Not Going Out Like That


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The Last Five

It’s been so long since I’ve written a post, that I almost forgot how to do it. I pretty much gave up on this blog thing because I was too busy, it had become a chore rather than a fun, creative outlet and did I say I was too busy ? But rather than close up shop, I just let the blog sit there until I felt the urge to write a post again …. and here I am.

This post is about that 5-7 lbs that are so hard to loose. After googling countless articles on the topic, I wanted to share the “tricks “that few people talk about. Most health & wellness magazines, sites and experts will tell you to drink more water, control your portion size, and exercise. Stuff we all know. For me, the hardest part is not snacking or stress eating. I can eat a healthy dinner, it’s the chips & hummus I decide to have after that are a problem.

I never really had to diet my entire life because I like to be active and I like to eat healthy foods. After my 2nd child was born, I did have to REALLY discipline my eating habits. And then this summer, work took on a stress level of 11 for me and I gained 6-7 lbs by just stress eating or by mindlessly inhaling my lunch, while I tried to get through my 92 unread emails. So here are some “tricks” that I hope to employ again and have helped me in the past:

  • Vitamuffins: My friend told me about these 100 calorie muffin tops that are sold in the frozen, breakfast section of most grocery stores (except Trader Joes). They have 9g of fiber, taste great and are a perfect afternoon snack to keep me full till dinner time. This prevents me from coming home and having a 500 calorie “snack” because I am starving and have not eaten in 5-6 hours.
  • Brush Your Teeth: I’ve always had a sweet tooth, and have little control over my sugar cravings. When I was trying to loose baby weight, I would brush my teeth immediately after dinner which would keep me from snacking or eating sugary treats.
  • Chew Gum: Similar to the tooth brushing trick, this gives you the sweet taste of dessert and gives your mouth something to do.
  • Go for a Walk: If stress or boredom is what triggers eating, go for a walk. A 10-15 minute walk will clear your head, get you away from your pantry and even burn some calories.
  • Drink Black Coffee: Simply by cutting out the half & half or milk and sugar from your coffee can save you 80-150 calories a day. I was using one packet of “sugar in the raw” and half & half in my coffee daily. I am now trying to drink my coffee black, with a half packet of Splenda.
  • Salad Dressing: I’m sure you’ve heard that there are a lot of empty calories in your salad dressing. Your salad may only be 400-500 calories, but you are eating 250 calories in dressing. Ask for olive oil & vinegar on the side or buy your own low-cal dressing from the market and use that when you make or order a salad.
  • Skip the Cheese: This is another item that adds a lot of calories to a salad & sandwiches. Going without can save you 100-150 calories. If you skip the cheese and drink your coffee black, you’ve already cut over 200 calories out of your daily intake.
  • How much to eat ? If you are active, try to eat 12-13 calories per pound (of your current weight) to loose weight. If you are not exercising, cut that down to 10 calories per pound.

Writing this post has been a good reminder how a few simple changes can result in weight loss.

Let me know what tricks you may have :-)


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Moments

A colorful selection of cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, which is dangerously close to our house.

cupcakes

As mentioned in a previous post this week, we re-landscaped both the front and back yard toward the end of last summer. One of the things we added is climbing Jasmine plants along our fence. I said I would have a yard with Jasmine when I first moved to LA. It smells so delicious & velvety on a warm evening. Makes me want to camp out in the yard

jasmine

Adventures in K-Town. If you don’t live in LA, you might now know that LA has one of the largest Korean populations outside of Seoul. Our friend took us out on an authentic food adventure which began with this dish that is basically the equivalent of Korean lettuce cups. Slice pork placed atop a lettuce or cabbage leaf of some sort with kimchi,  pickled cucumbers and radishes along with some other acoutrement. I lost track of what I was eating by the 4th or 5th round of soju & beer.

korean


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Whatchamakalit

I was having trouble coming up with a title for this post, hence watchamakalit. This skirt is pretty ancient, from the days when I was addicted to Club Monaco. I am happy that their current in-store collection seems to be striking the colorful retro vibe that I always loved about CM.

cobalt 2
I am also thrilled that cobalt blue seems to be a color that is wearable ALL year. I only own a few items in this color but they seem to get a lot of wear. These shoes are bright, fun and comfortable for a heel of this height. They have previously been seen here and here.

cobalt 3

cobalt 4

And this is the same garage gate where I had the run in with the “how’ya doing” dog walker. This time – no run ins. Phew !

Shoes – Jessica Simpson. Tank & Cardigan – Zara. Skirt – Club Monaco, so old.

Linking up with Fashion & Beauty FindsTransatlantic BlondeWardrobe Wednesday,Diaries of a BargainistaBecause Shanna Said So The Pleated Poppy I Feel Pretty the Mrs & The Momma,


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Getting Your Backyard Ready for Entertaining

A few weeks ago I hosted a small ladies gathering in my backyard as a baby sprinkle (as opposed to a “shower”). It was a warm April weekend and a great opportunity to spruce up the backyard for Spring & Summer. We spent 4+ weeks re-landscaping our front and backyards last summer and only enjoyed the end result for a month or two post re-design. The new plants from last summer have matured a bit, the bougainvillea is back in bloom and the jasmine smells delicious. Here are a few pics of what the seating / dining area of our yard looks like.

yard 2

Teak is expensive but the best option for an outdoor wood table because of the natural oil found in teak. To protect it, try to keep it covered all week and in the winter, when the table is not in use. Much easier than sanding and sealing the table every year. Also be careful to select solid teak and not “other” wood that has been just treated with teak oil. If you see a large teak table priced under $1,000, it’s probably not solid teak and may warp over time.

yard 3

A few design recommendations if you like this look … don’t buy an outdoor table with matching chairs. Our yard has a “paved” area in gray concrete so I wanted some color against the wood table. I found these awesome yellow chairs at Pier 1 and bought a couple of two-sided cushions for the end chairs. The cushion is floral on one side and striped on the other (my husband prefers the stripes)

yard 5

We have bright turqouise lanterns against the posts of the pergola (hard to see in these pics) so I picked out these turquoise tissue-paper pom poms on-line. They are made by Martha Stewart. After seeing how simple it is to make them myself, I could see going the DIY route next time but these pom poms lasted several weeks outside … until it rained :(

Lastly – if you have a pergola or something that can accommodate a shade cloth, it’s a great way to diffuse light and block harsh sunlight without using a solid canopy. I found a shade cloth on-line that was installed on top of the pergola by our landscaping guys. It makes our seating area so much more useful.

To view more of my backyard inspiration, check out my Pinterest board here.

Chairs – Pier 1 (stacking chair and larger chair). Table - Pottery Barn. Pom Poms - Martha Stewart. Tablecloth – gift from friend. Flowers – White hydrangeas and irises. Inexpensive outdoor furniture covers can be found here.  We paid a little more for a large table cover from Pottery Barn.

Linking up with Style Sessions, Rolled Up Pretty, any My Thrifty Chic


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Baseball Cap

baseball cap 1

Oh the baseball cap. I personally love it and was saddened when it went “out of style.” I never quite embraced the fedora. I liked it on other people but my personal hat ethos is that they should serve a purpose (block sunlight, keep your head warm in cold or wet weather, etc) and the fedora always felt contrived when I put it on. I love the low slung beanie / beret but, again - not really cold enough in LA to NEED to wear one. So that is why I love the baseball cap. It always looks easy & effortless. It shields your eyes from the sun, is perfect for a bad hair day AND it’s making a comeback. … . For more inspiration on how to rock a baseball cap, check out my Pinterest board here.

baseball cap 4

Also re-mixing these navy blue camo pants from Zara, previously worn here. As well as my blue suede shoes, also worn here.

baseball cap 2

Pants – Zara. Shoes – Talbots.  Sweater & Vest - Gap. Hat – so old … no idea.

Linking up with My Greatest Hits, Plane PrettyWatch ,What I’m Wearing, Monday Mingling , Yolo Mondays,  and GFC Collective, Northern Belle Diaries, Monday Morning Gossip, Sami’s Shenanigans,


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Denim Remix

Dressing for work is fairly easy for me because I am sitting at a desk most of the day. Weekends are tougher. I am running around, sometimes sitting in sand (at the park with kids) or bending over and squatting down a lot. So I need to be comfortable, avoid anything that easily stains but still want to look stylish.  In an effort to remix more of my wardrobe,  I wore these distressed black jeans for a casual weekend look. I wore the jeans with my favorite boots and to make the look a bit more feminine, added a bright pink sweater. I recently wore these Levi’s Skinny Boyfriend jeans for another post, pairing them with bright cobalt blue heels and a white blazer.

distressed in pink

These boots are ridiculously comfortable and I find myself building my whole outfit around them sometimes, like when my husband & I stroll to dinner on a Friday night. I like the shorter shaft height because they are super easy to pull on and off. The shorter boot height also allows them to transition into some Spring looks with a skirt or dress, such as this look.

distressed pink

Sweater – Gap. Jeans - Levi’s. Boots – Eric Michaels. Bag – Steve Madden. Sunglasses – F21.

Linking up with Fashion & Beauty Finds, Transatlantic Blonde, Wardrobe Wednesday, Diaries of a Bargainista, Because Shanna Said So , The Pleated Poppy I Feel Pretty , the Mrs & The Momma,

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