Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Decor Mood Board: Apartment Living

Something very exciting is happening for me in the near future!  I'm finally moving out of my house and moving in with my boyfriend.  We are currently searching for apartments/condos/etc. to rent, but have not yet landed on an exact location, as he has two more months left on his current lease.  In the meantime, I  have been obsessively pinning what I think I want my our new place to look like and I can't get over the gold phase I am currently in.  I love this living room from featured on Pinecone Camp's blog and it is serving as my inspiration for some of the items I would love to work into our new space... assuming that no one else decides to have an opinion regarding the decor (and if he does, he will kindly be told that he is wrong). 

  • I'm loving this guilded screen from Domino Magazine's new website, but it's close to $1,500.  I don't think it will be coming home to me any time soon.  If anyone finds a cheaper version, please let me know.
  • I'm a sucker for this adorable coat rack from Urban Outfitters.
  • How can you not love this side table also from  Plum & Bow Libby via Urban Outfitters.
  • One last thing from Urban I'm totally crushing on right now is this white deer trophy wall sculpture.  It says rustic and chic at the same time.
  • And finally, I'm all about the bar cart craze.  This brass cart from Target is budget friendly and so practical.
Expect more apartment living inspiration in the future, and hopefully some pictures of the finished product when we are done!   

Monday, October 14, 2013

Why I Stopped Weighing Myself

I don't have the exact numbers of hours I've spent on a scale...and I don't think I want to know. I do know, however,  that I've spent an equal number of hours letting what that number read when I stepped on, determine how I felt about myself for the rest of the day.  And I'm sure I don't have to tell you that this is no way to live a happy life filled with glitter and peace.

Where it all began:
As a child I was a peanut and never had any awareness of my own body- oh how I miss that time.  Then puberty hit and I started developing in areas that other girls hadn't yet.  I can remember getting made fun of, and even bullied (gasp!), for needing a bra in 6th grade.  Not fun.

It wasn't my fault, but every other girl was jealous and thought I was stuffing it for attention- I wish I had been.  

With my newfound curves also came some extra weight all over that I wasn't prepared for.  I can remember going on my first diet at that time.  I spent countless nights crying because I hadn't lost the weight I had wanted to and my body didn't look any different after going for one run (clearly I did not grasp the concept of this whole loosing weight thing).  Later, in high school, I ran winter track and played lacrosse, but still maintained an "athletic" build, and a negative body image.  I hadn't quite made the connection between exercise and diet yet.  When I went to college I was terrified that I would gain the "freshman 15," as I my weight was already creeping up at the heaviest I had ever been: 150 pounds.  Now, at 5'5", others might not consider that to be very heavy, but I remember I felt so unattractive.  

A month into my freshman year however, something unexpected happened... I started loosing weight fast.  I began eating very healthy (salads and stir-fry) and working out nearly six days a week (cardio and weight lifting) and lost roughly 30 pounds over the course of that year. I can remember coming home for Christmas break and my boyfriend at the time being shocked at how different I looked.  I can also remember how great it felt to have so many people complimented me on my new svelte physique.  I was happy, healthy, and skinny.  All I ever wanted.

I was able to maintain this new figure until shortly after I started graduate school, when my body suddenly decided to revolt.  Without warning, and without having changed much of the way I was eating, I was gaining weight and having a difficult time loosing any of it.   I kept food journals, ran countless hours, gave up sugar and alcohol, ate paleo, and juiced to no avail. I read every diet book I could get my hands on.   (I also finished grad school and started working full time at a high school nearly an hour away from where I live, forcing me to get up at 5 AM every day- which I'm sure wasn't helping). 

Nothing I tried was working.  

I even went to the doctor because my mom has a history of thyroid cancer, just to see if that was the culprit (I should also note that I was exhausted, my memory was cloudy, and I generally felt miserable during this time- I wasn't going to the doctor to be poked and prodded just because I felt fat).  Turns out my thyroid levels were normal, even though it was enlarged and I have several nodules on it- but that's a story for a different day.  So back to the drawing board.  

So, needless to say, the past few years have been plagued by thoughts of my appearance. Does this person think I'm fat?  Is my boyfriend still attracted to me?  Will I ever be that skinny again?  Am I not attractive if I weigh this much?  Did I loose any weight this week?   I can tell you that this is not a sustainable way to live.

I had my breaking point this June when I mistakenly saw my weight at the doctors for a checkup.  At that time I had been working out like crazy, lifting and doing cardio, and eating as healthy as possible. The scale however, did not reflect my weeks of hard work and dedication (but my arms looked pretty jacked)- I weighed 152 pounds.  No more, no less, than when I had started nearly two months earlier.  
I assure you a meltdown ensued shortly thereafter and thank God for my wonderful boyfriend who talked me off the ledge.  I cried a lot that day and generally felt sorry for myself.  It sucked.

After that I just decided to give it up.  No more weighing myself, no more stressing about what I had ate that day, no more worrying about whether or not I looked fat in an outfit.  I was done.   I spent my summer vacation relaxing and doing what I wanted to, and when thoughts about weight crept back into my mind, I tried my best to ignore them.   I didn't stop working out, but I stopped pushing myself so hard or feeling guilty about whether or not I missed a day.  I just lived my life without the primary focus being on what I weighed that day and something unexpected happened- I lost some damn weight (insert epiphany here).  

Now I don't have a number to confirm that I actually lost any weight, but I can tell you that I fit into clothes I haven't been able to in a while and had many people comment on how good I looked.  I felt great.   Right around that time too, I started reading all of these articles about how taking the stress and focus off your body and diet and putting your energy into things that enrich your life can actually help you slim down.  (See this article from Danielle Prestejohn, a health coach I consulted with at the height of my anxiety around my body- she's pretty awesome).  The shift has been life changing for me.

I would be lying to you if I said that I don't have moments where panic creeps in and feel my weight swinging it in the opposite direction I would like it to, but the difference is now I try not to let it ruin my day.  I'm cognizant now of the thought process that can take over my brain if I let it.  These days I eat when I'm hungry, work out when I want to, and try to relax as much as I can.  I know it's easier said than done, but I'm telling you- it's better then being a slave to my scale each morning.  

Here's a few key things I learned in this whole process:
  • Listen to you instincts (like really listen).  Do you want that cookie because you need sugar?  Or because you're stressed out?
  • EAT BREAKFAST- and more than just a granola bar.  I usually do an Svelte Organic Protein Shake (the cappuccino is my favorite), some coffee or tea, and a KIND bar.
  • Entire food groups should not be off limits, some bodies just need carbohydrates (and mine is one of them).
  • Drink lots of water
  • Do the exercise you want to do, not what you think you should do.
  • Meditate/relax/take care of yourself for at least 20 minutes per day.
  • Do something that you enjoy once a day- make every day special.
All of this seems to be working for me so far and I hope it continues.  If it doesn't, I at least know that I will never go back to weighing myself again.

Have any of you had a similar experience?  What has worked for you to take control of your mind and body regarding weight?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sunday Morning Coffee

I love Sunday mornings.  In an ideal world, Sundays are days where I would drink my coffee, read the paper, and do fun things like buy fresh flowers or go shopping.  In reality Sundays for me are days that involve prepping for the week ahead (e.g. outfit planning, food prepping, work related things, and watching football with the boy).  If I'm up early enough though, I prefer to spend my time checking blogs and catching up on any books I'm reading.  And sometimes I can even convince the boy that we need to go to Starbucks and not Dunkin' Donuts for coffee.  I see a PSL in my future today :)

This morning I've stumbled across the links below:

  • I cry easily, so you can only imagine what this proposal video did to me. Thank God I'm not wearing mascara right now... I only hope that I'm lucky enough to have a proposal like that.
  • Since I was already wiping the tears away from the video above, why not cry a little more at this brave girl's words.  So inspiring.
  • Check out Six Ways to Get Happy Now. I'm all about routine and structure, but #3 makes complete sense. Variety is the key to life right?
  • Check out my friend Michaela at Keep Calm & Mommy On.  She's rockin' the whole working momma thing and will be my go to when I have children a child.
  • Stay tuned later this week for outfit inspiration with this lovely J.Crew Factory Jewel-Color Oxford Shell.  I got so many compliments at work on Friday.
  • I'm also loving all these perfectly priced dainty rings.
  • Finally, I can't wait for Halloween! It's probably my favorite holiday and this themed post from A Beautiful Mess is just what I needed to really get in the haunting spirit.  Time to carve pumpkins and watch Hocus Pocus.

Monday, October 7, 2013

DIY Halloween Decor

After seeing this post on A Beautiful Mess, I immediately texted my good friend Michaela over at Keep Calm Mommy On.  Our minds instantly went to our favorite decor trend, gold, and presto! a gold skull was born.  I scored this ceramic skull at Michael's for only $12.99 and had a can of Krylon gold spray paint already on hand.  Literally, all I did was spray paint this bad boy and styled in my bedroom, office, blog headquarters.  I plan on keeping him around way past Halloween- most likely finding a permanent home as a bookend.  What do you all think? 

*Also, I totally apologize for the crappy quality of the finished photo- there's a storm a brewin' here in New England and the lighting was horrible.



Monday Fashion Inspiration

I love to be inspired. From clothes, to decor, to food, to life in general, I always find myself searching for things that are pretty and that make me happy.  Enter in Pinterest.  At first I was put off by the whole "you have to wait to be invited before you can use our website" nonsense, but I sucked it up and waited for my invitation anyway (side note: I also felt the same way about Facebook when it first came out; that lasted all of one week before I jumped on the bandwagon, but that's a story for a different day). Fast forward about two years and I have over 4,000 pins.  Pinterest has really become my place to organize all my inspirations- sort of like a giant electronic vision board- and I'm totally addicted.  

The board that holds the most pins however, is most definitely my "Closet Inspirations" board.  I love finding outfit ideas and being challenged to think of other ways to style myself.  Unfortunately, I work at a high school and my outfits are never as cool as the ones I pin.  So today's post is dedicated to all the outfits I would wear in my imaginary life, where I am allowed to wear jeans every day.  Because lets be honest, denim makes every outfit better (that and leopard).  

Below you will find a few of the outfits I am obsessing over this week.

In this outfit you will find the "inked" in "inked in glitter."  I love everything about it; it's edgy and she looks like such a badass. And that clutch!!! Sign me up for anything that's studded. This is something I would wear out on a Saturday night.

I couldn't find the actual site that this pin originated, so if anyone has it please let me know.  

Two words: CHEETAH. JACKET. Yup, that's pretty much all I have to say about that.

Okay, so I might have a slight obsession with the Hello Fashion Blog.  She has great style and everything looks good on her.  This post is the reason I need a camo jacket in my life.

I've decided I could get away with wearing this on casual Friday.  It looks so put together but effortless and sunny at the same time.  Yellow sweater added to the shopping list...

If you like this small sampling of my fashion inclinations, check out my Closet Inspirations board on Pinterest :)