Friday, April 29, 2011

Friend Friday...

Welcome to this week's edition of Friend Fridays, sponsored by ModlyChic.

1. Do you keep some kind of fitness routine? Why?

I grew up as a dancer. I basically lived in the dance studio -- hours a day, days a week. I never consciously thought of it as working out, though I know it was. I danced all the way through high school.
When I went to college, I stopped really dancing. Sure, I was still part of a dance club, but it wasn't nearly the same level. And I did a lot of trekking across campus, so I was still pretty fit in college too.
Since college, I have belong to various gyms for various amounts of time. I have had a personal trainer. I have also put on 50+ pounds, lost all my flexibility, and am now winded just walking up a flight of stairs.
I need to get back into a serious fitness routine and stick with it. Not only for the way I look (though, I finally admit, that really is my main motivation), but also for my health in general. When I have kids, I don't want to be the mom who sits on the sidelines.

2. Has working out, maybe training for a marathon or something of that nature, helped with your own perception of body image?

When I was a dancer, I was thin and solid muscle. I never really thought much about my body image. I could buy clothes without trying them on because I knew how they would fit my body.
Nowadays, my body image is frighteningly low. Sure, I have days where I love how I look. But even on those days, I wish I were thinner. As much as I want other gals to love and accept themselves for who they are, I have a problem doing so myself.
So I can only imagine that when I get myself back on an exercise regimen, I will feel better about my body.

3. When you are hitting the gym or just going out for a long walk what do you wear? Is it about functionality or fashion?

I am 99% about function when I'm getting sweaty. Sure, I might wear a cute tshirt or a colorful bandana, but even those items are more about function. I used to have a few cute workout tops, but they don't fit anymore, and frankly, I was always more comfortable in a tshirt anyway.

4. Do you feel there is a cultural perception of what you ‘should’ be doing for your own physical fitness?

Of course. As a plus-sized gal, people expect that I should want to be thin, and that I should be eating healthier and working out to achieve that goal. (The fact that I *do* want to be thin doesn't justify society's pressure that I want those things.) I feel pressure from my family and from my husband. As much as they tell me that they love me regardless, I know they want me to be healthier. Only in my own mind, I equate healthier with thinner. So when they talk about me working out, I hear "You should be thinner." It's a vicious cycle.

5. Dream big… what would be your ultimate fitness goal.

If I were to take up tomorrow the same size that I was in high school or college, I think I'd crap myself. But really, to be that size isn't my goal -- I know that's just not realistic (and possibly, not even healthy).
I would love to lose somewhere in the realm of 50 pounds. I would love to be more physically active on a more regular basis -- to play soccer or tennis with my husband. To go swimming (and more than just get in the water and float). To pick up dancing again. I want to not be out of breath from doing the most basic things.
Basically, I want to be active without thinking of it as being active. I want to love my body without even realizing it -- the same way I used to when I was younger.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I'm Still Standin (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)...

Hi all!
While I still consider myself to be getting back into the swing of posting, the swing has been kinda jerky and bumpy. Nonetheless, I have been *taking* some outfits shots -- I just haven't managed to actually get a post put up.
I am working on revamping the way I do my posts by taking all photos during the week + spending time on the weekend to edit photos, create collages, and write and schedule my posts. It's tough to get things done in the evenings, so I think this new plan will help be get back onto a regular schedule.

Despite my lack of posts, I really have been getting dressed. And leaving the house, too. In fact, I even managed to get myself to my first-ever blogger meetup!
I recently joined a Google group called DC FABB, which is for DC-area fashion and beauty bloggers. One of the gals put together a meetup, so I went! The only person there whose blog I was familiar with pre-meetup was Allie from Wardrobe Oxygen. But once there, I met several other gals and I am now following a handful of new blogs. Yay for newness!

Here is a photo of me and Allie (please excuse the craptastic quality of my point-n-shoot camera:
With Allie
Allie is even sweeter in person than I already thought she was.

Also, here is another (still craptacular quality) shot of some of the other lovely ladies there:
DC Fashionistas
From L to R: Oby (aka Vivi), Fashion Cloture, Allie, and Katherine.

I also managed to get a few late-night shots of my outfit after I got home.

Top: JC Penney
Pants: Marshalls
Shoes: Payless
Bracelet: thrifted
Earrings: gift
Scarf: made by me


I was really excited to be sporting this scarf I made, and it was a hit at the meetup! Many bloggers have been sporting similar scarves over the last few months -- it seems to be one of those DIYs that has been making the rounds.
I finally decided to make mine after it was chosen as the first DIY for the Made This, Love This group, started by Indiana of Adored Austin. I'm now kinda obsessed with it and want to wear it all day, everyday. I totally plan on thrifting tshirts in all colors so I can make myself an arsenal of awesome.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friend Friday

Welcome to this week's edition of Friend Fridays, sponsored by ModlyChic.

1. Which celebrity (celebrities) do you look to for fashion inspiration?

Honestly, I don't really look to celebrities for inspiration. If I happen to see an outfit that strikes me, sure I will try to remember it and recreate it, but I don't really follow certain celebrities.
I'm more likely to look to my friends, neighbors, coworkers, strangers, and --most of all-- to YOU for inspiration!

2. When it comes to your own personal style, what inspires you?

Again, people I see around me are huge inspirations.
I also take in architecture, art, nature, anything really. When something strikes a chord with me, I emulate it. But in my own way...

3. How do you hope to inspire your readers?

I am by no means a fashion guru (or any other sort of guru, for that matter). But if someone comes to my blog, if they take anything away, I hope it is this:
Break out of your rut. Try something new. Don't be afraid of colors, styles, shapes, sizes. Try it once, and you just might like it. And if it doesn't work, that's ok too.

4. Outside the realm of fashion who/what inspires you?

Music. Dance. Theater. The arts have always moved me.
There are also a few people in my life who I find inspiring. Not only their style (and believe me, they've got style!), but they are the sort of people who just have it all together. I'm sure it's as much work for them as it is for everyone else, but they just make it all look so effortless.

5. And since Idol is ending… Which songs inspire you?

I find different kinds of inspiration from different kinda of songs.
Lately, I have really been enjoying disposable pop music for its dancability: Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Ke$ha...
But I have a whole slew of favorite bands/groups/artists and favorite songs. They run the gamut, and I love them all for different reasons. I won't get into all of it here, but feel free to send me an email or leave a comment if you wanna talk music!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friend Friday...

Welcome to this week's edition of Friend Fridays, sponsored by ModlyChic.

1. When it comes to me personally – I owe a lot of who I am to:

My parents, my friends, my husband.

2. When it comes to be professionally – I owe a lot of who I am to:

Several coworkers and managers who I have had the pleasure (and some, the disdain) of working with. I have learned a lot.

3. When it comes to the art of blogging, I’m grateful to these people for helping me through some rough spots:

Mainly, all of the readers who stick with me, despite my sporadic posting. I love that you're willing to read what I have to see, even if it isn't at regular intervals!
Also, specifically, I'd like to thank Kimberly. When I was first getting up-and-running, she was kind and patient enough to answer some of my n00b questions. It was probably nothing to her, but I remember it!

4. One blogging challenge I’m grateful happened because it made me stronger was…

I don't think I have really faced any blogging challenges, other than a lack of time and motivation. And I am still fighting through those. I think I'm getting back to normal, though!

5. To my readers, I’d like to say…

Thank You. Is there really anything else I *could* say to my readers? I love hearing your feedback, whether positive or constructive. I love hearing your tips and suggestions. I love my little peanut gallery. :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friend Friday...

Welcome to this week's edition of Friend Fridays, sponsored by ModlyChic.

What are the top 5 Spring trends that you are looking forward to seeing/sporting this season? (Can be anything from makeup, shoes, accessories, clothing, etc..)

(1) Eclectic Chic:
Basically, this is just pattern and texture mixing, something we have been doing forever anyway! I've been trying to push my own personal boundaries and experimenting more with different, interesting combinations, and I'm looking forward to having more patterns to play with this spring.

(2) Bold Color:
Citrus colors, especially, are bit this spring -- orange is all over the place! I guess I was just ahead of the trend with my orange wedding shoes. No matter the color family, I am a huge fan of bright color pairings.

(3) Stripes:
Stripes are back again this Spring, so many fashionistas will already have a jump on this trend. I spent half my workday yesterday trying to decide if I'm willing to dish out $70 plus shipping for this nautical military jacket.

(4) Maxi Skirts and Dresses:
While "midi" skirts and dresses are on the rise this season, maxis are still front and center. To me, maxis are like the pajamas of fashion, only appropriate to leave the house in! (Coincidentally, "pajama style" also seems to be a trend this Spring.) I love that a maxi can take you from office to evening to weekend, all just by swapping out some accessories. Plus, any piece of clothing that lets me get away with not shaving is a bonus, in my book.

(5) Embrace Lace:
Along with lace, I am also bundling in anything flowy, flirty, floral, and feminine. Lace is something totally new to me, so I'm excited for this trend. I never imagined I would choose a lace wedding gown, but once I saw it, I was in love. (Ahead of the trend again, I guess!) I think I am really starting to embrace my more feminine side, and lace and florals have been floating through my mind.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friend Friday...

Welcome to this week's edition of Friend Fridays, sponsored by ModlyChic.

1. Guest posts are a good way to gain new exposure. What do you think is the appropriate way to go about securing a guest spot?

I can't speak to this, as I've neither written nor solicited a guest post. The guests post I have enjoyed reading the most are ones where the two bloggers are actually friends (whether IRL or online.)

2. Leaving comments is essential to growing your blog. But how can you leave a comment without coming across as ‘Follow Me. Follow Me!’?

Leave a comment that's relevant to the post you are commenting on. Show that you are actually interested in the blog. Don't leave a "follow me and I will follow you!" comment -- those are THE WORST. I only follow blogs that I'm actually interested in, and asking me to follow you is a surefire way to ensure I will never lay eyes on your blog. In the end, if you have good content, people will follow.

3. We’ve all gotten a mass email at one time or another asking for blog exposure, a link exchange, etc… But the mass emails don’t work. How do you make your email stand out from the crowd?

I don't send many emails, but I do try to leave comments -- but as I said above, I leave comments because I have something to say about the post. Don't leave what I think of as a hit-and-run post -- even if you don't specifically ask to be followed, if you just "tagged" my blog and didn't put any thought into your comment, it leaves the impression that you ONLY commented so that I would heck out your blog. Just be yourself, and you will stand out for that.

4. In interacting with other bloggers where do you draw the line between seeking support and begging for exposure?

I try to build real relationships, much the same way I would try to build them in real life. If someone knows you actually care about them and what they have to say, the support will just come naturally. Put the focus on them, not you; otherwise, you are pretty much just saying, "Hey, look at me!" This isn't really a good look on anyone.

5. What’s one rule of engagement error you made and how have you remedied that?

I have been really horrible at responding to comments.
The last few weeks, I have made a bigger effort to respond to every comment someone makes on my blog, but I'm not always sure if people see my responses. I have considered switching my commenting system to DisQus, but I'm not completely sold yet. But essentially, I am making more of an effort to make it clear to my readers that I care what they have to say, and I'm glad they made the decision to visit my blog!