Hello, again, Daily Balance readers!
I’m back with a post a bit more lighthearted than my last. Today I’m venturing into previously uncharted blogging territory for me: FASHION!
Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion. Give me an InStyle magazine and I’ll be happy for hours as I salivate over its beautiful color combinations and classic designers. To me, fashion is art. The problem is that I have never been an artist.
As someone who has struggled with my weight for much of my life, I’ve always hidden behind basic black. Black cardigans, black turtlenecks, black tshirts, black dresses. You get the picture. Recently my sister staged an intervention and required that I incorporate some color into my wardrobe. I begrudgingly agreed.
To top it off, I’m broke. Right now I’m working on paying off my debt and so I have very little disposable income to become the fashion-forward person I’ve always envisioned myself to be. This January when I was riding the New Years Resolution wave, I made a goal that I would improve my fashion. To accomplish this, I channel my favorite bloggers like Shannon and jseverydayfashion.com and hit the clearance racks at the mall, Target, and TJ Maxx like it’s my job.
I’d like to share a couple of my favorite finds so far:
Hello bright blue! This look takes my favorite color and mixes in a pop of blue. The best part? The cardigan was $14 on clearance at Express.
When I go out, I almost always wear basic black. This dress was $6.49 on clearance at Target, but I think that with the addition of the skinny jeans and belt it looks pretty darn classy.
Those boots!? $10.99 at Target. I wanted a pair all season but acted responsibly and didn’t spend the money that wasn’t in my budget. I think the fashion gods rewarded my discipline by putting these originally $49.99 boots on a super duper sale at Target. The cardigan? A splurge at $16.99. Watch out for this big spender!
What do you guys think of these combos? To be honest, I was scared to write this post because I thought that people might tear apart my fashion choices. Then I realized that fear wasn’t getting me anywhere and so I took a chance. The reason: to encourage people like me that hide behind their weight, financial situation, or fear to just try it.
We all deserve to feel beautiful and if pretty clothes help us accomplish that, nothing should hold us back.
Thanks again, Shannon, for letting me guest post! It has been a pleasure. I hope you are enjoying the time with your Little. To everyone else: feel free to stop by a Whole Lot of Life anytime to say hi. I’d love to get to know you
Hi everyone! This is Gwen from California Cupcakes (www.californiacupcakes.wordpress.com) guest posting for Shannon during this most exciting time! California Cupcakes is my little space on the web where I bake, eat, and share my experiences!
In 2011, I have resolved to place more green things into my diet, and what better way of doing that than with some healthy green salads? The problem, of course, is that salads get pretty boring without some yummy mix-ins to liven things up! Tomatoes, mushrooms, croutons, parmesean cheese….all are pretty standard, but the one item that I really enjoy when I get a salad out is those delicious candied nuts that some of my favorite places sprinkle onto their salads. Determined to save some money, I decided to figure out how I could incorporate them into my salads that I make at home. I promise, it’s very easy.
You will need:
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Cinnamon (optional)
- Nutmeg (optional)
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
While it’s heating, combine a cup of unsalted walnuts (I buy mine in the bulk containers at the supermarket) with 1 tbsp of maple syrup in a small bowl, mixing until the nuts are evenly coated with the syrup.
Next, lightly spray a cookie sheet with olive oil, or spread out a silicone baking sheet (my new favorite kitchen gadget! No oil!) on top of your cookie sheet.
Distribute the nuts onto the cookie sheet, then sprinkle on some cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired. Sprinkle on a tiny bit of cayenne, if you want to try the spicy, sweet candied nuts!
Pop them in the heated oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the syrup has hardened.
Remove them from the oven, and allow to cool.
Store in an airtight container for up to a month.
This recipe can be used with other nuts as well. My favorite is pecans! Enjoy on your salad, or serve them as a snack on their own, or use them atop a yummy cake!
When you get pregnant, you struggle to find workouts that work for your lagging energy levels and increasing girth. You often tell yourself: “I’m getting back in shape after I pop this thing out!” Then you bring home the little bundle of joy and hit the ground running on parenting. After a week or two, you’ll start thinking: “How am I going to get back in shape, I have no time and I’m so tired!”
Here are some tips that I found that helped me:
Include the baby in the workout! This is the best way to do it because then you don’t have to wait until nap time and then sacrifice your only free time for the day (which can be tough when the dishes are overflowing in the sink and the laundry pile is reaching Mt. Everest levels)
- Your stroller is your best friend for fitness with the baby. Even before you’re officially allowed to workout, take some easy strolls with your new baby (but try to get your husband to push the stroller so you don’t do too much!)
- As you heal, you can go further and faster with the stroller. You can even put some heavy books on the bottom of the stroller for added resistance if you’re feeling ambitious. Also, walking lunges with a stroller is a great workout, but your neighbors might think you’re nuts.
- Do ab workouts with the baby. If you make funny faces and noises, the baby will love helping you with your core work!
- Lay the baby on their back and do push-ups or planks over them. Again, funny faces and noises are your friend.
Let your husband help you! If you have a great husband like I do, he probably wants to help. On the weekends, let him take over baby duty and go get a good workout! He may be a little uncomfortable at first being alone with the baby (especially if you’re home with the baby and he/she is used to things being done in a certain way), but it gets better. It may be hard to leave the baby at first, but that also gets better. Just make sure to thank your husband a lot when you get back, especially if the baby was super fussy while you were gone!
Be flexible! Some days you get your full workout, and other days you have to be creative. I have a treadmill and if the baby wakes up from her nap early, I have a baby swing next the treadmill so she can hang out while I finish up. She’s not always in the mood for that, but it usually works! Here are some non-traditional ways to get a little workout in:
- Squats with the baby in a carrier (like a Bjorn)
- Crunches while the baby has tummy time
- Dance with your baby (but only after they have good head control)
- If your baby is young, they’ll really like helping you vacuum. Put them in a carrier and go for it!
I have had a lot of success with using a jogging stroller. My baby likes the stroller and usually falls asleep during our runs. If you like running as your cardio, a jogging stroller is a great investment and perfect for days when the baby won’t take more than a 20 minute nap!
Remember that it took 9 months for your body to make a baby and your body needs some time to recover and bounce back. Don’t get discouraged if you miss a few days of working out for teething or another baby issue, you can always get back to it!
I talk a lot about working out while having a baby on my blog (itsadoglickbabylife.blogspot.com) so you can check that out for more tips and real life examples of making fitness work with a baby in the house!