September 22, 2014

Taylor Swift - How to Rock a Red Lipstick

Image from here

Happy Monday!  With the Fall season, it's time to change up your beauty routine and go dark. Taylor Swift loves a great red lipstick (don't we all?) so here's your chance to stock up on some bold red lipstick to look as gorgeous as Taylor Swift.

Happy Shopping!

September 19, 2014

What I’m Loving Right Now: Fall Maxi Skirts and Turtleneck Sweaters

Image from The Satorialist

 Do you ever get the feeling that you’re either (a) too old to wear ‘edgy’ street style clothing or (b) you can’t pull it off based on your lifestyle (i.e., walking in 5 inch stilettos for more than the 2 minutes it takes to valet and sit down at the restaurant will cause you to A LOT of pain)???

Image from here

Don’t worry, I am right there with you!

Although I greatly admire Scott Schuman, founder of The Sartorialist, and his ability to capture the world of fashion and I'm not sure many of the outfits fit into my daily life. But I do love them for inspiration such as these and these.

I love looking through the pictures of the many fashion show attendees, but I could never wear 99.99% of the outfits. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love to indulge in clothing that is a little bit unexpected while still staying true to my own style. Luckily,  I recently came across this great Street Report picture and instantly fell in love!  You know that feeling? As in, I.NEED.THIS.RIGHT.NOW.  Yup, that feeling.
What I love about pairing a sheer maxi skirt with a chunky turtleneck sweater is that it's a little edgy with a whole lot of comfort and practicality. Pair this outfit with some suede knee high boots and you're done.

Ready to go shopping? 

Here is my pick for the perfect Fall weekend outfit:

September 11, 2014

5 Healthy Afternoon Snacks to Avoid the Afternoon Munchies

It's almost time to head home for the day and you're starving! The vending machine down the hall in your office building is calling your name! The pantry, full of oh-so-delcious chocolate cookies, is begging you to come by for a visit!

If you're on the journey of losing the baby weight or just want to stay on a healthy path try curbing those afternoon munchies by eating one of a healthy snack that is 100 calories or under, which low in sugar and high in protein.

So what should you eat?  I've put together a list of my favorite 5 healthy snacks that will give you a boost of energy in the afternoon and keep you on track of looking and feeling great.

1. Almonds

 I love keeping a stash of these almonds in my desk drawer when the afternoon munchies start to creep up. Almonds are a great snack for weight watchers since they are high in protein and full of minerals to keep your body strong and your blood pressure under control.

Almonds make are such an awesome afternoon snack that can be easily brought with you in the car if you're running errands or on your way home from work or school. 

2.  Low-fat cheese stick

Low fat cheese sticks are another great mobile snack that are healthy and provide portion control. I find that when I'm hungry, I HAVE to stick with individually wrapped items or containers or else I will eat five times what a single serving size is.  I personally go for low-fat cheese sticks rather than any kind of 'fat free' cheese since I find a little bit of fat in my snack helps me feel more satisfied and curbs my hunger.

3.  Sliced apple with peanut butter

Another great healthy snack that is also easy on your wallet.  Since there are so many varieties of apples, there always seems to be a sale.  Adding a bit of peanut butter to the apple slices gives this snack a bit of kick in the fat department but still keeps it a healthy option. I personally love these these natural peanut butter snack cups that you can toss in your bag without thinking twice about it.

4.  Individual nonfat plainGreek yogurt mixed 1 tablespoon of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon

I absolutely loveGreek yogurt any time of day, but it's especially great in the late afternoon when I'm starving and am craving a little 'comfort eating' which for me means something with a spoon. Adding a little bit of honey gives it a bit of needed sweetness and helps me avoid adding something unhealthy like chocolate sauce (although that does sound good!) and the cinnamon is just another bit of flavor on top. 

5.  Protein bar

If you haven't tried these mini protein bars, you're missing out! Each bar is only 100 calories or less (very rare to find this for any protein bar) and absolutely delicious! As a busy mom of three kids, I buy these in bulk and keep them in the glove department of my car, in my gym bag, and in my office desk drawer. They are naturally sweet so I feel like I'm 'treating myself' even though they are super healthy!

September 10, 2014

What to Wear on Date Night in DC

Image from here

 This weekend my hubby and I are going out for a much needed and long overdue date night to celebrate our 12-year wedding anniversary.

We haven't been out on date night since February when I was 8 months pregnant. This is what I wore:

A burberry that I wore throughout my pregnancy

 To say that I'm excited is an understatement. I am VERY excited! Not only because it means relishing in a few hours of uninterrupted adult conversation with my husband, but also because it means shopping for a new outfit. 

What?  Did you think I was going to wear a dress I already had??? Ha! Not a chance! 

image from here

As part of my journey of losing the baby weight, I want to celebrate and treat myself to a new dress....or two.

So, what to wear for a date night in DC? After looking and looking, this is my favorite date night dress that is a mix of sophistication and sexiness. I love that you can dress this up or down and even though it's sexy, it's still very classy as well.

Looking for some DC restaurant recommendations? Please check out this article I wrote a while back about DC restaurants and feel free to pass this information along to friends and family!


September 9, 2014

Postpartum Exercise: Top 5 Tips on How to Stay Motivated and Not Give Up

I will never forget standing inside a newly opened exercise studio, 6 weeks postpartum, among a sea of perfectly toned women with their perfectly flat stomachs while I felt and looked like a huffalump. And of course I chose a studio that surrounded with mirrors so it wasn't like I could just hide in the back (which I tried to do anyway).

 Prior to taking this class, I hadn't been doing any postpartum exercise since I got a bad case of mastitis, which scared the heck out of me and I wanted to fully recover from that before thinking about working out again. During my pregnancy, I stayed active and since I was fairly fit before getting pregnant, I thought getting back into it would be easy both mentally and physically. Wrong!

As the class started, I heard the workout cues but my postpartum body wouldn't cooperate and moved like molasses through each move.  The entire time, I kept thinking, "I hate this! This studio sucks! The lights are too bright! The instructor is going too fast! Why the hell did I even come here! What a waste of money!" And then the hour was up and I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

Once I got home, I complained and vented to my husband about the exercise class and vowed never to go back.  Fast forward 5 months postpartum and not only have I been back, but I love the classes. So, what happened? Why did I change my mind?

From 6 weeks to 5 months postpartum, I kept reminding myself a few things to stay motivated in getting back in shape and losing the baby weight and I wanted to share them with you:

1.  Successful people do what others refuse to do or won't do.  Isn't this so true in all areas of life? When it comes to working out and eating right, it's super HARD to eat healthy and say no to all of the ooey gooey foods that are calling your name. It's also super hard to push yourself past your comfort levels at the gym and really sweat and really work. But that's where success will come from. 

2. Think about losing the baby weight as a 'journey' that won't happen overnight but WILL end successfully.  I once watched an interview between Simon Cowell and Oprah who said, 

"It will normally happen over time. And it's the getting there which has been the most fun. You've got to be patient and enjoy, as I said before, the process of getting there."

I remind myself of this quote every time I want to give up and not workout. When I just want to eat a big piece of chocolate cake even if I'm not hungry or in a celebratory mood. I remind myself that getting back in shape is a journey that I need to embrace and believe that I will finish.

3. You're tired, your baby is sick, your boss needs that report yesterday so you have zero time to workout today. You know what? It's okay! Try again the next day, or the day after that. Just keep trying.

You know how they say, 'You won't get fat by eating one cookie."? Well, it's true. And it's also true that you won't lose all of your strength or endurance if you skip a workout for a day or two. The KEY here is working out the next day or the next. Cut yourself some slack and try again tomorrow. 

4. If working out was easy, the word "work" wouldn't be part of it.  For some people, working out is fun. For the majority of us, it's work and it's NOT easy. Especially after having a baby and your body is screaming at you to stop! now!  Believe me, I know. Believe me, I get it and I'm going through the same thing.  But each day, it gets a little bit easier and you get a little bit stronger. I don't think I will EVER thinking of working out as fun but I'll do it anyway since the benefits are plenty.

and last,

5.  Cleaning the house, chasing after the kids, running (ok, walking briskly) around the grocery store COUNTS as physical activity.  As mentioned here, there are great ways to be active without having to step foot inside a gym.  Working out is just part of the equation. It's also very important to lead an overall active lifestyle and of course have a healthy diet on an every day basis. As moms, especially new moms, time is not our friend because he/she is never around. We're so busy taking care of the house and kids that a dedicated hour (especially when you have a newborn) is not even remotely possible. And that's okay! After going back and forth several times across a huge grocery store and loading and unloading many many grocery bags, I that's a pretty good workout by the time you are done. And let's talk about what a good workout just doing the laundry for a family of five is: Carrying the overflowing laundry basket, bending over again again to load the washer and dryer, carrying the clean clothes back to the bedrooms, and spending the next 30 minutes putting away all of the clothes? Yeah, that's a pretty good workout!

If you're interested in reading more about postpartum exercise, please read this article I wrote where I share more GREAT tips on losing the baby weight and check out another article I wrote about staying stylish after having a baby!


September 8, 2014

The BEST workout to lose weight fast

I just finished one of the BEST workout videos to lose weight fast and in the comfort of your own home.  I absolutely love working out at home for two main reasons:

  • It's cost-effective (no driving, no gym membership fees, and no need to hire a babysitter if you have kids)

  • You can do them at any time in any space (a small bedroom, a large living room, even outside in your backyard or a park!)
If you could see me now, my face is bright pink from working hard for simply 20 minutes for a combination of cardio and strength training. It doesn't get better than that. I used to do these workout through You Tube but they've added commercial in the middle of the workouts, which is super annoying and disrupts your workout.  The whole point of working out for short periods of time is not to take any breaks (unless your body is telling your otherwise) so the commercials are not a good welcome for me. I love being able to pop in the DVD quickly and get my workout done and done.

My mantra these days while I continue to lose the baby weight (here are some more fitness tips and advice on losing the baby weight for all of you new mamas!) is do what you can.  Some days it might mean a 10 minute walk and on other days, it's definitely one of my favorite workout videos.

Some of my other favorite workouts to lose weight fast are these workouts that combine 
workouts that combine cardio and barre (have you heard of barre workouts? If not, here is a great explanation of barre workouts) that will make you sweat, lose the fat but is also easy on your joints.

I'm wearing my new Lucy Perfect Core Halter Top today and I am loving it. The fit (this time I made sure to buy a medium since the size small was a bit too tight) is perfect and the quality is superb.

If you're interested in more tips and advice on how to losing weight without joining a gym, check out this article and please leave me a comment on how they work for you!


September 3, 2014

Top 5 Beauty Products - September Picks

Are you ready for my Top 5 Beauty Beauty Products for this month? I love talking about beauty products (in addition to fashion and fitness of course) and sharing my finds since there are so many out there these days! 

Top 5 Beauty Products - DC Fashion Gal September Picks

All of my picks are my personal favorites that I've tried and truly love. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm a 'beauty product junkie' and love to share what I find fabulous, fun, and effective! Check out these great beauty product that are among the best out there and treat yourself this month to one or all of them!

3. L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour, Gilded Pink


4. Clear Total Care Nourishing Shampoo 

 5. MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microfinish Powder

Which of these products do you already love? Leave a comment below or send me a tweet and let me know! Please come back for my October Best Beauty Product Picks next month!

DC FASHION GAL ALERT: Be sure to follow Fashion Gal in DC on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter to find out about some fun upcoming giveaways and contests!!