Category Archives: Style

The Skinny on Shorts

Before we get to today’s post… I would be remiss not to include this disclaimer. I am hoping and praying that every citizen of the Boston area is not taking this situation lightly and staying in their homes / residences, as advised. I am holding the entire area, especially law enforcement, in my heart today. Everything that has happened this week, from Boston to Texas, makes this post feel exceptionally frivolous. So for those not interested in frivolity…. please feel free to skip today’s post. 

How do you guys feel about shorts? I have a love / hate relationship with them. For YEARS I simply never wore them. I exercised in long pants or capris year round, regardless of the heat. I had it in my mind that my thighs were just “too fat” to wear shorts. As part of my work with intuitive eating, I realized that, similar to “food rules” I had also created “body rules” for myself and it was time to challenge those! Mike was always encouraging me to wear shorts, especially in the dead of summer when running gets really challenging. He also happens to think I look good in them, but that’s neither here nor there.

So I decided to challenge my “no shorts” rule this year and try to find some shorts that work. My list of criteria are as follows:

  • Larger leg holes. I do have very muscular legs and my thighs are a touch bigger than the average duck. I need a pair of short that doesn’t constrict my movement or feel uncomfortable
  • Slightly longer inseam. I’m looking for 3 – 5 ” here. No splits or shortie shorts for me! HOLY CHUB RUB.
  • Wide waist band. Absolutely crucial for a comfortable fit that doesn’t dig into my hips / create awkward bumps.
  • Built in briefs. This is by far the best thing about running shorts. Built in underwear! Some people don’t like this but I LOVE IT.

Here are some of my favorites I have found so far.

Lululemon Run: Pace Skirt – TOTALLY jumping on the running skirts train. They are awesome. Not cheap though. Great quality materials and the shorts have grippy material on the leg hole so they don’t ride up. Amazeballs.

Source

Moving Comfort Momentum Short – Solid inseam length and a really comfortable materials. Look at that wide waist band… my muffin top thanks you!

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Under Armour Great Escape Shorts – These are a really different material but I totally love them. The printed patterns are SO FUN and the length / waistband totally fit the bill.

Source

Questions for You Guys:

  • What are your favorite shorts?
  • What are your thoughts on shorts? Love em? Hate em?
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How To: Budget Wall Decor

I love my apartment. My friend Sarah and I recently discussed how we want to die in our apartments and even then we don’t want to leave them. I live in this amazing studio with a sun room in an awesome neighborhood in DC. Moved in two months after I graduated from college and I’ve lived there happily ever since. Here’s the ONLY problem… the walls are huge (because its basically one big room) and they are insane asylum white. They drove me crazy for months after I moved in … I just HAD to cover them with something.

The stipulations of my lease say that  I can nail / screw anything into the walls, but I cannot use adhesive. At the time I thought… awesome! I’ll just nail everything to the wall, super easy. Not so much. My walls are solid concrete. Trying to hammer a nail in there was a comedy of errors ending in one sore hand, many many many bent nails, but no holes in the walls.

I initially had these really great photo collages that I made after college with hundred of pictures of me and my friends and all the fun stuff we did during college (READ: we were drinking in most of them). I used tape even though I knew I wasn’t supposed to. I figured, what could the harm be? Haha, I was about to find out. Last fall I decided that the days of the collage had come to an end. They were always falling down, the pictures were curling, one fell on me while I was sleeping, and I wanted to give the apartment a more “adult vibe”. When I pulled the collages down off the wall, however, I quickly realized why adhesives were not allowed in the lease. After a brief adventure with goof off and Spackle, and a shoddy re-paint job, my walls were back to insane asylum white.

As I mentioned, my walls are huge. There was no way I could afford art or anything like that to cover the space. I also really love having personal photos around the apartment. I took photography in high school and I really, really loved it. I didn’t keep up with it as I got older, but I still have a heart for it. This was quite a project but here’s how it went. First, I needed to find a way to hang stuff on the walls. So I did what any resourceful 24 year old woman would do, I googled it (I googled “hanging stuff on concrete walls” to be specific… look at me, master of the interwebs). I found this article on The Self Sufficient Urbanite  … perfect! I went to Walmart, purchased my first big-girl drill (Black & Decker 9099KC … the cheapest one they had. Drills are SUPER expensive), two sizes of concrete drill bits, and concrete screws, and I got to work. Here’s some ideas for cheap but cool wall coverings with a personal touch:

Over my “desk” area, I hung this painting done by yours truly. I did it in one of those painting / drinking wine classes I went to with a group of girlfriends. We got a coupon for it, so for $30 I got a night with my friends, two glasses of wine, and what I now consider to be my personal painting masterpiece. I think it was $30 well spent.

For the space over my TV (and yes my vacuum lives here too) I chose a painting that once belonged to my dad. It’s pretty cool and goes with my color scheme (my entire apartment is a green, brown, and gold theme). I like the idea of having this “handed down” piece.

For my closet, I held on to two of my favorite photos from my high school photography years. They’re mounted but never framed so they’re really beat up. These were from a shoot I did focusing on “fashion”, so I think the closet is the ideal place for them to live.

The other… living on top of my shoe rack (ok, one of my shoe racks).

For the walls in the bathroom, I took two photos that I shot in Venice, blew them up in black and white, and framed them  in simple black frames. The bathroom is the only room in my apartment that doesn’t follow the green, brown and gold theme. The tile is black and white and I’ve included silver accents with a little bit of purple. These two photos (one of a fleet of gondolas and the other of this adorable little girl playing with pigeons in St. Mark’s Square) are the perfect edition to the room. It cost $8 to print the 8×10 photos, and the frames were $3.50 each from Walmart. Amazing.

The wall over my couch was my biggest nemesis. It is positively huge and very wide. I decided to highlight some of the places I have traveled through favorite photographs. I selected three and ordered 12 x 18 in photo canvases from CVS photo ($34.99 each). They actually look smaller in the space than I had hoped, but they’re better than nothing! I also really, really like the individual canvases.

This is a photo I shot of a rainbow of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.

This is the port in Vancouver at sunset.

This is a mountain island in the Pacific ocean off the coast of Alaska.

I’m considering two more photo canvases for this wall to fill out the space but this will have to do for now! The only space I have left to fill is the wall space above my bed. I have a pretty exciting DIY planned so more of that in the future 🙂

Drill Master.

Marathon Style

Tomorrow, I fly out to Nashville for THE BIG DAY! Haha oh no, not my wedding day… MARATHON DAY. As I have mentioned (probably more than you would like), I am running the Rock’n’Roll Nashville Country Music Marathon this Saturday! So this week one of my main focuses has been selecting the PERFECT marathon outfit. I love fitness and working out and talking about fitness and writing about working out… love it. However, I also love, possibly equally, WORKOUT CLOTHES. I kind of love clothes in general and would like to eventually talk a little more about that on the blog. I’m kind of nervous about talking about my “style” on here because I don’t want to open myself up to harsh criticism (hey, we all have our insecurities, just trying to be open and honest about mine!). But the idea of fashionable “designer” workout clothes has really exploded in the last few years and I find it a really interesting trend.

I was lucky enough to be introduced to Lululemon when they first started entering the US market (for those who do not know, Lululemon is a Canadian based company that started out as teeny tiny showrooms in the US and then EXPLODED into arguably one of the most popular athletic clothing brands). Since then, so many cool brands have popped up selling stylish and functional clothing for running, yoga, and other athletic pursuits. Here’s the catch for us workout fashionistas on a budget… they’re EXPENSIVE. That being said, they’re also probably the best quality workout gear you can get. I still have the FIRST pair of Lululemon pants I bought (bought the Groove Pant back in December 2007 for $98). I have worn them probably 200 times and they are still good as new. My strategy for buying workout apparel is as follows: balance your workout wardrobe with a mixture of lower cost items for day to day activities and higher cost / quality items that will really last you. I wear my best quality stuff for my really tough workouts – long runs, races, really intense hot yoga classes, and my other stuff for spinning classes, weight lifting, etc. Treat yourself, occasionally, to a few really good pieces… your non chafed body will thank you 🙂

Below are some of my current workout clothes obsessions:

              

  1. Lululemon Run: A Marathon Crop in Black/Menthol/Wee Stripe White Menthol – Don’t have… WANT. Wanted to buy them for my marathon but wasn’t in the budget this go around. Still keeping my eye on them and will probably be making the investment in the near future.
  2. prAna Ashley Knicker Legging in Coral  – Have… LOVE. The color rocks. I feel like I’m ready to party when I wear these pants. Plus they’re super fitted, so they’re not going ANYWHERE no matter what I am doing.
  3. Lululemon Scoop Neck Tank in Discover Stripe White / Deep Indigo / Aquamarine – Have… LOVE. Will be running my marathon in this tank this weekend! It’s bright enough that hopefully my parents / Mike will be able to find me in the crowd.
  4. ALO Clothing Geo Tank in Tango Red / Fusion*  – Don’t have… WANT. I have other ALO items and they’re awesome. I have one of their sports bras that is close to this style. It’s adorable and really high support.
  5. Lucy Enlighten Mesh Tank in Plumeria** – Don’t have… WANT. I’m digging the trend of the sports bra with a looser top over it, especially with the adjustable cord along the bottom. There is nothing worse than trying to focus on my handstand and being suffocated by my top!
  6. Athleta Organic Cotton Brahma Legging in Black – Don’t have… WANT. I am really into the leggings with a long roll down over it. They are fashionable and cover areas where you may not want people to see ALL your details.

* Got the picture HERE.

** Got the picture HERE.

How To: Bargain Running Shoes

Let me start off by saying: I… LOVE… SHOES. I love them love them love them. I own probably over 100 pairs (no, that’s not an exaggeration… I can feel your judgment coming through the computer screen). In the words of Lady Gaga, I was born this way! When I was a little girl and my parents would have visitors over to the house, I would go upstairs, take all my shoes out of the closet, bring them down, and show them to everyone (score 1000 blog points for adorable childhood story).

However, when I took up running my experience was a little different. As is pretty evident at this point, my budget is REALLY tight. I am the queen of bargain shopping and I have come up with many crafty ways to have over 100 pairs of really fabulous shoes on my budget. But running shoes are totally different. First off, they can be SUPER expensive and they wear out kind of quickly (especially when compared to the shoes I have owned since freshman year of college and are still going strong). A good pair of running shoes can get about 500 miles on it, but some really vary. I run a lot of miles, so 500 miles goes by a lot quicker than my budget can handle at $100 a pop. On the other hand, you really don’t want to skimp when it comes to your running shoes. I have a knee injury that needs kindness, and I want to be running for a lot of years to come. So here are a couple tips for buying great running shoes when you’re on a budget.

  1. Shop the sale section (DUH!). Do your research ahead of time. Make sure the shoe is the right kind of shoe for your stride (if you haven’t had a stride analysis you can usually get a free one at a running store, or you can get one over the internet here!). You also want to pay attention to things like weight and heel drop.
  2. Buy closeout models. Running shoe companies release new models of shoes ALL THE TIME. Find a great website where you can buy the “old” model on closeout.
  3. Use a discount website. I might get some heat for this and, trust me, I would love to support small local running stores more. I just can’t ignore the deals online… SORRY!  My go-to running shoe website is Running Warehouse. Free 2-day shipping, Free Returns, always great closeout sales.
  4. Keep a spreadsheet of the mileage you track on each pair of shoes in your rotation (or just your current pair if that’s how you roll). This can let you know when a pair is getting close to retirement, and you can make some room in your budget.
  5. Keep “retired” shoes for other activities. Just because a shoe is done for distance running doesn’t mean you have to throw them away. I have old shoes EVERYWHERE. I keep a pair under my desk, a pair at my parent’s house, and two pairs at home. I wear them to my softball games, walking around the city, to the gym for a non-running workout (like lifting, spinning, etc.) You don’t need a special pair of sneakers for those activities.

Here are the shoes that are currently in my rotation with some information on price etc.

Adidas Marathon 10 Women. These are actually reaching retirement sadly (I might just get another pair if I can find them). They are a great distance trainer. I wore these on almost all my long runs during marathon training. I don’t typically race in the them even though they’re really nice and light. I got these on sale at CitySports for around $50 (originally $80).

Asics Gel Speedstar 5 in Hot Pink.  I LOVE these shoes and will be running my marathon next weekend in these. They’re so light and the fabric is really cushy around the sides / top of your feet. I have raced my last two half-marathons in these and did my last 20 miler of marathon training in them. I got these from Running Warehouse (closeout sale) for $57.96 (originally $89.99) Although the link to the picture has them on sale at Lady Footlocker for $39.99 now… very interesting 🙂 There might be another pair of these in my future.

Nike Lunaracer + in Peach Cream / Glacier. Ahhh, my latest additions and aren’t they FABULOUS? They’re also a totally amazing running shoe. Super light, just the right amount of support under the foot (although a little less cushy than my other pairs). Great racing shoe. I have worn these up to the 10 mile distance as of right now. I expect to use them for longer distances though. I also got these from Running Warehouse (closeout sale) for $54.88 (originally $99.99) Once again the link I put up here has them for $39.99. Now might be a good time to buy some back ups for my current rotation…

** All the links under the shoes are where I got the pictures. Want to give credit where credit is due 🙂