 2000’s? A metallic belt is great to finish off any outfit since it acts as a neutral.

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J.Crew Factory turtleneck sweater in heather sky; Madewell skinny jeans in dusty wash; Report Marks bootie (old, similar).

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Banana Republic Factory Store jacket & J.Crew Factory striped long-sleeve tee.

The jacket in the last photo was an extremely thoughtful gift from a dear girlfriend. She has awesome taste and picked the perfect mixed media jacket (and a pair of dressy jogger pants). The body of the jacket is a boucle knit while the sleeves are like coated denim with zippers at the sleeves. You know I love moto jackets, so this style is totally my bag. The black and white striped tee is very versatile, it matches with every other color.

Happy Friday to you!

fitness friday #1

Hello, TGIF! It’s been awhile since I discussed the general topics of fitness and healthful eating. I’ve still been at it on both fronts but I do occasionally indulge with a nice meal out (or little treats at home) and miss a workout here or there (rest days, yo). The important thing is to keep at it and I find that I miss working out if I go without more than one day. I also miss fresh vegetables. I know, hard to believe. Yet, it’s just as easy to miss what you’ve become accustomed to when it’s firmly entrenched in your daily habits, whether it’s healthy or unhealthy.

I hope to continue with the Fitness Friday concept for the blog. I’m thinking I could share an exercise or recipe that I love. Maybe you will try it out or you can share a tip or two with me, just leave a comment below. Of course, if you have any questions, please ask away.

I believe I have already mentioned my general workout structure. If not, I set out to do 30 to 60 minutes of cardio. I also do strength training. I break out my strength training into 3 sets where I do one of the three sets with each gym visit: (1) Legs (lower body), (2) Back & Biceps, and (3) Chest/Shoulders/Triceps.

Today I will discuss my leg workout. I log my strength training on My Fitness Pal (# of sets, repetitions/set & weights/set). I track my progress on MFP and I find it motivates me to go harder and stronger when I feel I’m ready.

Generally with weights/strength training, you want to start off with the largest muscles and work your way to the smallest muscles. Here’s my routine, in order:

1. Leg press
2. Leg extension
3. Leg curls
4. Inner thigh and Outer thigh
5. Dumbbell side lunge
6. Squats
7. Bent-Leg Kickbacks

Steps 1 through 4 are done on machines. Steps 5 through 7 are just me, no machines. But I do use dumbbells for Step 5 (hence the name, lol) and a medicine ball for Step 6.

I have noticed muscle definition in my legs, no bulk whatsoever. I also want to make my flat butt more curvy with muscle so that explains the lunges, squats and kickbacks.

I was reading a quick article on how Khloe Kardashian got in shape. Say what you will about the Kardashians (and I agree), but she looks so healthy, strong and fit. You can’t take that away from her or anyone, for that matter. She trains with the famous Gunnar Peterson and he credits the dumbbell side lunges for her killer booty and sculpted legs.

Here’s the quick tutorial video:

I knew it worked the first time I did them because my muscles were sore afterward. So, effective (lol). But I was never sore after that one time. I started off with 3 sets of 8 reps using 3 pound dumbbells. I do it slowly and watch my form in a mirror (I’m a huge proponent of proper form as it avoids injuries and makes the muscles work in the most efficient manner). I’ve worked up to 3 sets of 10 reps using 8 pound dumbbells. I feel my jeans fitting better, like I’m filling out the butt and thighs in a way they’re supposed to fill out. It’s hard to describe but I’m getting the right sort of curves.

So, do you work out your legs/lower body. Care to share your favorite routine or tip?

Enjoy your Friday!

2 outfits

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J.Crew white linen tee (sold out, similar); Banana Republic black ruched jersey skirt; Steve Madden leopard sneakers (sold out, similar); Zara skinny scarf.

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J.Crew Factory black & white striped tee; Caslon chinos in grey ebony; Target grey flannel sneakers; Studded leather belt (very old, here’s a perforated leather belt).

Here are two recent outfits that I wore last week. I’ve been crushing on the skinny scarf look for a few months (I even started a new Pinterest board for it, ha) and I decided to order one from Zara a few weeks ago. It’s a simple statement piece, you just loop it around, make a bow or do a makeshift tie of sorts. I remember these from the 70’s, very Shelley Hack a la those Charlie perfume commercials. This is my interpretation with a simple tee and skirt look.

I’m wearing my new black & white striped long sleeve tee for my second outfit. It’s true to size (XS), but it’s fitted in the arms and the torso. It’s 100% cotton so it will be a great layering piece or to wear on its own. I thought the fitted top would be a nice counterpoint to the loose boyfriend fit of the chino pants.

I’ve been noticing that higher rises are solidly back, more so this season than in seasons past. There was resistance (remember the 2008 outcry from Jessica Simpson’s mom jeans?), but they have been slowly creeping into our jeans, pants, etc. As a corollary, I’ve notice that shirts and tops are being fully tucked in with the higher rises (maybe it’s the end of the half-tuck era). I bring this up because I feel like the old school belts, like the wider leather variety, are back to wear with those jeans. I am thrilled by this because I’ve kept my all of my belts from decades past.

I think a major scarf and belt revolution is happening, people. Get ready!

Enjoy your Thursday! xx

poncho ootd

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Theory poncho in charcoal/brick multi; L.L. Bean Signature fisherman sweater; Two by Vince Camuto flared jeans; VANELi Jara boots (c/o Marmi Shoes).

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Theory poncho in charcoal/brick multi; L.L. Bean Signature fisherman sweater; Two by Vince Camuto flared jeans; VANELi Jara boots (c/o Marmi Shoes).

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Theory poncho in charcoal/brick multi; L.L. Bean Signature fisherman sweater; Two by Vince Camuto flared jeans; VANELi Jara boots (c/o Marmi Shoes).

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Theory poncho in charcoal/brick multi; L.L. Bean Signature fisherman sweater; Two by Vince Camuto flared jeans; VANELi Jara boots (c/o Marmi Shoes).

As promised (in yesterday’s review post), here’s a very easy sweater and jeans outfit that’s made a little special with a poncho. It’s a gorgeous warmer day today, but the poncho was perfect for the earlier chilly morning (I had the heat turned on last night, brrr). I predict that I will get more than my money’s worth out of this pretty plaid number.

The flared jeans are new, I needed a smaller sized pair and picked this pair since the inseam wasn’t as long as most other flared jeans. They are true to size, a size 25 or 0. I really like these as they’re comparable to the fit and fabric of Madewell jeans. I bought these on sale at Macy’s, so wait for a good promo or sale if you’d like to try them out.

Do you like ponchos? Will you give this trend a whirl?

so worth the splurge

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Theory poncho in charcoal/brick multi.

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Theory poncho in mid grey/navy multi.

I just received this Theory poncho today after ordering online last week from The Dreslyn. They were running a sitewide 25% friends & family discount, which ends at midnight (Pacific Standard Time; code DRESLYN25). Unfortunately, this particular Theory poncho has sold out.

I am beyond thrilled with this poncho, so much so that if you’re in the market for a poncho and you can swing the splurge…get it asap (the P/S size seems to be selling out fast at other online retail sites) . I ordered the charcoal/brick multi plaid poncho in a P/S. It’s extra cushy, it has an inner wool lining layer that can be easily reversible or you won’t mind it showing if it peeks out. The wool blend fabric (78% wool, 19% polyamide, 3% cotton) is so luxurious and warm. I love that it’s made in Italy.

The drape is really beautiful on this poncho. It hangs on your body in such a flattering manner. And the fringe is substantial, I’m confident the fringe will retain its shape. I was a longtime holdout on the poncho trend, it’s been around for at least two to three winter seasons. I’m glad I waited because this was the poncho that was meant for me.

I’ve seen the mid grey/navy multi on a couple of bloggers and if you’re blonde or have light coloring, the lighter grey looks amazing. The darker palette of charcoal and brick red is more suited for my dark hair and medium complexion. Plus, I have two floppy hats to wear with this poncho (they were the inspiration for the poncho).

I promise to post a pic very soon of me wearing the poncho on the blog. Please check back and let me know what you think.

Good night, xoxo!

my Columbus Day sale picks

As to be expected, this year’s Columbus Day sales are aplenty. The discounts are generally very good, but it’s on selected merchandise. Meh. I’d rather have a blanket discount code across the board so I can select what items I want or need. To seal the deal, offer free shipping without a dollar minimum. Well, J.Crew Factory heeded the call today with their free shipping code YAYFALL (it ends at midnight tomorrow night). In addition to mostly everything for women is 50% off (prices as marked online, so no code).

The following are my shopping picks:

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Factory turtleneck sweater in black. I have been searching for a turtleneck sweater for some time and I’m crossing my fingers that this baby fits the bill. My criteria was that the turtleneck wasn’t too tight or too loose on the neck. I wanted a slightly relaxed fit but not a big slouchy fit. (As an aside, I’ve been avoiding big and boxy clothing or elastic waists since I’ve lost the weight. It takes away the temptation to gain weight.) I hope that this sweater isn’t itchy or cause an allergic reaction for my skin (I break out easily on my chest and back from several types of wool).

I can feel the coolness in the air with my new shorter hairstyle. I think turtlenecks will help fight off the chill in style.

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Factory turtleneck sweater in sky.

Same turtleneck sweater but in a color that I don’t usually gravitate towards, clothing-wise. I figured let’s mix it up with a baby blue.

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Factory active mesh tank in midnight shadow. Did you know that J.Crew Factory makes a limited selection of activewear now? I didn’t so I was glad to see a basic piece on sale and in a color that I really like for my workout outfits.

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Factory striped tee in black/ivory. Stripes, do we need a further explanation here? In all seriousness, I don’t have a black and white striped long-sleeve tee so this dual neutral combo is a no-brainer to add to the sea of stripes.

What have you pulled the trigger on for your Columbus Day sale purchases? Have a wonderful holiday today! xx

don’t stop with the flared crop

The flared crop pant is back. Remember them from the 90’s? I liked them then (think Uma Thurman’s Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction) and I like them now. I wanted to mix it up from all the skinny, straight and boyfriend leg jeans that I’ve been wearing as of late. I love long flared jeans that skim the floor, but I’m not loving the requirement to wear super high heeled shoes to get the look just right. I want to wear my sneakers or flats. I figured the crop length is the perfect backdrop to show off your shoes. You can also wear them with ankle boots, a la Alexa Chung, but I have yet to try the look myself.

So, here we go with a few recent online purchases I’ve made (pics of trying stuff on at home):

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J.Crew Hugo Guinness dog tee & flare cropped jeans; Forever 21 pointed faux leather loafers (old, similar); Cartier tank watch.

I like these jeans a lot. The denim fabric feels like old school Levi’s where it’s a little stiff, but it allows for some needed structure to carry off the cropped flare. I also like the super dark color of the jeans, it makes it more dressy in my view. Perfect for a fun pair of pumps or sandals if the mood so strikes. I got these in my usual size, a 25 waist, and my inseam is 28″ so I’m happy it’s actually cropped in length for my shorter legs.

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Zara flared cropped leggings. Please keep in mind the model has long legs so the leggings look like major floods.

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J.Crew lamé camp shirt; Zara flared cropped leggings; Forever 21 pointed faux leather loafers (old, similar).

I clearly do not have long legs, so the leggings are ankle length at best on me. I still like them though. I don’t mind the unintended length since the flare is not crazy exaggerated. Also they are comfortable, machine washable (yes!), and they suck it all in while giving me the illusion of a pert butt. Also, it’s a thicker ponte type of material, not the thin legging fabric. There are vertical seams stitched on the front and back of the pants, which give off a leg lengthening vibe. The best part though? $30! I ordered an XS and a S, I’m keeping the S since the XS was tight on me (I could zip it up fine, but the S was very comfy).

The lamé shirt is also new. I’ve been stalking this shirt on J.Crew (and patiently waiting for a good sale) after seeing it on one of my favorite Instagrammers. I got a size 0 and the fit is true to size. Love the subtle lamé sheen to the top, something to jazz up the ensemble without really trying too hard. I think it will look especially cute and festive for those holiday parties coming up.

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J.Crew lamé camp shirt; Zara flared cropped leggings; Forever 21 pointed faux leather loafers (old, similar).

So, have you been eyeing the flared crop trend lately? Please share your recent finds, I’d love to hear about it!

it’s leather weather

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Twenty8Twelve cropped leather motorcycle jacket (old, similar here & here); Madewell skinny overalls; Zara leopard popover shirt (old, very similar); Puma leather Match Lo sneakers (also here at 25% off with online code FRIENDS, sale ends today).

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Twenty8Twelve cropped leather motorcycle jacket (old, similar here & here); Madewell skinny overalls; Zara leopard popover shirt (old, very similar); Puma leather Match Lo sneakers (also here at 25% off with online code FRIENDS, sale ends today).

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Twenty8Twelve cropped leather motorcycle jacket (old, similar here & here); Madewell skinny overalls; Zara leopard popover shirt (old, very similar); Puma leather Match Lo sneakers (also here at 25% off with online code FRIENDS, sale ends today).

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Twenty8Twelve cropped leather motorcycle jacket (old, similar here & here); Madewell skinny overalls; Zara leopard popover shirt (old, very similar); Puma leather Match Lo sneakers (also here at 25% off with online code FRIENDS, sale ends today).

These skinny overalls are magic, they make me appear leggy and thin. It’s a solid foundation piece for your fall wardrobe. The leather moto jacket and white classic sneakers complete the look as well as offering some warmth for a nippy fall day.

Enjoy your Sunday Funday!

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