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Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

I always love going shopping, but I especially love it when I find great deals and hit new NSVs in the process.

Today I was shopping at Target, and some maxi skirts caught my eye.  The $15 price tag was too good to pass up. Normally maxi anything doesn’t fit me because they’re always really long on my 5″3′ frame.  But because there’s nothing as easy-breezy as throwing on a maxi skirt and a tank on a warm summer day, I figured I’d give them a go.  Here’s where the NSV comes in – I picked out a couple of Larges in patterns I liked, held the hanger up to my waist, saw that it wasn’t dragging on the ground, and bought them – without trying them on!  I was that confident that they’d fit.

When I got home, I immediately tried the skirts on, and was pleasantly surprised that they weren’t the least bit snug.  They hugged my curves well, but were very flowy and not even a little bit tight.  In the pictures I took, I don’t even have a shaper on, which is a bit of an NSV in itself.  (Although I might wear a shaper under the skirt when I really wear it out, just to avoid any jiggling when I walk).

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(Forgive the hair in these pics – it’s raining here today, and I’d been running around).

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Even though these both have horizontal stripes, I think they’re pretty flattering on.  And I love that they’re short enough for me to wear flip flops if I want to.  Although I could see dressing the outfit up with some strappy wedges that I have, too.  The tank is also new and has a really pretty weave to it (which I know you can’t see in these pics).

The best NSV was when RC3 and I were walking around Union Square in SF on Saturday and decided to go inside Banana Republic’s flagship store.  I love the classic, sophisticated style of the clothes at Banana Republic, but for years only window shopped because I could never fit into them.  And I guess I sort of forgot about the store in this past year, even though I’m down to a size that they actually carry.  So when RC3 suggested that we go inside and look around a bit, I was excited to see what they had.

We happened upon the sale section, and one dress immediately caught my eye – it was a black and white abstract floral pattern and cut in my favorite 50s style.  I loved the shape of it, and the fact that when I held the hanger up to myself, it wasn’t too short.  (I’m still really self-conscious about the flub on my knees and thighs). The dress hits just a “tidge” below my knees, which is my favorite length.  It was originally $119, but on sale half off, so I got it for $65, tax and all.  Don’t you just love a great deal wrapped in a Banana Republic bag?  I know I do!

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I went to the dressing room to try on the 12, and I was thrilled when I zipped it up and it fit.  Not only did it fit, but it looked really good.  It flatters my small waist, and allows enough room for my ample hips.  It looks so cute on, and I cannot wait to wear it.

Speaking of which, RC3 said that he’d seen that The Marriage of Figaro is coming to SF Opera, and asked if I’d want to go.  Would I?!  Of course!!  Neither of us has ever been to the opera before, and the SF Opera house is truly spectacular.  Plus, this opera has such a light, fun storyline. My sister took a music appreciate class in college, and studied many of Mozart’s operas, and she said it is by far, her favorite.  How romantic will it be to go to the opera for the first time with RC3, getting all dolled up?  I’m definitely wearing this dress!

Now I just have to find some awesome heels to go with it… which will be another NSV.  😉

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(I used the Rhonna Designs app on my iPhone to make this pic. I used this picture I took from my recent visit to Santa Cruz Boardwalk).

1.  This is my last Friday of summer vacation. 😦  This time next Friday I’ll be at a “Welcome Back” meeting for the start of the new school year for our first teacher workday.  My plan for the day is to spend it the way I’ve spent the entire summer – a combo of fitness and fun.  Fitness: a session on my home elliptical, walking the dogs with my dad, and swimming some laps. Fun: a bit of shopping (just took advantage of Victoria Secret’s most recent email offer), reading poolside, and a possible date later tonight.

2. This week has been a very social one, getting together with lots of friends that I’ve known since high school, which I’ve loved.  That’s one of the huge distinctions between my life now and my life before I lost all the weight.  I was always a social, extroverted person, but I often felt a bit depressed about the way I looked. Not to mention the clothing issue – I always tried to look my best, but nothing ever fit the way it should’ve.  I can’t count the number of times I turned down an invitation or made some excuse just so that I wouldn’t have to deal with all of that.  Now, I have tons of clothes in the closet that look great and make me feel fantastic.  Now, I am happy and excited when someone suggests going out.  I’m actually getting teary-eyed thinking about what a huge switch this is.  Just one more thing to be so grateful for about this new life.

3. I’ve been getting into Instagram a lot this summer, as you can tell by my feed on the right.  I post daily check-ins for my workouts and lots of pics of other things that just strike my fancy.  While I’ve been off, it’s been easy and really fun. This month I’m participating in three different photo-a-day contests, and I’m hoping I can keep up with them once school starts. If you haven’t joined a photo-a-day contest, I righly recommend them…maybe not just three in one month.  Still, the contests are a great way for me to stay focused on fitness, get motivated, and inspire myself and others with all the photos.

2014-08-02 08.50.30One is for the TIU community,

2014-08-01 12.17.59 one is hosted by @MoxieFitchick,

photoand the third is the Active Living Challenge with Fit Approach and Lorna Jane Active.

4. In anticipation of the school year starting in about a week, I spent a good portion of the day yesterday mapping out my school year workout plans in my iCal.  Since I have a morning prep period on my B days (which means I can get to school a bit later than normal) I’m going to fit in early morning fitness classes at the gym several times a week.  The live Insanity class that I tried a few weeks ago is now offered Tuesday mornings at 5:45am, and I’ll be there whenever Tuesday is a B day.  I’m also going to spinning at least once a week at 5:45am.  I’m still undecided about what I’ll do on my A days, when I need to leave my house by 7am.  Towards the end of last year I was waking up at 4:30am to do a morning workout, but that is just SO early.  Although it’s not ideal, I think I may go back to afternoon workouts on A days, because I really did enjoy them and they’re a great way to relieve the stress of the day.

5. 2014-08-07 12.40.49 Kandis, one of the TIUgirls, mentioned a week or two ago that she had started reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s May Cause Miracles.  Who doesn’t want “subtle shifts for radical change and unlimited happiness” right? The reviews and general internet buzz about the book was so positive that I thought I’d give it a try.  Have you read it?  What are your thoughts?  What book are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments.

That’s my Friday Five – I’m off to enjoy some pool time.

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Happy Friday! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of fun and exciting adventures.

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(I used the Rhonna Designs app on my iPhone to make this pic. I used this picture I took from my trip to Oahu in April.  This is Waikiki Beach, and I loved the color of those umbrellas).

1.  As soon as I finish writing this post, Sofi and I are hitting the road and going to the beach for the first time this summer.  I can’t believe I haven’t been to the beach at all yet this summer. I’m excited to beat the heat (it’s supposed to hit the mid-high 90s here today), walk along the beach with Sofi, and just enjoy the crashing waves. Look for pictures on my Instagram later.

2.curly-curling-creme_0For those of you with curly hair, you know how important it is to find the right products.  It’s only recently that my hair has returned to it’s normal curls. After getting my hair smoothed with the formaldehyde-free keratin treatment last December, my curl pattern was completely changed; it wasn’t curly anymore, it was barely wavy.  I’m glad that I got the keratin treatment, because my massive weight loss affected my hair terribly, making it thin, frizzy, and really difficult to manage.  But I’ve realized that I’m just not great at blow drying my own hair on a regular basis (I just don’t have the technique), so I’ve decided not to get the keratin treatment again (which costs $300), and instead treat myself to Dry Bar appointments now and then. But let’s get back to the products.  Now that my hair is back to it’s normal curls, I wanted to find a product that would keep them defined, control the frizz, but and not build up. After trying lots of different things, I found Curly Sexy Hair. I’ve been using the shampoo, conditioner, Full-On Curls, and the Curling Creme.  I like that these products are really affordable, and that they work. I’ve been enjoying lots of compliments on my hair lately, which I haven’t had in about a year.

3. I’ve had a few clothing NSVs this week.  On Sunday, I found the cutest top, but it as in the petite section.  I liked it so much that I decided to try on the petite Medium anyway, and it FIT! Then on Monday, I was shopping around Target and found a cute 49er tee that was a juniors Large (see Instagram photo). The week before last, I went online to Venus and found a bunch of cute tops, all of which were size Mediums; they came on Tuesday, and every single one fits great (see the turquoise, floral peplum top in my Instagram). Yesterday I was thrilled to finally fit into the Chase Infinite tank that I’d bought a couple of months ago (again, see yesterday’s Instagram workout post). Every time I buy clothes in these small sizes, I am amazed at the fact that they fit. Not only fit, but that they look good.  Shopping is such a pleasure now.  I’ve always loved getting new clothes, but now that I can walk into any store and find something adorable, I am loving it!

4. I usually love watching movies in the summer, but I have to say that I’ve been very underwhelmed at the offerings.  The last movie I went to was The Fault in Our Stars, which was very good.  In the many weeks since, there really hasn’t been much I’d be willing to see.  But suddenly there are a few that I’m looking forward to:

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5. 2014-07-13 00.05.37 I found this photo on Instagram awhile ago, and I love it.  Not only is “choose happy” the way that I try to live my life on a daily basis, but I also love the beach and the image of the sun.  Seeing this just makes me smile, and I’m going to put it up on my white board at school as a daily reminder.  Because no matter how stressful the situation, how disappointing the news, or how unfortunate the event – I choose my reaction and I choose HAPPY.

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Happy Friday! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of fun and exciting adventures.

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I’m having a Silpada jewelry party this coming Thursday, and because I know that many of you love to accessorize but live too far to attend, I asked my rep if we could figure out a way for you to attend the party “virtually.”  She said we can!  She’s set up a website that you guys can log into if you want to order any of the jewelry from their current collection.

Just go to Bella’s Silpada Party and look around.

Personally, I have my eye on a few pieces:

 

I absolutely love this turquoise statement necklace.

I absolutely love this turquoise statement necklace.

I love this bracelet because I could wear it on Fridays, when we wear school colors, which are blue and gold.

I love this bracelet because I could wear it on Fridays, when we wear school colors, which are blue and gold.

I love the shape of these Half Moon Bay earrings. Plus, since I love Half Moon Bay, these would remind me of one of my favorite local places.

I love the shape of these Half Moon Bay earrings. Plus, since I love Half Moon Bay, these would remind me of one of my favorite local places.

This ring would be fun to wear in the index finger.

This ring would be fun to wear on the index finger.

I’m really hoping some of my friends and family see this list and get me something for my birthday on July 2nd. 🙂

I love this children's necklace, and I think I'm going to buy it for my niece's 7th birthday, coming up next month.

I love this children’s necklace, and I think I’m going to buy it for my niece’s 7th birthday, coming up next month.

Plus, they’re having a Summer Sale, with tons of great prices on fun items:

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I first bought Silpada years ago at a party I went to with my mom, and I have been really pleased with all of the pieces I’ve purchased ever since.  While they are an investment, I make sure to choose more timeless pieces that I can wear for years to come.  Plus, they’re of the highest quality, and they come with a lifetime guarantee, which is nice.

So, I hope you’ll treat yourself to a little something special, if you see something you like.

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Happy Sunday! Happy Father’s Day!  I hope you’ve been enjoying the weekend with family and friends, doing all the things you love to do.  My family celebrated Father’s Day yesterday with a great BBQ at my house.  We had baby back ribs that fell off the bone, red potato & string bean salad, deviled eggs, and a Caprese salad.  Dessert was a delicious assortment of melons, although I just had coffee.  My dad loved his presents, we took a neighborhood walk with the pups after dinner, and really enjoyed each other. A wonderful afternoon and evening.

This post is a bit overdue (as so many of the posts are, but now that it’s summer, I promise to catch up).  Last Tuesday Tinkerbell and I went shopping.  I was in search of some capris, so we headed to Macy’s.  My two favorite brands at Macy’s are INC and Style & Co, and both of them had what I was looking for.

I knew that although my weight had remained the same for the past 6 weeks or so, my clothes were fitting looser, so I decided to take a chance on bringing size 12s into the fitting room.  (Along with my backup 14s, just in case).  I’m thrilled to report that the 12s fit!!  And not just one random pair of “curvy boyfriend,” but every pair I brought into the dressing room.  This is a great time to remind you that I started out this journey in a tight size 28!  And now I’m in size 12!!!!!  I really don’t remember the last time I wore size 12.  Maybe in high school?  But even then, I remember being size 13/14.  I’m sure at some point, when I was on Jenny Craig and got down to 130, I was a size 12, but it was for such a brief moment in time that I really don’t recall.  In any case, I was absolutely thrilled!

The cool thing was that it wasn’t just at Macy’s that this size fit, it was at Old Navy, too.  Later during Tuesday’s shopping trip, Tink and I found ourselves at Old Navy, and I found some cute capri jeans for $20.  Now, to be completely honest, those were size 14, but Old Navy fits me smaller.  In other words, when I was wearing size 14 at Macy’s and every other store, I was in size 16s at Old Navy, which I refused to buy.  This time I decided that I could live with the 14s, because they looked really cute and they were only $20.  Plus, no one sees what size they are, and I know that size 14s at ON translate to 12s everywhere else.

The other really cool discovery was that Tinkerbell and I wear the same size pants.  This is astonishing to me, because I look at her as having really skinny, fit legs and I don’t see myself that way at all.  Her legs are solid and toned, while mine are flabby and full of loose skin.  But after I tried on the Old Navy capris she asked if she could try the same ones on.  I said, “Tink, those are going to be WAY too big for you – your legs are so much smaller than mine.” To which she replied, “Bella, no they’re not.  Your legs are actually small too, without all the skin.”  This really hit me.  Now I don’t think I’d consider my legs as small, and I’ll always think of myself as a curvy girl, but seeing Tinkerbell put on the pants and that they fit her about the same way they fit me was really illuminating.  And oh so cool!  I’ve never had a bestie I could share clothes with before – and now we can!  Fun!!

Friday I went to Kohls to look for some tops, but just to verify this new size 12 pants thing I tried on a few pair of pants, and the 12s fit there, too!  The fun thing at Kohls was that I’m solidly in a size Medium top.  All sorts of tops fit me in that size – which is really crazy. I’ve always been smaller on top than on the bottom, but at my heaviest I was wearing size 26s that were super tight around my hips.  Not anymore!  Shopping is so much fun now as I try to figure out my style.  I’ll make sure to post OOTD photos on Instagram, if you’d like to keep up with my evolving style there.  I didn’t take photos of everything, but here are a couple of outfits that show these new sizes:

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I was going to the SJ Giants game on Wednesday night, so I have that tshirt on, along with the size 12 INC curvy boyfriend jeans (which I rolled into capris). As the night wore on the jeans got looser, and at one point Di even commented that the jeans were too loose.  LOL.  I need to wash and dry them.

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This was my outfit yesterday for the Father’s Day BBQ.  The top is size medium from Kohls – I love that bandana print.  The top is super comfy and light, perfect for hot weather.  The pants are the size 12 Style & Co capris.  Also super light and comfy.

I’m so happy that my body is still making progress, even though the scale has slowed down a bit.  It shows that all my hard work at the gym has paid off, and that I’m losing inches.

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{On a side note, I forgot to do a weigh in post on Wednesday, so let me give an update.  After taking about a week off from working out and making some poor food choices during the last week or so of school, last Saturday had me up about 5 pounds at 185.8.  Yesterday I weighed in at 179.6 – that’s a loss of 6 .2 pounds this past week.  I’m really proud of that for a few reasons:

  1. I knew the weight gain was mostly water weight from eating movie popcorn with butter, too many trips to Yogurtland, and a few other poor meal choices, not to mention not getting enough water or any workouts in.  I knew it would come off fast.
  2. I’ve been putting in WORK at the gym with cardio and toning routines this week.  Tink and I met at 7:30am twice and at 7am another time.  And I worked out myself the other days.
  3. I’m finally in the 170s!!  Even if it is just barely into the 170s, I’ll take it.  It means the scale is moving, and I’m happy with that.

I promise that I’ll write a Wednesday weigh-in post this week}.

 

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Spring has (almost) sprung! Which means that the weather is turning warmer, the days are getting longer, and fitting in outdoor activities is a whole lot easier. Spring is a time of renewal, and in the spring of 2014  I’m living my life in full bloom! Now that I’m in the home stretch of my weight loss journey, all the pounds I lose this spring are just like extra petals on a flower, making my life just a bit more beautiful. I want to enjoy each day of this season, soaking in the sunshine, blue skies, and happiness. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend, and will give me a positive goal to begin each new week. My Sunday progress updates will be called Super Spring Weigh-Ins.

Week 42 started with a 5K and ended with a Bay Area WLS meetup, with lost of busy days in between.  Even though so many of the workdays were long ones, I didn’t miss any of my workouts.  That fact alone is something I’m so proud of, and speaks to how much I’ve transformed my life.  In the past, long work days would have offered an easy excuse to skip workouts, but now they just give me a way to shake off a stressful day.  Just like that photo above, I really love working out and miss it when I have to take a rest day.

bilbl_scale.jpg So, what did the scale show?!

When I weighed in this morning, I was 186.0, which is a loss of 2.6 pounds this week, and a loss of 91 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 129 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 36 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m really happy with this week’s loss.  The first pound came off right away when I did my daily weigh-in on Monday; the other 1.6 came off a little at a time as the week continued.  I’ve been feeling really strong all week – not just in my weight loss, but in my whole attitude and demeanor – I’m loving life!

One fun thing that also served as an NSV this week was shopping for Hawaii.  I’ve picked up just about all the clothes I think I’ll need: bikini tops, board shorts, sundresses, capri pants, and late yesterday afternoon – tanks.  Shopping these days is obviously so much more fun than shopping in the past, and I can’t wait to see how little room all of my clothes take up in the suitcase!  In the past when I’d go on trips, my clothes would take up so much room because there was so much material.  I’m super excited that this time around I’ll be able to fit everything into one suitcase, with room.  Although, don’t get me wrong, I’m an over-packer, so I’ll still be filling that suitcase, but this time it will be because of all the outfits, not because of how big the clothes are.

Today my friend Di and I are heading to a local lake county park to volunteer at a cleanup.  This is part of my Lenten Sacrifice, and I’m looking forward to it.  The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here – 80 degrees and sunny – and today will be no exception.  Plus, it will be a great way to burn some calories as I’m giving back.

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Until next Sunday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!

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bilbl_shoppingFriday Five

1.  I took today off to get myself organized around the house.  I’ve had busy weekends for the past month, and I feel like my house is in need of a deep cleaning.  For example, the other day I had to use a beach towel because I was in desperate need of doing laundry. Plus, as part of my Lenten Sacrifice, I need to spend some more time going through my closet and compiling clothes to donate.

2.  Speaking of clothes, I’ve been having a great time buying some clothes for Hawaii.  I wanted to buy a few sundresses, and found some great ones:

caprihalter hilowdress roseleopard They’re all really light and will be perfect for Hawaii’s temps.  The maxi dress will definitely be too long for me, but I found a great tailor who hems dresses for really cheap, and since the dress itself was on clearance at $17, paying for the tailoring is worth it.  I’m a bit worried that the hi-low dress might be a bit too short in front, but hopefully it will hit me lower because I’m short.

Remember those bikini tops I bought from VS?  Well they arrived the other day, and they were a bit too small. (I am very happy to say that the bottoms I bought fit well). They fit, but they were cut really sexily, and I just didn’t think I’d feel very comfortable wearing them, and would be worried that I’d “pop out.” So I returned those and got these “perfect coverage” tops instead:

black polkadots stripes&aqua I think I’ll feel a lot more secure in these.  That third one was on sale at Kohl’s and I like that it has a tiny bit of aqua detail.  Plenty of tops for the beach for a week. I also finally bought the board shorts that I’d planned on:

boardshorts  I haven’t received these yet,but I’m really hopeful that they’ll be long enough and fit well. A few comments on the site that I bought them from said that they wore them out and about on vacation, as well as on the beach, which I think is a great idea.  I don’t have any pants suitable for Hawaii (I think jeans will be too heavy), so I also bought a few pairs of capris:

vsfleececrop tekgearcapris skimmerpants The first ones are fleece crops from Victoria’s Secret, and because I really liked the fit of the boyfriend pants I bought from VS before, I thought I’d  give these a try.  The second are from Kohl’s and were only $15; they seem like good lounge pants.  And the last ones are also from Kohl’s – I really hope they fit well because I think they’re really cute.  The only things left to buy for the trip (and for my spring/summer wardrobe) are some tanks and a few tops.

3. I started this morning off with a great spin class!  I’d bought some new padded bicycle capri pants that worked really well; I didn’t feel any of that pelvic bone pain that I’d had the first time.  I definitely need to fit more spin classes into my normal routine, because I love how powerful I feel when I’m in the class, and I really like the huge calorie burn that comes with the 60 minute session.

4. 20140314-145221.jpg I thought I’d share a lunch that I’ve been loving.  I first saw it on Pinterest, and I’ve seen it a lot on Instagram, too.  It’s a twist on egg salad – instead of using mayonnaise I substitute guacamole.  It might look a little strange and green, but it’s really delicious and adds a nice kick. Today because I’d burned so many calories with spin class, my TIU workouts, and taking Sofi for a walk in the neighborhood, I put the egg salad on two slices of Dave’s Good Seed Thin-Sliced Bread.  But this egg salad is also great on spinach to keep it more low carb.  I know it seems odd, but just give it a try.

5. This weekend I have some fun plans! Tomorrow afternoon I’m heading to SF to meet up with VSGTanya, whose videos on YouTube and posts on FB have really helped me learn so much about this journey.  Plus, she’s just a cool lady! She lives near New Orleans, but will be here in my area for work, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to meet her while she’s here. I can’t wait to meet her after following her story on YT and FB for over a year and a half.  There will be quite a few other WLS -ers there, so it will be fun to meet new people.  Then on Sunday my friend Di and I are volunteering for 3 hours doing a cleanup day at a local lake county park.

2013-09-27 12.14.29Happy Friday! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of fun and exciting adventures.

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