What I Wore: A Glimpse of Fall

Living in gym clothes most of the time, fashion isn’t always something I think about.  While I do my hair and makeup everyday, as a stay-at-home wife and mom it seems I don’t require a huge wardrobe.  Between cooking, cleaning, high school sports and quick errand running, I just want to be comfortable most days,  For me that is yoga pants and tee-shirts.

{Now most of my tee’s are trendy with little sayings like “Wife. Mom. Boss”}

While I have gained confidence in a lot of areas since my days of being morbidly obese, how to dress is not one of those areas which may be why I am most happy in yoga pants.

Dress up days for me are Sundays and date night with that hubby of mine, but he sees me all the time.  Recently I posted a couple of pictures on social media from events I attended and was asked over and over by friends about what I was wearing!

Now I don’t know if it’s because I’m always dressed casually so dressing up is a big deal, or if because what I was wearing might actually be fashionable, but I thought I would share a little “what I wore” and  “where to buy” today.

You might find yourself surprised!

The first outfit I wanted to share is one I recently wore at Disney World and Epcot when I visited for the International Food and Wine Festival.

My girl friend Tami and I wanted to dress up just a little since we were there for a specific reason, and she is a fashion blogger so I needed to step out of my comfort zone a little.

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I loved this blue top/dress and everyone was amazed to discover that I found it at Cracker Barrel of all places!

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I loved the color and the fact it could be dressed up or left casual just by swapping jewelry, shoes (I wore it with 4-inch heeled booties to church services) and adding tights.  For this particular day I wore it with Hue leggings that can be purchased at Macy’s for under $20 and a pair of Sam & Libby ballet flats from Target.

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As for the mouse ears, you can find a wide variety throughout Disney, so it was easy to find the sapphire ones to match!  After all, every little girl needs mouse ears for her first visit to Disney!

My second outfit that stirred a flurry of comments was this fall ensemble that is actually from LuLaRoe.  Yes, I’ve read all the negative publicity surrounding the company, but I have several pieces that really work for me.

And I find them to be quite nice.

For this outfit I paired a “Joy” (the long vest) with a “Carly” (a high/low swing dress).

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I’m not big on extra flowy (it goes back to when I weighed 270 pounds & liked to hide behind my clothes), so I put a dart in the back so that it fit in a way I felt comfortable; not clingy, but also not baggy.

While I don’t have to shop there to dress my body anymore, my tall boots are a leather classic riding boot and were purchased at Lane Bryant.  I have large calves (a by product of years of catching in softball), and Lane Bryant carries boots that fit just perfectly over mine!

To dress up my LuLaRoe, I added a large pendant that I’ve had for years of a Fox Hunting scene (an eBay purchase) and carried a small leather purse from Brahmin (Purchased at Macy’s).  It’s always amazed me how well-chosen accessories can really add to a rather plain outfit!

Out of curiosity, what is your everyday look?  What type of pieces work best for you?

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Post Vacay Clean Eats

I absolutely love to travel, experiencing the many fun and unique things you can do in other places from culture to food.  But, what I do not like about travel is how I often feel upon returning home; swelling from long plane flights, belly bloat and just plain feeling fat … it is miserable!

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Audley, Bradley and I returned from San Diego late Sunday night. While I still battle my weight (I always will), I have settled into a pattern of maintenance that keeps me feeling healthy, energetic, and happy for the most part.

An occasional “cheat” type meal fits into my lifestyle just fine, but after an entire week of spicy Mexican food, rich desserts, home cooked full breakfast each morning and a stop at In and Out Burger my body was not at all happy with me.  I have spent the last three days doing a little intermittent fasting (do a little research as it is good for you to add to your health and wellness routines from time to time), trying to detox and make my gut happy with me again.

Another way I detox is to eat really clean whole foods with ingredients that I can pronounce.  That means I prepare and cook everything that goes into my body and on our table using fresh and organic ingredients.

The easiest of all recipes is egg whites and oatmeal.  I carb-cycle (three low carb days followed by a day with two meals of heavy carb), so this delicious one-pan meal, that is so filling and satisfying, is a favorite of mine.

It’s also super easy to make and can be so versatile.**

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Ingredients are very simple: 4 egg whites (separate these yourself, do not use the ones in a carton), 1/2 cup McCann’s Oatmeal, 2 Tablespoons Navatis Cacao powder (I found this at the Vitamin Shoppe), 1/2 cup water and a little stevia if you like it sweet.

Whisk all the ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the oatmeal and egg whites reach a custardy state, stirring continuously while it cooks.

{This will stick if you aren’t paying attention.}

Top with strawberries and serve up pretty.  It’s almost like a dessert, so you never know that it’s good for you!

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**I did mention that this recipe is versatile, so here is another option:  Leave out the cacao powder and instead toss fresh diced fruit of another variety in your oatmeal.  Peaches are so good, as are any type of berry!

Your body will thank you for eating so clean and your tummy will thank you.

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I have learned from experience food can either destroy you or heal you.  It’s all how you eat and use it!

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Out & About with Kustom Klutch

This week begins a new season of life for me.  For the first time in three years, I am a stay-at-home-mom.  When I went to work three years ago it was out of sheer boredom and loneliness, as we were still relatively new in town.  With Macy’s deciding to discontinue Elizabeth Arden (which eliminated my job), Audley and I decided together it was a great opportunity for me to return to our home.  My teenagers are actually thrilled over this, as is my husband, but mostly I think I’m relieved to have turned the page on that season of life.

So, I have shed the Macy’s black and brought back a little color to my life!  For me, blue and white is the quintessential color combo of summer.  Recently for an evening out with Audley to celebrate this new freedom of mine, I chose a pair of white Miss Me jeans paired with a blue and white striped top from INC (Macys… it was good for some things), and a fabulous pair of tan wedges by Steve Madden.  To complete my look I carried a denim clutch with red pom poms and a tassel from Kustom Klutch.

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I can’t help but brag that I’m down to a size 8 from a 24 just a few summers back!!  I intend to be a 6 by September… just saying.

Designed by Jordan Fish, girlfriend of NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin, these cute clutches are handmade in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Once you design your clutch and place your order online (click here to check out Kustom Klutch) your custom bag arrives in just a couple of days packaged so adorably cute and included a hand-written note.

My daughters wanted to tear right into it…. Oh wait, Madeline did!!

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When you purchase your clutch, not only are you supporting a small and young business (these went live in June), you are also supporting a charity.  Ten percent of each purchase goes to a charitable organization of Jordan’s choosing each month.  When I purchased both of my clutches (couldn’t make up my mind…) in June, the charity of choice was the Denny Hamlin Foundation which is “committed to raising awareness and funds for the specific needs of children with cystic fibrosis.”  For July her charity of the month is Pit Stops for Hope.

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I was able to choose my bag and then added the tassel for a little whimsy.  The clutches are very well made and perfect for a night on the town.  You can easily fit your keys, a change purse with id and money, and of course a lipstick inside.

When your out for an adults night, leave the mom purse at home and go cute!

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As I mentioned, I did purchase two of these fun clutches; the denim and red as well as a floral print (which looks fabulous with a royal blue sundress!).  So much fun for a summer night out!

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Check out the Kustom Klutch website and find a clutch to fit your personality!

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Fit Friday: Healthy Travel

While in Hawaii for our anniversary, Audley and I made it a point to stay on a fairly healthy track.  It’s funny, but I often find it easier to stay focused while traveling than when I am a home and work.  This isn’t to say we didn’t indulge while in Hawaii (I had a couple of amazing desserts), but I did lose three pounds during the week just because we chose activities to fit our healthy lifestyle.

So how do you manage to stay fit and on target while traveling?

First, chose locations/activities that fit your lifestyle, not work against it.  I enjoy relaxing on the beach more than anyone, but why waste away 8 days of vacation laying on the beach or beside a pool?!  There is a whole world to see and enjoy…. check it out!

Which way do we go?

Which way do we go?

Second, prepare for obstacles.  We knew before going breakfast at the hotel was expensive ($40 breakfast buffet…. no thank you).

Local fresh fruit makes a fabulous choice for breakfast!

Local fresh fruit makes a fabulous choice for breakfast!

We did enjoy a large breakfast one morning, but for the most part fresh fruit and protein bars served a loyal meal for us.  I prefer Quest Bars when using protein bars in my nutrition plan.  These were convenient, easy to travel with by plane and great to have on hand for the morning as well as when we were out during the day.  We packed an insulated cooler bag (carried it over in my suitcase) that was easy to stock with apple, oranges, & natural peanut butter for snacking.

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I LOVE this fabulous insulated cooler bag that I ordered from Miss Lucy’s Monograms just for this trip! It fit perfectly in my suitcase for flying and served as a wonderful tote for healthy snacks whether we were at the pool, traveling in the car or hiking. You can order one as well from Miss Lucy’s Monograms. They have fabulous options!

Third….. HYDRATE!  I know water is expensive when you have to purchase it at a hotel or from a convenience store.  One of our first stops when we rented our car was at a grocery store.  There we purchased a bag of ice, a foam cooler and a case of water.  We were set for a couple of days and it saved a lot of money.

Fourth, don’t indulge every day.  I knew staying the Doubletree Hotel on Oahu meant fresh & warm chocolate chip cookies waiting on us when we arrived.  I saved a little cheat for them.  We also chose a fabulous chocolate mousse for our anniversary dessert and on another night had a lovely banana spilt.  BUT, it wasn’t everyday and knowing dessert was on our agenda I ate a healthy dinner and splurged at the end.  Also, Audley and I spilt every dessert.  Sharing allows you to enjoy a taste without completely overdoing it.  Just know, it’s perfectly alright to skip dessert.

Fifth, skip the bread basket.  I know, we all love piping hot bread spread with creamy butter, but seriously ask the waitperson not to bring it to the table.  There are far better choice that won’t affect your waistline to nosh on prior to supper.  Try ordering a shrimp cocktail, hummus and veggies, or even a crisp, green salad with vinegar & olive oil for dressing.

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A light appetizer Audley and I split before supper; he claimed the oysters, I enjoyed and fresh pacific shrimp and we shared the Limu Poke (ahi tuna and avocado)

Sixth, incorporate fit activities into your schedule.  We hiked at Volcanos National Park as well as Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park on the Big Island.

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Hiking Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park …. It was so hot this day, but the hike took us past gorgeous ocean views and seeing my first sea turtle up close.

Hiking at Volcano's National Park ....

Hiking at Volcano’s National Park …. Seeing such huge waves crash against the cliffs was unforgettable

On Oahu we did a little more sightseeing in touristy areas like the Arizona Memorial, Punchbowl cemetery and the Polynesian Cultural Center, but we walked a lot on those days and definitely ate lighter meals.

Make you own itinerary.... riding a bus all day does nothing for you whereas walking the Punchbowl you can soak it all in. Very powerful and heart wrenching, but worth your time.

Make you own itinerary…. riding a bus all day does nothing for you whereas walking the Punchbowl you can soak it all in. Very powerful and heart wrenching, but worth your time.

 We did swim a couple of times, but saved most of these laps for the evenings. The night swims in the pool were especially wonderful after supper and kept our bellies from feeling so full at bedtime.

And finally, don’t be afraid to walk!  The Hilton resort had a tram and boat for transportation around the area, but only used it when the occasion called for it (I wasn’t walking over a mile to supper in a pair of heels!).  Besides, if we had ridden the tram all week, we would have missed out on some lovely art and history lessons (and entertainment from Audley) scattered throughout the resort halls.  We averaged 6-7 miles everyday walking, not counting some of our hiking…… perfect for not gaining weight while on vacation!

Oh the things we would've missed if we had ridden the tram everywhere!

Oh the things we would’ve missed if we had ridden the tram everywhere!

Take advantage of every fit opportunity you have and make your next vacation one of the healthiest you’ve ever enjoyed!

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