May Buys

Another month & more shopping!  A lot of the items I picked up this past month were things I wanted to be able to wear on our trip to St. Louis.  The weather looks like it will be in the 80s the entire time we are there so I wanted some comfortable shorts & tank tops for doing all of the tourist things.  And of course some dressy clothes if we decide to hit up some bars in the evening!  

  •  Affiliate links are used in this post.

1.   Cage Stacked Heel Sandals – $19.99 |  We stopped in to Charming Charlie while we were in Lincoln with my mom for Mother’s Day when I found these on major sale!  I don’t have dressy sandals so I couldn’t pass these up!  

2.  Daytrip Refined Virgo Stretch Jeans – $48.50 |  It has been a long time since I bought a pair of jeans from The Buckle.  I’ve been shopping here since middle school but my current go-to jeans from JC Penney seem to be disappearing (of course).  I have been wanting a pair of destructed jeans for awhile but I’ve been so picky!  They are more of a looser fit which I’m not entirely used to but I feel like my legs have gotten bigger over the past year (I’m telling myself it’s muscle from cycling class.. :P) so they are comfortable!

3.  Black Denim Shorts – $14.99  |  These look so much different on the model than they do in person.  I have been wanting a new pair of black shorts as my current ones are older than dirt!  I couldn’t pass these up when I saw they were only $15 AND actually fit pretty decent.  They are a high waist style which I’m still not used to but it seems to be the trend these days!  For me, it’s harder to find jeans that fit my legs rather than my waist so the fact that these fit BOTH are a miracle.  

4.  Lace Bralette – $10.99 |  Nothing special about this one, I just wanted a fun bralette to wear this summer.  I plan on getting some more colors too!

5 & 6.  Graphic Racerback Tank Tops – $4.99/ea |  Since I live in tank tops during the summer, I wanted ones that weren’t a solid color like I normally gravitate to.  

7.  Banana Boat Self Tanner – $6.99 |  A re-purchase of my favorite!  I 100% recommend this!

8.  Maybelline ‘The Falsies’ Mascara – $5.29 |  Another re-purchase of my favorite.  I always go back to this mascara no matter what!  

9.  Racerback Tank Top – $5 |  I caught these on the very last day of the sale so of course they were picked over.  I wish I would have gotten more for that price!

10.  Denim Cut Offs – $13.45 |  Now, these aren’t the exact shorts that I got but they are basically the same, minus the belt.  I got these during the Memorial Day this past weekend where they were 50% off.  I would have gotten these but the store was pretty picked over by the time I got there. 

11.  Caged Sports Bra – $12.90 – 30% off |  Anyone else super picky about sports bras?  Personally, I like the wide strap ones because most of my workout tank tops are racerbacks with skinny straps.  So, I like a little extra coverage underneath them!  Forever 21 is kind of hit & miss with their sports bras but I really liked this one + it fit really well!  

Returned:

Racerback Maxi Dress – $10 |   I tried this on in the store & really liked it.  But then I got it home, tried it on again, and realized how much gaping there was at the top.  Not sure why I didn’t notice this in the store?  I may have been blinded by the $10 price tag + the fact that it was a racerback dress which I cannot find anywhere.  I still really like it but I ended up taking it back!  I think a small would have been too tight around my butt/hips so I didn’t exchange it.  🙁

Not Pictured:

HEAD Workout Tank – $9.99 |  This is a basic workout tank top from Marshalls but has a cut out in the back.  Head seems to be my go-to brand for any type of tank top from TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Burlington/etc.  

Black Wedge Sandals – $19 |  This was a GroopDealz purchase at the beginning of the month.  They always get me!  

Once again, the theme of the month’s shopping is black.  I seriously need some color in my life!  I think I gravitate towards black because a.) I always wear self tanner so I don’t want my clothes to be stained/ruined and b.) it’s more slimming.  I think I’ll always be a fan of black but I seriously need to stop buying so much of it!  Next month’s goal:  NO BLACK.  

Do any of you guys have a certain color that you stick with?!  

Linking up for Franish Budgeting Bloggers!  

What’s Up Wednesday!

Happy happy Wednesday!

I’m off work at 12:00 today and looking forward to a nice LONG vacation!  YAY!!! 🙂 

What We’re Eating This Week

Not much!  But seriously, we are trying to clean out the cupboards & fridge before we’re gone for a week so it has been a whole bunch of random meals.

What I’m Reminiscing About

I graduated from college SEVEN years ago.  And high school ELEVEN years ago.  Holy moly, why has time gone by so fast?

What I’m Loving

Outdoor bootcamp kicked off last Tuesday!  Our first workout was absolutely miserable.  It was maybe 60 degrees, windy, and rained off & on during the entire class.  I shouldn’t be complaining though because I’ll be wishing for that kind of weather when it’s 100 degrees.

Flavored water!  We were on a La Croix kick for awhile until we discovered that the off brand is just as good.  I feel like I drink A LOT less Coke Zero after buying this the past month.

What We’ve Been Up To

Our foster pup, Sophie, went to her new home in Kansas City a few weeks ago.  She ended up running away for two days as soon as she got to her new home!  Thankfully, she was found by animal control & was returned to her new momma!  I think it’s safe to say that she is fitting in nicely with her new family!  

We celebrated Mother’s Day with Curtis’ mom by hitting up Krug Park for some drinks and dinner at Benson Brewery.  The next day, we celebrated with my mom by making a trip to Lincoln for the afternoon for lunch at Old Chicago & walking around Southpointe.

And we helped out with Pints & Paws last weekend where we got to hang out with some really cute puppies!  

And also hang out with Carl the Beagle.

What I’m Dreading

Possible rain throughout most of our time in St. Louis.  🙁  The forecast keeps changing so I’m not sure what will actually happen.  I really don’t want to be stuck outside at the concert during a storm!

What I’m Working On

Trying to get my schedule changed at work.  I’ve been working 8-5 ever since I started  3 1/2 years ago which isn’t terrible, especially since I do a 5:30 class at the gym on Tuesdays/Thursdays.  But, I’ve always hated having an hour long lunch.  I don’t need that much time to eat + trying to run errands during that time is a nightmare.  I asked to switch to 8-4:30 at the beginning of the month but have yet to find out if it will be approved or not.  

What I’m Excited About

Not having to work for 7 1/2 days!  I’ve been feeling pretty swamped at work this past month.  Even though I’m going to come back to even MORE work, I need to get away from the office for awhile.

The nice weather prompted us to pick up a patio set this past weekend so it will be nice to sit outside in some comfy chairs rather than the plastic Adirondaks we’ve had forever!   And of course we went with a turquoise umbrella. 😛

What I’m Watching/Reading

Currently, I haven’t been watching any shows.  As for reading, I’ve been obsessed with Ania Ahlborn books.  If you like horror, then I recommend anything by her!  I finished this one as well as Within These Walls the past two weeks.  I just picked up The Bird Eater from the library which I plan on reading in the car.  

What I’m Listening To

Lots & lots of Metallica – five more days!! 🙂 

What I’m Wearing

My pajamas. 😛  I’m doing laundry & don’t plan on going anywhere the rest of the evening!  

What We’re Doing This Weekend

See below!!  

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month

VACATION.  And METALLICA.  We’re going to St. Louis for a few days which will include the Metallica concert at Busch Stadium.  I’ve never been to St. Louis before so I’m excited to finally get to experience it!  

Our one year anniversary!  Metallica & baseball games in St. Louis are our celebration even though our actual anniversary is June 11th.

What Else Is New

We will hopefully get another foster dog in the next few weeks.  Even though Sophie was a lot of work, it’s so quiet in our house now without her!  We may also end up getting a dog of our own soon.  Not entirely sure on when that will happen.   Basset hounds are pretty adorable so if the rescue gets an intake for one, we may end up just adopting it & not bother with fostering first!  

Bonus: What Is Your Favorite Vacation Spot?

I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life & haven’t ventured too far from the Midwest.  With that, I have to go with Colorado as my favorite spot.  It’s been far too long since we were out there!

Have a great day everyone!  I’ll be back some time next week!

Linking up with Shay, Sheaffer, and Mel.

My Health Journey

Spring time always has me feeling reflective about my health journey, so to speak.  My epiphany came one Saturday evening in April 2012 while I was eating a vanilla cupcake.  I remember sitting at my desk in front of my laptop & feeling miserable as soon as I finished it.  I had watched Curtis shed a lot of weight by following a ketogenic diet so I thought maybe I could do something similar.  I finished my cupcake & immediately headed to the grocery store where I proceeded to buy lots of low-carb foods & made the decision to start the next day.

But first, let’s back track.  I was never an athlete in high school or college and rarely worked out.  I think I had a pretty good metabolism and could eat just about anything without gaining weight…. until my senior year of college rolled around.  I was 21 which meant more drinking along with lots of fast food & just an overall unhealthy lifestyle.  I would workout occasionally by doing some group fitness classes but I never changed my diet.

My poor habits continued post college when I started working full time & living on my own.  I worked second shift (3pm-11pm) so I was staying up until the wee hours of the morning & then sleeping until noon or after.  This was BAD BAD BAD.  I joined Anytime Fitness & had these grand plans of working out after work.  This only lasted about a week or so & I gave up.  Going before work was out of the question because I was usually sleeping!  Along with not working out, I was also eating like crap.  I would eat fast food several times a week and drink nearly a gallon of Mountain Dew every. single. day.  I would snack on things after I got home from work or even hit up the drive-thru on my way home.  I knew I was eating junk & knew I needed to exercise more but I just didn’t have the will power to change anything.

I never owned a scale so I’m not sure what my true heaviest weight was.  I weighed myself occasionally at Curtis’ place & remember 168 being the highest number I ever saw so I’m not sure if was ever above that.  I think the summer/fall of 2011 was probably my heaviest just by looking at pictures.   Keep in mind that I’m only 5’6″….

May 2011
August 2011
February 2012

The bad habits continued on.  Still eating junk & still not exercising.  I can only imagine what I would have looked like if I worked a sedentary job (my job was pretty physically demanding & I was on my feet nearly the entire shift).  I remember trying on bridesmaid dresses at David’s Bridal with Alice who was getting married later that year.  I hated how I looked.  I hated that I was having to grab a bigger size than what I thought I should be wearing.

It also hit me at that time that my stepsister’s wedding was coming up in just a few months.  I guess you could say that her wedding was a huge motivator for me.  I had cancelled my Anytime Fitness membership awhile back & wasn’t planning on signing up at another gym because I was trying to find a new apartment in a different part of town.  So, I started walking in the mornings before work.  Amazingly, I would get up before noon & walk about 2 miles.  (I’m not a runner nor have I ever been a runner so walking was the best I could do).  After about a month of consistent daily walks, I was feeling pretty good.  The night before my cupcake epiphany, I stood on the scale at a friends house & saw 154.  So, I had lost some weight from the year before.  But it wasn’t enough & I still wasn’t happy with how I looked.

As I mentioned above, Curtis lost a lot of weight by following a ketogenic diet so I started following something similar.  As in, I could eat whatever I wanted as long as my carbs didn’t exceed a certain amount.  I drastically cut the number of carbs I was eating per day but definitely not as low as keto.  That first week was miserable.  My body was detoxing from all of the shit I had been putting in to my body for years.

A few weeks into the start of this “diet”, I moved into a new apartment & joined an amazing gym.  I was still working second shift but I started getting up even earlier in the mornings to attend a 10:00am weight lifting class on Tuesday/Thursday/Friday that was similar to Body Pump.  Other days I would try to get up & do a kickboxing class but that rarely happened or I would just use a cardio machine.  I also started playing volleyball on Wednesday evenings after work with a bunch of co-workers.  The weight literally fell off me throughout the summer & fall.  I felt amazing!  My clothes fit & actually felt comfortable.  I was so happy with my progress & felt good about how I looked for the first time in my life.  I remember my lowest weight being 132 in December 2012 which was when I felt the best.  

And then I started a new job in January.  A desk job.  I went from being on my feet & constantly moving to sitting ALL day.  While I needed the job change for my own sanity & mental health, my weight loss completely stopped. But I was able to attend more classes at the gym which I really enjoyed.  Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday was my weight lifting class while Monday/Wednesday were kickboxing or a HIT class.  Since I was adding in more cardio, I stopped being super strict about my carb numbers.  In the spring of 2013, I did a 60 day challenge at the gym where they took measurements/weight at the beginning & the end.  While I gained about 4 pounds during this time, I actually lost inches overall which was a huge eye opener.  I had become so focused on the number on the scale but this challenge showed that it really doesn’t mean anything.

Fast forward to today, five years later.  

I’ve kept up with working out about 4-5 times per week.  I moved to Omaha in 2013 which meant leaving that amazing gym that was such a huge part of my life (they don’t have any Omaha locations…YET!).  I discovered my love for boot camp style workouts & have kept them up as long as I’ve been living in Omaha.  Our Y offers a similar class that I’ve been doing on Tuesdays & Thursdays ever since I moved here.  On the off days, I’ve done everything from Body Pump, to cycling, to other HIT classes, and just making up my own HIT/tabata workouts.  I’ve also discovered kettlebells & incorporate them into just about every workout that I do on my own.  I tried Crossfit for the first time about 6 months ago and while it was an awesome workout, I don’t have plans to make it part of my routine.  Lastly, I’ve trained for & completed Trek Up The Tower the past two years and plan to make it a yearly event!    The one thing you will never see me do is run for fun!  Give me burpees over running any day.  

At the health assessment for our insurance last month, the scale says I weigh a lot more than I think I actually look .  I like to think that it’s because I’ve put on a lot of muscle over the years.  😉  I stopped following a low carb diet quite awhile ago as I needed balance in my life.  To be able to eat pizza & drink beer without feeling guilty.  To enjoy going out with friends and not worry about how many carbs are in a slice of cake or chips & salsa.  I’m not back to my old habits of guzzling several cans of Mountain Dew every day or eating huge plates of spaghetti for every meal but if I want some bread, I’ll eat bread (in moderation), etc.  While I’ve given myself some grace with the things I eat, I know I can improve, that’s for sure.  I don’t eat near enough vegetables & probably drink too many Michelob Ultras on the weekends.   I never weigh myself & let my clothes dictate whether or not I need to make any changes.  I’m bulkier than I was a few years ago which makes that fun & I’m constantly questioning if my pants are tighter because of fat or because of muscle.  Learning to accept how I look has been a work in progress which goes along with giving myself some grace.  I’ve always had bigger legs than everyone else I know and not to mention having cellulite since I was 12 years old.  Obviously these things are not going to change overnight, if at all.  Thanks genetics!  But seriously, accepting these things is something that I am really trying to do these days.  I don’t mean to sound ungrateful or ‘woe is me’ but I think a lot of women can relate to what I’m trying to say.  Especially with social media being such a huge part of our lives these days.  

One of my goals for this year is to find a health coach and/or trainer.  Someone who can maybe give me a little more direction as far as workouts go, meal prepping/macro counting, etc.  Maybe someone who has been in my position.  I’ve been feeling like I’m in a rut for far too long and it’s time to get myself out of it!

Phew, this has been a novel!  If you stuck around this long, thank you for letting me ramble!     

Weekend– Puppies!

Ugh, Monday.

This weekend wasn’t anything too crazy which was kind of nice.  However, it was cold, rainy, and just plain miserable on Friday and Saturday.  Like barely even 50 degrees both days so I’m hoping mother nature gets her act together this week.  Last weekend it was near 90 degrees and this weekend it was snowing in some parts of the state.  Come on!!  

Friday evening after work, it was awful & rainy so we hit up the grocery store for a few things and then Qdoba before spending the rest of the night on the couch.  I was in bed before 10 and I think asleep some time after 11.  

Saturday was also pretty uneventful.  Spent the morning reading some blogs, cleaned up the kitchen, ate lunch, and then did some shopping.  I had to get a few things from Walmart & Target but I also went to the mall which was nuts.  I finally found a new pair of black shorts for only $15!  The ones I’ve been wearing have definitely seen their day so I needed a replacement pair.  That evening, Curtis’ friend Jeremy and his girlfriend came over so we grilled some burgers & hung out for awhile.  

And then Sunday.  We went to the gym from about 11 to 12, came home, and got ready for the Pints & Paws Pub Crawl which featured the rescue that we have been fostering for.  We haven’t been able to help out with any other events & this one wasn’t too far from us so we helped wrangle some of the dogs that are currently up for adoption.  

These puppies.  🙂 🙂 🙂   They were just brought up from Arkansas on Saturday by some volunteers with the rescue.  Apparently they are a pointer/Catahoula mix that were surrendered by a family who couldn’t care for them.  By the way, I had never heard of a Catahoula before?!  Definitely not a breed that you see around here.  

And then Mabel posing with the sign.  She was such a sweetheart!  Ah, I just love basset hounds!  


Once we finished volunteering, we hit up Krug Park for a quick drink before heading back home.  

The rest of the evening was pretty typical– grocery shopping, dinner, and prepping for the rest of the week.  I was spent by the time 7:00 rolled around though & had to power through everything else I needed to get done.  We did a lot of walking + working out the gym + trying to wrangle Carl the Beagle as well as people wanting to grab the puppies constantly was exhausting!

Only 6 1/2 more working days until a much needed vacation so I’m kind of hoping that this week goes by fast!  Also, the outdoor boot camp finally starts up again for the season on Tuesday!  So, I won’t have my usual indoor HIT class on Tuesday/Thursday as it switches to the boot camp class until the end of August.  

Well, time to wrap this up!  Have a great week everyone!  Linking up with Biana!