Hello again

Hi friends.  I know it’s been awhile.  And I could give you a long list of excuses as to my absence, but I figured I’d just give you a fun pictorial recap instead.  Since we last spoke I….

….went Rose Bowling and found the nightstand I’ve been lusting after (and since Jefe was on a plane, I prayed he’d like it)….

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…. attended the swanky office Oscar party with my very dapper Jefe.  Only one celebrity setting (Mr. Entourage himself, Adrian Greiner), but we had a great time minus my killer Monday morning headache….

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… Jefe and I headed up the coast to Santa Barbara to celebrate year 4 of being partners-in-crime (and I guess love, too).  We stared as some gorgeous shoreline, feasted, and drank our way through wine country.  We may have returned with a case of wine….

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… Hit up an LA Kings hockey game (they lost)….

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…. Went to Pittsburgh for one of my college friend’s wedding.  It was great being reunited with so many of my lady friends and I finally got a change to teach Jefe all about all things Yinzer: The Church Brew Works, Pamela’s, Carnegie Mellon University and all of its many weird traditions.  We even managed to squeeze in a Penguins hockey game thanks to some stellar seats from a coworker who’s also a Pittsburgh native….

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…. Saw MUPPETS: MOST WANTED at the El Capitain Theater that included a live pre-show with Kermit & Miss Piggy….

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…. Headed to the Getty with my good friend John after a failed attempt to head to the Huntingdon Libraries & Botanical Gardens (thanks AAA and UberX for getting us out of South Pasadena in one piece)….

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….Took a bite out of the Big Apple with some of the most adorable little people in our lives.  I got to meet my best friend’s little girl Addie (short for Adeline), and spent some quality time with Geoff’s brother’s family.  We also got the opportunity to see Audra McDonald in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” and I can officially check off seeing her perform from my Broadway bucket list….

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…. Went to ANOTHER LA Kings hockey game (we lost again and Jefe realized that we’ve lost every game he’s ever taken me too…..)  But we had a great time as it was fan appreciation night, the Kings played a great game that led to overtime and 2 rounds of shoot outs….

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…. hit up the Rose Bowl Flea Market with my friend Chelsey.  I came home empty handed (minus the breakfast burrito and delicious watermelon juice in my stomach), but Chelsey grabbed 2 refurbished dining chairs and Jefe found the vintage sports equipment seller who’s been MIA the last few times.  He walked away with a great leather baseball glove and an old catcher’s mask.  I did happen to find the barnyard I think Beyonce came from:

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All of the above was in addition to a few crazy months at the old 9-to-5 day job (and by that, I mean 9-9ish really).  So pardon my blogging absence.  I’ve also gotten a little tired of all the same interior decor and DIY I keep seeing rehashed and recycled everywhere and just needed a breather from the blogosphere.

Anyways, I’m back and hope to have some new home updates for you guys soon.  First on the agenda – not killing my new little succulent.  I have about as black a thumb as they can come so I’m doing my best to revamp my gardening ways.

Happy Friday!

Oh Baby… Nursery

Babies, babies everywhere.  I can’t count on one hand the number of little bundles of joy that are about to arrive on the doorsteps of friends and family in the next few months.  This happens to include my stepsister who welcomed my adorable first nephew on Sunday!

My best friend also happens to be due in the next week so she recently asked me for some nursery inspiration while she prepped for the arrival of her little girl.  So today I’m sharing some of my favorite finds for all styles of nurseries from neutral and glamorous to gender specific and rustic.

Classic Nursery

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Let’s start with this classic beauty.  Neutral colors with a slightly playful theme thanks to the zebra and hot air balloon and a classic crib.

Grey Modern Glam Nursery

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Contemporary, abstract art over a crib – so glamorous.  And the contrast of colors against the moody grey walls – perfection.  The patterned rug just kicks it up a notch.  This particular nursery is clearly doing double duty too for when those giddy grandparents come to visit.

Neutral Modern Glam Nursery

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How luxurious does this nursery feel?  It’s gender neutral and could so easily be achieved with a little blood, sweat and DIY.  All you need is quite a bit of cheap off-white fabric, a staple gun, some painters tape and a gallon of paint.  Top it off with a glamorous light fixture and you’re in business.

Rustic Nursery

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So I cheated a bit and this is an old ad from Restoration Hardware’s Baby & Kids line.  But I’m completely in love with the rustic charm and the perfect way they styled a nursery that’s a little girlie without looking like a pink crayon vomitted everywhere.

Vintage Pale Blue Nursery

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Vintage charm is all over this room.  I love that the desaturated blue of the walls is a few shades off the traditional baby blue of most nurseries.  And the bunting combined with a it of chevron on those curtains brings it in to the 21st century.

Traditional Vintage Nursery

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If you’re looking for more of a traditional space, this is the room for you.  I die over the antique-looking toys and that mirror over the crib is so elegant.

Super Glam Nursery

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This gem has been making the blog rounds for quite some time, but I completely see why – you want glamour for your little girl, this is the room for her.  Shiny surfaces and animal print?  CHECK!

Grey and Purple French Nursery

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Or maybe she is more into shabby chic, French country charm?  Done!

Peach Grey Champagne Nursery

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Or you think she’ll be a little eclectic, but with a sweet side?  A room filled with peach, champagne and gold is the place for her.

Eclectic Boys Nursery

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Perhaps it is a little boy who needs a little eclectic space of his own?  Combine an industrial fixture with a vintage map and some burlap curtains, and you’re good to go.

Navy Glam Nursery

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White and navy with a touch of silver is perfection.  All the pieces (minus the crib) could be repurposed as the child grows or seamlessly moved in to other rooms of the house.

The Animal Print Shop by Sharon Montrose

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Minimalist, white and clean.  But the light wood, adorable artwork and the sheepskin rug warm up the space for a little bundle of joy.

The Animal Print Shop by Sharon Montrose.

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Then their are those new moms who just know their little one will be fashionable and always on trend.  Then herringbone and tassel garlands are just for them (and it serves as a stylish alternative to a mobile).

Navy and Red Modern Nursery

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I think we’ve seen some variation of that rug a few times… looks like it’s a clear winner in nursery land.  When paired with striped crib bedding and crisp roman shades, the room suddenly has a preppy feel.

Grey and Pink Glam Nursery

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Maybe you just want to embrace your little girl’s feminine side?  Swatches of pink, monogrammed wall art and a chandelier are just for her.

Neutral Glam Combo Nursery Guest Bed

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If you’re raising a little gentleman or lady, this elegant nursery/guest room combo is the perfect space.

Modern Glam Nursery

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Modern.  Pink.  Perfection.  And I don’t even like pink.

Pink and Gold Princess Nursery

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If she really is a princess, this space is for her.

Modern Boy Nursery

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I die over that kelly green wall paper.  Baby would love staring at it!

Modern Graphic Nursery

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Modern and graphic.  With a hint of mid-century modern thrown in.

And now for a little extra dose of awesome: a few celebrity nurseries to drool over:

Bill and Giuliana Rancic Nursery

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Bill & Giuliana’s house is perfection.  I expect nothing less for their little guy’s space.  I want that grasscloth wallpaper.  Now.

Jenna Lyons Nursery

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This nursery belongs to momma/queen of style Jenna Lyons.

The Animal Print Shop

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I’m loving the clean lines and soothing colors of this beauty, the home of Molly Sims’ babe.

So what do you think – I see some serious themes popping up lately in nursery styles – print rugs and giant giraffes are clearly all the rage.  I also love the practicality of most of the spaces – all of them seem to be able to easily transition as the child grows older.  And not a licensed character in sight!  Not that I have anything against Mickey or Buzz Lightyear… I’d just prefer a little more subtle use of whimsy ;-)

Say It Ain’t So! Goodbye Expedit

Unless you’re an avid record collector (who for now are the most irate), you may not have heard the news.  Ikea may be discontinuing the EXPEDIT line (rumored here, here and here).  The whole thing.  For the time being, it’s said to only be relegated to Germany, but most things I’ve read speculate that it’s only a matter of time before it hits the rest of the world.  A petition on Facebook to save the favored shelving has already reached over 15K likes.

They are replacing it with another, similar style but I feel like this is an end of an era and possibly a huge misstep on Ikea’s part.  I don’t think they realize how widespread the use of that line really is – I’ve seen it used everywhere from a starter dorm room to high-end, luxury celebrity homes.

What are we going to do without this serious work horse piece of furniture?  I scoured and found the below image of it’s supposed replacement, the ‘Kallax’.  What do you think?

Ikea Kallax

I’m not a huge fan and think it’s too similar to other styles.  The Expedit had that thick frame – very Parsons-like that so many people adored.

There have been many blogger odes to this marvelous wonder, but today is sadly more of an obituary.  So in honor of its final days, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite uses for the EXPEDIT.  Enjoy.

BHG - Stacked Expedit

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BHG - Stacked Expedit 2

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Loving the stacked look from designer Meg Lonergan.  And the mirror hanging in front makes it look oh-so-chic and gives it a built-in quality.

Apt Therapy - Mega Expedit Wall

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This entire wall was created with a combination of different Expedits.  It’s a bibliophile’s work of art.

Apt Therapy - Office Expedit Parson Style

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I’ved loved this photo for as long as I can remember.  It pairs with a Parsons desk perfectly and the lack of a backing lets the dark and moody paint color shine through.

Live Creating Yourself - Expedit Turned Bar

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Everything Everygirl is perfection to me.  Alaina Kaczmarski styled this piece for her dining room – display storage for her beautiful plates and glassware with an added place to include a bar.

BHG - Expedit Display Shelving

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An Expedit is a great way to display a collection.

BHG - Expedit Room Divider

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A perfect example of two of the most-used reasons for the Expedit – room divider and color-coordinated bookshelf.

Elle Decor - High End Expedit

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Elle Decor showcases how an Expedit fits in seamlessly when paired with more high-end furnishings in the home of Jayson Home’s Devin Kirk.

Adore Mag - Expedit Closet Style

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Have too much closet space (is that an actual problem?!) without enough shelving?  Display those heels and handbags like the works of art they truly are.

I have had my Expedit since I moved to Los Angeles 6+ years ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long!) and don’t plan to get rid of it any time soon.  It’s a storage monster and an absolute necessity in our home.  So who would like to raise a glass and toast the amazing, incredible Expedit with me?!

*Update:  The Huffington Post has confirmed with an Ikea spokesperson that this is true.  It’s a sad, sad day.

Share Your Heart

Last night I ducked out of the office (before it was even dark!) and headed over to West Elm for one of their DIY workshops.  This particular event was Valentine’s Day themed – crafting paper hearts to be sent to St. Jude’s Hospital where they will string them all together in an attempt to create the world’s largest paper chain!  And for each heart we created, West Elm donated $1 to the hospital.

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The actual crafting was free and they provided all of the supplies.  While there, I met some great people including a group of visual merchandisers for Macy’s, West Elm’s store manager and CJ, a stylist who runs their Instagram, @westelmla.

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There were also some great-looking refreshments, but as I’m still sticking hard core to my Weight Watchers plan (down 3 lbs so far!), I opted to just capture it on film.

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So let the crafting begin.  For my first heart, I knew I wanted it to be purple-themed in honor of my childhood friend Jill and all the kids like her at St. Jude’s.  I started out with a giant sheet of purple tissue paper.  I started doing a little ripping for a “rough edge” and needless to say, the finished project is not my best work, but I think the kiddies will like a heart option that isn’t pink or red.

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Next up, I snagged the roll of gold tape about as fast as I could and some letters for a little Jefe + Sledge action (that’s Geoff & Mallory for those new to the blog).  Of course, I opted for stripes.

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And lastly, I came across this ribbon at the bottom of a supplies bucket and knew exactly what to do with it – a little Kate Spade inspiration for a sickeningly sweet, picture perfect pink heart.

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So that about rounds out the night.  Here’s a little hint at what this store’s portion of the paper heart chain will look like strung up in St. Jude’s.

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If you want to catch some of the other hearts created, check out West Elm LA’s Instagram feed or search for their hashtag: #shareyourhearts.

February Lust List

February has arrived.  And unfortunately for many of  you loyal readers, I hear Punxsutawney Phil prescribed a LONG winter yet to be had.  (To which my Jefe lovingly asked “who is Punxsutawney Phil?!” and I immediately whipped out Groundhog Day.) So while you’re bearing the inches of snow  and blustery wind Mother Nature is still sending your way, cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa and Bailey’s and do a little window shopping with me!

Here are some of my latest design crushes:

February Lust List

1)  West Elm Hexagon Mirror - I’ve had my eye on this puppy for my hall entryway for quite some time and it’s now reduced from $149 to $79.  I may have to convince Jefe that we need to pull the trigger…

2)  West Elm Elton Settee - Although we are not in the market for any sort of love seat, I’m in love with the subtle curved lines, traditional tufting, yet overall modern feel of this piece.  And the blue fabric is to die for!

3)  Nate Berkus Lamp - I can’t believe this beauty will soon be available at Target.  Yet again, Nate Berkus knocks it out of the park with this modern piece of glam.  Look at those lines!  The inner shade’s lining!  GORGEOUS.  Also reminds me of the little Land of Nod lamp I used for my Dorm Room Decor Round Up!

4)  Lulu & Georgia Print - Is there anything Jenna Lyons isn’t right about when it comes to design?!  Now about the $300 price tag of those calf hair leopard flats I want….

5)  Nate Berkus Hexagonal Wood Tray - I’ve already seen this piece explode across the blogosphere and I am totally jumping on the band wagon.  If it had handles, it would already be in my apartment looking for a permanent place to live and corral things.  And after having seen it in person, I honestly was astounded at the quality of the piece for the price.  Bravo, Mr. Berkus.

6)  Sam Edelman Cheetah Loafers - So about those JCrew shoes… I’ve found your younger sister and my wallet loves her so much more.  I happened to see a coworker wearing these with a simple, jersey knit heather grey dress and it was the perfect mix of comfortable chic for the office.  I must have.

7)  Baublebar Slim Bow Pendant - I’m obsessed with costume jewelry lately.  And Baublebar has such fabulous sales (and credit for purchases made) that I never pay full price.  This one had me at hello so I snatched it up for $10.  It’s the perfect accent against my favorite emerald silk blouse.

8)  Magic Carpet Yoga Mat - Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  I’ve been wanting to get back into my yoga practice and this is the PERFECT incentive.

9)  Baggu 13″ Polka Dot Laptop Sleeve - Last weekend I was at the Apple Genius bar for a tune up for the old laptop.  This adorable case caught the corner of my eye.  Five minutes later I was walking out with it.  It also happens to PERFECTLY complement the Baggu I got for Christmas (and yes, I actually kept and have been using the iPad case too!  It’s a perfect little set, although a little tough to get the iPad in and out).

10)  Baggu Small Leather Pouch / Gold - So I’m a little Baggu obsessed right now. But as my wallet won’t fit in my new Kate Spade purse, I need something to corral my cards and (small) amount of cash when I’m on the go.  This gold little pouch would be perfect!

Well there you have it, February’s Lust List.  What are you lusting after these days?

Gobble Gobble DIY

As promised last week, we’re going to do a little time traveling here on SWS and travel back to the days of yore – holiday season so that I can recap some of my fabulously festive projects for you.  Today I’m sharing with you the little last-minute DIY burlap runner I whipped together in the few days before Thanksgiving.

Threshold Trellis Runner

This idea came to me when I realized that my new, lovely fall-themed Threshold runner from Target probably wouldn’t make it through Turkey Day unscathed.  It also didn’t look like it would hold up well through a cycle in the washer, so I decided that I needed an alternative runner option for our holiday table.  Enter free burlap fabric I had stashed in a drawer for the last year.

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I knew I wanted something Thanskgiving themed and after seeing more than my fair share of “Give Thanks” signs across Pinterest, I decided to make my own.  As my painting skills are seriously sub-par, I headed to Michael’s for some stencils provided by the god of craft, Martha.  Her stencils are pricey, so I searched for one with the highest likliehood of reuse, whipped out my coupon via iPhone, and dolled out $31 to the cashier (note: this was for ALL supplies purchased).  Now, I realize that this is $11 more than I paid for the finished runner I purchased at Target, but I really was looking for a one-of-a-kind piece that I made myself and the supplies I can reuse for many projects to come.

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Had there been more time this holiday season, I would have attempted to hand-make most of my gifts included a few of these bad boys for family members, but as we all know, December was a BLUR this year.

So, down to the nitty gritty.  First, I took one look at my burlap and knew it needed finished edges.  I used this tip (and overall DIY as a base) from Inspired By Charm and for the first time managed to cut a clean edge with the this type of fabric.

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Then I whipped out my handy no-sew hem type (who has room for a sewing machine anymore?!) and really cleaned up those edges.

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Half-way through I also realized I *might* want to iron the rest of the fabric – just keeping it real folks.

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And it wasn’t until I had already done 2 corners that I realized I should be paying a *bit* more attention to detail, and decided to neatly fold the ends to give them a more finished and professional look.  (Did I mention it was VERY late at night when I finished this?!)

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Once I had the finished edges, I decided on my stencil design which I didn’t want it to look like a stencil – I chose to use a small brush to connect any lines.  When planning the spacing, laying the stencils out side by side left too much space between the letters in particular.  So I traced them on to a piece of paper with the desired spacing and laid them out.

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The blue painters tape represents both the horizontal and vertical centers of the burlap.

With that done, it was time to pull out the paint.  I kept the pencil tracing versions for reference and moved VERY slowly.  We don’t want this looking like a craft project, now do we?

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Once I had the middle painted, I decided it needed just a little more punch, so I pulled out another stencil to finish the ends.

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(Ignore the pulled thread in the middle of the fabric.  A casualty discovered too late in the game to stop crafting…)

After a few hours dry time, I had myself a new table runner!

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On Thanksgiving Day, I was a bit preoccupied cooking an entire dinner for Jefe’s family to do much decorating, but I did manage to throw together an acceptable table setting.  At the time I was so busy and decided that ironing the table cloth was not worth the added fuss, but now that I see these pictures, I’m quickly regretting that.

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Kudos go to Momma Sny for the turkey place card holders courtesy of the Dollar Spot at Target.  Dishware is Ikea 365 (5+ years old) and the napkins and water glasses were new from World Market.

The menu included a brined, 16 lb.  turkey (World Market’s Turkey Brine has done me well twice now), Momma Sny’s sweet potatoes, some mashed potatoes with a touch of garlic, stuffing, Jenny Hobick’s Bacon Green Beans, homemade cranberry sauce, my grandmother’s secret recipe apple pie and 2 pumpkin pies from Magnolia Bakery.  We capped it off with some fabulous wine and some VERY tired feet on my part.

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(secret Snyder family recipe apple pie, before baking)

So naturally the next day I did what any sane person would do after spending the previous day on her feet, cooking a meal for hours on end: ventured to Disneyland for Black Friday!

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Back In the Saddle Again

So turning 30 was kind of a big deal for me.  I made the ridiculous mistake of placing all sorts of arbitrary professional and personal deadlines upon myself that were not entirely within my control to make happen.

That said, the day came and passed without the world ending or me spontaneously combusting.  I came out on the other side with more realistic goals and outlook on life truly as an adult (what is it about hitting the big 3-0 that makes us feel like a “grown-up”?!)

So with that in mind, one of my goals this year is to get healthy.  As they say, it’s only downhill from here, so now’s the time to seize the day: lose the weight, gain muscle and finally conquer a 5K.

Yesterday I went back to my first Weight Watchers meeting in months.  I got a new weigh-in book and am starting with a clean slate.  I ventured over to Target and picked up some healthy snack options along with some stylish new workout gear (it’s all 40% in store right now)!  I swear by these pants, which I own FOUR pairs of:
C9 Champion Reversible Capris
Then I snagged one of these guys as I didn’t want my running sneakers to be the only thing with a pop of neon:
C9 Champion Pullover
And in an effort to drink more H20, I grabbed one of these Camelbak Water Bottles.
Camelbak

As I plan to be spending more time in the gym, I knew I needed some new tunes to pick up the pace.  I’m LOVING Lea Michele’s new single “Louder” and Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us”.

Lastly, I used the remnants of my holiday bonus to pick up a pair of new sneakers from Sports Authority.  They’re the exact same pair that I already own, but chose a another fun color combo to spice things up.
 Nike Dual Fusion Run 2 Sneakers

So this is me, putting it out there – I’m motivated, am back on plan and know that I can do this.  It’s one of the few things I can control right now and look forward to sharing results.

And if anyone is up for joining me for a 5K this summer, I’d love to find a running buddy as I’m a bit slow for my Jefe.