Friday, August 31, 2012

A Little This, A Little That...

Love This...




And This...




Absolutely Stunning...



This Too...



I have spent this past week decluttering the house again, and will finish up with another deep cleaning, all in preparation of our upcoming school year. I really like to have the household in order when we start our lessons, as it is much easier to maintain on a daily basis with our full schedule, plus it lends to a much more pleasant teaching/learning atmosphere when the house is clutter free. Last Sunday I even managed to complete another closet edit for my own wardrobe, and removed many more items that don't fit well or just aren't 'me' anymore.

Speaking of items that don't fit anymore...over the past year I have noticed significant changes in my body. As I get older, not only does my metabolism seem to be slowing down, but my muscle tone just isn't what it used to be, and I am finding it much more difficult to maintain the figure I want to have. After taking my measurements again last month, I realized that my body is much closer to its 'pre-baby' size than it has been in the past 9 years though. This could either be due to my body finally stabilizing after the birth of my youngest son 5.5 years ago, or it could be that as I get older my body is holding onto more 'padding' than it did in my younger years. I do know that I will never have the 23 inch waist or 35 inch hips that I did prior to having my first son 14 years ago, but at least my bust has started to fill out again after the many years I had spent breast feeding, and my waist seems to finally be shrinking a bit. I am trying to accept these changes as a positive, even though they have meant that many of my clothes do not fit me properly anymore, and I have had to let them go. 


Once upon a time in my younger years, the changes to my figure that I have been experiencing over the past year would have been very upsetting, and I more than likely would have tried some sort of crash diet to lose weight, so that I could fit into my smaller clothes again. However, this time I have focused instead on eating a balanced diet filled with healthy foods, limiting sweets, and continue to exercise several times a week. Earlier this year I even stopped drinking coffee after a 20 year love affair with it, now opting for herbal tea instead. My hope and desire is to become a healthier, more well-balanced woman that is able to accept herself lovingly, as the inevitable body changes that occur with time continue to arrive. 

Along with body changes, my hair has also gone through some significant changes, and they are definitely for the better. I was born with naturally curly hair, but after the birth of each of my three youngest sons, my hair became increasingly straight and unable to hold curl. I had pretty much given up on ever being able to wear any hairstyle other than an updo, but finally decided to give the WEN Cleansing Conditioner a try in April after contemplating it for over a year prior.

What a lifesaver it has turned out to be! All of my natural curl and waves have returned, plus my hair is incredibly soft and much healthier now, too. In this photo I had blown it out, no curling involved, and you can see how much of the natural wave is still there. I had given up on ever being able to wear my hair down again, and now I do every day. It has been quite the life changing experience for me...I wish I had not waited so long to give it a try. :) If you have ever considered trying the WEN Cleansing Conditioner I would say definitely give it a try! I do not think you will be disappointed!

On a different note...as you know, the Labor Day weekend is here, and so are many of the Labor Day Sales. Are you shopping any of them?



The Tory Burch Labor Day Event is a 'Spend More, Save More' deal, where shoppers can save up to 30% on a purchase of $750+. Click here to shop New Arrivals and Sale.



Neiman Marcus is offering savings of 40% to 65% off many designer pieces, including this dress that I mentioned in my 'Planning Your Fall Purchases...{Part Three}' post here earlier this month.


So far no extra % off for Labor Day at J.Crew, but there were many new Promo-Priced Items & Markdowns for both the Women and Men this week. You can see the updated list for the Women here and for the Men here.



I did take advantage of the 30% off FALLCALLS promo at GAP to order these jeans. I am still on the hunt for a casual pair to wear with my blouses, button downs, turtlenecks, and blazers, since the last two pairs I tried did not work out for me. I've heard really good things about the ones at GAP, so I am hoping they will work out well for me, too. :)

That's it for now...

So what have you been up to this week? Do you have any special plans for the Labor Day weekend? Please do share! I always love to hear from you! :)


xoxo,

28 comments:

  1. FFM,

    I think you AND your hair look smashing! I hear you about the body issues, though I will be kind to myself in coming weeks, given all of the goodies here in France. I must look up this wen - can you only order it online? My VPS has offered to honor the 25% off deal between now and sep 10, so I will likely order the navy peacoat as that would be a great deal and I do not see that one going on sale soon, particularly navy! Sounds like you and Dani are having a similar weekend! Have a great one!

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    1. Well thank you WMM! :) I have only ever seen WEN sold online, but there are several online retailers that sell it, including the owner Chaz Dean's website here.

      I'm so glad to hear that your VPS is honoring the 25% off promo for you! I agree that picking up the Navy Peacoat sounds like a great plan! :)

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    2. Great post. I am also a huge WEN fan - I've been using it for about 2 years. I actually get it on QVC (qvc.com)- and I noticed they will have a one-day WEN special tomorrow so it might be worth checking out. I haven't decided what to use my Crew coupon on yet - probably the checked stovepipe pants and maybe the crystal circle necklaces.

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    3. Thank you Luxette! How wonderful to hear from another WEN girl! :) I have also ordered WEN from QVC previously. I actually invested in the gallon size back in July. Did you end up getting that deal?

      The checked stovepipe pants are gorgeous, and I'm thrilled they are offering them in something other than a capri. Please do let me know what you think of them if you end up ordering. :)

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  2. First, you really are fabulous! you look fabulous and your attitude is so helpful and inspirational. I've had a rough time these past few years and I love that I can count on your blog to be positive and never negative or upsetting. So many things on the internet are just trash (actually IMO most of it is!) Your blog is a positive, hopeful and stylish place all at once. Love it.
    Anyways, you look fantastic and I love your positive attitude about the changes we all go through..inspirational for me.

    Question for you about the jeans...did you size up? What kind of a fit are you going for with them? I'm thinking about them as many people seem to rave about them but don't have a vision of how to wear them?

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    1. Anon@12:23: Thank you SO much for your kind words! You have made my week! :)

      I'm so sorry to hear that you have been having such a rough time though. I do hope that things start to turn better for you soon!

      As for the jeans, I went with the size 2 and hope that they will be a loose enough fit. It's been awhile since I've purchased pants or jeans at GAP, but have usually been a size 2 or 4 there, sometimes even a size 0 depending on the style of pant. Most of the reviews say to size down one size, but I chose not to because I am looking for a true 'boyfriend' fit. One of the ways I plan on wearing them is with my navy double breasted schoolboy blazer, a white tee, and pointy toe flats. Jennifer Aniston wears a similar look that I also like and will recreate, as well, but without the sneakers. You can see it here. I also like the outfit she has on with them here, but would opt for penny loafers as my footwear. I also like the idea of them belted with a basic tee and pair of sandals. I think the key to making them look chic instead of messy is to pair them with something more fitted on top, or to make sure your top is tucked in if it is a blousier one. HTH! :)

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  3. I've been reading your blog for a while but never commented before, I just wanted to say that I got the same pair and I love them so much I'm contemplating getting another pair in a darker wash. The SA told me that they do stretch out during the day as you wear them, I got my size 25/0 and they stretch a bit and I could have gone up to a 24 but honestly if one is looking for a boyfriend fit I do want them a little loose not tight. I think you'd love them.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your feedback about the jeans Joelle! Now I'm really extra excited to get them! :)

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  4. i'm interested in those jeans too. make sure you give us an update when you get them ok?

    love you in that dress! you are so gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you so much Janet! Yes, I will give an update on the jeans once I receive them. :)

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  5. You look smashing! I am getting my youngest off to her last year of college tomorrow and getting house stuff done. I am thinking about ordering a few things too with the JC and TT discounts. I don't think I have seen a review of the new Sterling except by someone who was happy it was smaller. Disappointed, but may try it?

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    1. Thank you Lane! It sounds like a pretty busy weekend for you. You must be so proud of your daughter! Does she attend school close by so that you still get to see her often?

      As for the Sterling, I have only read reviews by cate and AppGal (you can see her review with pics here). Both of them were happy that it was smaller, but I just don't think that I will be. I may give it a try to be certain...still trying to make up my mind.

      Btw, there is a skirt at Lands' End that straycat mentioned as being very similar to last year's version of the Sterling, and good quality too. You can see it here.

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  6. you look fantastic! i love your blog - you are so inspirational! my body changed after the kids too but my hair is still as undisciplined as ever. :) i hope you have a wonderful long weekend! xox P

    phiphisblog.com

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    1. Thank you so much phiphi! Our weekend has been busy but fun. I hope you are having an enjoyable weekend, as well! :)

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  7. I have been converted to WEN as well. I have been using it since last Christmas when I got a starter kit for a gift. It really is transformational! I can't imagine going back to regular shampoo now.

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    1. Hi AppGal! Yes, it truly is transformational! Like you, I cannot imagine going back to regular shampoo again, either.

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  8. Oh me too, I'm really struggling with my weight just now, I can't use age as my excuse as I have struggled since I was 8 years old but something in my head has shifted, it is such hard work to maintain my weight, I've gained way beyond my normal amount and still can't be bothered doing anything about it even though I can't zip skirts and trousers. Not quite sure where I'm headed ...we'll see.
    I've also cleared out clothes again - why is it so hard to build a wardrobe that truly reflects our true selves? We are dazzled by the new too often.

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    1. Hi Tabs! It's nice to know that I'm not alone in all of this. Like you, I have struggled with my weight since I was a young girl, but it seems to get increasingly difficult to maintain my 'normal' size the older I get.

      I agree that the lure of the 'new' is incredibly tempting all too often. I'm sure the internet and easy access to items around the globe helps to increase those temptations, too.

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  9. Acceptance of our bodies as we get older is tough. I want to be able to age gracefully and not worry too much about what I'm eating as long as it is healthy real food. My problem is tiredness as you know and I haven't been able to solve that problem. I have been trying bit of strength training to see if I can increase my stamina, I have little 5lb weights I've been using, I'd love to have arms as toned as yours. I think you look amazing.
    And you have saved my hair! You mentioned a month or so ago that you are using WEN, well of course I ordered it immediately and I've been using it ever since. I can wear my hair down and the waves really hold, it looks fuller too and the texture is great. Thanks so much for that tip!
    Now I must get back to my cleaning. I hope you are having a terrific weekend.

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    1. Well thank you, Dani! My arms seem to be losing quite a bit of their tone the older I get. I didn't used to have to do much of a workout to keep them firm, but now I do. The only problem with that is that I often just don't have the time or desire to work on them, even though it bothers me that they are softer than they used to be.

      I'm so glad to hear that the WEN has been working for you! Isn't it just so wonderful to be able to wear your hair down again? I still am often amazed that I can again. :)

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  10. Fabulous post, as usual! Love the opening photograph - makes me yearn for fall. I may give the WEN a try - I have very short hair, but thick and wavy when it's longer, and I am contemplating growing it out to shoulder length. Usually when I attempt a grow-out, I get so frustrated half-way thru and then end up chopping it off. I am hopeful that maybe the WEN will give me some body and a healthy sheen during the difficult growing-out phase and I'll be able to stay strong and on course! Your hair looks fantastic. I am 44 and have noticed over the last several years how it is becoming more and more difficult to shed a few pounds. I walk several times a week and do light weight-lifting, yet I really struggle with weight settling in my tummy area. I am encouraged that you are accepting the inevitable aging process
    in a healthy approach. I'm curious if you noticed any positive body/health changes by giving up coffee? Coffee is my weakness and I know I drink too much of it - just curious if the benefits of giving it up would outweigh my addiction? Thanks as always for such an encouraging post. I agree with Anonymous - your posts are always uplifting, encouraging, and positive - and I appreciate that! Have a beautiful weekend.

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    1. Thank you so much Elizabeth! That first photo is from Ralph Lauren...isn't it absolutely gorgeous? I would love to live in one of his ads. ;)

      I think you should definitely give WEN a try. You can watch a lot of the videos explaining the product on QVC.com...just type in WEN in the search box. I remember one of the show hosts saying that as she got older, her hair kept getting shorter, and just wouldn't grow. However, since she has been using WEN she hasn't had that problem, and now her hair is to the middle of her back. I think it really does help with the growing out issues.

      As for giving up coffee - I have noticed some positive changes. I sleep much better at night now, I don't wake up incredibly tired (stumbling to the coffee pot), and I also don't get as tired in the afternoon as I used to. I would say that my energy level overall has increased since giving it up, and I enjoy not having the dependence on it anymore like I used to.

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  11. Really enjoyed reading this post. I own 3 pairs of the Gap Sexy Boyfriend Jeans (citrine,mitchum, a pair of colored jean in sand) and I just purchased the cords for fall. The Citrine is 100% cotton and has a great fit. I love these jeans! They do not fit me as a baggy boyfriend but more of a sleek stlyish skinny jean for a mature women. I'm petite but I ordered the regular size to get the length of a regular jean. These jeans are fabulous. I hope you love them as much as I do.

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    1. Thank you m.m.! I'm really looking forward to receiving my jeans now. I finally got a shipping notice for them, so hopefully they'll arrive by this coming weekend or beginning of next week. Thank you so much for stopping by to give your feedback on them! :)

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  12. Great post! You are so beautiful and I love to see the IRL pics of you as you always look fabulous! Thanks for the encouragement on accepting our bodies the way they are right now....much easier said than done!!

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    1. Thank you so much Katie! Your comment has made my week! :)

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