Working out as a working woman

Guess who’s back? It’s me again and let me tell you, graduate school and a balanced life are not the easiest things to manage. However, it’s a new year and I’ve got some things to say- so here we go.

So today’s post is all about working out on a work schedule, and trying to get fit and healthy. I hope y’all wanna be healthy too, because even in the short amount of time I’ve been breaking a sweat, I can tell the difference already in my posture and the way I move.

So back to the point- as you all should know, recently Paula Deen has proclaimed she was diagnosed with Type-II Diabetes three years ago. While she is still one of my favorite chefs to reference for some good ol’ Southern dishes (y’all), I have always understood that eating food saturated with that much butter couldn’t be good. I mean if your favorite food was fettuccine alfredo would you eat that every night? I hope not! Its all about moderation, always. So while I am disappointed in Mrs. Paula and some of her choices, it doesn’t influence my opinion recipes I like from her.

Regardless, here comes Bobby Deen to save the day with “Not My Mama’s Meals,” a new show on the Cooking Channel. Well I am here to say something– Bobby Deen may be able to pull off “Not My Mama’s Meals” and make things better again in a whiz (ok, I am really interested in the lighter recipes he’s making but it doesn’t really assuage the situation), but he obviously doesn’t have to deal with the genes passed on from his mother. After all, he’s a man, so I doubt he has the same weight issues as her.

Changing the fate of Bobby Deen just means taking out those extra two sticks of butter for “flavor” and cutting back on the doughnut hamburgers, but for us ladies, it’s a whole other ballgame. To change my fate, I would have to create a show called, “Not My Mama’s Thighs.”

As women, we all have these “trouble spots.” Perhaps you can’t get abs even though you workout constantly? Maybe you have a muffin top that seems invincible or perhaps you’re like me and seemingly can’t combat thighs no matter what you do? Well let’s face it, sometimes the gene pool is more powerful than your power workout. That’s life. But here’s where I say- challenge that idea!

For my entire college career, I’ve considered my “American thighs” to be part of nature– just live with it. But recently I’ve started to question my logic. Maybe I just wasn’t targeting the right areas and didn’t really apply myself. If  you really want to accomplish a goal, do some research, find a solution and go for it! For me– it was finding some great workout plans on Pinterest and actually picking out some that seemed realistic and putting them to use!

My workout of choice is currently from Prevention.com and focuses on the premise that slower sets achieve quicker results. The workout incorporates a two alternating plans six days a week. Plan A focuses on arms, abs and a 30 minute “fat-burning” cardio session. Plan B targets legs, butt and back and has an “endurance” cardio session, basically a 30-minute power walk. All you need to do the exercises are a pair of light weights (or I use 5 lb-ers and they work fine), some space and a chair. My favorite part about the Prevention workout is that the goal is to do it for 14-days and then assess results. For me its great because, come on, who can argue against a 14-day workout?? Just two weeks and see where your progress is. Anyone can do that! And if you really like it and see results, just keep going.

Altogether, the actual workout is about 50 minutes (for me at least). That’s less than an hour. For me with nine hours of classes per week, plus a 20-hour work week and homework, dinner, weekend visits to see my boyfriend- I can still manage this commitment without it feeling like a drag. It’s not so long that I think of all the OTHER things I should be doing instead but it’s long enough that I feel like I am making strides to get fit. Not to mention the moves are not complicated, check them out here–

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So now that you’re in the loop, before you run out and start you’re own workout plan, here are a few tips I’ve come up with since I started working out about a month ago:

  • Start with a couple weeks of cardio before committing to an intense workout plan. You’re much more likely to give up when you jump in over your head before you’re body is ready to handle a regimented plan. Commit to 30-minutes a day of SOMETHING, anything active, for a few weeks before starting that P90X video, Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred or the Prevention plan I recommended. It will seem MUCH harder if you start day-one with no prior activity (thus making you think you can’t do it!)
  • If you find a plan you like on the Internet, print it out! I actually printed out all the directions and pictures (maybe 5 pages total for you tree huggers) for my workout plan and taped them to the wall where I do my workout. This way if I need to reference the directions (like every 5 minutes) they’re right there and I can keep up my heart rate without skipping a beat to go look up what’s next. Same goes for a plan you find in a magazine- rip out the pages and put them up on the wall. Or if you’re really creative, dedicate a special chalkboard or whiteboard and write out your plan in a cutesy way that works for you.
  • On the note of decorations- add some inspiration to the walls! I have a large mirrored closet where I workout and I can easily write and change messages to myself with erasable markers. Find a special quote that gets you going and put it on the wall where you can see throughout your workout. Then that little voice in your head that might be saying, “Ugh, let’s just stop there” is countered by your more rational thought saying, “Keep up the hard work!” However, I would not recommend posting pictures of little bony models on the wall- that’s not motivation, you shouldn’t use a comparison of your unique body to someone else as motivation. Keep the motivation positive.
  • Keep track! For my workout, you’re supposed to workout six days a week. For people who like to check things off lists or stay organized, and especially those who are unorganized, write down every time you workout. I have a calendar in my kitchen that I pass every day and I put a little “W” in the corner of each day I workout. This is either a happy little mark of recognition or, if you’ve missed some days, a glaring sign that you need to get back to business. For me it acts as a sort of check-and-balance system so I know exactly when I’m on schedule and if I’ve been putting off a workout for too long. Plus later down the road you can tally up your marks and it can act as a progress tracker!
  • Music! This is essential, or at least some kind of entertainment is. For me I have trouble reading on a treadmill (unless it’s on the Nook, which rules out my research textbook) so I usually jam out with some tunes. Check out Pandora or Spotify for some specific workout tracks. On Pandora I can listen to “Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout Radio” and after a few days or thumbs upping or thumbs downing songs- it’s not too bad.

So I hope this helps y’all on your journey to sexiness, health, bikini season or whatever it is that motivates you! Do something for yourself this year. If you want some more tips or motivation feel free to send me a note. Good luck–

Callie

Lilly Pulitzer’s 2011 Resort Collection is here!

Lilly Pulitzer resort collection 2011

Yes folks- it’s here, the 2011 resort collection from Lilly Pulitzer. So no I may not be purchasing anything right now but you can always window shop if you’re not actually on the market for a new Lilly. There are some beautiful, bold colors and patterns in this season and I am in love. Not to mention the wedges and shoes go so perfectly with everything.

Happy shopping or window shopping to you too! In the meantime I’ll be at dancing the night away at the Zac Brown Band concert tonight then spending Saturday at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Every year of course this is what students and alumni alike call the rivalry game when Florida plays the Georgia Bulldogs (I’m just saying- a Southern lady should never bark!)

jewelled_gator_Jack_Rogers

Here are my adorable Gator jewelled Jack Rogers! (Click here to go to Pinner's Fine Shoes Facebook page)

Cowboy boots tonight- bejeweled Gator Jack Rogers tomorrow and hopefully some great Gator football to match. However, my strategy is always, “no matter who wins on the field, make sure you’ve got a personal win on style!” And of course I hope you have wonderful weekend plans as well. Before I sign off- here are a few of my personal favorites from the new collection-

Tropical winter wear from Lilly Pulitzer

Tropical winter wear from Lilly Pulitzer- perfect for Florida!

White lacy dress from Lilly Pulitzer's Resort collection 2011

Perfect for a Christmas party this beautiful black-lace-on-white dress

Tropical belted dress from Lilly Pulitzer's 2011 resort collection.

This tropical belted number with a long sleeve pairs perfectly with metallics!

Enjoy the fall weather, football season and Southern style!

Till Monday-

Callie Lynne

Trendy Pumpkins 2011

Last year I did a piece on Trendy Pumpkins that was a big hit and recently has had a popularity surge again. Since everyone has been enjoying this post so much I figured I’d make it a tradition– so here’s “Trendy Pumpkins” 2011 edition.

If you read last year’s post I featured a Southern Proper, Lilly Pulitzer and Monogram pumpkin and discussed some cute decorating ideas for them. Here are some fresh ideas for 2011 in case you are planning a last minute Halloween party or want some decorations for Thanksgiving. This year I feel like I’ve been seeing a lot more no-carve pumpkins that are painted, decoupaged, glittered and hot-glued! Here are some cute ideas from a fellow blogger, Juggling with Kids.

Boo made from buttons with a ribbon top-

boo pumpkin

Pumpkin with painted witch legs and ribbon “shoe strings”-

witch legs pumpkin

Here are some more “preppy pumpkins.” Or try some pumpkins incorporated into the decorations using flowers or putting them around inside. And of course it’s always nice to have different sized pumpkins that can be arranged in different ways to add dimension and interest.

Preppy painted monogram pumpkin with ribbon top and “flair”-

preppy pumpkingOr take a taller pumpkin and wrap with patterned ribbons like this one-

preppy pumpkin

Pumpkin with mums and a bow wrapped around-

Pumpkin with mums and a bow wrapped aroundHere’s a nice mixed setup-

Mix of pumpkinsFresh take on traditional lantern pumpkins-

Pumpkins with drilled holes for light to shine through and flowersOne of my personal favorites is this pumpkin perched on a wreath using natural colors and grasses for a super “fall” feel-

Pumpkin perched on a wreath

Or maybe you’re more into something flashy like this glittery pumpkin-

Glittery pumpkin
Finally, to round out this year’s ideas, I just found Martha’s (yes, Stewart, the queen of crafts) take on the subject and I think these gourd candles are really cute even though they’re from a few years ago. So good luck with your Halloween decorations and celebrations! Till next time,

Callie Lynne

A hilarious new take on catalog and magazine living

For our entire lives, magazines and catalogs have shown us dreamy home decorating ideas and flawless food shots. Children are playing peacefully in an immaculate living room, sometimes even with white couches or carpet, while the dog is comfortably curled up in the corner. Or kitchens have the latest and greatest appliances with baskets of fresh fruit and flowers and desserts laid out on the counter for guests. Well if you look at these pictures and itch over how they could be yours yet at the same time scowl at the ridiculousness of some of the images- Catalog Living is right up your alley.

Catalog living twig bowlThe website takes beautifully composed photographs from catalogs selling furniture items, home goods and decorations and essentially makes fun of them. Catalog Living created a fictional family to live in these homes and explain why they arranged the furniture in such ways, show flaws in the design or point out things that just don’t make sense! Gary and Elaine are the fictional “home owners” used for the satirical takes on what it would be like to live in these catalogs and I know they get me laughing often.

Overall it’s fresh and fun and might even make you feel better about having a home that’s not as modern and classy as those shown in catalogs, or rethink decorating ideas. Take for example a bowl of twigs on a side table? Or a shelf decorated with office supplies? I can’t imagine anyone I know using these tactics to add to the allure of their living room but maybe that’s just because I’m not friends with people sophisticated enough for things like that!

Office supply decorationsMaybe you’re not much of a catalog reader- but you get magazines. Well there’s a spinoff website, Magazine Living that is probably targeting some of your prized reads! Coastal Living, Southern Living, Country Living, Sunset and a few other magazines frequent the topics in Magazine Living. This time the characters- Martin and Gareth- discuss what’s it’s like living in the pages of your magazines.

So next time you’re just dying to have that retro lampshade on a side table made only of books or leave out the game of scrabble with the letters strewn across the table, just think you might be the butt of a joke on these websites.

Magazine Living

Food, fashion, fall- what’s your Pinterest?

My Pinterest Boards

My Pinterests

Pinterest was recently featured in TIME magazine’s “The 50 Best Websites of 2011” and it recently caught my attention as well. Prepare to meet your new obsession if you haven’t found this little gem yet. The site is a way of sharing large thumbnails with images of DIY projects, food, fashion photography, interior design and wedding ideas (to name a few). Some images are merely meant to entertain, warm the heart or create a laugh while others are interactive images that lead to websites with recipes, videos and more information.

Those already using Pinterest understand it is a deadly time killer (I would’ve had this blog post done two hours ago if I hadn’t gotten trapped in the web of ideas on Pinterest)! Just imagine scrolling through hundreds and hundreds of pictures of puppies, delicious looking desserts, arts and crafts ideas, home decorating, workout plans- you name it.

So how does it work?

pumpkin images

Pumpkin search

Everyone on Pinterest will have a main page where people you “follow” will have content that is constantly posted and changing, just like a Facebook newsfeed but with large images instead. Then you have your “profile” or what Pinterest calls “Boards.” This is where you can “repin” things– taking things you love and categorizing them in whatever way you would like so they can be referenced again anytime. You can name boards anything you want from “Wedding wishes” to “Kick butt workouts,” the skies the limit! Also, re-pinning things (in my opinion) can be a statement about your personal style, things you enjoy or a way to share information you value.

Here’s what sets Pinterest apart- you don’t have to be “friends” with people you follow on Pinterest to repin things or use them, follow whoever you want, it doesn’t matter if you actually know them. Anybody and anything is fair game. Also, you can find people who have mutual interests by typing words into the search bar like “Phi Mu” for my sorority and then it will show every “board” with the words Phi Mu (or fill in the blank here with whatever personal interest you have). Also, if you’re searching for something in particular, for example- type in “pumpkin” and 100s of posts people have pinned about pumpkins will show up.

How convenient that it will bring all of these great ideas to your fingertips without searching through Google images or hundreds of sub-par websites to find what you’re looking for!

I think the boundaries of Pinterest are very few, you can connect with people who have mutual interests, find your new favorite things online and get that recipe you want without a hassle. Give it a try, the website is still in beta testing right now, meaning you have to submit a request to be able to use the website but my request was approved in a day or so. I have yet to see a downfall of this great resource- so get out there and start pinning!

Post-graduate pros and cons

Out here in the real world I’m starting to distinguish between the good, the bad and the ugly. So I decided I’d see if y’all agree, or give those of you still hittin’ the books a heads up.

1) Pro: No homework. This is a glorious feeling. When I leave work, I leave my work behind. I don’t have to worry about fitting in a few shows on the Food network, cooking dinner and hitting the gym because after all that is said and done all I need to do is get some rest. Now I don’t feel guilty about back-to-back episodes of chopped because the only thing I’m putting off is my cycling routine.

2) Con: The realization that if I just want to dance one night- there will never be another social to get it out of my system. Nope, I would have to go in a club full of strangers instead of friends and dress like a “normal” person (where’s the fun in that?). No more fun costumes (especially the ones you thought would ward off boys but instead attracted them to your quirkiness, ie:Rubic’s cube.) So therefore- I have to pretend like a 30-minute workout on the elliptical is a dance party because I’m not yet ready to brave anything but the bar scene (no clubs for this one!)

3) Pro: Happy Hour! Lo and behold ladies, happy hour does exist on the other side! And trust me, it is much more meaningful when you actually spent the day working and want to take a break rather than the sorority mentality that happy hour is available at any time. On this side, it is something to be treasured- a little nugget of hope to look forward to. Which brings me to…

4) Con: Not going to happy hour because those last two months of “not caring what I eat” before graduation are still clinging to my thighs. Who thought it was a good idea to go to our favorites bars as much as possible and eat pizza by the slice every night again?? The worst part is now that I’m not in college, I worry that this isn’t just a phase where I need to workout, but rather, the beginning of my mom-body. This of course is completely false and untrue, but it’s the idea that, “What if I never lose this love-handle? Is this how it all starts?” (The answer is No!)

Which brings me to….

5) Pro: More time to workout! All that partying and worrying has given me an amazing amount of motivation to work out every day. I’m aiming for six times this week, but it’s no big deal because from 5 p.m. on- I can put my workout schedule wherever I want!

6) Con: Phone dates. When I wanted to hang out with my friends in college- they were always within arms reach. Now, you actually have to plan time to call your friends. This requires time zone calculations and work schedule factoring and avoiding favorite TV show hours….geez. It’s exhausting. However, nothing can replace catching up with a best gal pal, so keep those ladies on speed dial!

7) Pro: Girls Trip! Yup- those much awaited trips my Mom always went on every year, now I can plan my own. And the luxury is, once we spread out- we spread the love. Friend in Atlanta, another in Austin- oh well just have to visit them all! Then next thing you know we’ll have bigger pay checks and it’ll be a girl’s cruise at 45 (so stay hot because consider that one on the calendar).

8 ) Con: You know how it’s funny to sit on Facebook during an entire class in college because you don’t need to pay attention and you’re just there for the attendance points? Well let’s just say work isn’t like that. Facebook just causes a guilty conscience, save it for after work. (Twitter on the other hand- not so bad in my book- but still keep it to a minimum.)

9) Pro: New beginnings! There’s nothing like starting fresh again, and graduation does that. Of course those four years are irreplaceable memories of love, laughter and outlandish behavior, but there’s room for all that in the real world too. It’s always exciting to be on the edge of something unknown and new. You can dress to impress because you never know who you’re gonna meet, and every moment feels like it might be some kind of breakthrough.

From where I’m at, things are looking pretty good. There’s a whole new world of people to meet out there and memories to make. Learning how to live in a new place or in a new way is exciting and adventurous. So live it up- whether you’re in those four golden years called college, or you’re out there blazing the path for those behind you. And always remember (cheesy quote follows)  make new friends but keep the old, one is silver the other gold.

Hope you are all having your own great adventures!

-Callie

Target nude heels

My summer internship dress-to-impress secrets 2011

From business casual to jeans and tops, don’t lose your style this summer trying to look professional. Take it from me, there are plenty of ways to stay stylish on a budget while still impressing the boss.

Some of my favorites are still having spring sales (unfortunately only really large or really small sizes are left now, but earlier the deals were amazing). Check out $25 off of every $50 at Loft or free shipping with certain purchase amounts at other stores, and if you shop for items that you can wear often, you can even find some great clothes at full price.

Ann Taylor Loft Coupon

Coupon good from May 14th- June 5th at Loft

My go-to store with sizes that will fit anyone (from 00 to 18 and petite) is Ann Taylor LOFT. The Loft never fails to provide me with comfortable linen dresses, cute cardigans and always great prices. I go to Loft even before I head to T.J. Maxx or Target, also two of my favorites.

For a more formal setting try this $80 animal print dress with sleeves and belt at the office. Loft animal-print dress for business casual at the office

Loft business casual dressOr  try this trendy charcoal $60 dress that’s still modest and comfortable. Check out the other dress options at Loft ranging $50-$90. However, if you wait for a seasonal sale, oftentimes you can get 30% off clothing items (get to the sale quick though because sizes become limited).

Jeans with a nice top and cardiganCardigans and tops are buy one get one 50 percent off and help keep your look business casual even if you’re not a dress type, or if jeans are acceptable try this look.

Target nude heelsFor designer shoes on a budget try T.J. Maxx, you’ll still spend about $40 but compared to the original price you’re saving a ton. Or for look-a-like designer shoes (sometimes  more comfortable too) Target’s got  you covered. Try these stylish nude heels for $30 or other styles for even less.

J.Crew is a great place to find skinny belts, a must to cinch in dresses or to take a cardigan and jeans outfit to the next level, like this patent skinny belt. J.Crew skinny belt

Check out what deals you can put together to save money or wait for that end of summer sale to really get the bang for your buck.