2/22/17

What's Up Wednesday February

16 comments |
Today I'm joining What's Up Wednesday for an end of the month, behind the blog update. You can view the prompt questions for this post here. I'm answering a few less than usual this month since I'm in partial vacation mode with the kids out of school this week, but read on anyway to find out what's been going on around here lately!

What I'm Wearing:
Let's start with a recent outfit featuring my go-to black/white/olive color combo:
Jacket: Target | Tee: Express | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Lucky Brand | Choker Necklaces: Express | Pendant Necklace: Express | Bag: Tory Burch (Similar Options Below)

Outfit Details: 

This jacket is a great bargain find from Target (under $30) and is super soft, comfortable, and easy to throw on. It's lightweight so more of a Spring/Summer top layer than a winter layer for sure. You can see the last time I wore it here with book recommendations for people who liked "The Couple Next Door."

This Tory Burch bag was a splurge for me a couple of years ago after seeing Rachelle and Caryl style it with so many outfits. It's easily my most-complimented handbag, but unfortunately it's long gone and it's almost impossible to find a similar option to link. I put together six leopard crossbody bag options below, with prices ranging from $100 - $350. I would love to share a budget option but I after scouring the net I really couldn't find one worth posting!

Leopard Crossbody Bags

Top RowTory Burch $265 | Coach $229 | Joe's Jeans $178
Bottom RowRiver Island $100 | Coach Rhyder $255 |  Karl Lagerfeld $80

And here's the front view of this outfit:

Shop the Look:


What I'm Reminiscing About:
It's been less than three months since my dad passed away and I reminisce about him a lot! I love little reminders of him, like this one I shared on social media:


What I'm Working On:
My never-ending de-cluttering the house project. We've made lots of progress and tackled some huge projects, but every weekend that we're free I'm trying to spend an hour or so working on another cupboard or file box that's gone unsorted for too long.

What I'm Excited About:
After lots of frustration over the management/ownership change at our Tae Kwon Do studio in January, I'm back where I want to be in the process of getting my Black Belt. By going to class consistently despite the lack of any motivation to go, I got more familiar with the new instructors and they got more familiar with my skill level, so I was able to enroll in the Black Belt Prep class. I'll be doing that every Friday for the next 13 weeks, and (hopefully) taking my test in May.

What I'm Reading
After an epic month of reading seven books in January, post-holiday life kicked in and I am back to my average four books this month. I'm changing up my review format a little this month in the interest of time, so let me know if you find a particular format preferable or more helpful!
February Book Reviews

1. The Perfect Neighbors
Recommend! If you like Liane Moriarty books, you should enjoy this. Similar suburban family life/drama themes. Not as funny as Liane's writing style, but good storylines and characters.

2. Night Road
Recommend! This is the same author as The Nightingale (which I loved and highly recommend), and once again, she very carefully developed the characters and created an engaging, well-detailed story. It is quite sad and I cried a lot, so reader beware. This isn't a frilly, uplifting type of story.

3. Butterfly Dreams
Do Not Recommend. A Google Search for "authors similar to Colleen Hoover" lead me to this book, and the glowing Amazon reviews convinced me to get it. That was a regrettable choice. The main character was so irritating and the love story aspect just wasn't very engaging or believable.

4. A Cold Dark Place
Mostly Recommend. Last month I read a book by this author and really enjoyed it, so I wanted to try another of his books. This one took me awhile to get into. As in, I was almost 50% in by the time I was really into the story. And that may be partly due to the fact that I didn't have a good chunk of time to sit down and get it into it. Reading 5 minutes here, 10 minutes is a recipe for me to not really follow the story of almost any book, but that's life sometimes. It also jumped around a bit to different cities and times, and I didn't really understand why at first. That said, once I got into it, I enjoyed the second half a lot and appreciated how well it all came together. So...I recommend it but just know that it may take some time to get into it, and it's probably helpful if you can start the book when you have a good hour or so to commit to it.

What I'm Listening To:
This month I listened to these two Audiobooks. I wrote more detailed reviews on them here, but in short, I highly recommend "It's All Too Much." It's probably the best, most practical sorting and home organization book I've read, and it was even more life changing for me than "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up." The Power of Habit was good too, but it was more interesting than it was motivating or helpful.
Audiobooks February

What I'm Eating:
Several months back I talked my husband into trying Fresh & Fit Meal Delivery Service, and it's been a huge help and a game changer for us. He typically eats one extra meal per day than the rest of the family and it's hard to come up with all that many healthy meal ideas, not to mention shop for and store all of it. Last week he was traveling for work so I "helped" him by eating some of his meals for lunch before they went bad, and they were so good! We are now in talks for making arrangements to add my lunches to our meal plans, and I'm pretty excited about that. I've been eating the same salad every day for lunch for over a year and I'm ready for a change.


What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month:
I have an appointment to get Microblading for my eyebrows next month! I'm not really looking forward to the process of microblading, but I'm looking forward to having decent eyebrows! I've never had much to work with and I'm not great at filling them in to have a nice shape, etc., so this could be amazing. If you're a San Diego local, I'm going to Brows by Jackie because I like all of her before and after pictures and think she'll do a great job!

Thanks for reading today and see you back on Friday!


Linking up with:
ErikaAndreaNarci |JoLynne | Lindsey | Mel | Sheaffer | Shay

2/20/17

40% Off Sale Wishlist Poll

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By popular* demand, I am bringing back my sale wishlist/shopping list poll for the last day of the 40% off Sale at Express! If you have sale FOMO like I do where you worry that you'll start seeing lots of great pieces on blogs and Instagram that you could have purchased for the sale price but didn't know about, this post is for you! I polled five of my blog and Instagram friends who are regular Express shoppers and own as many pieces (if not more) from Express than I do. They have their wardrobe basics covered...so what's next? Here's a look at their recent outfits featuring some of their previous Express picks, followed by what's on their wishlist for this sale!

RACHELLE:

RACHELLE'S WISHLIST:
R Express Wishlist 2.17.17

Tie Waist Skirt | Jersey Sash Pant (also comes in Black, Blue, Rose) | Lace Top

CARYLEE:

CARYLEE'S WISHLIST:
C Express wishlist 2.17.17
Mini Skirt | Nude Skirt (also comes in Black and Cabernet) | Bralette | Denim Dress

ERIN:
ERIN'S WISHLIST:
E Express Wishlist 2.17.17


KRISTIE:

KRISTIE'S WISHLIST:
K Express Wishlist 2.17.17


SKYE: 

SKYE'S WISHLIST:
S Express Wishlist 2.17.17

GINA:
As for me, this jacket is one of my favorite recent purchases because it's as soft and comfortable as any cardigan, but adds a little more structure to an outfit.
Jacket: Express | Tee: Gap (Similar) | Jeans: Express | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Boots: c/o Amazon | Bag: Amazon (Exact Style, Color Options Vary)

WISHLIST:
M Express Wishlist 2.17.17

Top (also comes in Black, Olive, Purple) | White Distressed Jeans | Tumbler | Mug

Unfortunately neither the tumbler nor the mug are part of the 40% off sale since they are specialty brands and not Express brands. But I think they would make fun gifts for a couple of my friends, so I am keeping them in mind anyway! I've also been on the hunt for no-fuss (i.e. no camisole or strapless bra required) tops in Spring colors with fun details, and this one looks like it fits the bill. And I don't own anything else in this color so it I think it doesn't feel redundant. I can pair it with blue jeans or white jeans, and since I don't have a distressed pair of white jeans I I want to check out this this pair. They are "cropped" length, but that always means regular length on my 5'4" frame!

If I didn't have ___ I'd get:
Olive jackets are my very favorite since they just seem to be the perfect complement to all the other colors (heavy on the neutrals) in my wardrobe. They're also an item that doesn't stay in stock very long, so I end up linking to similar options about a month after I buy one. Express has some great similar options to mine right now, so here are a few of my favorites followed by some current in-stock, on sale options that I'd be getting if I didn't already have mine!


CURRENT OPTIONS:
Express Sale Olive Jackets


* * *

This might be the first time I've done this poll where there was absolutely no overlap between wishlists! I loved seeing the variety of selections from each person and how it fit their personal style and lifestyle. My Monday Motivation series will be back next week, but I'll be back on on Wednesday with What's Up Wednesday covering all the usual topics from books to food and more!


*Popular demand. In terms of this blog it means one person requested this post.



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2/18/17

Outfit Singles 2/18/17

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I hope your weekend is off to a great start! Here's a recap of my recent outfits, with links to current or similar options if my exact item is sold out. You're in luck if you're shopping any of the items from Gap or Express this weekend since both stores have major sales going on! If the outfit was featured in a blog post I'll link you to that as well for additional info on fit, etc.  You can also access previous weekly recaps like this from the Navigation Menu at the top by scrolling to Categories, then select Outfit Singles from the drop down menu.

Outfit Recap:


Unposted Outfits:

Olive Cardigan, Stripe Cami:
Sweater: Gap (Loving this sweater for Spring weather!) | Cami: Express | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Jeans: Express | Bag: c/o Amazon | Shoes: Express (Similar)

Shop the Look:


Black Tie Neck Top + Light Jeans:
Top: LOFT (Similar on sale with more sizes/colors) | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Shoes: Target | Necklaces: Kendra Scott - Top, Bottom (Gifts) | Bag: Amazon (Exact style, colors vary) | Bracelet: Charmed Stacks | Nails: Essie Blanc

Shop the Look:


Taupe Moto Jacket + White Tee:
Jacket: Express | Tee: Nordstrom | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Gift, Similar)| Jeans: Express | Boots: Target | Bag: c/o Amazon | (I wore almost this exact outfit last week, but no one saw me except people who read the blog, so....)

Shop the Look:


From the Blog This Week:

White Moto Jacket + Tee + Recycled Jeans:
Jacket: Express (Similar) | Tee: Express | Jeans: Express | Boots: Express (Similar) | Necklace: Stella & Dot | Bag: Amazon | Nails: OPI "Let's Be Friends" | Original Post: Here

Shop the Look:


Workout Wear: Grey Cover-Up + Purple Tank:
Tank: Gap (Color selection varies) | Grey Cover Up: ExpressSports Bra: Nike (Similar) | Capris: Target | Sneakers: Nike (Similar) | Nails: Essie Blanc | Original Post: Here (includes reference guide to all of my previous fitness posts)

Shop the Look:



Blush Moto Jacket + White Cami + Grey Jeans:
Jacket: Express (Similar) | Cami: Express | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: Express | Necklaces: Kendra Scott Top and Bottom (Both Gifted) | Nails: Essie Blanc | Original Post: Here

Shop the Look:




Thanks for stopping by today and I'll see you back on Monday with the results from the "what are you getting at the Express Sale" poll I've been conducting behind the scenes!


Linking up with:

2/17/17

Blush Moto Jacket + Kendra Scott San Diego

8 comments |
This week has been a festive and busy one between my 18th wedding anniversary (which we celebrated by romantically cleaning out the garage and office closet...but hey, nothing says real love like working together for a common goal!), Valentine's Day, and a fun Blogger Night Out! After dressing mostly in athleisure for the weekend (e.g. what I shared in Wednesday's post), it was nice to get a little more dressed up to attend the Kendra Scott Galentine's party with the San Diego Style Bloggers on Monday night.

The sun was starting to set as I headed out for the event but I managed to take an outfit selfie...at the same time as the UPS man was walking up to my door. I just pretended like I was taking photos of my roof (totally normal) and thanked him for the packages!

Jacket: Express (Similar) | Cami: Express (40% off) | Jeans: Express (40% off) | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: Express (40% off) | Necklaces: Kendra Scott Top and Bottom (Both Gifted) | Nails: Essie Blanc

Outfit Notes:

In case you missed the memo via email or other social media, there is a storewide 40% off sale at Express for President's day weekend, so my cami, jeans, and bag are all at the best price you can get until next black Friday. All three of them are staples and favorites that I reach for again and again.

This grey bag has been a favorite of mine for many months but it's never made the blog because I tend to use it more for special events/nights out than for the everyday outfits I mainly share. A lot of times my evening clutches can only carry the basics (phone, lipstick, credit card, ID, and keys) but this little crossbody holds quite a bit! It can carry all of those basics plus my sunglasses and mini wallet (shown in this post where I share my quick handbag changing strategies). And the grey is a perfect neutral, so it goes with just about anything.

These jeans are another long time, versatile favorite. They are stocked in most sizes right now (although that can quickly change during a 40% off sale!) and ran true-to-size for me. For more grey jeans outfit inspo you can check out this post.

This cami is my number one, most-worn closet staple. You can see twelve different ways I have styled it in this post, and I've worn it at least another dozen times since that post ten months ago!  I frequently get questions about what kind of bra I wear with this cami. When I'm wearing it (as shown above) with a jacket or cardigan that I know I won't be removing throughout the day, I wear a regular nude bra underneath it. In the summer, I have a strapless bra from Target that I use. My exact option is no longer available but it's Maidenform and similar to this one. It will probably need to be replaced next summer, and I'm planning to splurge ($65) on this one from Nordstrom because the reviews are amazing and I've seen rave reviews for it from a dozen other bloggers.

When I first got this jacket at Express (Spring 2015 I believe), I didn't realize I would use it as much as I have! My exact jacket is no longer available but I rounded up a few current options (under $80) that could be styled the same as mine.
Blush Jacket Options

Front View:

Shop the Look:


Morning update: I'm adding in one more outfit to this post because it features these same grey jeans plus one more of my all-time staples, the Portofino Shirt. I pared down my collection to just four of these (see which colors I kept here) in my recent closet clean-out, but the white version survived the purge and isn't going anywhere anytime soon!

Top: Express | Jeans: Express | Short Necklace: Kendra Scott | Long Necklace: Express (Similar) | Bracelet: LOFT (Similar) | Watch: c/o Fossil (Similar) | Shoes: Forever 21 (Similar) | Bag: Amazon (Exact Style, Colors Options Vary)

Front View: 

Shop the Look:


Kendra Scott San Diego Galentine's Party:
To follow my blog or Instagram is to know that my love for Kendra Scott jewelry is probably on par with my love for Express clothes. San Diego's first (and so far only!) Kendra Scott store opened at Fashion Valley Mall here back in October, and it's been so nice to have the option to see a lot of the pieces in person before making a purchase. Our local Nordstrom stores carry some Kendra Scott pieces, but only a small fraction of what the store location offers. And only Kendra Scott stores have a Color Bar where you can customize pieces with the color of metal and stone that you want. So needless to say, I was very excited when the San Diego Style Bloggers invited me to attend their Galentine's event at Kendra Scott, and I didn't waste any time re-arranging my Monday night so I could attend!
 Image via SD Style Bloggers

If we look happy it's because they spoiled us with champagne, sweets, and custom pieces for ourselves and some to giveaway to our followers! (If you follow me on Instagram hopefully you saw that giveaway!) All of the ladies who work at Kendra Scott San Diego were also incredibly friendly and stylish. Sometimes it can be intimidating (for me) to go into a smaller boutique-type store like that, but I was the last one to leave that night because I got caught up chatting with one of the associates about all things fashion, blogging, Kendra Scott and San Diego. She even remembered me from a previous store visit just a few weeks back when I was (taking my sweet time) picking out a birthday gift to myself. 

Just in case you didn't already know, during your birthday month you get 50% off one piece at Kendra Scott. Even if you don't live near a store location, you can call in and get the discount over the phone!

I had this post all wrapped up and ready to go when the 40% off sale announcement came in, so rather than scrambling to put together a new post for today, I decided to save it for Monday (the final day of the sale). That gives me a bit more time to put together my own order and check with a few of my friends on what they're getting, so I'll see you back on Monday for that!

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2/15/17

All Things Fitness Reference Post

21 comments |
Since I have been in full de-cluttering mode with my house, I decided to extend that motivation to my blog and "de-clutter" this post that's been partially completed in my draft folder for.ev.er. I have done a lot of posts about fitness and they are scattered all over my blog. You can find them on the navigation bar by going to Categories and then Fitness, but the contents of the post might not really be clear from the title so I wanted to have one post that serves as an Index for all of that information.

And since today is All Things Fitness, I'm sharing a few current favorites in the workout clothing category...
Tank: Gap (Color selection varies) | Grey Cover Up: ExpressSports Bra: Nike (Similar) | Capris: Target | Sneakers: Nike (Similar) | Tumbler: Frio (Gift, Similar) | Nails: Essie Blanc

Outfit Details:

First, this tank is my favorite workout tank. I've mentioned it other posts (listed below) and since I've owned a few for quite awhile, I can say they hold up really well. It's fitted but relaxed, breathes well is long in the torso to cover a bit more. With frequent sales and promotions it's easy to get it for under $20, so the price is right.

This grey cover up was listed as a jacket (and not as fitness wear, either) so I was expecting something quite different when I got it and was initially disappointed when I opened it. To me, it's not a jacket at all. It's a cardigan/cover up sweatshirt thing. But once I tried it on I got over my disappointment and re-defined how I would use it because it is so soft and comfortable and I knew it would be perfect for to/from workouts plus just casual wear. It's not very heavy so it's more of a spring/summer throw-on piece.

My exact sneakers are Nike Internationalist, and don't seem to be available anymore in this color combo. This pair of Nikes looks very similar, comes in the black/white color combo, is currently stocked in most sizes, and is reasonably priced at $65.

My Target workout capris are still holding up great after a few years of repeated use and washing. They're under $25 so if and when they do wear out, I'll just replace them with another pair of this exact style.

Front View:

Shop the Look:


All Things Fitness Reference List:

As promised, here is the full list of fitness posts I've done over the years. I did this as much for myself as anyone else! Sometimes I get a question that I've already answered in a previous post but I can't remember exactly when or where so it takes some time to track it down. Now I can just refer to this post and more easily find those answers (I hope!). And for the rest of you, here are all the Fitness topics I've covered that you may or may not know I posted about in the past!

First ever post about Fitness and general overview of what I do for workouts:
HERE

Second (follow-up) post about fitness HERE. Topics include:
Before/After pics
How often I workout (including sample workout schedule)
Length of each of my workouts
Whether I follow any diet in particular

List of all DVDs I own (current as of publish date, newer DVD sets have not been added)
HERE

Favorite Weight Training DVDs:
HERE

Favorite Cardio DVDs:
HERE

Favorite Yoga and Stretching DVDs:
HERE

Complete List of Fitness Equipment I Own:
HERE

Sample Workout Outfits:
HERE 
HERE

Fitness Content Survey Results
HERE

Fitness Q&A Part One HERETopics include:
How I stay motivated to workout
How I fit my workouts into my schedule
How hard I push myself in my daily workouts
How heavy are the weights I lift
How I avoid bulking

Fitness Q&A Part Two HERETopics include:
How I got into my current routine of home workouts
What kind of outfits I wear to workout
How to adapt my home workout routine for the gym
Nutrition: How often I splurge vs. stay strict
Nutrition: What foods I gravitate towards


Weekly Workout Schedule Samples: (Workouts for each week were selected and arranged based on the weight training DVDs listed in parentheses)

One - 10/09/15 (Cathe Ripped with HiiT Series)
Two: 10/16/15 (Amy Bento Drop Set Series)
Three: 10/23/15 (Cathe Pyramid Series)
Four: 10/30/15 (Cathe High Reps Series + Cathe Great Glutes)
Five11/6/15 (Cathe Gym Style Series Weights)
Six: 11/13/15 (Amy Bento Slo Mo)
Seven: 11/20/15 (Cathe Ripped with HiiT)
Eight: 11/27/15 (Cathe STS Meso 1 Week 1)
Nine: 12/4/15 (Cathe STS Meso 1 Week 2)
Ten: 12/11/15 (Cathe STS Meso 1 Week 3)
Eleven: 12/18/15 (Cathe STS Meso 1 Week 4)
Twelve: 12/27/15 (Cathe STS Meso 2 Week 1)
Thirteen: 1/1/16 (Cathe STS Meso 2 Week 2)
Fouteen: 1/8/16 (Cathe STS Meso 2 Week 3)
Fifteen: 1/15/16 (Cathe STS Meso 2 Week 4)
Sixteen1/22/16 (Cathe STS Meso 3 Week 1)
Seventeen: 1/29/17 (Cathe STS Meso 3 Week 2)
Eighteen: 2/5/16 (Cathe STS Meso 3 Week 3)
Nineteen: 2/12/16 (Cathe STS Meso 3 Week 4)
Twenty: 2/19/16 (Amy Bento All Pump XTreme)
Twenty-One: 2/26/16 (Cathe 4-Day Split)
Twenty-Two: 3/4/16 (Cathe Gym Style Series)
Twenty-Three: 3/11/16 (Cathe Muscle Max, STS Total Body, Lower Body Blast)
Twenty-Four: 3/8/17 (Cathe Slow & Heavy + Butts & Guts)
Twenty-Five: 3/28/16 (Amy Bento Drop Set Strength)
Twenty-Six: 1/18/17 (Cathe Strong & Sweaty)

As I continue blogging, I'm sure there will be some fitness updates here and there. I'll try to update this particular post with those details so it remains relevant going forward!


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