Monday, June 29, 2009

Inspiration:People(A Reason, A Season, A Life Time)

People
A Reason, A Season, A Lifetime.... original title to poem by Brian A. "Drew" Chalker.

People always come into your life for
a REASON, a SEASON, or a LIFETIME.

When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.


When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, or to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or even spiritually. They may seem like a godsend too you, and they are. They are there for a reason...you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die, Sometimes they just walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season. And like Spring turns to Summer and Summer to Fall, the season eventually ends.

LIFETIME relationships teach you a lifetime of lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway);, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas in your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. Thank you for being part of my life.....

A Reason, A Season, and A Lifetime written by:

Brian A. "Drew" Chalker©2002

Have a Beautiful and Blessed week!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Swimming Pool and Upper Body/Arm Workout

I have had several requests in the past few days for more information about my Swimming Pool Workout and the exercises I do for my arms, so I'm devoting this post to go into a little more detail.


First, a little history as to how my pool workout started. As you know, I live in Florida and have 4 boys...this means it is very hot and I have very little time to exercise, so I need a workout that doesn't take a lot of time, but still delivers results. I used to workout all the time before I had children, usually first thing in the morning before going to work. After having my boys I found it increasingly more difficult to fit in aerobic exercise because I either had to head out in the dark to walk/jog before everyone woke up in the morning, risk suffering heat exhaustion when working out later in the day, or do nothing at all. So...I decided to start walking, jogging, and doing aerobics in the pool where it is nice and cool, even in the heat of the day. That way I can put my littles down for naps and head outside for my workout without dying from the Florida heat.

Working out in the pool is really pretty simple and yields significant results after a short period of time. I think it essentially does *double-duty* in that not only are you getting a cardiovascular workout, but you are also performing muscle building/strengthening exercises at the same time. It is also much easier on your joints than working out on land. I workout for 30 minutes at least 5 days of the week, and personally like to listen to dance music or my favorite 80's music station while doing so. You can create your own workout CD with your preferred music, the goal is to listen to something that will get you moving and keep you moving.

During my workout I jog in place, walk from side to side of the pool, do aerobics, and swim using 2 pool noodles. While jogging, walking, and doing aerobics I make sure that my arms are underneath the water and I essentially do weight training moves such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, as well as a movement that simulates the butterfly press. I also do the arm movements of the breast stroke while walking the pool. Other movements I perform in the pool are ones I picked up from doing Tae Bo after my first son was born...doing the kicks in the pool works your legs out even harder because you have the resistance of the water, and it's the same thing with the arm exercises. Btw, if you don't have a pool, but still want an intense workout that will develop your arm muscles then I would suggest Tae Bo by Billy Blanks seen here . I haven't tried his newest workouts, but I did use the older routines after my first son was born and it really helped me start to develop a lot of muscle in my arms and abs.

In the pool I also use 2 of the larger size pool noodles to swim and perform isolated arm exercises. They help to keep me afloat enough so that I don't get my hair wet everyday and they are fantastic for helping to work the lower abdomen, inner thigh, and arms. I use them this way: I lay them in front of me perpendicular to my body and hang onto them with my arms extended. Then I swim...it isolates the lower abdomen so well and I've started to see significant results. This move is especially great for women who have had babies and haven't been able to get rid of the lower baby belly...you know the place that seems impossible to tighten up? Well, this move with the noodles really, really helps. Then I turn over on my back and wrap the noodles around me so that ends are now in front of me and my back is supported on the middle of them. I swim backwards in order to workout my hamstrings and then on each side to work on my side abs. Then while I still have the noodles wrapped around my back, I turn back onto my belly and swim just kicking my legs again...this works the lower abs again as well as the entire leg. Another great move for the legs and arms is simply treading water...this also increases your heart rate and gives you a cardio workout, too. I also use the noodles to sit strattled across (picture riding a horse) and then use only my arms to move myself across the pool forward and then backward. This is a great workout for the biceps and triceps because the water gives excellent resistence as you move through the pool pulling your own body weight, plus it's great cardio, too.

So, I do all of this for at least 30 minutes...switching between the different moves the entire time. It gives me a cardio workout along with weight training and muscle building for my arms, thighs, and abs...all the time keeping me cool and comfortable in the heat of the day. I found a chart that shows how many more calories are used working out in the water than on dry land:

Water aerobics has an added benefit: it enables you to burn up calories much more efficiently. Compare the following estimates of calorie consumption for a 30-minute workout:
  • Land walking: 135 calories
  • Deep water walking; 264 calories
  • Jogging on land: 240 calories
  • Deep water jogging: 340 calories
If you already have an aerobics routine or have done one in the past, you can simply do it in the pool...it's definitely not complicated. :)I've also read that some people choose to wear weights while performing water aerobics but I haven't tried them.

I think that's about it...if you have any questions please feel free to ask. :)


6.28.09: Wearing Today & IRL Pics

6.28.09
6.28.09 by FFM featuring J Crew

I wore this to church this morning...as you must realize by now I really love my pearl and chain necklace from J.Crew, since I wear it several times a week. It's extremely versatile and very pretty IRL. :)

Pants: Ann Taylor Loft Relaxed Linen Tie-Waist Pants
Top: J.Crew Cashmere Sequin Shell in Heather Wheat *seems to be coming across as pink in the set and pics*
Earrings: J.Crew inspired Fireball Earrings from Nordstrom Rack
Necklaces: J.Crew
Bracelets: J.Crew
Clutch: J.Crew
Shoes: Banana Republic

I snapped a couple of RL pics after we got home this morning, thus the reason for so many wrinkles in the pants. ;)
You can't tell from the pics, but the sequins on the Cashmere shell are a mix of gold and silver, so either would work as far as accessories go. The shell also looks pretty tucked into white pants with a metallic silver skinny belt, silver sandals and accessories...another way I plan to wear it, but since we had BBQ for dinner last night and I am feeling a bit *puffy*, I opted to wear it untucked. ;) (Need to drink some ACV today)
A pic with the clutch:
A close up pic to show the jewelry and details on the sequin shell:
I've been asked to provide some more detail regarding my pool and arm workouts, so I will be posting that later on today. :) Have a beautiful Sunday!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Denim and Pearls: The Stripe Cotton Popover IRL Pics

Denim and Pearls
Denim and Pearls by FFM featuring J Crew
On Thursday I received the Stripe Cotton Popover, item #15007 seen here , and my initial reaction to it was *love* and it's a keeper...however, on my second time trying it on today I am now more in *like* with it as opposed to loving it. It is definitely comfortable and has a very casual, summertime vibe to it...great for the casual Florida environment...I'm just not sure I *full price* like it. I'm thinking now that it may be more of a *sale price* like. It does look really cute with my white linen pants from ATL, as well as the J.Crew white HHF jeans, and my light denim *boyfriend* jeans from J.Crew Holiday '05 shown in the pic below. In the first pics I have the sleeves of the top unrolled and buttoned. The second pics show them worn as shown in the catalog. I have on the XSmall and the pics aren't exactly like the set...I was just trying to get a few pics to show fit of the popover.

Sorry for the poor lighting on this pic...if you click on it you can see it a little better.



What do you think of the Stripe Cotton Popover? Is it on your wishlist? Is it a definite *no* for you? I am personally on the fence about this one...

Friday, June 26, 2009

6.26.09: Wearing Today & IRL pics

6.26.09
6.26.09 by FFM on Polyvore.com
Playdate for the boys at a friend's house and then some errands. My pants are the J.Crew Cotton Matting wide leg pants from last year and my sandals are Ann Taylor Loft. My cami is the J.Crew Talitha Patchwork Cami I bought from Ebay and my cardigan is a J.Crew Jackie Cardigan from last year.


Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

6.25.09: Wearing Today & IRL Pics

6.25.09
6.25.09 by FFM featuring J Crew

Early morning Physical Therapy appointment for my 3 year-old and then errands. The cami is the J.Crew Brushstroke Floral Baby Doll Cami from Fall 2007 that I blogged about back in May and my cardigan is actually from Target. The white jeans are the High Heel Flare from J.Crew, and my shoes are a similar pair I purchased at Kohl's last year. Here are a few RL pics with and without the cardigan.




Wednesday, June 24, 2009

*The Basics*: Another IRL Pic

The Basics
The Basics by FFM featuring Prada bags

Here's a RL pic of this outfit. The jeans are the J.Crew Distressed Vintage Slim Jean, and the tank is from Gap. My sandals were purchased at Marshall's for $19.99...fabulous price and extremely comfy, too! This is a simple and comfy outfit for hanging out at home...if I wear it out I'll put a scarf around my neck or throw on a cardi or my Military jacket in case it's chilly wherever I'm going. :)

I don't have a RL pic for the next set yet because the pants have yet to arrive, but I'll be sure to take one once they get here. :)
The Basics: *Look II*
The Basics: *Look II* by FFM featuring J Crew

Have a beautiful and blessed day! :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

6.23.09: *Wearing Today: IRL Pic*

6.23.09
6.23.09 by FFM featuring J Crew

At home today...I want to be comfortable, but still feel *put together*, so I opted for a *not so basic* tank and the Saturday pants in Mossy Shadow from J.Crew. The stripes in the tank have a slight *mossy shadow* tint to them that work really well with the Saturday pants IRL, even though it doesn't look like it in the picture. The entire outfit actually looks much better IRL than in the pic...my camera isn't doing the colors justice. The pearl chain necklace is worn doubled around my neck...it's much more comfortable to wear it at home this way. I have everything in the set but the bag...

J.Crew: Some of the New Arrivals

Untitled
Untitled by FFM featuring J Crew


Untitled
Untitled by FFM featuring Coach bags


Untitled
Untitled by FFM featuring J Crew


Summer Chic
Summer Chic by FFM featuring J Crew


Monday, June 22, 2009

Inspiration: Little Things Mean A Lot

Too often we don't realize
What we have, until it is gone.
Too often we wait too late to say,
"I'm sorry - I was wrong."

Sometimes it seems we hurt the ones
Who're dearest to our hearts,
And allow the little foolish things
To tear our lives apart.

We let the unimportant things
Clutter up our minds,
And then it's often far too late
To see what made us blind.

So be sure that you let people know
How much they mean to you,
Take time to say those special words
Before your time is through.

Be sure that you appreciate
Everything you've got,
And be thankful for the little things
In life that mean a lot!

-Author Unknown

Sunday, June 21, 2009

GAP: Take An Additional 20% Off Sale Items


Take an additional 20% off Women's and Men's Sale items with code SALE20 at checkout. Offer is valid June 21 - June 25 @ 11:59 pm ET *online only*. Happy Shopping! :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

6.20.09 *Wearing Today: IRL pics*

6.20.09
6.20.09 by FFM featuring Fendi bags

Early morning errands: Lowe's, Target, and the Butcher Shop. My pants are the Relaxed Linen Tie-Waist Pants from ATL in Petite, so I can wear flats. My scarf is a similar one from J.Crew, but has silver metallic in it. My bag is a similar style from Target. I snapped a couple of IRL pics before leaving this morning. :)

Here's a closer view to show more details on the scarf and shirt. I am wearing the XSmall in this tee:
I hope you are having a beautiful and blessed weekend! :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Cotton Medallion Dress

The Cotton Medallion Dress from J.Crew is the same print as the Medallion Lattice Top which I showed RL pics of yesterday. It retails for $68 and can be seen here at JCrew.com, item #12780: Click Here . I purchased this at the time of one of the Free Shipping promotions and the next day the Extra 20% off promotion showed up, and they honered it as well (as a *one time courtesy*). Well, the dress ended up waitlisted and finally shipped at the beginning of this week. I had initially planned on ordering it in XSmall, but by the time I finally placed my order that size was sold out, so I went on waitlist for the Small. This morning an XSmall popped back up on the website, so I called in to place an exchange order...hopefully it will ship so I can compare the 2 sizes and then decide which one to keep. The pics posted today are me in the size Small. It is slightly roomy in the bust area, but I was planning on taking it in a bit under each arm to fix that issue. I'm sure the XSmall will fit better in the bust, and if it also fits well on my hips then I will keep it.

I have styled 2 Polyvore sets for the dress so far. I didn't show a tee or tank under the dress in either set, but do think either could be a really cute addition, giving another option for a different *take* on the dress. A scarf around the neck is another idea that would change it up a bit.

I have to say I had planned on returning this dress because I had really just ordered it with Free Shipping in order to try it out and wait for further markdowns, not expecting to like it as much as I do. I am just absolutely in love with this Medallion print, so much so that I have contemplated ordering the tunic and swimsuit in it, as well. Now I do plan on keeping the dress because I not only like the print, but also the weight, overall feel, look, and versatility of the dress.It is 100% Cotton, machine washable, and very soft to the touch. I don't normally wear dresses (or skirts for that matter) this short, but I think this one *works*...probably since it is Summer and the overall look just feels like Summer. :)
The dress can be worn alone, with the cardis, or as a tunic over top of the white High Heel Flare jeans. The cardigans are Honey Glaze and Bright Azul...I also think it would work with a cardigan in Golden Cypress, White, Bright Berry (from last year), Olive, and of course, denim.

I have the tie belt a little higher in this pic, more of an empire fit...you can see a bit of *pucker* at the side in the size Small. I will decide between the XSmall and Small when/if the XS arrives next week.



Here I have the belt tied a little bit lower:
As a tunic worn over the white High Heel Flare Jeans, which could be substituted with white matchsticks, as well.

With the Jackie Cardigan in Honey Glaze...not an exact match, but it does *go*.
This is the Jackie Cardigan in Bright Azul...Here's a closer view to show how well the Bright Azul *goes* with the dress...this is my favorite combination with it.

Here is another set I styled...this time with the Military Boyfriend Jacket (as shown yesterday with the Medallion Lattice Top) and J.Crew Matchsticks.
Cotton Medallion Dress *Look Two*
Cotton Medallion Dress *Look Two* by FFM featuring J Crew
The dress is worn by itself with either sandal. It can also be worn with the military jacket, as a tunic over the skinny jeans, or over the jeans WITH the jacket. The tie belt can be removed and replaced with the gold metallic belt, or a different colored belt.

With my J.Crew gold metallic belt also placed a bit higher than my natural waist...
And finally...the dress with just the metallic gold belt and military jacket:
What do you think of the Cotton Medallion Dress? Do you already own and love it? If not, would you consider purchasing it?