Archives For April 2014

In this fast paced world we live in, it is increasingly difficult to eat like we should. It requires careful planning, serious consideration, and that pesky thing that a lot of us just never have enough of: time. It’s so much easier to stop off somewhere and leave the cooking to someone else. But the problem I have with that is I’m never really sure what I’m eating! What additives aren’t disclosed on that menu? What is hiding underneath the fine print? What’s REALLY in my beef?

In the US, I had the little luxuries of drive thru’s and fast paced restaurants. For less than $15 (€12), hubby and I could have a full meal at a non-fast food joint. For $25-30 (€20-€25) we could have a sit down meal, which would probably include leftovers for lunch the next day. It was just easier to eat out than in most nights, especially when I was working 80+ hours a week!

 Moe's Logo     Panera Logo       Chick-Fil-A Logo

Sure, it might’ve been easier, but what was I doing to my body? Even the healthy options in most places are packed full of preservatives and sodium and who knows what else in terms of unpronounceable ingredients. Your body is the one thing you were given in life for free, and it’s the one thing we take for granted the most!

That whole saying, “you are what you eat” isn’t far off! A year and a half ago I made a conscious health decision. I stopped eating out so much, stopped shopping inside the grocery store aisles, and started eating more whole and plant-based foods.

Fruit & Veg

It was quite possibly one of the biggest challenges and yet single-most greatest things I’ve done for myself. The first grocery shop I went on I spent over $100 for less than a week of food for two. I quickly realised how much meal planning was needed to change my lifestyle without breaking the bank! My grocery shop focused only on the outer perimeter of the store, where the un-processed foods reside, focusing mostly on fruits, vegetables and healthy meat/fish combos. I attempted to cut out “bad carbs” (i.e. white bread) and tried to balance my diet.

Three days in to my reduced carb intake and low glycemic fruit/veg change, I was a vicious, unbearable witch with a capital B. I was constantly hungry–a reaction my body was having to adjusting its insulin levels rather than actual hunger; I was moody due to the hormone changes associated with the sugar/sodium detox.

Powder Puff Girls - Fight Mode

Finally, after about ten days I felt great! The constant hunger was gone, and the sugar cravings subsiding. My body had adjusted to reduced glycemic foods, my blood sugar levels actually improving because of it and the energy levels rising because my body was forced to focus utilising energy from fat cells rather than over producing insulin from the carbs.  It really is true, the less sugar you eat, the less you crave it. It’s a very difficult choice to make if you have said sweet tooth, but I’m so much happier all around!

Happy!

I had my system down in the US, then we uprooted our lives and moved abroad. In Ireland those little luxuries of a cheap, quick, and easy meal prepared by someone else are gone. For a sit down restaurant it would cost about $80 (€50) with an hour and a half gone and the thought of eating at a chipper (fast food equivalent) while sober makes my stomach turn upside down even now! Even the takeaways (delivery service) are quite pricey, but I must admit they are quite handy!

All that said, It’s actually easier to keep in line with my health here than I expected because stores are smaller. Therefore, I have to carry EVERYTHING I BUY and foods are less processed in general (less selection for the record–the cereal aisle is a quarter of the size of one in the US!)

I spent a better part of my Sundays clipping coupons, meal planning for the week, grocery shopping, and advance prepping as much as possible in the beginning. It eventually takes less time and energy once you get into your rhythms–and I promise you finding that rhythm is tough. The first Sunday (in Ireland) I spent seven hours in my kitchen after an hour and a half long stent planning and grocery shopping and thought to myself NEVER again. But I figured it out after about two weeks and it’s gotten a lot easier. And my body thanks me!

I’m sharing all of this with you because I want you to know it CAN be done; Done well; and done in your budget, whatever that may be. You might think, “I don’t have time for that!” But wouldn’t it be nice to make time now to have more time later? I can promise you that you are already making time for the things that matter to you (weekend trips, kids soccer matches, whatever it is!) so why would you not make time for the you that matters most? Do you really want to look back in twenty years and think “what if”, or “if only”?

Never Think Never

Will it be easy? Absolutely not. Will you want to throw your hands up? Probably. But are YOU WORTH IT? Absofuckinglutely. You only get one chance at life, and if your bucket list is as long as mine, isn’t it worth it to give your body what it deserves to seize those opportunities?

This is a three-part series, so stay tuned for the second part of this installment next week.

Until next time, XOXO – K

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If you saw my Double Denim post this week, you know I spent the past weekend in Holland.

My friend and I took a quick weekend trip over from Dublin to visit Keukenhof, known to many as the “Garden of Europe” for its annual flower display that runs from mid-March to mid-May.

Welcome to Keukenhof

Each year, the gardens house over 7 million flowers and it’s worth every breathtaking moment, even if flowers aren’t your thing! The fields are situated a hop, skip, and a jump from Amsterdam in the little town of Lisse.

And here I give you my weekend of colour! Tulips Tulips Tulips! Tulip Close-Up Shades of Pink White Purple Pink Tulips Orange Pink & Red Orange & Blue Pink and White FireWork Tulips Orchids Daffodils Colours!

Now, as I mentioned, if you want to see the tulips in full bloom, you better get out for a visit in mid-April before the warmer days make them drop their petals! The sites are absolutely amazing and these photos are only a tiny sample of what the 7 million bulbs have to offer!

I was lucky enough to wander into the Orchid exhibit and this year they found a way to incorporate fashion into the display! (For those of you who know my birthday theme, look closely at the mannequin.)

Masquerade Fashion + Orchid Display

It’s a great place for a quick visit! You can get from Dublin to Amsterdam in no time, and if you are looking to take the trip on a budget, you can easily fly into Eindhoven and hire a car and both Keukenhof and Amsterdam are a quick 1.5 hour drive.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the glorious colour combos I’ve given you here. Have you booked your flight yet? Until next time, XOXO – K

Have I ever mentioned how much I love polka dots? Oh, I’m sure I have–speak up now!And if I haven’t mentioned it –though I’m sure I have–my outfit posts over the last few months have probably been a tell-tale sign!

Over Christmas, I happened upon a sleeveless denim blouse that was both distressed and polka dots at Francescas. Who wouldn’t take the opportunity to snag a fun piece like that? I honestly had no idea what I would pair said blouse with, but I knew I had to have it!

I’m not the type that would normally go for a double denim outfit, but considering I had to wake up at 4 AM to catch a flight this past weekend, I was aiming to pair comfort with style for the long day ahead and decided to rock the denim on denim. If you saw any of my tweets over the weekend, you know I headed off to Holland for an amazing flower display at Keukenhof. (HINT: Friday’s post may or may not be all about it!)

OOTD - 4.20.14

OK, so ignore my shoes, really. I walked about 10K around all the fields and at 4AM when I got up to get dressed, these runners were the logical choice! The rest of the look is comprised of a basic white tee from Penny’s, Forever 21 dark blue denim skinnies, and an infamous pair of sunnies from TJ Maxx.

I didn’t feel much like make-up at 4 AM (I mean, geez, I didn’t want to wake up any earlier than necessary!), but I did throw some mascara & lipstick in my handbag for the car ride. One can make or break a look with just mascara and lipstick–so I always say. 🙂

It was an absolutely stunning day, in an amazingly beautiful place and I cannot wait to get the travel post written up to share with you later this week. Until then, enjoy the pink and orange display here.

OOTD - 4.20.14 (w flowers)

Until next time. XOXO – K

 

I’ve been a long time wearer/lover of Spanx legwear. They just do things for my legs, backside, and tummy. They hide, they lift, and they most definitely shape! It’s almost gotten to the point I won’t buy other brands, and at $18-$40 a pop (depending on whether you are investing in hose or tights), that’s saying something! 

That said, I’ve also tried other Spanx products, like the slimming shorts and the slimming tank. Oddly, I wasn’t a big fan of either. The shorts most certainly slimmed my thighs, but at the expense of bulges in other places. It was also quite noticeable underneath the dress I wore them with. The tank? Well, I couldn’t breathe. It also, like other control tanks I’ve tried, bunched up at the bottom as I walked and I found the constant pulling and tugging exhausting! (Though I did just happen to notice while browsing their website they have new and “slimproved” designs out…..hmmmm)

I recently was recently contacted by the gals from NUDWEAR, a UK based company specialising in shaping under garments. 

Nudwear Logo

NUDWEAR was founded by best friends Astrid Montalta and Sammy Ivanko and the duo was inspired when searching for their bridal lingerie, discovering the lingerie and shapewear in the market left much to be desired. The two set out to create a brand of desirable products suited not only for special occasions, but also for every day wear.

The girls asked if they could send over a parcel to me, including a few products to try out. A girl can never have too many clothes, especially ones that shape and slim, so I kindly agreed after a bit of research into the company itself Inside my parcel was a slimming tank, and a few other bits to be written about later, so stay tuned for that!

Nudwear - Slimming Tank

I was definitely surprised when I put the tank on. Though it was tight, I could breathe and was actually comfortable. The tank was cut just right with wide straps and a scoop neckline so that it can be worn on its own, or layered underneath a sweater or blouse. 

The tank helped even out that unsightly bra bulge and controlled the midsection nicely as well. I layered a button down blouse over it and I realised the tank did wonders in the chest area as my blouse had a tendency to gape a bit at the button on the chest. The tank evens out the chest area without sacrificing your lift, and that is a big deal, right gals? All great things thus far!

The true test came on my morning commute and throughout my day. SUCCESS! This tank didn’t ride up, didn’t bunch, and definitely didn’t scrunch! I have a twenty-two minute walk to work and the thing didn’t budge. Even throughout the day as I was up and down in the office, it stayed firmly in place and worked it’s magic all day long.

I got two more wears out of it before it had stretched enough to need a wash. I was worried about it keeping it’s shape post laundering, but to date I’ve had no issues and I’m loving the shapeliness of this tank!

If you have argued and battled tank after tank, this one is definitely worth the investment! I’ll definitely be adding another one to my collection soon as I need a white one in addition to the black one. NUDWEAR ships Internationally and you can snag yourself a tank here in your local currency: http://www.nudwear.com/europe/shape-enhancers/the-ultimate-slimming-tank for

I promise you won’t be disappointed with this one gals! XOXO – K 

Spring could not have been more in the air this week. The pink and white cherry blossoms blooming EVERYWHERE, the tulips or daffodils around every corner, the SUNSHINE — it’s all been glorious!

I knew on Monday when the sun was shining through my window at 6:30 AM it was going to be an awesome week. And I opted for a colourful spring wardrobe to match. This week, I’m not bringing you one outfit of the day photo, but FOUR! (It was only a four-day work week!)

Brighten your spirits and enjoy my rendition of Live Colourfully — one outfit at a time.

Monday – April 14, 2014

OOTD - 4.14.14

What better way to start the week than in a bright and cheery colour-blocked skirt paired with a cropped sweater? The leopard heels were just the icing on the cake!

Tuesday – April 15, 2014 (Happy Tax Day!)

OOTD - 4.15.14 (shoes)

Hot pink pants toned down with black T-strap pumps.

OOTD - 4.15.14 (accessories)

Can you “Live Colourfully” without Kate Spade? I think not! Accent the look with a massive pink flower ring and a gorgeous bangle.

And, you saw the post on Instagram, so, here’s Tuesday’s complete hot pink look!

OOTD - 4.15.14

Wednesday – April 16, 2014

OOTD - 4.16.14

I don’t particularly love that it looks like my eyes are closed here, but, I do absolutely LOVE my turquoise pencil skirt! To keep the outfit light (and because I wore my black sweater the day before….) I paired the skirt with a white cropped cardigan and neutral Mary-Jane pumps.

OOTD - 4.16.14 (eye liner)

I even went BOLD and wore turquoise eye liner to the office! WHAT? Oh yes I did.

OOTD - 4.16.14 (accessories)

And of course, I do adore my flower rings, so, of course there’s this to cap off the look!

Thursday – April 17, 2014

OOTD - 4.17.14

It was a bit cloudy on this day, and I reverted to add the black and white back in — but never fear, I’m still bold & red-hot! Striped, belted peplum top paired with a red pencil skirt. No accessories today, but do you really need accessories when you sport a bold, red lip? Nah, I didn’t think so!

Love something you see? Tweet me or email me! Most of what I’m wearing this week is quite a few years old, but I would absolutely love to help you find a similar item in your budget!

XOXO – K