Monday, January 31, 2011

Forever Wish List

When I decided to move downtown, I had to pretty much accept the fact that it meant a dramatic decrease in my shopping would need to take place. Even my tops-for-$15 and dresses-for-$25 shopping from Forever 21. Which is why gift certificates here (and anywhere) are worth their weight in gold to me (thank you Mommy and Daddy and Rich and Lisa). I have been treasuring them until just the right moment. But in the meantime, I check Forever's new online arrivals every day. Starting with shoes, then dresses, and then nail polish. So to prep myself for a future shopping trip, I decided to start making a little wish list...




Clockwise from top right:
As much as I hate to admit it, winter is still here. For awhile. And all too soon my Jessica Simpson Angie boots are going to completely fall apart (these are my all-time favorites that I own in black suede and brown leather and would probably pay $300 to find in black leather. Trust me I've scoured the whole internet and I think they only have them in a size 11 or something - I'm a 7 in case you wanted to try and make all my dreams come true :) So these serve as a somewhat comparable shoe at a better price and in an interesting color.
3. Striped Top
So I went back a day later after finding this picture to link it and it is no where to be found on F21's website. This top is pretty similar though.
I love bows on everything! And it's also fun that they're purple underneath. I've been needing some new basic black pumps so maybe I will buy these in black. But I also love this fun pinky red color and the brown ones. Hmm. 
I like that they actually named a color for once. Don't get me started on Forever's nail polish names or lack thereof. 
6. Teal Sunglasses $5.80
These just get me excited for summer.
7. Striped Dress $20.90

All seven items total just about $100. It never ceases to amaze me.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Gwyneth

I've been mildly obsessed with Gwyneth Paltrow lately. I'm sure she's got some flaws somewhere, but I honestly feel like she is capable of doing everything! The more pictures I see of her, interviews I read with her, and clips I see, the more my obsession grows. Here's why I love her:

1. She's gorgeous.



I love her style, her hair, and she has a spectacular body. Which leads me to number 2...

2. Her legs are everything I aspire mine to be and more.




She swears by the Tracy Anderson Method which I have been very tempted to start doing. I'm not crazy about her, but if she has worked miracles for Gwyneth, maybe she can for me as well.

3. She can sing!



I haven't seen Country Strong yet even though I really want to. But the fact that she can sing country and dance on Glee makes me incredibly impressed and frankly, a little jealous.

4. She has an amazing website/blog/newsletter. 



This is GOOP! Gwyneth has compiled her life experiences, tips, and recommendations into the very informative and interesting website called GOOP. The categories include: make, go, get, do, be, and see. I love getting these newsletters and looking through the website. Plus it's fascinating to me that a mom/actress/businesswoman can find the time to put this all together just because it's something she loves to do.

5. She is a good cook.


The "make" of GOOP focuses on cooking and sharing healthy and delicious recipes. She traveled around Spain with famous chef Mario Batali and has a huge passion for cooking and eating healthy (my kinda girl).

6. She's an incredible decorator?!


Of course she is. She designed this precious room for her daughter Apple in their Hampton's home as well as other parts of their gorgeous house. Madonna is even enlisting Gwyneth's talents to design her newly adopted daughter's room. 

Unbelievable. And inspiring. She is my absolute favorite renaissance woman!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jane's Krazy

There are a few companies that I believe should be paying me for the amount of free verbal advertising I do for them. If you stick around me or this blog long enough, you're sure to hear about them at least once (or many, many times).

The first is Forever 21. I honestly don't know where my life would be without this store. I will admit it takes some skills to come out of this mega-shop with good finds (which, not to brag, but I think I have these) and when you do it's like winning the lottery. The clothes, shoes, accessories, and nail polish I get the most compliments on hands down are from this store. Well maybe that's because most of my closet is made up of items from Forever 21. If you ever want help shopping here, tell me!! I love taking people to my favorite store :)



Little Big Burger. This restaurant has turned my burger world upside down. Obviously In-N-Out will always hold a very high spot on the burger charts and a special place in my heart, but LBB has made my separation from In-N-Out bearable. I crave these delicious little burgers constantly and love seeing the success this new business has had (they are two blocks away from me and I was there on opening day so I like to think I play an integral role in their business). Make sure you try the homemade ketchup when you go. It's bomb.com.

From Portland Monthly Mag

Apple. I will never own a computer that is not an Apple. And I will probably talk you into why you need one and every other product they make as well (unless you're some weird computer nerd that needs the fancy programming and gaming capabilities). In college I lived with four other girls my last two years and when we started I was the only one with a Mac. By the end of the two years, 4 out of the 5 of us had them. I'll take credit for that conversion rate also.



I'm not exactly known for my culinary skills (yet), but there is one secret weapon I have that has made my average dishes true crowd favorites. I believe I have heard more than once that I make the Best Scrambled Eggs ever. I would love to humbly accept that award all for myself, but the truth is that they couldn't taste the way they did without Jane's Krazy Mixed-Up Salt (best known as Jane's Krazy). My lovely mother introduced this to me when I was in high school and I have been hooked ever since. I actually had her ship me a bottle when I was studying abroad in Rome and mine ran out (yes I did pack my own seasoning while traveling). I use it on everything, buy it as gifts for people, and make sure I have back up long before mine is due to run out. So that is my brilliant cooking tip for you today.



You're welcome.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Health Freak

Ok, maybe I won't go as far as saying I'm a health "freak" yet. But I'm getting there!

I recently became a health coach for Take Shape for Life after watching two friends of mine make it their life mission to get others healthy. The more I learned about their passion, the more I wanted to do that in my life and for others too! And the information I have learned in the past month has completely changed my opinions on food, health, weight, and exercise.

Basically, the state of the nation is in bad shape (pun intended) health-wise. Most of the major food industries have made making healthy choices next to impossible and medical systems are forced to focus on sick care rather than health care. Our diabetes and obesity rates are climbing and climbing.

But the good news is that it is so easy to change that! And that's what our goal is as health coaches: teach America how to get healthy, one person at a time! The basic premise of TSFL is getting people to a healthy weight (most people lose up to 2-5lbs per week on program), then teaching people the skills to transition to a healthy lifestyle and then how to maintain that and stay healthy and thriving for the rest of their lives! And the health coach part is free! Clients just pay for food. It's not a diet (which most people find very difficult to maintain the weight loss after they've lost it), it's an entire lifestyle change. One of the most interesting things I've learned is that losing weight with just exercise alone is almost impossible. You would have to spend up to 90 min a day of vigorous exercise to see a difference. I had no idea! No wonder people give up on their gym memberships after Jan 31st!!

I went on program just for a week to see what it was like, and to start the journey of teaching myself better eating habits (like I mentioned previously, I was quite the unhealthy eater). Though losing weight wasn't my objective, I did lose 3lbs in just a few days, but what I was most excited about was what happened to my body after I started transitioning off. My cravings for crappy food were literally gone! It's like I pushed the re-set button on my body and became a different person, I love it. I now crave healthy food that will fuel me, eat little amounts throughout the day, and still drink lots and lots of water (this was tough for me but I'm starting to love it). And I am so hungry to learn even more about my body and healthy choices and creating the best life possible for me!

Runyon in LA. One of my fave hikes.

My favorite part of being a health coach is seeing the lives that have changed for good. While my story is great for me, it's pretty minor in comparison to the peoples' stories who have lost over 100lbs, go off their medications, and stay healthy for years to follow. Being a part of life change fuels me. As I was sitting in training last weekend listening to Dr. A (the founder and medical director of Take Shape for Life) talk about the Habits of Health and about thriving and not just surviving, I was reminded of the verse where Jesus says, "I  have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10). God doesn't want us to just "make it though" each day. He wants the best for us! In every category, and I believe that definitely includes our health and how we take care of our bodies.

Silver Falls in OR. Another fave hike.

So I am committing to health and would love to help others do the same! If you or someone you know needs to lose weight and start changing their life for the better, e-mail me: cutfatwithbacon@gmail.com (yup that's the coach name we came up with :) because I'd love to talk to you about it!

Happy, healthy, glittery.

Some Before and After's of people I know who went on program:

Linda

KUPL's Lola Montgomery.
Down 47 lbs in about 2 months!
(3/25/11 update: She's now down 79 lbs!)

Suzy lost 50 lbs in 3 months!


Terri. Lost 36 lbs in 6 weeks and has kept
it off for over 8 years!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sparkly Dresses

I didn't watch too much of the Golden Globes last weekend, just the important red carpet stuff. And while I loved a lot of the amazing dresses, there was one that literally made me gasp out loud. Olivia Wilde's dreamy sparkly ball gown. Heavenly! So I figured I'd do a round-up of some of my other favorite sparkly dresses...

Olivia Wilde

Amber Riley

Carrie Underwood

Eva Longoria

Cameron Diaz

Golden sparkles!! From MTV Style.

Claire Danes. This is my favorite dress
in the whole entire world. I would wear
it as my wedding dress. And to the mall.
And to the grocery store. 

Hope you enjoyed your dose of glitter for the day! Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

L.O.V.E.

I have a sweet boyfriend. There is something really special about someone who listens to you briefly mention an item you would like, remembers it, and then gets it for you. He has done this multiple times, but I was lucky enough to have it happen twice in the last week.

I randomly brought up that I wanted to get some flowers from Whole Foods to brighten up my place a little bit (not trying to subtly drop a hint, I promise). And on a night when I was supposed to be taking HIM out to celebrate his new job, he showed up with them on my doorstep and I absolutely love them. They totally cheer up my apartment. But more than the flowers, I love that he did something that he knew would make me happy :)



Another night I was briefly complaining that I didn't have enough mugs and wanted a cute big one for my tea or hot chocolate. Then just a few days ago, and perfectly in time for Valentine's Day, he gave me this amazing mug!! It is my favorite!! I know it will bring me lots of joy and love every time I take a sweet sip from it.















Thank you Valentine, I heart you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

asldkjfiejvsl!!!!!!!!!

I can barely write as I continue to feel my heart flip flopping in my chest. It's because at this very moment (mid afternoon on January 17th), it is possible that my baby brother is proposing to his one and only love, my pretty much sister-in-law already, Miss Lisa. We have all known this day was coming for awhile, but for some reason that doesn't make it any less amazing and emotional for me. Where did the time go?? Just yesterday Rich and I were running around in our underwear in the backyard trying to escape my Dad spraying us with the hose. And now he's getting married. Dang it, I start tearing up every time I think about it!



If you don't have the privilege of knowing my brother, he is honestly one of the kindest, funniest, and most tender-hearted people I know. I have always looked up to him, even as his "big" sister. I knew whoever he ended up with would be one lucky girl.

And then enters Lisa! My adorable, sweet Lisa. They have been a perfect fit for each other from the very beginning. They are both sweethearts and put others and one another first. And most importantly, have a strong desire to keep the Lord number one in their lives.



I can't believe I get a sister. And one that I absolutely love. Who likes to dance with me and make super ugly faces for pictures. I couldn't be happier for both of them. And for me :) Yay for love and marriage and wedding planning and bachelorette parties. All my love to both of you, I wish I could be there to hug you both!! And drink champagne. I'll have some in your honor tonight. xoxo

We love the emotion game



Love you sister Lisa

Monday, January 17, 2011

Countdown to V-Day

There are 28 days (in case you lost count) til my most favorite holiday (besides Christmas, duh): VALENTINE'S DAY!! I have loved this day since I was a child and we got to spend an entire afternoon passing out our store bought Little Mermaid cards to everyone in class while eating candy and treats. Now that I've "grown up," I think I like it even more. Regardless of my relationship status, I have always been thrilled that there is a day that celebrates love and embraces the color pink and where hearts are everywhere. Glittery pink hearts. When you're single, there's the anticipation that you might get a note from a secret admirer or flowers from someone you've had your eye on. When you have a significant other, there are fancy dinners and presents and extra romance just because. Yes I am a hopeless romantic silly little girl trapped in the body of a 25 year old. But that's ok. Because what's so bad about fully embracing a day that embodies everything you stand for? I'll take any excuse I can get to find something to be excited about.


To prepare for this magical holiday, I have already begun a mental list of things I would like to do. Here are a few:

  • Hand make Valentine's Day cards for all the special people in my life. I want to set aside a craft day or night, probably with cupcakes and wine nearby, and Roman Holiday on in the background. I'm not super crafty so I'll probably have to resort to using tips from other people. I came across this site today that has some cute ideas, but I'll most likely end up making big glitter hearts on card stock, maybe dab some puffy paint on there, and then throw confetti in the envelopes so you get a glittery confetti explosion when you open your card!! Then I'll come over and help clean up the mess.
Or I'll use these gorgeous glitter
hearts from Target!
  • Valentine's Day Party. The moment I moved into my new place, I decided I wanted to throw a fancy V-Day party with pink champagne and pretty decorations and a new party dress. But that might not end up materializing this year...we'll see.
Chloe and Reese Party Dress. With some
really sparkly red accessories.
  • Cupcakes. This I have really planned in advance for. After seeing these gold glitter edible sprinkles in my friend Tara's gift guide, I knew I had to have them. To my sheer delight I saw that they sold pink hearts as well (!!!) Done and done. And I found the perfect cake mix this weekend. Pics to follow.

I can't decide which makes me more excited:
the gold stars or the pink hearts.
  • Plan the perfect outfit and nail polish color for the holiday. Or whatever day my date night ends up falling on since it's on a Monday this year.
Ruby Red Slippers by Deborah Lippmann 

That is all I have for now, but the countdown is on and I can't wait to see all the heart day related blog posts in the weeks to come! 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Real Resolutions

I guess I don't really have a strong opinion one way or another about New Year's resolutions. I see the side where it's cliche, and making them is only setting yourself up for failure, and why Jan 1st? Why not strive every day to be better? But I also see the other side - that a new year is the perfect point to start fresh and resolve to improve in whichever category you choose for a conveniently calculated period of time, i.e. one year.

Me on NYE
So stemming from my loose beliefs on the subject, I suppose I made some "loose" resolutions in the back of my head for 2011. One of which I am proud to say I am accomplishing right now: blogging! I have just recently started loving blogs and have been inspired by friends who have amazing blogs as well. I'm not sure what triggered the desire to start my own, but I wanted a place to organize all my favorite things and be able to go back and reflect on them, and if anyone else finds my content interesting or useful in the process, then wonderful! I am excited for this journey and the chance to share it with others along the way.

Resolution two: eat healthier. Um, cliche to the max? Absolutely. But I am actually amazed and proud to say that two weeks in, not only am I still staying strong, but I have seen some huge changes in myself. I am (or used to be) the type of person that loved cold hamburger helper for breakfast, grilled cheese with extra cheese, red vines, McDonalds (happy meals - yum), cake batter, Sourdough Jacks, and I could go on and on grossing you out but I'll stop now. Would you believe the other night I was actually disgusted at the thought of pizza because I didn't want to put that in my body?? I wouldn't either! My inspiration for this goal came mainly from two places: choosing to be a Health Coach for people through Take Shape For Life (if you want to know more about this, ask me, it's an amazing program that helps people lose weight and get healthy) and from watching Food Inc. I'll elaborate in a later post on the steps I've taken to start getting healthier, but for now I am content with saying I feel like a new and improved me :)

Another past favorite treat. So gross but so good.

Lastly, and definitely most important, is to read my Bible every day. I have this one every year, and though I'm not always successful, this pretty much trumps every resolution there is out there. Spending time with Jesus feeds my soul way more than blogging and eating healthy ever will.

Kitty likes to join (and interrupt) quiet time

Here's to actually keeping resolutions and making every year better than the last! xoxo

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Poolside in Portland

As I type this I am staring out at the pouring rain that hasn't ceased even in the slightest all morning. This and the 43 day (give or take a few) forecast of similar wet weather was preceded by the threat of snow all yesterday only to be greeted by a few sad flakes that barely lasted 30 minutes on the sidewalk. So it really is the worst of both worlds: freezing cold rain that gets in the way of everything you want to do, and no snow to at least give you something pretty to look at or a much welcomed day off work. So to take my mind off the current weather and the fact that I willingly chose to move here from Southern California (where the current temperature is 70 degrees in my hometown I might add) I decided to take a mental vacation and picture myself with a new Trina Turk bathing suit, drink in one hand, book in the other, at one of these amazing pools. Feel free to join me :)

The Asclepios Resort in Costa Rica. A Jetsetter featured vacation.
*Side note: Do yourself a favor and sign up to become a Jetsetter member. Even if you never go on any of the amazing vacations they offer, the daily e-mails will be some of the best visual treats you see all day.

The Raleigh Hotel in Miami, FL. From Daily Candy.

Perivolas, Greece. From Daily Candy
If you really want to spiral downward into a deep pit of lust, visit the hotel's website and view all of their pictures. I think I could die happy if I spent just one afternoon here.

The Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas.
More like I just want to go to this hotel in general.

Paresa Resort, Thailand. Jetsetter.
Laucala Island Resort, Fiji. Concierge.com
I think I'm starting to feel warmer already. Oh wait, that's just the space heater below my desk blowing on my pale legs. Sigh. One of these days I'll see the sun again, or freak out and buy an impulse plane ticket to one of these places. We'll see which comes first...