6/4/14

Works for Me

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I'm taking a break from my regularly scheduled Express programming today to share some of the things that you see often on this blog, but I don't say much about them. Some of them have come up in the comments section, some of them are just random "in case you're interested" notes for the curious-minded like me!

1. Body of Work

I get fairly frequent comments here about various body parts or just my figure in general. Luckily they've been kind (so far!) and I appreciate each one because I do work really hard to stay fit. It doesn't come easy or by accident. And it's always nice to have people compliment your hard work!

My Before & After
Before: Me circa 2000 (as a regular gym goer) / After: At-home exerciser, 2 kids later (Outfit Details)

It would take several posts to do a full fitness and diet explanation and I'll just give a high level here, mainly because I don't think it's something that a lot of people will want to do. It works for me, I love it, but  there's a fair amount of expense involved at first in buying the DVDs and equipment (e.g. several sets of dumbbells, stability ball, resistance bands and a step). On the plus side, maintaining becomes very affordable and time-saving so it's worth it for me.

Weight training has been key for me to achieve my fitness goals. Cathe Friedrich feels like my own personal trainer and I work out with her DVDs more often than any others. Her STS Series is the core of my weight training routine. I also love Cathe's cardio workouts as well as some by Amy Bento and some Beachbody workouts like Insanity, Turbo Fire, and Turbo Jam thrown in the mix for variety.


Fitness DVDs


2. Sunless Tanner

Sunless Tanner Routine


Kristen recently commented on my white shorts outfit above that she wishes white shorts were more flattering on her. Aha...that reminded me that white shorts would be the most unflattering color on me, except for the fact that I'm always coated in layers of this stuff. I have not tried any high end sunless tanners and I don't doubt that some of them are great and maybe even better than my Jergens. But I have tried a lot of drugstore versions and this one has become my favorite. It has all the things that I like: reasonable price, easy to rub in, non-streaky, non-smelly and dries fast. I can apply it post-shower in the morning and by the time I'm done with hair and makeup, it's dry enough for me to get dressed and has never stained my clothes...even my white shorts.

As for the the other tools I use in my sunless tanning routine:

Gloves: See the white part on those gloves? I cut the gloves off there so they cover just my hands. Then I wear these while I apply my sunless tanner so it doesn't stain my palms. It doesn't have to be the exact brand, really any dish gloves or latex gloves will work.

Foam Roller: "How do you apply sunless tanner to your back?" asked no one. Oh! It's easy. I apply a thick streak of the tanning foam to a 6 inch paint roller from the hardware store. Then I use the roller to reach every inch of my back. It also helps to use a handheld mirror in your free hand to look in the bathroom mirror while you do this.

Cosmetic Sponges: After I'm finished applying the foam everywhere, I remove the gloves, put a dab of foam on one of these wedges and apply it to the backs of my hands.

3. Nails

"What's on your nails?" asked no one. (Oh wait, Carylee asked me once, via text. And while I'm in disclosure mode, she's the one who pushed me to do this entire post!) But nails are one of my favorite accessories and they're visible in most of my own pictures, so I'm sharing some of my current favorites. I love to change nail colors with the seasons, and these are the colors that have frequently been on my nails for spring:

Spring Nails





Base Coat: I've read rumors online that this is being discontinued and I'm pretty sad that I have to go back to the drawing board for base coats. I've had decent success with Orly Bonder and Creative Nail Design Stickey base coats in the past so I might go back to those, but Revlon's is my favorite.

Top Coat: I've tried many popular Quick Dry Top Coats (e.g. Seche Vite, Out the Door, Poshé, Essie Good to Go, NYC In a Minute) and this is the one that just seems to give me the best wear at a reasonable price.

Tips & Toes: When it comes to spring nail polish, my tips and toes cannot wear the same shades at all. Pastels look great on my fingers, terrible on my toes. Bright pinks and plums and corals are awful on my hands but great on my toes. It's a process every season to try out some of the latest trends and find the colors that work best on me.

I hope you enjoyed some of the details to all the visuals you see here on the daily. And I am beyond flattered to be featured by Amy Ann over on The Real Arnolds today if you'd like to check it out!


Also Linking Up With:
Throwback Thursday

Marvelous MondayRandom Wednesday / I Feel Pretty / What I Wore Wednesday  / Whatcha Wearin' Wednesday / Color Brigade / Wake Up Wednesday / Beauty Buzz 



CONVERSATION

53 comments:

  1. You really do have an amazing body! I had NO idea that you had kids! You definitely just entered one of my favorite stylish moms category lol! Loved today's post! Enjoyed getting to know more about you!

    Hope your having a great week!

    xo, Erica
    Casually Styled

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    1. Thank you so much, Erica. :) And there's no kid's section at Express, so they just haven't been relevant to anything I've posted so far. If they add a kid's section, well...they might make some appearances here! ha ha.

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  2. Ah, where do I start!?!? Yes, you have an incredibly fit physique and you should be proud of all of your efforts!! I personally did home workouts as well for about 2 years (more recently have found a Crossfit gym that I love). I still fall back on my home workouts when time is short or something prohibits me from getting to the gym. Now, if I could only get my diet in check I *might* have the chance to drop a few unwanted pounds. Exercise is easy for me & part of my daily routine - diet, not so much.
    Two kiddos!?! They need to be a part of your Mother's Day post next year....I'd love to see what they'd pick for their Momma at her favorite store :-) Lastly, do you typically get good wear time with the polishes you mentioned? Nothing frustrates me more than taking the time to do my nails only to have it peel off within a day!!
    Thanks again for sharing all these wonderful things and letting us get to know you more! :-) Love it!
    Kellie @ www.ie-style.com

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    1. oh, and I forgot.....um, is that also you in the photo on the left next to your white shorts photo?? Also, I forgot to shout out to Carlylee for encouraging you to share with us all these tips and tricks! ;-)
      Kellie @ www.ie-style.com

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    2. 1) Yes, that's me before & after. I re-labeled for clarity.
      2) THANK YOU for the nice comments. And yes, diet is a huge huge component, but again, could probably take up an entire post, and I'm really not an expert on diet or comfortable dispensing nutrition advice on the internet. It's very inividual in my experience.
      3) As for nail polish, my nails hate everything. I try every tip an they are just very chippy so I touch up & reapply often. Before my current base coat/top coat combo, I was getting less than a day of wear without chips. Now I can get 2-3. If I need it to last longer, I have a Sensationail LED lamp that I will use. I'll do my regular polish routine at night, then the next morning a gel top coat with LED curing. This doubles my wear time, but means I have to do the foil method removal. (Although it comes off MUCH easier than the full gel polish application does.)

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  3. I would personally love a more in debt post about fitness and nutrition, while I can drag myself to bootcamp I am really lazy at home so any pointers on how to stay in shape at home sounds interesting to me. Would love to know more about your diet. You look AMAZING, cannot believe you have 2 kids.

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    1. Thank you so much, Rachelle. I was really forced to workout at home due to time & schedule constraints, so I just did it. I have always had innate motivation to workout because I genuinely enjoy it. Diet is definitely a BIG component in maintaining, but maybe a subject for a separate post. :) I also get uncomfortable sounding like I'm dispensing advice when I am certainly NOT an expert...just a person who has done a lot of trial and error figuring out what works for herself!

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    2. Thank you for taking the time to write this, you may not be an expert but I think you know what you're talking about, I mean you are in excellent shape. Thanks for the tips, I also enjoy working out but didn't want to pay for bootcamp and the gym(to do more weight training). So I think at home is a great alternative, cannot wait to try it.

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  4. You are an inspiration with your dedication to fitness! I really need to start weights but I just can't get motivated. I'll just stick to my running for now. I think you asked me about the Essie Watermelon that I was wearing in a past post. Yeah, I almost bought it again when at Target (brain fart!). I ended up getting one of the new neon colors instead - the green, Vices Versa.

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    1. Haha, I think we talked about Big Spender. I asked what you were wearing on your toes and you said it was Big Spender which...duh. I already have. :) I guess I'm just drawn to certain things!

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  5. And for Cathe's workouts what type of weights do you recommend, 10 pounds or more. I am trying out one of the full body ones.

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    1. I have every increment from 3 lbs up to 20 lbs and which ones I use depends on which workout I'm doing. You mentioned via email that you are trying STS Total Body, and for that I use 8s up to 20s, along with a resistance band and gliding discs (but you can substitute a paper plate for those). Cathe uses a barbell in many workouts but I always manage to make it work with just dumbbells.

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  6. I really enjoyed reading all this great information. Especially the section on self tanners. I haven't attempted them in years because they always turned out so awful. I think armed with your suggestions I could really do this. Thanks!

    Jennie@http://apocketfulofpolkadots.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment Jennie! So glad you found some useful info. And you can always start with the Light version of Jergens (or any brand) until you get a little more comfortable with application.

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  7. Oh my gosh, you look amazing!! That is awesome. I really loved the tip on getting sunless tanner on your back! I always struggle with that!!
    www.amemoryofus.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much Darcy, and glad you found a useful tip! Let me know if you try it!

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  8. OMG Gina, slap in the face to those who say working out at home is not the same, you go girl!!!
    And I definitely need a roller for my sunblock, I usually get a "pretty" hand shaped spot in my back, because I can't spread it out.

    Natalia

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    1. Ha! Well, if you use a roller for regular lotion vs. foam (and I've done that too), I find it easier to just bend over and put some lotion anywhere you can on your back, then roll it in. If the lotion's really runny sometimes it drips everywhere before getting to your back!

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  9. I would have have NEVER thought of the paint roller for your back when applying self tanner!! GENIUS!!!!

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    1. Haha, thanks Shanna! I learned it somewhere on the internet YEARS ago and it's awesome.

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  10. My mind is too blown on the roller! Awesome!
    And yayyyyy! I'm so happy and proud of you for doing this! I hope you found it as valuable as we did reading this! And your before and after pics were great motivators!
    Love this post! Http://morepiecesofme.com

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    1. Well, it's outside my comfort zone, that's for sure. But I'm glad you liked it!

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  11. I love getting to know people better through random posts like this! Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Gina I am so glad you shared all of this! Not only is it informative but I feel like I know you better! Exercise and diet are difficult but important. I always struggle to find a balance and I don't even have kids yet! I might need to try some of those at home DVDs. I could not agree more about the sunless tanner part! It makes a world of difference to this pale lady. I have tried a ton of brands too but not that specific one or with a roller...genius! I also love doing at home manis. I'll have to try your picks. Have you used CND Vinylux Weekly Polish? I've had great luck with it.

    xo, Amy Ann
    The Real Arnolds

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    1. I haven't tried the CND just because I haven't come across it in a store yet! I will definitely check it out on you recommendation. I'm always up for trying the latest and greatest nail stuff. And thank you so much for the nice comments (as always!).

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  13. Amy is seriously the sweetest for doing features! I love her style too!

    also, on a nail note I LOVE ESSIE polish, ... I may have way too many!

    Eleventh & Sixteenth

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    1. Yep, that's probably my favorite line. Plus, I'm weird and like square bottles for no particular reason!

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  14. Gina, loved reading this and getting to know you better. You always look great. I had no idea you were a mommy of 2. =))) How old are they and boy/ or girl?

    Also, I loved the outfit that Amy chose to feature on her blog. Coral is totally your color. Check out my post to see whom I featured.

    Have a great evening. <3 Ada.

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    1. Thanks so much for the sweet comments, Ada. I guess my kids were a well kept secret! They'll probably stay that way most of the time. :) I only bring them up because women use pregnancy/kids as a fitness factor and benchmark, so I do want people to know I understand all that first hand!

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  15. I feel like I know more about you now and that's a great thing! I can't get over your figure! I especially envy your arms because I've always struggled with toning mine. I had a personal trainer last year for our wedding prep but it was too expensive to keep. I'm not consistent with my work outs and it's such a struggle! I wish I enjoyed it more. Thank you for the inspiration :)

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    1. Ah, thank you so much Noelle! Hopefully if you keep searching you'll find something in the fitness realm that you DO enjoy! I think it's a very personal process.

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  16. Wow you are an inspiration, especially after two kids! Yes I am one of the various body parts commenter (legs!!! I love the arms too) I should create a Pinterest board of you lol!

    Cheresa
    www.misshotcouture.blogspot.com

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    1. OMG, ha! A pinterest board would not be necessary! But thank you very much for the kind comments Cheresa! I do appreciate it. :)

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  17. lovely blog :)
    http://saltskinned.blogspot.com.au

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  18. Thanks for sharing, Gina! I am definitely looking into those workout DVDs. Your physique is definitely an inspiration. And I love Jergens sunless tanning spray. I use the foaming one as well because it dries faster. I really like the foam roller tip. I have to try it next time. Oh, I've tried more expensive tanners and I always go back to Jergens. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Glad to hear this! I have seen great results on others who use really expensive self tanners but...I just don't want to have to go down that path if I can avoid it.

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  19. You look incredible after 2 kids! I had no idea =) I got into fitness recently (after having my second one) and have been enjoying ever since. I *try* to exercise 6 days a week (running and P90X). Thanks for inspiration, Gina! Hope you enjoy the rest of your week!

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  20. YOU HAVE TWO CHILDREN?! NO FAIR.
    ok seriously you look amazing. And I am going to steal all of your tips to do sunless tanner when i get home.

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    1. Thank you Kristen! And you must try and report on the self tanner!

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  21. You look amazing. I'm going to need to 'case' the paint roller for fake tanning.

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    1. I even keep one in my suitcase for when I travel. It's a must-have item for me. :)

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  22. Well you pretty much have my dream body, so let's get that out of the way first. Those arms, I mean really? In my wildest dreams. :) LOVED your self tanner tricks, so clever. I'm going to be trying those out for sure.

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    1. You are SO NICE. Thank you Alison. :)

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  23. You are a total babe- and absolutely right, maintaining a super fit body is hard work! You're killing it though, doll! :)

    -Ashley
    http://lestylorouge.com

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  24. Gina, each time I see your photographs I think to myself "She has got a killer body!" I would love to take your arms off and put them on me!!!! Thank you for sharing what workout's you do! I just started p90x3 ( I did the first one a few years ago right before I got married) and I love it. It's nice to know that Tony isn't the end all beeee all of in home fitness! Although, I do love him! HA! Great post!

    Marianne
    www.goodgirlgoneglam.com

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    1. Thanks Marianne! I have done some of Tony's workouts and they are great quality, but for whatever reason (probably because I was already used to Cathe!) he and I just didn't click. LOL. I missed the music and sets and cute outfits that Cathe wears! Once again, personal preference coming into play. :)

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  25. your fit bod is inspiring! ;) Seriously though, I think this post motivated me to dust off my Jillian Michaels Body Revolution DVDs and get going. I also have two kiddos and most certainly they have been my excuse for not sticking to a workout program. If you don't mind me asking, how much do you workout, timewise? i.e., how long each day and how many days?

    Thanks so much, continue to love your blog!! :)

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    1. Hi Paloma! Thank you for the nice words and no, of course I don't mind! The maximum time I will work out in a day is an hour. I don't have the attention span for anything longer than that. Some of my DVDs are actually a little longer than that, but I always shorten them (e.g. if she does 3 sets of each exercise I might do two) to my preference. To get where I am now I worked out 5-6 days a week. I have to weight train at least 3 days a week to get where I am and also to maintain (2 upper body days, 1 lower). These days I work out pretty much every day just because I really like to some physical activity daily. 3 days of weights, then 2 days of intense cardio (max 30 minutes). The other 2 days will be light cardio or yoga or a hike or just whatever I feel like doing.
      Hope that helps a little!

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  26. Great post! You always look amazing and you have killer arms! Thanks for sharing your workout DVDs and your sunless tanning tips! I never thought to use a roller for my back!

    Jill
    dousedinpink.blogspot.com

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  27. Thanks for sharing. You've totally inspired me to get my butt moving again. You do always look gorgeous. Great tips! Rachel x

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I sincerely appreciate each and every one and always do my best to answer questions promptly! Also, due to a recent influx of Spam unfortunately I've had to turn comment moderation back on. Apologies for the inconvenience!