Tuesday, June 28, 2011

OOTD: Lace On Top

You may have seen that I picked up this lacy top last weekend at Zara on sale for $29.99 from $59.90 (I had my eye on it for awhile but didn't take the plunge, hoping for a sale!)

I wore it on Monday and I absolutely loved it.  Someone even asked me "why I was so dressed up on a Monday?"  I think this top has a dressier vibe and I love that it's a bit cropped because it looks great paired with a high-waisted pencil skirt.




Top- Zara
Tank (underneath)- Target
Skirt- Banana Republic
Shoes- Kate Spade
Necklace- NY Light Metals on Etsy.com



xoxo,

Veronika.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Products I've Been Loving: Living Proof "Straight"

I'm not a huge fan of straight hair. I like hair with a little bounce and shape.  Even when I "straighten" my hair, I do it with a blowout and I set it in Velcro rollers so it has a little shape instead of being pin-straight and flat (that is just NOT a good look for me.)

So, why in the world would I buy a product called "Straight?  I'm wondering the same thing, believe me.

I first learned about this product from an email sent to me by Living Proof and I was intrigued by the promise: Straight hair that lasts for days.


Here's the product description:

"Straight is a weightless, anti-build-up straight styler that enables you to achieve and maintain sleek, smooth, professional looking results for days. Straight is the only straight styler that can be reapplied to dry hair without build-up to extend the life of your style and extend your time between shampoos — for a straight style that lasts for days. Other temporary straight styling products rely upon oils, silicones, or resins, which make hair feel limp and greasy. And all permanent treatments damage hair and may contain chemicals like formaldehyde.Straight contains PolyfluoroEster, Living Proof's breakthrough, patented, and proprietary molecule to weightlessly, safely keep your hair straight."

The reason I bought this product was because I thought it would be nice to use to smooth out my hair and help protect it from the Houston humidity

I apply it after my mousse (which I only use on my roots)  but prior to applying any other products. I apply it from the nape of my neck to my ends only and then I add other styling products on top, as desired.

I really do notice that my hair has not been as frizzy as it has been in past summer months---even after working out in my gym that has no A/C, my hair still looks smooth after the workout.  The only new product I've added to my routine is the "Straight" so I am attributing it to the properties in the product. 

I often curl my hair the day after using this product and it does not at all impede my hair's ability to curl, which is wonderful.

Overall, I'm really enjoying this product and I definitely recommend it! Anything that helps with humidity is a thumbs-up in my book!


Have you used this product?  Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo,

Veronika.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stiletto Hardware Contest Winner!!!

Hi ladies! I'm delighted to announce the Stiletto Hardwa contest winner!Here's how I came to the winning number.

I saw that there were 70 comments left and I used random.org to generate a random number: 48. I went through each comment and skipped past any that were not entries/did not indicate that they liked it on Facebook or a comment that was a duplicate and/or did not have to do with the contest (including one of my own comments!)


AND THE WINNER IS: Traci who said "I "liked" them on FB! I hope I win."

Well Traci, your wish came true! :)

I am sending you an email right now to get your info. Thank you to everyone who entered!

xoxo,

Veronika.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Weekend Shopping: Saks, Lululemon, Zara

So I'm kind of excited right now because I just got flash seats to the NKOTBSB concert tonight. I was a HUGE BSB fan back in the day (I even met them in 8th grade!)  and I can't wait.  I totally forgot they were coming and then I saw all of these Facebook posts about it and I just knew I had to go. So I got myself some $25 seats way in the 400's but I don't care. I'm going to go alone and LOVE it!

My H and I went to the mall today. Among other things, I had some returns to make:

1. My white American Eagle shorts. I decided I wanted shorts that were a bit looser in the thigh area and those were fitted. They didn't look bad, I just found myself never feeling eager to wear them, so back they went!

2. My Tiffany bead bracelet---I exchanged it for a new one because the one I got turned a weird orange/gold shade after I wore it once for only like 5 hours. Not okay. So they gave me a new one and it's nice and shiny again.  The salesperson told me it could be because of lotions, etc...but I don't use lotion. I also bought Tiffany's silver polish/cleaner.

3. My NARS "Albatross" highlighter. Okay, so this one's weird.  I got it a few weeks ago and have been using it and love it...and then one day I open the compact and the entire thing just breaks into pieces. I hadn't dropped it or anything, it just broke into about 5 pieces.  So I exchanged it for a new one.

Okay, now to the actual purchases.  Well my friends, today was a good day, I must say. One of my dreams came true.  Several months ago (over 6 months at least) I saw this gorgeous BCBG dress at Saks Fifth Avenue but it was $388...plus tax, over $400. I couldn't justify it. 

So today, as we were leaving the mall (we always park at Saks), I see THE dress on the "extra 40% off rack."  It was marked down to $233.99, plus an additional 40% off.  Of course, nothing in life is perfect and the only sizes they had were a 2 and an 8.

The size 2 fit perfectly. It was like a GLOVE on my body. BUT...it was too short.
Like so short I could never justify it because it could not be worn to any work-related events.  The dress is white, so I can't wear it to weddings, so it had to be long enough to work for a variety of occasions. The waist on the 8 was huge on me, but the length was PERFECT (it's always so hard for me to find party/formal dresses that are an appropriate length.)

So, I bought the 8 and I'm having it altered to fit in the waist area. It will have to be taken in several inches, but the length is just perfect on my 5'10 frame.

Here it is, in all its loveliness:

Edited to add this photo (I realized I had taken a picture of myself in the size 2 dress---so this is how it should fit once altered, but it will be longer!)

The dress cost $150 total, which I think is great considering the detail of the dress and that it was originally $400.

The second thing I got today are these ADORABLE shorts from Lululemon.  Since I work out so much, I'm building my collection so I can have more options and don't have to wash the same pair all the time.  These have a cute scalloping detail at the pockets and are a different material than most Lululemon shorts...the girls there called them "board shorts." They were marked at $58 but I think the price was wrong because I got them for $47. They are called the "Paradise Short Short," but something I actually love about them is that they are a little LONGER than most lulu shorts:

(Yes, my bellybutton has two holes in it. I regretfully had both the top and bottom pierced and now I have scars from it. I am having them fixed after I have kids, thank goodness!)

Lastly, I bought this pretty top from Zara. They are having their summer sale so it was reduced to $29.99 from $59.90.  I just love anything that looks sort of lacy...if you couldn't already tell...


Okay, I'm editing this entry AGAIN because I realized I forgot to add one purchase!  I got this adorable crochet-style bikini at Victoria's Secret!  As soon as I saw it in the swimwear section I knew I had to try it on. It's a bright pink crochet-style bikini (but lined with normal swimsuit material) and it had gold tie strings and there is a bit of gold woven through the crochet. So different and pretty.  The tie bottoms are very flattering too---especially for girls who are curvier and have hips!



Did YOU score any good deals this weekend? I noticed that a ton of stores were doing 40% off---Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, LOFT, etc...

I am looking forward to the 4th of July sales. We are going to Austin again but we will likely stop at the outlets on the way home because I always like to check out Kate Spade since they get new stock in pretty often and they usually do 40% off during holiday sales.

xoxo,

Veronika.

PS- Have you ever bought something that had to be altered? The only garment I've ever had altered is my wedding gown...so I don't know what to expect.

Friday, June 24, 2011

OOTD & Night: The LBD

Happy Friday everyone!  This week felt like it dragged on forever, didn't it? (or is it just me?)

On Thursday, I had an awards dinner to attend (our firm won 4 awards--- 3 on projects I worked on!) I wore a black cotton dress during the day and changed into a lace dress for the awards dinner in the evening. I also wore BOTH pairs of my new Kate Spade heels that day!
Day Dress:
Dress- Charlotte Russe
Camisole- Marshalls
Shoes- Kate Spade


Evening Dress:

(just a silly hairdo I tried...I wore it all down
because I thought this looked kind of...random)


Dress-  White House Black Market (outlet)
Belt- Express
Shoes- Kate Spade

Thanks for reading!  I will be blogging this weekend for sure :) I will also be announcing the Stiletto Hardware contest winner---sorry I'm so late on that!

xoxo,

Veronika.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

OOTD & Fitness Updates

I have an outfit of the day to post today, but I also wanted to share some exciting fitness updates!  My H and I have been working really hard at the gym lately, going 5 days a week on average.  We are doing a fitness challenge with our trainer where we are part of a team so we are getting measurements done ever two weeks or so to track our progress.  I'm really proud of myself because I learned that I am currently at 17.5% body fat and I've also lose a few pounds (bringing me closer to my goal weight)! 

When I started to work out, I was at about 24% body fat so getting down to the teens is a big accomplishment for me. My next goal is 15% and I'll probably stop there.

As far as eating, I have been doing pretty okay. I am reading "Naturally Thin" right now, and it's helping me understand the thought process behind eating and choosing foods, which is good for me since I tend to sometimes overeat certain things (like sweets!)  I've been doing well though with eating whole grains, protein in meats, veggies and fruit.  I still have my indulgences, but I practice more strict portion control now.

Anyway, I just wanted to share that. It took me a LONG time to get the results I have, but it was all worth it because now I'm really seeing the numbers move!

I also want to note, because I know people will probably comment about this. I have said in the past that I do not weigh myself on a regular basis. That was true until I started this challenge, as I'm required to weigh in every few weeks. I am actually glad I started to weigh-in, because it helps me stay motivated to see that the numbers are moving! My weight can fluctuate throughout the day (2-4 lbs), so I always go with the lowest number I weigh in at (you know, when you weigh yourself after you pee and before you eat!)

Here's an outfit that I wore last week that I hadn't posted:

Top- Target
Skirt- Heritage Collection, Banana Republic
Shoes- Steve Madden "Fantasik"
Watch- Michael Kors
Bracelet- Pandora

Hope everyone's week is off to a good start!  I have some product reviews coming up because I feel like I've been slacking on that and I have a few great ones I want to share with you all!

xoxo,

Veronika.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Motivation Mondays: Amanda from A. Co Est. 1984

She's been featured on my blog before in my self-esteem and confidence series (which I seriously need to get back on track with) and I'm thrilled to showcase Amanda from the blog A. Co Est. 1984 again today in my Motivation Mondays series.  I couldn't help but notice how awesome she's been looking lately so I wanted to know more about her workout routine and favorite products.

If you haven't checked out her blog already, please do---it's full of wonderful fashion inspiration.  Amanda is a little bit of a risk-taker and I love that about her. Let's read more...
Name:
Amanda

Age:

27

Career: 

Executive Assistant

I visited your blog this week and I was so envious of what incredible shape you're in! what do you do to stay in shape now? Thank you, that is too kind!  I work out at least twice a week, but aim for three or four, and I watch what I eat.  I definitely indulge though, as I'm a big dessert/treat (and chocolate) lover.

I don't believe in 'cheat days' - I just can't do that.  I often need a treat everyday, even just a little something (a handful of mini eggs, a slice of pie, a peanut butter cup, etc.).  I couldn't possibly wait a whole week before eating something 'bad'.  However, I do tend to eat fairly 'clean'; lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean protein.  I will say though that when I've gone a little overboard with the treats, I'll pull back for a good three days and cut them out completely and get back to my regular eating.  I feel best when I know I'm eating healthy.
A bikini bod to be proud of!

How do you stay motivated? Was there ever a time in your life where you didn't work out? If so, how did you regain the motivation to start up again?
Staying motivated for me isn't something that comes easy.  I'm often dragging my butt to the gym, but I always feel so good when I'm done my workout.  Remembering that feeling helps for sure.

Classes motivate me (group camaraderie, yeah!), as well as working out with a partner.

For a long time I didn't have a gym membership, I wasn't a 'gym person', and despite having my membership for four years now, and the fact that I go regularly, I still don't consider myself a 'gym person'.  However, I've just made it a part of my life and it makes me feel good knowing that I'm taking my health into my own hands and (hopefully) prolonging my life and health.  There are sometimes, however, where I skip the gym... and then skip it again... and before I know it, it's been a week and I haven't been.  Let me tell you this though, the first time back is the hardest.  Doesn't matter if it's been a week or a year, getting back into the workout routine is tough, however, it gets easier after that first time.

I also think it's really important to find something you love (or can tolerate, at the very least).  I don't really like spinning, but love the effects and how it pushes me.  So, I found a friend to tag along and hold me accountable.  It gets my butt there and we have a 'good' (aka this-workout-is-killing-me) time together.

You're a fashionista---what do you like to wear to the gym?
Haha, thanks.  For me, I'm not trying to make a fashion statement at the gym, but I do want to look good because that makes me feel better.  My favorite thing is black flared yoga pants, a colorful sports bra and a colorful cotton tank.  Sometimes I'll rock a headband when I know I'll be getting a mad sweat-on (aka spinning class).


What are some foods/snacks/ meals that you would recommend for women who are trying to eat healthier? What is your daily eating like?
Eat 'clean'.  When shopping at the grocery store, I always stick to the outer perimeter: produce, bakery, meat & dairy.  Of course I'll grab some things on the 'inside', but the good stuff for eating healthy is around the perimeter.

Incorporate as many veggies into your meals as you can.  For instance, when I don't feel like cooking for myself, but want something healthy, I'll make a quick meal, for instance like tuna melts or veggie scrambled eggs.

I eat all day long, constantly snacking on healthy things like, plain yogurt with berries, almonds, apple with cheese, bananas, grapes, hard boiled eggs, carrots with hummus etc.

My daily eating is something like this:
 

Monday - Friday:
Breakfast: 12 grain bagel with peanut butter & a peppermint tea
Snack: plain yogurt with berries or an orange
Lunch: spinach salad with avocado, walnuts, tomatoes, cucumber & pear (or something along that line)
Snack: sliced apple with marble cheese or a banana (sometimes a kashi granola bar if I'm desperate)
Dinner: chicken with grilled veggies and brown rice/sweet potato or whole wheat pasta with as many veggies I can cram into it with chicken/beef or homemade pizzas with lots of veggies on a whole wheat pita
Snack or dessert: GoLean cereal, chocolate, fruit

Weekends:
Breakfast:  eggs, toast (...bacon, pancakes, whatever strikes my fancy)

Generally the same type of snacking and meals but less regimented as I'm not sitting at my desk all day like during the week.
 
Do you have any activities that you like to do outside of the gym that keep you fit?
I started running again in the winter and have started running outside since the warmer weather has come.  I like biking, playing volleyball and I love to swim.  
 

What are your favorite stores to shop at?
H&M is my absolute favorite.  We don't have this in my city and when I get to shop at one of their stores, I need at least an hour (preferably two) and often take home lots.

Other stores I'm a big fan are include Forever 21, Winners, Dynamite, Zara, Gap, Sirens & Club Monaco.

 Tell us about 5 makeup products you can't live without:
What are your best beauty tips and tricks? Anything unique or interesting you do that we should all know about?
  • I use blue shampoo and conditioner once a week to keep my blonde beige instead of brassy
  • I wear SPF daily on my face and neck (goal for this summer: apply to the tops of my hands as well)
  • It took me months to master liquid liner and let me tell you, a Q-tip and super hot water is your best friend
  • I only started wearing foundation last year, never touched the stuff before and I have to say, I'm a pretty big fan (so long as it's not cakey)
  • My nails are always painted but I almost always do them myself to save money (I prefer OPI nail polish and yes, it makes a difference)
  • I suck at doing my hair (or so I think)
  • I apply my concealer and foundation after doing my eye make up

Who are your style/fashion icons?
Becki Newton, Ashley Tisdale, the Kardashian sisters, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson, Victoria Beckham & Rihanna
 

Who has the best hair in Hollywood?
Kim Kardashian ... but that's not all real, so does that count?

Thanks everyone for reading and thanks Amanda for your health, fitness, fashion and beauty insights!  If you have any questions for Amanda, head over to her blog, or leave a comment here!

xoxo,

Veronika.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekend Happenings: Husband & Lulu's Birthdays!

It's Sunday evening and I've just now had a chance to sit down and get to some blogging.  My H and I were at his parent's house all weekend because we were celebrating my father-in-law's birthday, Lulu's birthday (he just turned 7!) and my H's birthday, which was today (the big 35!).  Happy birthday to my wonderful husband!

I usually plan a fun party for my H, but this year he wanted to just relax and have a really laid-back weekend.  We started our Saturday with an hour and a half long workout and then we got into our pool gear and drove up to his parent's home.  We spent a few hours at the gorgeous country club pool and had lunch in our cabana. It was SO hot though...like you either had to be in the pool or in the shade hot.

Here's what I wore:

Hat- Ann Taylor (outlet)
Cover Up- Target
Bikini- Victoria's Secret
Sunglasses- Marc by Marc Jacobs
On Nails: Essie's "Lilacism"
On cheeks- Bobbi Brown "peony" blush


We celebrated birthdays that evening with a family dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants and when we got home we sang to Lulu and gave him his cake:

Oh, and here's what we had for dessert (cupcakes, from Houston's Sugarbabies):

Let's just say it was a huge eating weekend for us!  Lulu LOVED his cake (from Jackson's Place)

We had such a great, laid-back weekend. It's just what we needed!  For those wondering, we got my H an iPad for his birthday but he's had it for over a month now because we got it early.  We both really enjoy using it!

I also wanted to give a quick update on my Pandora bracelet.  Candice got me a charm for my birthday, and here is what my bracelet looks like now:

Hope everyone had a weekend as great as mine!

xoxo,

Veronika.
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