Saturday, May 4, 2013

Summer 2013 One Pieces

Even though it may not feel like it where you are, beach time has almost descended upon us! Here in Des Moines we did have this awful thing happen yesterday:

Isn't it just horrible?! Luckily, we only got a little bit of snow that melted quickly after, and the 70 degree days will be back in a couple of days. It WILL be warm at some point, right? Last post I talked about tankinis for summer 2013, so now here are my picks for one pieces. I love the swimsuits that I found--they all just look so sleek! 

Shop the looks:
1 / 2 / 3 
4 / 5 / 6
7 / 8 / 9
10 / 11

If these swimsuits don't get you pumped for summer, then I don't know what will. Do you have any fun summer plans? Travis and I are excited for all of our summer travels! We're headed off to some pretty amazing places this summer. . . .

Friday, April 19, 2013

Summer 2013 Tankinis

Although it doesn't really seem like summer is coming since it has been SO cold (I'm sure most of you can relate), I decided to put together another board with some of my top modest swimsuit picks for summer 2013. I have another board made for one-pieces as well, but that will be another post so I don't overwhelm you, haha.

A huge trend I'm noticing in the swimwear world: ikat. I have included two ikat-printed tankinis here. I hope you enjoy my picks!

P. S. If you are more of a one-piece gal, a lot of these (especially the swimsuits from Nordstrom) are also available in one-piece, not just tankini. And there are also more colors available in a few of the styles.

Shop the looks:
1 / 2 / 3
4 / 5 / 6
7 / 8 / 9


I also feel the need to address what's been going on in Boston lately. For those of you who might not know much about New England geography, I'm from Rhode Island, which is approximately 45 minutes south of Boston. All of the devastation definitely hit me more so this time. It felt extremely personal—as a New Englander and as a runner. It didn't surprise me, however, seeing all of the Bostonians helping each other out. As much as I joke about how cold New England people can be compared to the friendly Midwest or bubbly Utah, I have always said that if a New Englander has your back, they'll fight for you until the end. If you cross them the wrong way, then you'll be sorry. I saw a combination of both this last week—New Englanders who had each others' backs and would do anything to help each other, but also New Englanders who wouldn't stop until they found who did this. I couldn't be more proud to be from New England. I love Boston and the spirit that city and those people have. No matter where I live or go, Boston will always be number one in my heart. Please don't forget to keep Boston in your prayers (as well as those in West, Texas). I'm so fortunate that no one I knew was physically hurt, but I do know that many I know are suffering emotionally. Thank you to the Boston Police Department, emergency personnel, and all those who are doing their best to get justice and to protect our home. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Workout Tanks and Crops

Back in December I got word that a bunch of Shawn Johnson's (the 2008 Olympic gymnast) clothes were for sale at a local consignment shop. She's from Des Moines, so it's nothing out of the ordinary. Anyway, I headed over and got some awesome deals. Shawn Johnson is sponsored by Nike so there was a bunch of cheap, unworn, one-of-a-kind Nike items for sale, like we're talking less than $20/per piece. I was so excited that I bought a bunch of her stuff that I had to call my sister and my mom and tell them all about it. My sister wanted me to go back and buy a few things for her. As if it already wasn't embarrassing enough to go back a second time, a news crew was there—they were doing a story on Shawn Johnson's clothes that were for sale and all of the hype surrounding it. I tried to act all nonchalant and quickly browse through the clothing, but a news reporter asked if she could take some shots of me flipping through the clothes and then possibly interview me. I felt bad, so I said yes. I ended up being on the evening news. Luckily they didn't mention in the actual news story that it was my second time back at the store (like I had feared they would). She probably saw me on the news and thought I was a stalker for buying a bunch of her clothes. Well, there went all plans of becoming BFFs with Shawn Johnson. Below are a few of the items that I scored from the sale.

I actually got this tank in purple.

I actually got this above sweater in a gray. I love that it looks so stylish but it's made for running! 
It has dri-fit material on the inside so it absorbs your sweat.

I actually got this tank in gray with a lime green strap.

I got a few more pieces, but I can't find pictures of all of them. I also scored these next two pairs of shoes for an awesome deal. The first pair (silver) are from Sam Edelman and were hardly worn. The second pair (gold) are from Rebecca Minkoff. I don't even think she wore them. Right when I got home I checked out the price for the shoes. The Rebecca Minkoff ones were selling for $325 at Saks Fifth Avenue. I bought them for $50. I seriously got the best deal ever!

Now to the point: I couldn't believe all of the cute workout clothes that are out there. I've been going to the gym or working out 6 days a week, so I feel like I now live in workout clothes for a good chunk of the day. Below are some of my picks for cute workout tanks and cute workout crops. I'll do another post sometime on workout accessories and workout sweaters, shirts, etc.

Shop 1 / 2 / 3 /
4 / 5 / 6 /
7 / 8 /
More colors available for most options.

Shop 1 / 2 / 3 /
4 / 5 / 6 /
More colors available for most options.

I hope that these cute clothes get you motivated to go work out if you don't already. If not, hopefully springtime weather is motivating you. At the end of last year I started doing a fun workout class called WERQ. It's like a hip-hop dance class. I love it. I'm also running a 10k and then a half-marathon soon. I love all of the fun 5ks and 10ks they have out there like the glow run and color run—you should all try one!

What do you like to do to stay in shape? Do you have any favorite workout clothing brands?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Whipping My Skin Into Shape

I'm back! I'm sorry that I haven't blogged since August. Things have been hectic. Travis and I moved into a townhouse in September and I'm still trying to work out where I want everything to go. I'll get there soon! I hope to post pictures soon as well. Travis is busy studying for school all of the time (poor guy) while I've been busy working. I can't believe that we've been in Des Moines since August! It flew by.

Anyway, today's blog post is, as promised last August (haha), about some beauty tips. I was going to talk about a wide variety of beauty tips, but I decided to narrow it down to a new skin care regimen that I started a few months back and I have loved the improvement in my skin. While I've never suffered from acne, I have suffered from break-outs. This is the skin regimen that I use that works best for my skin. I wouldn't say that you should follow it completely because it really depends on your skin type. I would say that I have normal skin/combination skin (some oily spots, some dry spots), but it also depends on where I'm living. When I'm in Utah, my skin tends to get more dry and when I'm here in Iowa my skin got a little bit more oily. Regardless, there are products here that can be used for all skin types and some that would be better for a specific skin type. You could always mix and match what you'd like to try. I do, however, think that everyone should have their own skin care regimen. It should include something like wash, tone/exfoliate, and moisturize.

1.) Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes in Night Calming (available at any store like Target or Walmart). $6.49. I use these wipes to take off my makeup every night before I shower. You would be surprised at how much makeup doesn't come off in the shower or just by simply washing your face with soap and water. Leaving makeup on overnight is probably one of the worst things you can do for your skin.

2.) Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (available at any store). $7.99. This face wash is so lightweight and refreshing that you might not realize you're even washing your face with soap. It's great for all skin types since it's so gentle. I wash my face with this every morning after I wake up.

3.) Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner (available at any store). $6.49. I apply this to my skin (with a cotton ball) after I get out of the shower. It helps get rid of oil and dirt trapped deep in your skin. I only use toner, however, on days that I don't exfoliate—I don't want to go too rough on my skin. 

4.) St. Ives Apricot Scrub (available at any store). $2.99. I use this on my face about twice a week. It's important to exfoliate periodically so you can get rid of all of the dead skin on your face. However, you definitely do not want to exfoliate every day—your skin could then become extremely dry. Also, like I mentioned in the above product (Neutrogena Toner) I do not use this the same days that I use toner. St. Ives also offers a gentler apricot scrub for those with super sensitive skin. By the way, Target has a great generic brand for this scrub at a cheaper price—it works exactly the same!

5.) Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel (available at the Clinique counter in department stores). $25. I use this every night. It is so important to moisturize your face even when you think it doesn't need it. If your skin becomes too dry, then your skin will create more oil to compensate for the lack of moisture on your face. Thus, always use moisturizer to prevent that from happening! I opted for the gel instead of the actual lotion (Clinique sells both) because the lotion would sometimes make me breakout. The gel is not oil-based, so you don't have to worry about it causing you to break out. I would definitely say that this is safe for all skin types.

To recap, here's my daily routine:
(Morning) Wash face with Cetaphil.
(Night) Remove makeup with Neutrogena wipes. Shower. Exfoliate twice/week with apricot scrub. Apply Neutrogena toner on days I don't exfoliate. Let toner dry. Apply moisturizing gel.

Some other great tips:

  • Try not to touch your face too often. I hate when people touch my face. Think of all of the extra bacteria on your hands that would now be on your face if you touched it all the time. . . . 
  • Change your pillowcases and towels often—oil and dirt can get trapped in them.
  • Give your face a break from makeup once in a while. 
  • Use spot treatments with benzoyl peroxide in it (be careful though—that stuff can bleach your sheets and towels!). If I feel a pimple coming on then I dab some of it on and it usually takes the pimple away. I use this whenever I feel a pimple coming on.
What are some of your favorite skin care products? I'm always open to trying new things!

Next post: Cute workout gear. . . . 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fall Wishlist

This past week I celebrated my birthday (I can't believe I'm 24!) and the week before that I celebrated my two-year anniversary with Travis! There has been a lot of celebrating going on in this house.

As I've been getting settled into Des Moines, I've had some time to scope out the shops around here. Because of this, I've developed a list of things I've bought or scoped out. I know I won't end up buying the majority of the things on the list (still putting Travis through school ;) ), but I thought I'd share a few pieces that caught my eye.

  1. Colorblock Soft Blouse via The Limited, $46.90. The sheer button-up blouse is huge for fall. Expect to see them in jewel tones or color blocked (like this one). Both of those trends are big right now. Dress it up with a skirt for work or wear it with jeans. I've seen this blouse pop up on a bunch of fashion sites, so there aren't very many left on the website. Check in stores if you want this blouse.
  2. Boat-Neck Sweaters via Old Navy, $24.94. I love polka dots. This sweater comes in a few different colors and patterns. Unfortunately, the polka dot version of this sweater seems to be sold out of my size everywhere! Like the colorblock blouse, this sweater is easy to dress up or down and would look great paired with a blazer.
  3. Pintuck Bow Blouse via The Limited, $46.90. This blouse also follows the sheer blouse trend (I wear a DownEast wonder tee underneath to make sheer shirts modest). Another huge trend: bows under the collar. If you want to follow this trend but don't want to buy a new shirt, take a button-up collared shirt you already have (a staple in your closet) and loosely tie a ribbon into a bow under the collar of the shirt. 
  4. Ruched Long-Sleeved Jersey Dress via Old Navy, $19.94. I actually bought this dress during the recent 25% off event at Old Navy. I love it—it looks great with boots and it would look great with a blazer to dress it up a little bit. It has a little bit of ruching along the shoulders, which is perfect if you have narrow shoulders like me. It comes in a few different colors as well. If you're interested, I would hurry up on this item because it's flying off of the racks!
  5. Mossimo Pleated Skirt via Target, $22.99. I saw this dress at Target and wanted it so bad. I didn't get it, though, because I don't have a huge demand anymore for more skirts since I have more than enough to last the rest of my life—and I no longer work in an office environment. I love the pleather detail on the waistband and the beautiful mauve color. Pleated skirts will still be huge going into the fall transition, especially in deeper, more fall appropriate tones like this mauve. 
  6. Mossimo Refined Peplum Dress via Target, $24.99. Saw this at Target and got it immediately. The peplum trend is still going to be huge, and I love this dark teal color. As I mentioned before, jewel tones are huge for fall. The picture doesn't really do this dress justice—the material is great and it fits perfectly. I got a lot of compliments at church when I wore it. Comes in a variety of colors.
  7. Burgundy Pants via H&M, $24.95. Unfortunately, H&M doesn't have any online shopping set up in the US, so if you want these you'll have to head to the store. Burgundy/wine/bordeaux is the biggest color this fall. I have a variation of these pants (I couldn't find the exact ones I got at H&M on the website) and love the color. The color offers such a rich, fall look to any outfit and can go with essentially any other color or neutral. 
  8. Merona Doubleweave Skirt via Target, $22.99. I have this skirt in basically all of the neutral colors (they almost always have the neutral colors in stock, and they've been great staples when I worked in an office). This skirt fits great and is durable. I love this purple color—still following the jewel tone trend (although a little bit brighter than the exact jewel tone). They have some other fun colors available—I'm eyeing the lime color for next spring/summer. The purple skirt and the lime skirt were both on clearance for $16 at my local Target, although that price isn't listed on the website.
  9. Mossimo Supply Co. Corduroy Pant via Target, $22.99. These pants were on sale at my local Target for $20. I got the ones in Turquoise (pictured above—they're a deeper shade in person and not so much a mint color as they look above). They're a great way to bring the colored skinny pant into the fall season. I'm so excited to wear these when it gets a bit chillier outside. They have some other awesome colors available (pink, yellow, lavender, etc.). I've also seen these exact corduroy pants (these are a skinny leg style) pop up on a bunch of other fashion blogs, so get them while you can!

This past week I've been compiling a list of some awesome tips to share with all of you. I promise they're coming soon ;)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I'm Living in . . .

There is A LOT for me to update you all on. 

First off, Travis and I moved to Des Moines. For those of you who have no idea, it's in Iowa, and it's pronounced DUH-MOYN. No "s" sound (it drives me crazy when people pronounce the "s"!). 

Travis got into the podiatry school there and he started classes last week. It came down to the school in Phoenix and the school in Des Moines, and we decided Des Moines would be best for us right now. But, it was a bit hard to let go of all of the marvels that Phoenix has to offer (*coughGREATSHOPPINGcough*). I have not been unhappy with Des Moines, yet, but I do miss some things about Utah. I made a little list of things I've noticed is different about Des Moines and general things I miss about Utah:

  1. People in Des Moines are really friendly. They definitely live up to the Midwest friendly stereotype. People you hardly know talk to you like you're best friends. And I thought Utah was friendly! At first I thought it was weird here, but it's nice making new "friends" and getting compliments on your hair and shoes pretty often. :) I'm starting to do the whole talking-to-strangers thing, but as I've said to Travis, I better remember to turn it off when I head to Lil Rhody. People in Rhode Island look at you like you're mentally ill if you talk to someone randomly. 
  2. I miss wide parking spots. Utah has made it easy for those are parking challenged (me). In Des Moines, like in Rhode Island, I have to back up and straighten out a few times in order to get into a spot.
  3. Along with wide parking spots, I miss suicide lanes. Like in RI, the roads in Iowa are narrow. If someone's turning left, he or she blocks the whole lane since there are no suicide lanes.
  4. I miss Cafe Rio! And Five Guys. But there's a Chipotle nearby. :)
  5. People here seem OBSESSED with fried anything. At the state fair, they were selling fried oreos, twinkies, candy, and butter. Yes, fried butter. Gross.
  6. Shopping in Des Moines is MUCH MUCH better than I imagined. When we were considering Des Moines, I looked at their malls' directories online. One mall had basically just Sears. Ugh. But I came here and discovered the good malls and stores. And the amazing thing: they always have my size! In Utah, that never happens. They're always sold out of the cute clothes or sold out of my size. In the Orem/Provo area of Utah, the clothing stores are always ravaged, so you better hit the stores once the merchandise arrives. Not a problem here. Win for me. 
  7. They have beautiful parks and awesome bike trails in Des Moines. Travis got me a bike so we go on bike rides together. I can also do my running on the trails (and they kindly tell me how many miles each trail is!). 
  8. If you want to be an Olympic gymnast, train in West Des Moines. On one of our bike rides, Travis and I rode by Chow's Gymnastics and Dance. That's where Shawn Johnson trained and Gabby Douglas currently trains. You've probably seen Liang Chow if you watched any of the Olympic gymnastics. Maybe I should enlist so I can learn how to do a cartwheel.
I'm also really excited to travel to nearby cities such as Minneapolis, Chicago, Omaha, and St. Louis. Travis and I already went to Kansas City and we had so much fun. We went to their outdoor city market and ventured around downtown. 

While Travis is in class, what have I been doing? I've been working. My internship with the Joseph Smith Papers Project ended, but I got hired on as a contract worker. I edit stuff that goes on the website,  work on research for glossary terms, etc. I get to do this all full-time from home. I'm so lucky. The only sad thing is that I don't get to see my awesome coworkers all the time anymore. I seriously worked with the best people. Since I'm at home all the time (I feel like a housecat) we re-upgraded to Netflix instaplay, and I now have my favorite shows and new favorite shows to keep me company. Seriously, Whitney watches the best shows and has got me into the most awesome shows. She got me into Dr. Who a while back. Now it's Drop Dead Diva. Love it!

Travis and I also made a trip back to Rhode Island to visit family for a bit. We had a lot of fun and were sad that the trip was so short. I got to see friends, go to a Red Sox game, and play with my adorable nephews. I can't wait to go back and see my family and friends again!

While I was in Rhody, I was able to discover the awesomeness that is Alex and Ani (I know I'm a bit late to the game, but they don't have Alex and Ani in Utah and Iowa). Alex and Ani is headquartered in RI and is very popular there. It's also growing in popularity everywhere else—celebrities from Sandra Bullock to Taylor Swift wear the bracelets. My mom got me the Red Sox bracelet and the anchor bracelet, while I got the "T" bracelet ("T" for Travis) and the heart bracelet. I love their bangle bracelets because they have the cute charms on them and they are expandable, meaning that you can get them around your hand easily but then they tighten back up when you have them on your wrist. Each bracelet also comes with a specific meaning (printed on a card that comes with the bracelet). I've always been a bangle bracelet lover since Laura and my days of visiting Spectrum on Thayer Street in Providence. We always got free bangles just for going in (and at the risk of hearing the store owner babble on and on). I have a ton of bangles, but none of them stack up to these bangle bracelets. 

Here's a picture of my "charmed arm" as they call it (the gold bracelet is not Alex and Ani, it's from my grandma):

I know my arm looks creepy from this angle. Don't stare at it for too long ;)

Here are a few of my favorites that are on my wishlist (my birthday is on Thursday. . . .)

Wearing a stack of bangles has been a trend for a while now and I don't see it going out anytime soon—especially with these cute bracelets. 

I'll be back later this week with some awesome tips and some great new recipes I've tried. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

More Photo Submissions

These past few weeks have been pretty busy. Travis and I just got back from going to Phoenix for his podiatry school interview. We should know for sure where we'll be going within in the next few weeks. We'll be moving for sure by the end of July. I'm really excited for a new adventure and to get out of Utah—not because I don't like Utah, but it'll be a nice change. I feel like I've gotten antsy being here for these past few years. It's especially hard not being around a big city or more urban environment—I feel like I get bored here too easily. I know that Des Moines (one of our top choices for Travis's schooling) isn't a big city, but it definitely has a lot of new things to look forward to (plus, it's bigger than Salt Lake City, so I'm moving on up haha!).

I've been trying some new things the past few weeks, and I've really gone a bit crazy with my crafting since I wanted something fun to look forward to while Travis studied for his classes (thank goodness he's now done for the summer!). Here's my list of what I've been up to (if you don't care about what I've been up to, you can just scroll down to the photo submissions at the end):

1. I made some new jewelry

I first saw the tutorial (click on the tutorial to see an image of the Anthropologie version and her DIY version) for this necklace on my friend Callie's Pinterest, and thought the necklace was adorable. After spending weeks (and no, I'm not exaggerating here) tracking down the beads, I finally made the necklace. I find that it's so hard to find craft supplies in the Orem/Provo area—they sell out of everything so fast! I literally had to check back at the craft stores every other day to check to see if they had gotten in the teardrop beads. I'm really happy with the way the necklace turned out (it's a DIY version of an Anthropologie necklace). It wasn't a hard make, but it took a bit of time having to paint the beads and getting the ribbon through the small bead holes. 

I also made this flower ring using rickrack. Easy as pie!

2. I made cake pops

And they turned out great! The angle of this picture makes it look like they're ginormous, they were a little bit bigger than they were probably supposed to be, but next time I'll just make them smaller. I seem to always get a bit worried when I try something new, but I'm glad I made them. Travis loved them. Because of that, I brought them to work so I could get rid of them faster instead of having 50 cake pops for Travis and me. :)

3. I spent some time at shopping bazaars/festivals

I kicked off the spring/summer season by first visiting the Beehive Bazaar (the first picture above is a quick glimpse at a part of the bazaar). I went with my friend Lisa and then met up with Whitney and her friends. I wish that the Beehive Bazaar were bigger, but it still had a few cute things like the baby boy moccasins (SO adorable!) and fun earrings (both pictured above).

Travis and I are also enjoying going to the different Utah towns' festivals. We've been to the Orem Summerfest and the South Jordan Country Fest. We still have a few more coming up this summer, so we're excited to see what they have to offer. We really enjoy people watching and walking around at the festivals.

4. I'm back into running
One of my New Year resolutions was to get back into road racing (running 5ks, etc.). I haven't run much in the last year (and when I mean "much," I mean the only time I ran was while playing a sport, not just running for distance). Honestly it kind of scared me that I hadn't run in a while since I used to run a lot and did track in high school. After making excuses that it was "too cold" in winter, I finally started up recently. I ran three miles on my first day back (yup, I've still got it ;) ). Right now I'm still training until I feel completely comfortable to run in races. I think that my first races will be for fun, and then maybe I'll go for time/be more competitive about it. It's been really hard to get myself to run since I'm so exhausted when I get home from work, but I feel like I have more energy now that I've started up. It's a good feeling.

Photo Submissions
Well, there are my updates for the last few weeks. I'll try to post more often so that way these blog entries won't be monstrous. As promised, here are the photo submissions of fashion no-nos:

For anonymity, I blurred out her face (sorry if it looks horror movie-ish). Regardless, the cat ears headband is the major offense here (along with a few other things, but I'll just talk about the cat ears). This girl is a college student, and I feel that it is very important to dress your age—the cat ears makes it look like she's ten years old. Also, it's really important to make a good impression in your classes—you don't want to appear sloppy or immature to your peers or professors. You'll probably be asking some of those professors for recommendations in the future, and you won't want them to remember you as "the girl who wore cat ears to class." Thanks to Callie for sending this one along!

I'm not the biggest fan of the harem pant trend, and this seems like an extreme of that trend. Yes, those are pants that she's wearing. Also, the baggy pants mixed with the baggy sweatshirt (that also clashes really bad) makes her look extra sloppy. You don't want to mix a baggy piece with another baggy piece because it will look like you're wearing a potato sack. Too much bagginess = not flattering for your body at all. Thanks to Laura for submitting this picture! 

This is another photo from Laura (taken in Boston). Problems with this ensemble: the overwhelming printed top and the tacky sunglasses. I can't completely tell the shape of the shirt (maybe a poncho?), but if she had chosen a better pattern, then this outfit could have worked better. She did a good job of pairing a loose top with a tighter bottom to avoid the "potato sack" look mentioned in the last submission above, but the pattern is way too overwhelming and out there to be taken seriously. Also, I'm not sure if her sleeves are supposed to look like that or if it's just the angle. . . .

I love this one. Thanks to Whitney for sending in this one! This one was taken on the Trax in SLC on Whitney's way in to work. This girl is wearing leggings that have muscles and bones on them. I found them online here so you can get a better look at them. The other weird thing was that Whitney said it seemed as if she was wearing a badge for work. We were curious about where she works. . . .

This is also from Whitney and was taken at Kohl's. Yes, this is a necklace that actually has the word "necklace" on it. People are so creative these days!

Thanks to Katie Wilkinson for sending this one in! It's pretty obvious what's going on here. Man at beauty school + Scottish kilt = random. I understand that men wear kilts in some cultures, but out and about at a beauty school? Hmmmm. There must be a good story behind this outfit. 

I took this one while I was on the bus in the morning. There are a few girls that do this on the bus: they wear sneakers with their skirts. This all goes back to my commuter fashion post. I understand that if you have to walk a lot it can be painful to even wear flats if they're not properly broken in, but I happen to work across the street from her, so I know she doesn't have to walk far. OK, maybe she has a foot/leg problem. We'll just hope that's the excuse.

So I know that I don't have any babies taking fashion advice from my blog, but I saw this at Jo-Ann Fabrics and had a "what the heck?!" reaction out of this. Why would you ever put your baby in a hat like that (unless for a sailor costume maybe)? It looks like it has a strap under the neck too. When I saw the hat it reminded me of the hats that the Ministry of Magic people wear in the Harry Potter movies:

Please don't subject your babies to this.