Fashion

January Stitch Fix Unboxing | Sweaters

Please pardon the lack of makeup, but I wanted to share my most recent Stitch Fix with you all! See, I had a few not so positive boxes lately, which really had started to turn me off of using them. But I for Christmas I got a gift card from a friend and figured that one more box wouldn’t hurt. I am VERY glad that I gave them one more chance. I think the stylists are starting to get me again!

Let me back up. The last few boxes that I got I had asked for sweaters. Seeing as I live in New England, it’s cold, and I need warmer pieces for my wardrobe, I thought it would be a simple request. What I didn’t realize is that there is this huge trend going on where sweaters have huge slits up the side of them. If I wanted my sweater to have a chunk missing out of it, I would cut them up myself. The last two times I got a Stitch Fix box, I asked for sweaters, and I bet you can guess that I received sweaters that had slits up the sides. And when I say slits, I mean the front and back of the sweater didn’t connect until at or above my belly button, which means I need to wear a shirt under my sweater to cover the exposed flesh.

It was driving me nuts. All I wanted was a normal sweater. So this time, I made a point to say I wanted sweaters that were intact, no slits, and were comfy. Voila! I got a stylist who actually gave me clothes I would purchase. Ta-da!

My January Stitch Fix

Fuchsia Fun2Fun Walden V-Neck Blouse – $44

I’ll admit this one was actually pretty cute. But when it’s 30 degrees out and I’m not one to wear a blazer to work anymore, this one had to be sent back. I have no reason to buy sleeveless tops in January.

Red Dahlya Nira Pullover Sweater – $68

This is so much more like what I was talking about. No weird slits, just a nice warm sweater. If I had more money I would have added this to the “yes” pile, but the pattern turned me off just enough to say no. Let’s face it, I’m still not down to my ideal size so bringing more attention to my body is not what I want to do. Let’s accentuate the good stuff, k?

Light Blue Skies are Blue Lopez Boat Neck Pullover Sweater – $64

This sweater is soooo comfortable! The moment I put it on I knew I was keeping it. I don’t normally wear light blue, but let me tell you, this sweater is amazing. I know the picture isn’t the best, but I promise it looks good in person. I paired it with a long gold and brown necklace and it looks amazing! Keeper!

Olive Loveappella Evie Draw String Funnel Neck Sweatshirt – $64

If the sleeves had been a bit longer I would have kept this in a heartbeat. I had no idea I had long arms until this moment. How devastating.

Turquoise 41Hawthorn Breyson Pleated Tab-Sleeve Blouse – $58

Ugh, that’s all I have to say. What is with all the pleats? Who likes pleats? What are they supposed to do for my body? Gahh…

The Verdict

Even though I only kept one thing, I was super pleased. I really loved both the sweaters, so in my mind, this month’s stylist did VERY well. If you want to see how your own Stitch Fix styling would go, visit them here (click this link) and answer your personal questionnaire to get started!

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Health

Easing Into It – Real Food and Sore Muscles

Turns out that this eating real food thing isn’t that hard, so as long as you go to the grocery store. Clearly Andy and I need to go shopping as the inside of our refrigerator looks like it’s been ravaged by displaced zombie apocalypse survivors.

On the bright side, we do have  lots of eggs in stock, which was perfect for breakfast after my first workout of 2016. I sauted some cherry tomatoes and onions in olive oil, added some leftover grilled chicken, then added two eggs. Super protein packed, but really good. All I did for spices was add some black pepper. Topped that off with a glass of pineapple juice.

But, oh man am I hurting, and all I did was run a mile and a half. Turns out if you don’t use your body, you pay for it later. Did about a 14-minute mile at the gym, which isn’t horrible, but when I used to run 5Ks with an 11:35 mile it’s certainly disheartening. Thought I could get right back on that treadmill.

But, that is no reason to beat myself up. Getting off my butt to get moving is certainly a positive step in the right direction. I just need to ease into it, eat real food (read: not out of a box), and drink lots of water. I’m sure a lot of you out there are also taking extra Tylenol as January starts and trying to ease sore muscles. It WILL get better. We haven’t been working out lately, so you shouldn’t expect your body to just bounce right back to where you left off. We can do this 2016. Patience is the game.

Health

Real Eating in 2016

Oh, it’s the first of the year? Must be that time of year again where I promise to do all these magical things, hype myself up to get better, fitter, and healthier, and then motivate myself for a few months before something throws me off course.

OK, I don’t have to put myself down before I get started. In truth, 2015 was probably one of the best years of my life: I got a new job that I couldn’t be happier about, Andy and I have officially kicked off our company My Country Story which has been thriving, and things around the house have been so good that only positive things can come for it all.

The one thing that is lacking is motivation to workout, eat healthier, and stay on track to fit back into the piles of clothes that have been waiting for me. There’s something disheartening when you look at your scale app (yes, I have a crazy scale that keeps track of my weight), and the scale says you’ve gained 25 pounds in the last year. Seriously, can that be correct??!?!

So… I’m making a promise to get healthy. Drop the weight, go back to the gym, back to running, eat healthier, and start Real Eating. The last part is due to Andy. He really wanted to give Whole30 another go, but I panicked. I can let go of the bread and beans if I have to. And as much as it sucks, I really did feel a whole lot better when we were eating healthy, not drinking, and staying away from ice cream and sweets. But we talked about it and came up with another plan: don’t eat any processed foods.

It seemed simple until I started breaking a lot of things down. Yes, we could have rice, but we couldn’t have pasta (unless we made it ourselves). Yes to milk, but not cheese or butter (again, only if we made it ourselves). That also means no candy, alcohol,  or take-out. No crackers, no chips, no Dunkin Donut frozen drinks, no mayo.

Yes, that does mean that we can still have the following if we make it ourselves, from SCRATCH: bread, pasta, salsa, cookies, cake, frosting, muffins… The list goes on. The thing is, most of the time, by the time I’d make what I want, I no longer want it. So the bonus is the time to make something will buffer any snacking time.

I’m actually very excited about this, because I won’t want to spend the time making cupcakes, cookies, or hot cocoa. And it’s very unlikely that I would be stuffing recipes with extra sugar.

I’ve poured through some of my favorite cookbooks, recipe boxes, blogs, and I’m asking that if you want to make a change, do so. Do it now. Don’t wait. Even small changes can make the difference of a lifetime.

 

Fitness

Planning for 2016: Picking a Planner

One of my goals for 2016 is to be much more organized, keep track of my schedule, and put in writing all of my fitness and health goals. I want to track 2016 to the point that if I slack off, I have a list of reasons why I need to kick my butt back into gear.

So I spent a really long time considering the best way for me to stay on track. A few years ago, I used a wall calendar to keep myself on task. I logged my weight, my workout goals, and plans on a wall calendar. But that was when I was single and had a lot less to keep track of. Sure, I could use my phone, but there is something about physically writing down information that helps keep me on task.

Picking a 2016 planner really seemed like the best bet. Find a really nice planner that I would want to write in, one that I could keep up on what my weight is, when I should be hitting the gym, what events are coming up, and what tasks I needed to do.

I found a few planners that I really fell in love with: the light blue Rifle Paper, Co. toile planner that was just too beautiful to pass up, the Kate Spade polka dot tiny planner that would fit in my purse, even an out there brightly colored Lily Pulitzer planner that would keep me motivated by it’s positive cover. But that one that really drew me in was one by Blogilates. There was something about the addition of health tips, recipes, and space to write my goals that said to me, “Roni, this is the planner for you this year.” Plus, it’s super pretty with its watercolored pages.

Blogilates Designs 2016 Planner

I spent a lot of time hemming and hawing about whether or not I should spend almost $40 on a book. When you’re on a budget, does it really make sense to spend money on pretty paper? But I talked to myself about it. My health is worth it. It’s worth it to keep me on track. When I made my goal to run 365 miles that one year, and I tracked it every day, I was in the best condition of my life. So why not make myself a promise again. Track it, make it worth it, make a promise to myself to stay healthy and get fit in 2016.

So I did it, I bit the bullet and purchased the planner. And I’m encouraging all of you to do the same. You don’t have to get the same planner as I purchased (I’ve shared a few of my favorite below), but I do think keeping track of your goals is a great place to start to get fit. So who’s joining me this year?