Archives For February 2014

February came rolling in with a bang and brought with it a lot of turmoil — good turmoil, if such a thing exists. I got my long-awaited job offer, started a new side business venture, made great personal strides in the blog world, and still managed to stick to my workout routine.  It was such a busy month that it almost passed me by!

If I didn’t have a calendar tracking my miles, I probably would’ve forgotten about the 5K-a-day February Challenge. But alas, it is the last day of the month and the results have been tallied! If you whip out your calculator and do a little simple math, a 5K a day for 28 days comes out to 86.8 miles. I’ll go ahead and admit I missed three days and if I didn’t make-up the miles on another day the target would be 77.5 miles with this information.

5 Miler

 

I love SMASHING goals! This month, my total distance is right at 100 miles. ONE HUNDRED MILES IN 28 DAYS! I’m feeling like a rockstar! The last two weeks distance has been mostly running whereas the first two was mostly walking. My legs are thanking me for slow progress because the next 8 months of running/training/and races is a wee bit daunting…

And with this awesome record under my belt, I wave buh-bye to February and get ready to welcome in March. I enjoy torturing myself, so, March is another 30-day shred month. I’ve purchased proper weights for this go, as one can only shred with full wine bottles so many times before the muscles just don’t find it challenging anymore!

March 30-Day Shred

Of course I’ll be colour-coordinated for my workouts and future races. Have you met me? Bring it on March; Bring it on Jillian Michaels! I’m relying on the Facebook Group I’m a member of to keep me going and motivated and shredding. I’m only 3 months out from my birthday now, so, it’s a battle of the mind and body until then!

And of course, I have the Great Ireland Run April 6th so the runs and mileage will continue. Didn’t you know I’m aiming to hit 2,014K this year? It’s a lofty goal, but I’m a determined gal.

What’s your March challenge? We’re only about 100 days away from summer: What body will you be wearing?

XOXO – K

For whatever the reason, I kept my head out of the game this month as the Fashion industry hopped planes, flew around the world, and did their thing. It’s likely because I’ve NEVER had the time to indulge in the February fashion musings–that’s tax season for goodness sake! Don’t ask why, the one year I’ve been unemployed and could indulge, I chose not to. I honestly don’t have an answer. Considering Paris Fashion Week is underway, maybe there is still hope for me yet? Moving on…

This morning, I found myself searching for something on the Vogue France website, when I stumbled across the Oscar de la Renta A/W14 show on their site. As the pictures dazzled my screen, I sat in awe. It’s like that moment in Sex and the City where Carrie opens the box from Petrovsky and pulls out that divine pink number of Oscar de la Renta’s. I believe it was in THAT moment, ten years ago, he stole my heart. And every collection I see of his wins me over and pulls me further in to my obsession.

The A/W 14 show is absolutely no exception. Let Oscar de la Renta win you over too. For me, this collection is all in the details. Here are my top ten of his fifty-seven looks shown. [View the full collection on the Vogue France website]

Oscar de la Renta AW14 - Suiting UpI’d wear this to the office–GIVE HER A RAISE! 

Oscar de la Renta AW14 - Bright BlueThis is just head-to-toe perfection

Oscar de la Renta AW14 - Color & PatternBlack and blue can look so chic together! 

Oscar de la Renta AW14 - LeatherI am woman, hear me RAWR! 

Oscar de la Renta AW14 - Pattern PlayGlorious black and white patterns. Classic, chic, and oh so gorgeous! 

Oscar de la Renta AW14 - PrintsI don’t know whether I want this dress or these shoes more. I LOVE the pattern play with the colours! 

Oscar de la Renta AW14 - Polka Dot Day DressI have never, and I mean NEVER, coveted a dress as much as I’m coveting this one. I would put it on and wear it around town, to a show, simply every where. It is my IDEAL dress.

Oscar de la Renta AW14 - Shades of RedVelvet, fur, and leather. OH OH OH! YES!

Oscar de la Renta AW14 - Polka Dot GownYou’ll find me on the red carpet in this dress someday. My kidneys and liver and whatever else I can get rid of are now for sale on the black market to pay for this NOW. 

Oscar De La Renta Finale AW14The genius himself: Oscar de la Renta.

God I love this man. I would literally faint if I ever had the opportunity to meet him. And I would give anything and everything to own something beautiful from this collection.  So I guess it’s just a good thing I’m dreaming. Queue alarm clock. Beep…beep…beep.

XOXO – K

You’d think from the first half of the title I was telling you I believed in aliens or alternate universes, Signs style, but alas, I’m just gearing up to discuss a rather hot topic: Female body image.

Female Dress Forms

I want to start with a short story — my own short story from just a few weeks back.

Sitting on my Ryanair flight, listening to my headphones, and holding my white faux-leather jacket in my lap, I notice the lad to the right of me. He’s a normal looking lad, straight off work in his black pin stripe suit. He’s leaning against the window attempting to snooze on our two-hour flight to Barcelona.

As I’m attempting to stare around him out the window as the ground below shrinks, I glance at my phone as the song changes and notice my legs; then I glance at this pin-stripe suit lad’s legs; then I have to glance at the other lad’s legs to my left. “Dear lord–my thighs are MASSIVE compared to these two lads.” Maybe it’s because the lad on the right is wearing black, and black is slimming? Oh, wouldn’t you know I’m wearing black as well. Strike One.

Maybe it’s how I’m sitting? Guys get to go all spread eagle; for comfort reasons I’m always told. And I have to be lady-like and cross my feet at the ankles? Well, that’s too frigging hard to do on an airplane, so, I’m stuck with my feet rooted to the floor trying to keep myself in my tiny Ryanair seat. Lad on the left is sitting the exact same way I am on this ridiculously cramped flight. Strike Two.

Maybe I’m just making something out of nothing? It’s making me painstakingly self conscious, either way. Why, you ask? I haven’t a clue. I’m in the middle of my second thirty-day shred and I absolutely love the results I’m achieving! I’m back to running, and that’s mostly all legs! So, how–why?!–are two lads, whom I’ve never met before, will never see again, and don’t even know I exist between them, making me question every bit of self-worth? (Maybe not EVERY bit, but I did drop my tray table to hide my thunder thighs.)

It’s amazing how even the smallest of moments make us all too aware of ourselves; they make us shrink and shrivel and question our size. After I got home from Barcelona, even more uncomfortable thanks to all the AMAZING food I consumed over my two-day stay, I read a few blog posts from friends discussing women’s body image and self-consciousness.

Tape Measures

My lovely friend Vanessa discusses plus sizes, body image, and even includes a call to action by the American garment industry that I wholeheartedly support in her article, Plus Size Controversy at H&M. It’s a great write-up that every gal, regardless of size, should read.

Then there’s also a few articles by my amazing running buddy, Amy. Her write-up, Body Image and Stuff, hits home on a number of issues, but I love how she’s discussed the never-ending struggles we all face with body image and our clothing size. She even has a follow-up article, A New Playlist & Some Hopeful Thinking Was All I Needed, where she hits on her half marathon training this year and has some pretty witty comments regarding the body image issues.

What do both of my friends hit on? Size. I’m a size 4 or 6 (US) or 10 (UK/Ireland) or 38 [GASP!] (ES).

My Size Tag

And, at present day, I look at little something like this:

Photo 014

Wouldn’t you know, size is just a number? I don’t aspire to be a certain clothing size for that reason. I want to be fit and healthy and comfortable in my own skin! And THIS is what women should need to consider when we start comparing ourselves to others. It’s just a number! And you might struggle with your number, but I guarantee you the woman next to you is/has/will struggle with hers as well. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I’ve come such a long way with my struggles in the past year, and I can see every bit of it in that photo above, but clearly I still have moments of weakness. It’s natural. It’s human. It’s female. It’s a mad, mad world we live in, but you should know it’s OK to have these thoughts occasionally, and you are NOT alone!

Comparison

We tend are our own worst enemies, so, let’s stop letting others influence how we think and feel about ourselves. I challenge you to start channeling your inner strength, your inner beauty, the inner YOU, and find YOUR confidence.

XOXO – K

Do you have any idea how amazing it feels to find designer things at thrift stores? Even if these things are slightly worn, they have so much character and well, the ever important, THEY ARE DESIGNER! The even cooler thing? These things are likely vintage as well. Double bonus!

On Wednesday, it was an exceptionally sunny day here in Dublin. So, after my usual lunch date, I wandered over to Capel Street to hit up those thrift shops just North of the Liffey. It was a new area of town for me to thrift in, but there was a particular awesome find: a Carolina Herrera satchel.

CH Satchel

She’s a thing of beauty I tell ya.

CH Satchel - Front

Her handles are slightly worn and tearing, but that’s where the character comes in.

CH Satchel - Side View

There are two pockets on either side of the outer part of the bag. Perfect for stashing your mobile phone, headphones, sunglasses, or any other bits you don’t want hiding from you on the inside.

CH Satchel - Zipper

Look at those details! Exquisite.

CH Satchel - Lining

I’m fairly certain I’ve authenticated the bag, between the leather, the lining, the zipper, and the external details, but I can’t be 100% certain. Either way, she’s a lovely find and I’ll carry her around happily!

And when she’s not in tow? Well, she’ll have her spot on top of the wardrobe next to the Prada thrift store find. Two peas in a pod they shall be. The price tag on her? FIVE EURO.

This CH bag and the Prada bag are just two very understated reasons why you should NEVER EVER turn your nose up at thrifting. You seriously never know what someone might toss out — to your advantage! (Because let’s face it, if that toss ends up in a thrift store that doesn’t know/recognise the brand, I assure you it’s worth your while!)

Do you thrift? Why on earth not?

XOXO – K

 

I know I’ve been such a bad blogger lately! But, the weather has been so nice in the mornings I just can’t find it in my heart to chain myself to the computer. And nowadays, I’ll be starting my new job any day and my afternoons are reserved for my franchise business and errands. Life has just gotten busy! So, I apologize now, but it will probably continue this way for a while until I get into a new routine…

With that said, it’s Thursday! And with Thursday comes another rendition of the Sephora Fragrance Sampler showdown. This past week, I alternated between Juice Couture’s Couture La La and Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue  around the house and the apartment. Did either of them make the top three, or take the lead? Let’s discuss!

Juice Couture – Couture La La

Juice Couture - Couture La La

Made for a woman who is a little punk rock and a lot of free spirit. This fragrance channels the unexpected, the daring, and always the couture. The fragrance will fill your nose with bright sparkling mandarin blends with bold white florals and sensual smooth woods. This fragrance captures the essence of femininity and the daring allure of the unexpected.

This fragrance is fabulous. It is the perfect blend of scents and the floral notes are balanced nicely with the mandarin notes to create the perfect feminine fragrance. It is bold, but not overwhelming on the nose. It lingers in the air nicely and leaves me feeling fabulous! I don’t so much get the woodsy notes out of this one, but I’m sure it’s in there somewhere.

I never expected this to be a fragrance I would like as I’ve always found the Juice Couture fragrances to be a bit strong and harsh. I was certainly surprised to love this one so much! It is a great as an everyday fragrance as well as a night out fragrance. It will definitely turn heads if that’s what you are after! (Those unexpected and daring inspirations…)

Conclusion: This is a fragrance for an edgy, modern gal. The fragrance notes blend really well together, and it is perfectly balanced. It works well as an everyday or night out fragrance. This sample will go quickly! And rest assured it is definitely a contender for the top spot.

Dolce & Gabbana – Light Blue

D&G - Light Blue

Made to invoke the spirit of Italy, the infinite sky, the deep-sea, and lighthearted joy,  this fragrance has notes of Sicilian limes, Granny Smith apples, and bluebells which are offset by delicate jasmine, bamboo, and white rose. This is the ultimate feminine fragrance that will capture the joy of living.

This fragrance is so light and yet delicious. (Can a fragrance be delicious?) It makes me want to be in a convertible, driving down the Italian coast, on a perfectly sunny, gorgeous day. The fragrance is so very easy on my nose and almost leaves my nose wanting more. I really visualize and grasp the inspiration behind this scent. The blend of notes is absolutely feminine and it would make a great fragrance for every day office wear as it is easy on even the most sensitive of noses! My only wish is that the fragrance lingered a little longer. By the end of the day, especially while outside constantly, I noticed it faded and by nightfall needed to be reapplied. This is why it would be best for every day office wear.

Conclusion: This is a great, light scent that really captured the inspiration behind the scent. It is perfectly feminine and I would recommend it to everyone as an every day fragrance. Light Blue has taken the third spot and is in the running for the big finale showdown!

Have you tried either of these fragrances? TWEET ME! If you need a new fragrance, I highly recommend this week’s two picks. Get to your nearest beauty counter and give them a go. After this week I’m going to have a REALLY hard time narrowing down my top three!

Until tomorrow. XOXO – K