Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Leigh's dip dying tricks

You are all going to love what Leigh is sharing with you today. I asked her specifically to share this with you, and I'm so glad that she agreed. Leigh is so talented (in making bracelets, cowls, necklaces, etc), and I love her newest creations with dip dyed shirts and clothing. The one that she is sharing with you today is so cool! Please let me (and her) know if you try it. I really want to, and I'm planning to add it to my list once I return!

Speaking of returning...I'll be back tomorrow or Thursday! Didn't you just love my guest posters?! I am so appreciative to them for their wonderful posts and the time and effort they put into creating them.
hello little girl in the big world followers, i'm leigh.
so pleased to meet you all! i blog about fashion, diy, and other random things at veryloveleigh.

i have the best diy recipe to share with you today! it goes a little like this:

top: diy//skirt:h&m//bracelet:loveleighknots
no really, it's almost that easy.

i followed the directions here--and the pattern is loosely based on a madewell tee that i was crushing on.

so go grab a white t-shirt, some gel glue [which i could ONLY find at office depot!], some rit dye & have a super fun time.

but first, a couple of warnings--because i like you guys:

1. read the directions. i made these with my friends & we did not follow them closely. you should get your shirt wet in cold water before you glue. we did not. it was extremely difficult to get the glue out when we were done.

2. take your time. we were very frustrated that we designed our tees and then had to wait for. ever. for the glue to dry.  

3. be creative! i did a fun pattern on two of my shirts. the other one is a gorgeous chevron & then i gradually ombred the color. my good friend made a gorgeous flower that cover one side of her shirt, front & back. we also had fun with some classy sayings too. 

4. you will be addicted! i literally was scouring my house looking for white things to glue & dye. 

& have so much fun! this is a great project to do with friends! i'm sure it would also be cute on a multitude of other things that you could dye too--totes, shoes, scarves, etc. 

please promise that if you do it, you'll let me know! you can find me at veryloveleigh.blogspot.com

thanks so much for having me, meghan & VERY best wishes to you & your mister!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Making a healthy lifestyle work (for those of us who work) with Kristin

Kristin and I motivated each other during our training for our first Half Marathons on twitter and through email. She ran the Outer Banks Half, and I ran the Disney Wine and Dine. One day we're going to meet up for a race (did I neglect to mention this to you earlier Kristin? I feel like we've talked about it...). She's got great tips on making fitness a part of your lifestyle, and she shares with you bits of the eating plan she's doing right now (the whole 30). I love her post that she's sharing with you, and I really agree with everything that she says (especially that the treadmill works for me and finding a class you love is important). Enjoy!!
Hi!  I'm Kristin!  You can typically find me posting over at Skinny Jeans & a Chai Latte.  I am so thrilled to be guest posting for Meghan while she's away in Hawaii on her honeymoon!  Meghan and I both trained for our first half marathons, and believe it or not, she was my inspiration to run one!  Since Meghan is such a fitness inspiration, it is only appropriate that I give you some of my health tips!

After returning from a major California trip (which was simultaneously a week long eating and drinking binge), starting a new job, and doing the Whole 30, I have had to adjust my lifestyle in order to juggle working out, working my day job, and eating healthy.

[Part of my first half training schedule]

Everyone really has to find something that works for them.  Personally, I've found that I thrive off having two primary things:
  1. A race to train for (meaning I've signed up and essentially committed)
  2. A printed, tangible training plan
I like to use a highlighter and keep track of times, where I ran, etc.  I typically print two: one to keep at work/in my planner and another to post on the fridge.  I designed my own training plan.  I think this is crucial for success.  I used my current lifestyle and sort of planned fitness around that.  I knew D and I typically go out on Fridays, so those are great rest days.  This will vary for others.  I am still flexible with my plan (note arrows) and switch runs as necessary.  If you're scheduling in fitness where you have the time, you don't miss out on fun stuff as much!  I'm currently training for my second half marathon and hope to be more diligent about cross training.

Another important tip to my success: don't be afraid to use the gym!  Yes, it is great to run outside.  I certainly recommend outside runs (especially if you're training for a race), but to stay focused I use the treadmill!  I can't always adjust my schedule to allow for a 5am or 7pm outside runs (since the heat + humidity is the worst in the south).  Most importantly, I've learned that the treadmill works for me.  As I'm sure Meghan would agree, find a class at your local gym, yoga or Pilates studio, and/or bootcamp that you love.  It'll keep you going back.

Finding a consistent routine that works for me is the most difficult.  My new job has later hours which allows me to sleep later than I ever have AND still fit in the gym before work.  When I was teaching and commuting to another school district, my gym didn't even open up early enough to allow an a.m. workout.  While after school workouts weren't ideal, the training plan helped me stay dedicated.  There were lots of slip-ups and flexibility and that's ok!  No one is perfect.  I wholeheartedly agree that you should never miss out on something fun you want to do in order to get in that run or workout. 

[A typical Whole 30 breakfast]

While doing the Whole 30, I've added another ball to my juggling act.  Eating healthy takes a lot of planning.  D and I typically eat out quite often and do not have a ton of groceries in our house #domesticfail.  I'm not thrilled about hitting up Whole Foods 4 out of 5 work days last week, but if you make a commitment to something, you CAN make it happen.  One thing that has helped me change my bad eating habits...discovering and utilizing our local farmer's market.  The local peaches feel like one of the best things to happen to me!  Go find fresh fruits and vegetables!  Since they are fresh and local, the flavors are going to be even better (plus supporting your local community!)!  I'm attempting to make it a weekly tradition.  

[Farmer's market pick-ups from last weekend]

Then take the extra time to make and pack lunches.  Yeah, it sucks.  Yeah, I complain about it.  Yeah, it makes for more dishes.  I promise making my lunch feels a million times better than grabbing my Lean Cuisine or giving into pizza someone ordered.  I've become a bit obsessed with experimenting with smoothies.  I use those for my post-workout breakfast (which requires some creativity since I eat quickly while/between getting ready at the gym).  Another quick and easy breakfast option is overnight oats!

I'm certainly no expert, and even my own tips don't always work.  As a rule, my keys to juggling an 8-5 job, working out, and eating healthy are...
  • Have a race to train for and a printed training plan in place!
  • Use the gym for treadmill, biking, group classes, etc.  Anything to keep you active and often beat the heat or chill!
  • Hit up the farmer's market!
  • Take extra time to make lunches and smoothies for the next work days
It's literally taken me at least three years to figure out what works for me.  Since my new job just started, my juggling has evolved.  Most importantly, do what works best for you!  

Meghan, thanks so much for letting me take over your blog and babble on!  Enjoy that honeymoon!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Shanna's Statement Necklaces

Shanna is so sweet, and she has an awesome blog with some fantastic outfit posts on a regular basis. And while all of that alone is enough to make her an awesome guest poster, the reason you absolutely must go check her out is because she works magic with Forever 21. I tell you, the girl makes Forever 21 look like Neiman Marcus. I kid you not. And without me even suggesting it, she is sharing with you today some of her awesome F21 finds. I promise you won't be disappointed.
Oh hi, readers of Little Girl in the Big World. I am Shanna from Because Shanna Said So. I blog about fashion (a.k.a. my personal outfits), beauty obsessions and random life happenings. I try not to take myself too seriously and from time to time, have no problem making fun of myself.

I was so excited when Miss Meghan asked me to fill in for her while she is off getting hitched and on her honeymoon. I am so happy for her and know that she is living it up in Hawaii right now! Can we all be jealous? Meghan, we all love you and wish you nothing but a lifetime of happiness!

I thought I would share with you a few fun and affordable statement necklaces that I found at my most coveted store, Forever 21. If you know me, you are well aware that I have a slight problem, borderline addiction and almost monogamous relationship with this store. As we all know, statement necklaces can be the icing on the cake for any outfit and truly can complete an entire look.

Make a Statement

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 |

I actually own # 2 and #8, but am hoping to add the other six to my collection very soon! 
Want to know the best part about all these beauties? They are all $15.00 or less! And this my friends, is why I am obsessed with this store. Amazing finds at amazing prices. 

Which one is your favorite? It's okay, you don't have to pick just one!

Thanks again, Meghan, for inviting me over today! I hope each of you stop by and see me sometime! 
I love making new friends and discovering new blogs!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Getting Started with Jaqueline

While I am constantly inspired by people who can go run a sub-4 hour marathon like it was nothing weekend after weekend (hello skinnyrunner), what motivates me even more is seeing people get started. Whether it is running or crossfit or working out in general, getting started is definitely the hardest part. Seeing Jacqueline start the Couch to 5k and then run a 4-miler before even finishing reminded me how much fun it can be to get started, even though it is also sometimes the hardest part. Let Jacqueline motivate you to start, keep going, or reach a goal. She has some really awesome tips, and she is doing such an amazing job!
Hello lovely Little Girl in the Big World readers! I’m Jacqueline from According to Jax

I am so excited to be guest posting for Meghan, especially since she has been a huge inspiration to me.
You see, I’ve always been one of those people who always “wished” I was a runner and “wished” I was in better shape. I would sit on the couch with my bag of chips while pinning pictures of fit athletes, “wishing” I had those arms, those legs, that strength, that power!
(sorry for the potty mouth on your blog, Meghan!)
After reading several posts about Meghan starting her journey with running, then weeks later seeing pictures of her crossing the finish line to a half marathon.  I was truly inspired and decided it was time to put down the chips and get back into running. And I did.
Want to start running?
Here are 5 things that helped me start running:
1. Couch to 5K Program: It’s an 8 week running program that gradually works you up to running a 5k. I love the iPhone app because it tells you when to run/walk and you can stream music while the app is running.
2. MapMyRun App: I have this app running at the same time too. This app documents the distance of your workout, and keeps track of your calories and pace. It’s definitely helpful to know how far you just ran, and see your pace per mile. (And so motivating when you see the pace decreasing!) 

3. Pandora Music: Find something that you like to run to. For me, it’s Pandora-Black Eyed Peas Radio. The funky beats keep me “workin on my fitness”! And good ear buds help too, there’s nothing more annoying than having to stop running because your ear buds fell out.

4. Partner: The first five weeks of training, I ran alone. I didn’t want anyone holding me back, or worse, being faster than me where I would feel defeated.  Then, I decided to try running with a partner…and it made all the difference.  It is so motivating having someone next to me, keeping me going, not letting me quit. And let’s face it; the chatting helps the time fly by. I still run by myself all the time, but on the days where I need extra push, I know who to call

5. Goals: When I first started the C25K program, I set a goal to complete a 4 mile race in 8 weeks. That’s right; I was training for a 3.1 miler yet aiming for a 4 miler. Sometimes I have wishful thinking. Well, 8 weeks went by really fast. So fast that by the time the race arrived, I was only on week 6 of my training program!!  I was completely unprepared, but I didn’t want that to hold me back from completing my goal.
I finished the 4 mile race in 46 minutes, averaging a 12 minute pace! I couldn’t believe it!
Six weeks ago I could barely run 60 seconds straight (It’s true, I couldn’t breathe, my legs were heavy and tired, my face was beet red), and now I’m completing races!
Just remember: “You are not going to die from running. Your legs will not fall off, you will not hyperventilate, and your body will not give up unless your brain tells it to. So KEEP RUNNING.” I said this to myself 10 times on my first day. Obviously my body is not built to run a marathon yet, but I know what it can do, so when I’m running and my mind is telling me that I’m tired and I should take a break, I have to remind myself to keep going, and that I’m not dying.
I kept going, and hey, I’m still alive!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Megan's creative DIY projects

Megan is getting married next spring, and she's one of the blogs that I've been reading the longest. I've loved following along with her boat filled weekends, she and her fiance's in-house football rivalry (since Tim and I also share this problem), and her craftiness and house renovations. You'll love these DIY projects she has for you today (I think a lot of them are great outside of weddings too), and I am now dying to try the lucite tray.
Hey y'all! It's Megan from Fried Green Pickles here to fill in for a day while Meghan is off enjoying her honeymoon! She asked me to post about a DIY project, so I figured since I'm in the middle of my own wedding planning {3.30.13}, I'd post a few wedding DIY projects for all of you out there! A lot of these projects don't even necessarily have to be for a wedding, you can use them for your home, a birthday party, whatever!

If you want to add a little flair to your specialty drinks, making these drink stirrers are super easy & affordable!

Yes, you could pay your florist to make these for you, but why? Save money by making your own!

I'm thinking of making one of these to hold my cards at the reception, rather than a card box or birdcage. I've been obsessing over Tilly Maison's tray for quite some time now, but the fiance would kill me if he knew I spent that much money on a tray.

Don't forget the groom! Have this cold and ready for him in the room that him and his groomsmen get ready in.

Hope you enjoyed these DIY projects today! Come on over to Fried Green Pickles and let me know your favorite DIY project!

Can't wait to hear all about the wedding and honeymoon, Meghan!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Katie Stays Fashionably Fit

Katie is a woman after my own heart! Her blog is one of my daily reads, and she writes like I'm guessing she talks too. She stays active and stylish, and today she's sharing with you her combination of the two.
Hi there, friends!
The name is Katie, and I write over at Keep Calm and Carry On
Although you can't see my face in this pic,
 I just wanted to be clear that that man right there next to me is in fact taken. ;)
That's my hubby, of course. 

Our dearest Meghan asked me to fill in today for her and talk about working out and/or style! Since I love them both dearly, I figure why not combine them. Genius, I know.
My husband and I are both pretty active people (he plays hockey...I play soccer and run), 
and he motivates me to stay fit.
Mainly because he is 596 times better looking than myself.
It's true.

Anyways, over the years I've found one constant factor when it comes to my work out style and how I stay fit:
I have to LOVE it!
It's a simple concept, but oh so important.

+If you love and feel comfortable in what you are wearing, you will have a kick butt workout.
+If you dig deep and find what activities you enjoy doing the most, it won't seem like that much of a workout! (until after when you're a sweaty mess).
+Get out of the gym! (think about going kayaking-this is a great workout!)

Here's what works for me:
-Anything and everything NEON (this goes for clothes, and shoes!)
Currently, I run in Brooks Pure Cadence running shoes.
I swear by Brooks shoes..they're the best.
and these? they feel like you are walking on air.
-Form fitting (but not too tight) clothing...my favorite workout attire is from Target and Old Navy right now because they are so afforable, comfortable, and trendy!
-And of course, you need a bag that is just as equally cute to tote all your stuff in.

I use this Lululemon bag and let me tell you, it was worth every penny.
I love this bag so much and when it's sitting in my room looking all pretty, it reminds me to pack it up and go work out! 
-As far as working out, I enjoy running the most, but let's be honest, I get bored. 
Everyone gets bored. 
You won't see results if you keep doing the same things over and over again.
 It's so important to strength train as well!
 My other favorite workouts are spin class and TRX.
Haven't heard of TRX?
It's that new workout where you use your own body as resistance 
and hang from those scary looking ropes.
Don't be intimidated.
I just started doing TRX not too long ago, and fell in love with it in the first class.
It is perfect for those of you that don't like lifting weights (me!), 
but still want to get definition and be toned.

Go try something new and get out of the gym this summer! 

What do you do to stay in shape?
Is your workout attire important to you?

Now, stop on over to my blog, say hello, and get to know me more!
 (click here for a recent post that may or may not feature my husbands good looking cousins who resemble the Magic Mike cast. Yup, it's true.)


Monday, July 23, 2012

Meghan's fun wedding finds

Since I'm scheduling this ahead of time, it's funny to think that when you're reading this I'll be married! I am so excited. We should be flying to Hawaii right now. Follow me on instagram (@lttlegrlbigwrld) to see pics from the trip (and possibly the wedding).

I'm so excited for my guest posters this week and the next Monday and Tuesday! I asked them all for different reasons, and I really think you're going to love them all. They all have something really special to offer, and their blogs are just fantastic. 

I wanted to share Meghan's first, because she's the first blogger that I met in real life. And now, we've actually met up twice! Both times I've visited Chicago we've done something athletic. She's a runner like me, and one time we ran along the lake front; the other time we went to a spin class. Enjoy Meghan's take on fun wedding ideas!
Hi there!  I'm Meghan (Yes, we're name twins!) and I blog over at The Perfect Compilation Tape.  I am so thrilled that the other Meghan is off getting married and honeymooning, and I thought that I'd keep with the wedding theme and discuss some fun and unique ideas I've seen in my very long 32 years on this earth:) I always joke that if Pinterest was around when I was planning a wedding (July 2009), I would STILL be planning my wedding!  However, after attending probably 50 weddings in my life and planning my own, I've seen some really fun ideas that I'd love to share!  In my opinion, these are all simple, cost-effective ideas to make your big day stand out! * Place Settings - For this holiday wedding I attended, the bride used candy canes as both favors and place cards.
She also found several black and white photos of herself and her groom and created a collage in the shape of their initials. 
And, to top it off, she had the bridal party recreate the famous "Sopranos" family photo.  Everyone LOVED it!
Dress:  I was a bridesmaid in my best friend's wedding, and we all LOVED the fact that we selected different color shoes that we felt comfortable wearing.
For my brother's wedding, the girls purchased their dresses from Target, and the guys purchased suits that they could all wear again (and most of them did, a month later at another wedding)!  You'd be surprised at what you can find at everyday stores...
K and K
Food:  At my wedding we ordered cupcakes in lieu of a cake, since I'm obsessed!  I found that cupcakes were much cheaper than an actual cake (at least in the Chicagoland area).
We also provided guests with a late-night snack.  They were a HIT, and super cheap!
Have you seen any cute or cost-effective ideas lately?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Loving this Wednesday

I have so much going on right now, and I'm really loving it all! 

My mom is in town, and it's so nice to have someone so willing to help with all the little details. We made the guest welcome bags yesterday, and I'm so pleased with them.
I don't want to ruin the whole surprise of them, but the books sticking out I got from the convention center. A lot of people are coming in town tomorrow and will want to have ideas of things to do, so I picked up guide books! I'll share more about the contents of the bags in my recap afterwards.

I received a package yesterday, and I was so surprised and humbled that Molly had gotten on our registry and gotten us a gift. Molly, I cannot tell you how sweet it is that you thought of us and how much it makes me love you and the blogging community even more.
I also was on Pinterest a few days ago and saw this pin that would really be useful for anyone. I have been looking for ways to store our wedding cards in ways that will be memorable and will be easy to read through later. This is perfect, and even though I'm not crafty, I will definitely be putting the cards in rings like this. In fact, I have so many Christmas cards from 2011 that I may just have to do this for those as well. It's always fun to look back on cards.
Source: kayladanelle.com via meghan on Pinterest
I am loving that my wedding is in three days! I can't believe it, and I can't wait!! It honestly seems like just yesterday we were getting engaged.
I love that we're going to Hawaii (Kauai) on our Honeymoon! I can't wait! Check out the view from breakfast!
I'm loving that my Shabby Apple Giveaway winner is Lauren (who happens to have gotten married on July 21st 5 years ago! Happy Anniversary Lauren!!)

I'm loving all the girls that are doing guest posts for me while I'm gone! You're going to love getting to know them if you don't already!

Have a Wonderful Wednesday everyone!
I'm linking up with Jamie (for WILW) and Michelle (for Pinteresting Wednesday)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Like a museum...

Guys...this is my house right now:
If you're wondering what our wedding or rehearsal dinner are going to look like, just come over. It's all on display. We're talking guest welcome bag setup on the kitchen table, gifts in the floor, matches and napkins by the door, bridesmaids gifts on the counter, guest lists on the couch. It's wedding madness at my house right now. I'm hoping I'll be able to get it cleaned up ever. 

And will you just say a little prayer for my tummy? I've had a little bug that is getting better, but it would be wonderful to have it all good and gone by tomorrow or Thursday. Everyone wants to talk to me on the phone about the final details, and it's so not fun to talk with a bug.

And last thing. Have you heard of Crossfit?
The Crossfit Games were this past weekend, and along with a whole bunch of other stuff that I did, I watched a lot of the games. I will definitely be giving it a whirl in September. I mean, the people that do it don't look too bad.
 Azadeh Boroumand
Rich Froning Jr.
This. And this little idea I have of running the Disney Marathon in January. No big thing. I'm waiting to make sure some stuff works out before I 100% commit. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekly Workout Recap

It worked out well for me to update my workouts from the week before last, so I'm going to make it a semi-regular thing. Kat, Genna, and I are going to start a linkup in a few weeks where you can post your weekly workouts on Saturdays. We're going to start it after my wedding and honeymoon, so stay tuned for that.

For now...my weekly workout recap from this past week:

Off Day

Ran 3.1 miles on the treadmill in 25:30
Bridal Bootcamp Week 1 (45 minutes)

Ran 3 miles in 28:12 (this run was horrible)

Off Day

Ran 1 mile in 9:30/Walked .85 miles
Athletic Conditioning Circuit (1 hour)
Warm 60 Yoga (1 hour)

Quick round of PBFingers No Nonsense Circuit

BodyPump (1 hour)

My Shabby Apple Giveaway ends tomorrow at midnight!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday's Letters #4

Dear Tim, 
I love you. Next Saturday.
Dear Wedding Details,
I'm over you. I can't do it anymore. If something else comes up it just really may not happen. No, I won't have a card box at the wedding, and I'm really just not that concerned about it...
Dear Florida afternoon thunderstorms,
Please make sure you're finished by 6:00 next Saturday. I'm not asking a lot. And just this once. Please?
Dear Bath and Body Works Shipment, 
Thanks for allowing me to fulfill my shopping needs while also providing me with something I am legitimately out of that is on sale. I'm still going strong with my not buying apparel or accessories goal.
Dear bathroom mirror and blog friends,
Thanks for not judging my bathroom pictures. I've been working to step up my daily outfits and it makes me happy to document them. And on those days where I don't post pictures...it's I'm wearing something not so documentable...

Dear IT Band,
Please chill out. I need you to get over yourself so I can get on with my daily workouts and runs without any pain or feelings. 

Dear friends,
Thanks for sharing in my excitement with me as I continue to ooze wedding comments. I'm so jittery and anxious for it to come I don't know how I'm going to make it another week...

And don't forget about my Shabby Apple $50 Giveaway!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Staying Motivated!

Everyday this summer, I wake up, and I instantly have the desire to go workout hard, and for a very long time. Oh wait, no. I don't. I in fact wake up most mornings and tell myself that I'm not going to workout today. I make up an excuse like the need to get wedding things done or the need for a rest day (which is valid when true) or the need to watch Live with Kelly at 10 while drinking coffee. None of those will keep me in shape, get me ready for upcoming races, or help me fit into my wedding dress in 9 days (shameless wedding plug).

In the past couple of weeks, though, I figured out my secret at least for getting off the couch and heading to the gym. I think this would also work for people at work that think they don't want to go to the gym on the way home (because it's been a long day or because you don't know what you're making for dinner or because you just don't want to...all things that I experience when school's in). 

And here's another place where social media comes in so handy.

Step 1. 
Follow a few people on twitter who workout a lot and talk about it (suggestions: FitSugar, FitFluential, BlondePonytail, Runner's World). After they're followed, just get on twitter. It should look something like this:
Step 2.
Spend 3 minutes on Pinterest visiting your motivation or working out board and promise yourself you won't pin anything (that would just cause a delay in working out).
If you don't have a motivation or inspiration or workout board, start one! Then start pinning pictures of people you want to look like, quick workouts (like the commercial workout to do during tv commercials or the shower workout to do anytime before you get in the shower), and quotes that inspire you! Then, you can refer to it!

Step 3.
Drink some caffeine or eat something with sugar to get a rush. I've been choosing caffeine lately and it's been getting me off the couch to get the workout clothes on.

Step 4.
Turn on your workout playlist. Either on your computer or on your phone, turn on just a few seconds of a few of the songs that really pump you up? Need some ideas? 
Here are a couple of my playlists on spotify you could pull from.
By this point...hopefully you've got some adrenaline flowing and you're ready to throw on your gym clothes. Don't think. Just put on those gym clothes, put your shoes on, close your eyes and go! Whether it's hitting the pavement for a run or getting in the car to head to the gym, just go with it. Don't think about it until you're there. Once you've spent a few minutes on it,  your body will take over!

And when you get back from you workout...go visit my guest post on Cait's blog.

Like my page on Facebook 

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