Saturday, August 23, 2014

Learning to Run Happy: True Confessions From a Netflix Loving Diva

So, it's been quite some time since my last post and while my little blog may be feeling neglected, it was for a good reason.  For the last two and a half months, I decided to start another exciting challenge.  The challenge?  Pushing myself to get myself off the couch, away from Pretty Little Liars on Netflix, and go outside and run.

Now I've always been a petite lady and probably haven't grown much since the seventh grade so exercising for me wasn't really a priority, but that doesn't mean I felt great on the inside.  With the day to day stresses of learning to be an adult, exercise can be a great stress reliever.

In past years I have tried to take up running.  I would run a little over a mile around the block, get back home and want to die.  Those running days didn't last very long, until earlier this summer.  Near the beginning of June I met two of my high school friends for dinner and we began discussing running.  I mentioned how I really desired to experience that, "runner's high," that so many long-time runners rave about.  My friend suggested the Couch 2 5k program to me to help me run longer distances without wanting to fall over afterwards.

A week later, I purchased the Couch 2 5k app for my phone and immediately hit the road.  This program takes new and in-experienced runners from being a non-runner to running a 5k or 3.1 miles in nine weeks.  The program I chose was three, thirty minute workouts a week.  You begin slow with one minute intervals of walking and jogging.  Throughout the weeks, you lessen the dependency on walking to build up to all running.

Those first few weeks were rough, getting out of bed at 5:30 in the morning to complete my workout, but it was a great feeling coming home from work knowing I was done with my run for the day.  For the first time, I stuck with this program and completed every workout as scheduled.  And guess what? I learned to love running,  I remember being terrified for the first workout without any walking, but it was a great feeling to complete the workout!  Over the nine week program I went from barely making it past the one mile mark to running almost four miles at a time.

I just finished the Couch 2 5k program two weeks ago and have decided to take on the next challenge of building up to a 10k.  While I haven't signed up for any official races yet, I hope to complete my first 5k soon and potentially run a half marathon a year from now.  I look forward to running each day and have finally experienced the infamous, "runner's high."  Sometimes, the first mile to two miles of a run can be painful, but something happens after that point and you just run.

Another added benefit of running is the wardrobe!  I didn't own one piece of active wear in my already overcrowded closet, but that quickly changed the more I got into my running.  The right pair of running shoes can make a huge difference in your running as well.  When I knew I wanted to stick with running, I invested in a pair of Brooks Glycerin 12s.  These are a neutral running shoe with great arch support.  

Below are a few of my favorite items for running that I've discovered on my running journey...

Left to right...
1. Brooks Utopia Thermal Hoodie II-While it's still too warm to run in this jacket, I purchased this on sale directly from Brooks for fall and winter running.  This jacket comes in four colors and is rated for 40 degrees and below.  There are also several nice details on this jacket such as thumb holes, an inside pocket for your phone, and a slit in the hood for your ponytail!

2. Nathan QuickDraw Plus Water Bottle-This all-in-one water bottle is great for longer runs on hot days.  The handle is snug and sturdy.  The front pocket is great for holding your phone, keys, ID or a small snack.

3. Brooks Glycerin 12 Running Shoes-I basically only owned athletic shoes from Kindergarten through my Senior year of high school.  After the age of 18, high heels became my shoe of choice.  When I began the Couch 2 5k program, I ran in an old pair of Nikes I purchased over five years ago.  I told myself if I stuck with this running program, I would treat myself to a real pair of running shoes, so two months into the program, I purchased the Glycerin 12s.  They are like running a cloud, not to mention they come in really appealing colors.  For someone like myself with high arches, these shoes fit like a glove.  I plan to purchase another pair of these same shoes once my current pair are worn out.

I'm looking forward to continuing this running journey and sharing it on the blog.  If you've ever considered taking up running or tried to run without much success, I would highly recommend the Couch 2 5k program.  To read more about the program visit their website here.

Until next time...

Monday, June 2, 2014

Having a Moment: Pineapples

My mom has had the greatest obsession with pineapples for as long as I can remember.  This obsession with pineapples made it very easy to find birthday or Christmas gifts for my mom.  Little did I know that my mom was way ahead of the next big trend in fashion and home decor.  Let's face it, pineapples are definitely having a moment right now.  There's just something so catchy about this fancy little fruit.  Here are a few finds that are jumping on the pineapple bandwagon...

Pineapples are a symbol of hospitality, cheer, and warmth.  How will you incorporate this fun trend and symbol into your wardrobe or home decor this summer?


Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Stripes & Sparkle DIY

I love creating things and therefore, I am addicted to Pinterest.  A few weeks ago I came across this pin and I fell in love.  I'm a sucker for stripes and florals mixed together.  Over the years, I've been doing small canvas projects to decorate our home, so I couldn't wait to add this one to the collection.  I cannot draw or paint well, so I did modify the original design a bit.  This was a fun and easy DIY for an evening after work!

The Inspiration...

Supplies for Creating...

*A canvas of your choice.  I chose to do my project on an 8x8 inch sized canvas, but this project can be done on any size canvas.
*Black acrylic paint (or any color if you feel like getting crazy!)
*A one inch foam brush
*Metallic gold scrapbook paper
*Glitter flower embellishments.  The ones used for this project were from the creator of all things crafty, Martha Stewart.
*Small faux leaves.  I had some silk flower sitting around the house, so I used the leaves from those.
*Painter's tape

Just a Few Steps...

 Step 1. Plan out the placement of the stripes on your canvas.  The original project didn't have the stripes centered on the canvas and I really liked that detail, so I started my first stripe about a 1/4 of an inch from the top of the canvas.  Using light pencil lines and a ruler, I marked the stripes on my canvas.  The stripes were the same width as my ruler.

Step 2. Tape off the stripes you'd like to keep white.

Step 3.  Using the foam brush, apply two to three coats of black acrylic paint, allowing the paint to dry between each coat.  

Step 4. In order to make a clean letter, I simply Googled, "letter A template, " in Google Images and found a ton to chose from.  I printed one out, cut it out and traced it on the back of my gold paper.  I cut the letter from the gold paper and glued it to my canvas.

Finishing Touches & the Grand Finale!

 Instead of hand painting the flowers and leaves on the canvas, I embellished the canvas with the faux leaves and glitter flowers.  This would be a great project to not only make for your own home, but to give as a gift, too!  I hope you enjoy creating your own canvas as much as I enjoyed creating mine!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sparkle With This Chloe + Isabel Giveaway!

One of my dearest friends, Sarah and I have both been feeling the urge to start our own side projects.  I decided to finally start my blog and my friend, Sarah, has become a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel.  To celebrate Sarah's new venture, she has partnered with, "See Her Sparkle," for our first ever giveaway, but first, a little back story on, Chloe + Isabel...

The Chloe + Isabel Story...
The company was started by Chantel Waterbury.  After her college graduation, Chantel started a 15 year career in jewelry design at large retailers that included, Target, Gap, and Tiffany.  Despite landing her dream job in 2010, Chantel wanted to do something more and that's when the idea of Chloe + Isabel was conceived.  She wanted to create a unique business model where young women could strive regardless of their skill-set.

How Does Chloe + Isabel Work?
 Chloe + Isabel operates on a network of merchandisers.  The Chloe + Isabel merchandiser is able to customize their jewelry business both online and in-person.  Individuals can shop a merchandiser's custom shop via their website or through jewelry parties.  Here are a few of the merchandiser perks:

  To learn more about the process and perks of becoming a Chloe + Isabel merchandiser visit here.

Let's Accessorize!
I love jewelry, especially statement necklaces.  I can't get enough!  Chloe + Isabel has a great selection of statement necklaces, but they offer other beautiful pieces as well.  Here are a few of my favorite items from Sarah's online boutique...

Bellflower + Pearl Collar Necklace on a white background 
Terrace Blooms Drop Earrings on a white background  
Deco Bow Leather Double Wrist Wrap on a white background
*If you are interested in hosting a pop-up shop online or through a house party, please contact Sarah at

Now For the Giveaway!  YAY!
Sarah has been kind enough to share this beautiful limited edition bracelet from Chloe + Isabel!  This is a bright, colorful piece that can be dressed up for a night out or a dressed down for a day at the office. This is a limited edition piece that won't be available for long.  This bracelet retails for $58, but can be yours for FREE by entering our giveaway below!  The giveaway will close on Wednesday, April 16th.  Good luck!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Put a Bow on It! A Bow Clutch DIY

What's more feminine than a bow?  I love bows on anything-shoes, handbags, hair accessories, you name it.  I also believe you can never be too old to wear anything with a bow on it.  I plan to be a fashionable, bow-wearing lady even when my hair has gone gray.  Today, I'm going to share a quick, weekend DIY with you for a super cute bow clutch!

 What you'll need...

*1/2 yard of exterior fabric
*1/2 yard of lining fabric
*1/2 yard of fusible interfacing
*14 inch zipper
*Dressmaker pins
*Sewing machine

The First Steps...

1. Measure and cut two pieces of exterior fabric and two pieces of lining fabric into 14"x11" pieces.
2.  Cut a larger, 22"x17" piece of fabric.  This will be for your bow.
3. Cut a 5"x5" square.  This will be the knot of your bow.
4. Measure and cut two pieces of fusible interfacing to 14"x11"Adhere the interfacing to your two exterior fabric pieces.
5. Take your 22"x17" piece and fold in half width-wise with right sides together.  Press.  Stitch the long edge with a 1/2" seam allowance.  Press open seam and turn right-side out.  Center your seam.
6. Take your 5"x5" piece and fold in half with right sides together.  Stitch the long edge with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Press open seam and turn right-side out.  Center your seam and with right side together, stitch another 1/4" seam on short side.  Turn right-side out.

Putting a bow on it...

7. Fold your sewn 22"x17" piece, accordion-style and slip through the knot piece, forming a bow as shown in the first photo.
8. Take your bow and pin it to one of your 14"x11" exterior pieces.  If your bow is too large, you can trim the ends to match your 14"x11" piece.  Stitch the raw edges of the bow to front of clutch using a 1/4" seam allowance.
9. Place the zipper face down along the top of your exterior piece.  Place a piece of your lining fabric, right side down on top of your exterior piece and zipper.
10.  Using a zipper foot, stitch the zipper to the lining and exterior piece using a 1/4" seam allowance.  
11.  Your lining, zipper, and exterior fabric should look like the last photo when you are finished stitching.
12. Repeat steps nine and ten for your remaining lining and exterior pieces.

The Finishing Touches...



13. Once the zipper has been attached to the top of your clutch, create a large rectangle by matching the right sides of your exterior fabric and right sides of your lining.  *Ensure that your zipper is unzipped before sewing or you will not be able to turn your clutch right-side out.*
14. Leave a six inch opening at the bottom of your lining.  Stitch a 1/2" seam allowance around your clutch, leaving the six inch opening.  Trim your seam allowances and clip corners.
15. Turn right-side out through the six inch opening in lining.  Slip stitch opening.

You're done!  I've made two clutches and I've been experimenting with different sizes.  I plan on using the blue clutch as an iPad case and the smaller one as a makeup bag.  Try experimenting with different fabrics and prints, too!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Get to the Pointe...Shoes for the Ballerina on a Budget

Who doesn't love a pair of fancy shoes?  I know I do and while I adore a beautiful pair of Louboutins, I also love finding an amazing deal on unique footwear.  Last week, a friend of mine showed me an adorable pair of flats she had purchased from  Obviously, I had to browse myself and that's when I found a pair of flats that needed to be mine.  I had been lusting after the nearly $500 version of these shoes for months and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw a nearly identical pair for only $60!  So what are these designer dupes you ask?  They are the Audrey Brooke version of Chloe's Ballet Flats!  Shoe perfection for the ballerina on a budget!

These are the original $485 version from Chloe.  They can be purchased here.  These are made from leather and are available in black, gray, and pink.

BUT, if you want a deal, here's the $60 Audrey Brooke version from DSW!  Like the Chloe originals, these are made from leather and have soft, suede, padded in-soles.  In addition to black, gray, and blush options, DSW also offers a silver version.  

I will admit, I was nervous to see these shoes in person, but I am very pleased.  They're almost like wearing a pair of real ballet shoes, but are a step above your standard pair of flats. DSW sent me a coupon in the mail yesterday, so there's a chance I'll be adding the silver pair to my shoe collection soon! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

High Fidelity Friday-Top Five Songs for an Indie Rock Dance Party

Music is probably one of my all-time favorite things.  Hands down.  I love going to shows and discovering new bands.  During my junior year of high school, I discovered a little known duo known as the White Stripes and from that day forward I was an Indie Rock lover.  So, to celebrate my deep love for all things music, I bring you, "High Fidelity Fridays," where I'll go all Rob Gordon and share my top five songs in certain genres.  I'll kick this off with the first group of five songs that make me want to dance!

Top Five Songs for an Indie Rock Dance Party

*All songs can be purchased on iTunes!