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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Pre Viva Fitness Check In-Week Five

So here we are in week five.

Not much to report. I slipped up in my work out schedule due to a lot of unusual appointments this week. Kids to the doctor, Parent Teacher conferences, etc. And my Monday bike ride was hindered by extreme cold. So today was my first work out of the week.

I did my Cathe Friedrich step routine, as part of my cardio rotation. I absolutely LOVE Cathe's instruction style and her work outs are all challenging and efficient. I feel so much more 'fit' after I've stuck with a step program for a while than using any other method. I've heard a lot of negative things about this type of workout, that it's dated etc. Do I really look like someone who is worried about 'dated'? :-)

Anyway, I've been working out with Cathe since 1997 or so, so I kind of consider her my personal trainer. I wouldn't want a home program without her.

Foodwise, I've been doing pretty well. Making better choices, keeping the calories down.

No more inches lost but I'm okay with that.

Til Next Week,

So Long, Dearies!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pre-Viva Fitness Check-In

And it's time for another Fitness Check-In, here on this fine Thursday. It is freezing here in Memphis and we Memphians are not used to cold, really. As you may or may not know, a winter in west Tennessee tends to fluctuate between sort of cold (40's or so) rainy weather, a warm snap where it gets up to the 60's and everybody gets sick, and a few winter storms. This winter, the storms have missed us but the cold spells have been insane. Today it is 22 degrees and I am sitting by my heater all day. But I DID work out, as this post will discuss, and am feeling pretty proud of that fact.

This week, I am finally showing some progress! I have been careful to keep the calories down and work out regularly, and although the scale still shows 130 lbs, I have lost an inch in my waist and hips So the waist is at 29 and the hips are at 38! So I am already to my goal in my hips and halfway there in my waist!

Visually, I don't observe much change but my butt is a little more pokey. That's never bad for a gal who was called 'SpongeBob Square Butt' at one time. ;-)

I should also mention that I saw an episode of The Brady Bunch a while back where Mike Brady was doing calisthenics before bed and this inspired me to do the same. How can you NOT be inspired by Mike's curly head and striped pajamas?? So, right before I jump in the bed, I do 20 leg lifts (10 on each leg), 10 deep squats, and 100 twists. The latter is in an effort to help stretch and slim my waistline. I do notice that my clothes fit a little better but that might be due to the work outs I'm doing during the day; I don't know if the bedtime stuff really does any good. But it was worth mentioning.

Til next week,
So Long, Dearies!!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Vintage Hair for the New Year

As I get older, I am becoming ever more infatuated with the easy side of vintage styling. After all, my chief inspirations- Grace Kelly and Ginger Rogers, have always been gals who boasted soft, blowsy,and casual waves in their day to day life. This is probably typical of most vintage enthusiasts today and I'm presently clinging to that aesthetic myself, especially faced with the onslaught of tasks and duties that crowd my 'to-do' list each morning.

So I thought I'd use this post to showcase some of my favorite easy hairstyles in my 'vintage hair inspiration' folder, the ones I plan to use often in this coming year for all occasions.

The casual vintage look always starts, first and foremost, with the cut. A good quality layered cut is a 'must' to accomplish that breezy look in some of these photos, but still look 'put together'. When you are doing elaborate rolls or up-do's every day, it's easy to hide a less-than-perfect haircut. But when you're doing a basic wet set at night and relying on a simple brush-out to carry you through the day, the manner in which your hair is tapered and snipped can make or break the effect. So if you are like me and must do your own color at home in order to afford a talented and reputable stylist, then let it be.

Now on to the hair goodness!

1. The Signature Grace:
It's no wonder that this would come first, especially since my 'journey to grace' is nearly complete. I am still not quite this length yet. I realized after I got to the salon that there were still a few things I wanted to do before I went to this shoulder brushing length. I'm a few inches past my shoulders right now. But what I love about this style is how it can be smoothed for a more formal evening look and kept breezy and loose for day. Add a flower to freshen it up even more.

Mini Tutorial:
To achieve this style, use foam rollers or large pin curls aimed away from the face on all sides. Allow to dry and brush thoroughly.

2.The Rolled Partial Up-do:
So this is victory rolls-my style. As most of you know, I adore rolled hair styles but the modern voluminous ones don't really flatter me much. My favorite looks with rolls tend to be partial up do's that softly blend rolls and waves. This look is a variation on one of my favorite styles, which I do often. Mine usually involves one assymetrical roll with a side comb but the aesthetic is very similar.

Mini Tutorial:
Roll hair using your desired method. Separate top and sides into three sections and use combs and bobby pins to secure dry pin curls as you wish. No teasing necessary unless you want extra volume. Spray each section with a good hair spray before rolling to keep the rolls as clean as possible.

3.Center Parted Curls:

Center parted curls are aways retro and glamorous. With loose waves and longer darker hair, the look is really 'vampira'-esque. With a short bob like Ginger's, the look is still coquettish but also very wearable and chic. For a casual daytime look on center parted hair, pull the hair back into side combs and secure so that the front sections are evenly placed on both sides of the part. This works for naturally curly hair or hair that has been set into waves.

Styling Suggestion: This was a popular look with Hawaiian dresses. Symmetrical realistic-looking flowers placed above each ear immediately lend a Dorothy Lamour quality to this style

4.The 60's-era Faux Ponytail:
Of all the fake hair options available today, nothing is quite as simple as the faux ponytail. The look is timeless and by turns, elegant and playful. Just stick your hair into a simple bun, clip in the ponytail, and voila! Instant length and volume!

5.The Easy Updo:
There are scads of complex rolled up do's online and in vintage photos of the 30's through the 50's. But more often than not they are a headache and don't really work into most busy routines. Therefore, netted styles like the one worn below by Gene Tierney:

...or a simple chignon coupled with a faux braided crown around the head:

...can be life savers! The faux braid is great for evening-wear. For a less elaborate similar look in summer time, wear your own hair in peasant braids!

Mini Tutorials:
For the net: Using an invisible net from your local beauty supply store, part previously styled hair on the side, using pomade to smooth it down. Tease the hair below the ear and place into the net. Pin in place and use flowers to add some embellishment.

For the peasant braids: Part hair down the center, braid in two tails, aiming upward. Pin in place in a crown , making sure to secure the loose ends under the braided sections.

These are some of my favorites. I hope you all enjoy them as well.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Pre-Viva Fitness Check-in

So here we are, one more week closer to Viva.

I am happy to report that even with a small hiccup in the form of a weekend trip to Middle Tennessee .featuring tons of delicious food and homemade wine, I had no trouble getting back on track this Tuesday, when I returned home.

Food: I'm keeping my calorie goal at about 1600, which is what My Fitness Pal claims is ideal for maintaining my 129 lb weight. I am not currently compensating for burned calories by taking in any extra so if my workouts begin to result in weight loss, I may have to add another snack. I drink one Green Smoothie a day, using leafy greens like spinach and kale to increase my vegetable intake. I plan to purchase some protein powder this weekend because it's really the only thing my shakes are missing. I drink the smoothie at either breakfast or as an afternoon snack for an added energy boost. My meals focus on clean foods and I'm trying to keep them low in fat as well.

Exercise: I've increased my Wed-Fri workouts to 45 minutes each, to maintain my fat burning zone a little longer than previously. However, once a week (usually Tuesday)I still do the 30 minute 100's workout because I really think it is a great challenge to jumpstart the week. Mondays are busy for me so I force myself to walk or take a bike ride so that I am still doing something active.

Results: I have not yet lost any inches and am down from 131 to 129 lbs. I have noticed that my clothes fit tighter in my butt and I think that this is due to the squats and other leg exercises I've been doing. I don't anticipate it becoming a problem though since I am not working to 'build' and this increase is rather just a result of toning the area. I have always been known to have a square butt so a little roundness there can't be a bad thing!!

Til next time,
So Long, Dearies!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thursday Check In: The Viva Fit Club

This week is 'shaping up' nicely. See what I did there? ;-)

I started out the week with a busy Monday that didn't allow time even for a work out. I soothed myself by eating healthy and trying my best not to slack up.

Thankfully, Tuesday-Thursday have been right on routine and I've been staying within my nutrition goals as well as spending a good 30-45 minutes exercising. I have been struggling with how much to alter my calorie intake according to my fitness goals. I've done some research and find that if I keep my calorie intake to 'maintain' my weight and 'lift heavy', I would lose inches instead of pounds. Unfortunately, it isnt in my budget to purchase weights so I'm sticking to strenuous calisthenics for now. I'll be wrapping up my week with Pilates. So its three days of cardio and two days of resistance training for now.

We'll see how that goes.

So far, no inches lost...2 lbs down.

Til Next time,

So Long, Dearies!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thursday Check In- Fitness for the New Year

I,like everyone else in the universe, have decided to get 'fit' this year. I find that although my calorie intake is very low and I remain pretty active, this simply isnt enough anymore to keep the inches away. I have gained inches since my 'detox cleanse' post and it's most disconcerting. Mostly, I think this is due to a high-stress busy lifestyle that makes taking regular meal breaks 'inconvenient' and therefore I tend to push all of my calories in, at the end of the day. Even if you are keeping your calories down, this is never a good thing, and prevents your body from recovering and using those nutrients as it should.

So my new goal for the year is eat smaller meals and make healthier choices, in addition to exercising in a more focused manner.

When it comes to diet, I don't necessarily feel that a drastic lifestyle change is in order, nor do I feel inclined to start eating Vegan or Gluten Free. I do my research, I buy organic when I can, I make balanced meals, and I try to do all of this on a tiny little budget. I have started incorporating Kale Smoothies in my diet, which give me tons of energy, and are an excellent way to get my veggies since I'll admit to being lazy bout expanding this part of my meal planning. Every week, we have a grill night, a taco night, and a soup night. This makes menu arranging much easier and Pinterest comes in very handy for finding recipes that meet these categorical requirements but also feature new and interesting veggies. It's how I discovered how much I loved grilled brussel sprouts and homemade fish tacos. So I do feel that this part of our health is headed in the right direction and as long as I don't keep candy and chips around the house, I think I can keep things under control. My main issue, like I said, is pushing eating to the side until I'm famished, which will naturally result in my eating far too much and too quickly.

photo by Celeste Giuliano

When it comes to exercise, I have not been as focused as I should be. I allow things to get in my way far too often and I don't have specific goals. Therefore, I think keeping my goals small and my workouts more 'pointed' when it comes to reaching that goal, will be the key. I will be continuing to utilize the 100's workouts, which boast excellent results, alternating them with my favorite trainer, Cathe Friedrich's, fitness videos.

Every Thursday, I'm going to try to check in here, to report changes in inches, weight, or routine. Hopefully I can stay on track and not lose steam, especially since Viva Las Vegas is in April and provides a really good 'checkpoint' to work towards.

Right now, my weight is 130 lbs.
My bust measures 34 inches
My waist is 30 (the largest it has been since my children were born)
And my hips are 39.

I don't have much faith that my bust measurement is likely to change much, so I use a padded bra and inserts to bump it up to 36. But the waist and hips are more manageable and hopefully can be whittled a bit.

My goal is to get my waist down to 28 and my hips to 38. I'd like my weight to stay the same; around 128-130 is fine with me. This definitely isnt a journey of weight loss. Just inches.

Til next time,

So Long, Dearies!!