Posts filed under ‘Beauty’

Like, OMG! Fashion!

FASHION! HAH!

While I definitely think I manage to make myself look at least somewhat presentable most of the time, I’m certain I rarely warrant a, Oh my gosh, you look so cute!  Totally guilty of having a “uniform” and sticking to it. Religiously.

Behold.

+

+

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or

Yeah. I am pretty much guaranteed to be wearing some combination of this outfit 8 times out of 10. It’s partially because it’s amazingly versatile — it can work for almost any season, and you can mix and match everything in your closet. But it’s also because it’s what I feel the most comfortable wearing…Cardigans, if picked out and worn correctly! — can complement curves and hide….lumps? Haha.

My favorite spots to score cardis and camis are LOFT, Banana, Gap and J. Crew. All known for their plain — albeit adorable — styles. Eeep.

My work “dress code” is very casual, so while it’s totally acceptable to show up looking super adorable and dressed up — just as it’s totally acceptable (but still unfathomable to me) to show up in ripped jeans and old sneakers — I’m looking to strike a happy medium using clothes I can also wear on the weekends.

BUT.

My other problem is what I wear when I’m not trying to look good and simply aiming for not homeless. My day off/working from home/pre- or post-gym/it’s-Saturday-and-I-have-things-to-do-but-don’t-want-to-shower-because-I’m-going-out-tonight-and-don’t-feel-like-showering-twice-in-one-day … *INHALE* … look is going out in my “nicer” gym clothes (aka Lulu) with brushed hair and some makeup on.

I totally look like this when I hit the gym. NOT.

Are you guys guilty of this? I feel like I’m totally copping out by admitting this, but it’s totally acceptable because it’s all, “Hey! I’m active and physically fit! I ran 77 miles before you even woke up this morning so it’s totally legit to walk around in my gym clothes! Why YES, my hair DOES always look this perfect after I work out…why do you ask?”

Don’t you guys love me? Haha.

Should I just stick with what works? Or try and branch out with some new styles? But I don’t know what to wear. What do normal people wear every day!?? WHAT THE HELL IS A JEGGING? OMG LIFE IS HARD.

(For the record, I totally have a bunch of dresses that I regularly wear in the summer, but haven’t yet mastered the winter dress and tights look, and can’t seem to find a single skirt that doesn’t make me look 1000x ridiculous, so that’s not really an option).

Also, sometimes I wear this.

This was fun.

Please help me.

Love you all.

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September 22, 2011 at 6:30 am 5 comments

The wild hair

My dad has this ridiculous phrase he is always tossing after me: “Laura, you’ve got to comb the wild hair growing out of your ass.”

Yes, my dad is ridiculous. And very gross. I’m pretty sure he was the original #shitmydadsays.

What he means with this phrase is that once I get an idea in my head, it’s nearly impossible for me to focus (at least fully) on anything else until I get/do whatever that thing is, or if something else (aka another “wild hair”) comes along.

Well, guys, I have a serious wild hair growing right now, except it’s not just for one thing. I don’t know what my deal is — maybe it’s the warm weather, but it’s like I have this voice in my head screaming, “SPEND! SPEND! SPEND MONEY!” Every day I’m reminded of something else I want or need, but then I remember the sorry state of my bank account, the reason behind my lack of funds being this exact silly voice!

At the top of my list:

A Kindle. This is nothing new — I’ve been ranting and raving all over Twitter and the blog about how badly I want a Kindle. Unfortunately, I have too many unread books waiting for me to justify this expense right now, despite how frequently I read. I’ll probably save this one for my Christmas list.

An iPod touch. I’m pretty sure my full-size iPod was stolen on the train (along with my Michael Kors watch!), but I have a nano and a smartphone, so this isn’t a huge necessity.

A Garmin ForeRunner. Obviously not a necessity either because I’m not a super-serious runner, but now that I know that I can run a few miles without totally dying, I would like to work more on improving my pace and learn more about splits and how different elevations + mileages affects me. This might also have to go on the Christmas list.

Some new clothes and shoes. Because you can’t ever have enough, right? (Wrong). In all seriousness though, I desperately need jeans that don’t have holes in them. Not a pressing issue in the summer, thankfully.

A new pair of running shoes. I love my Mizunos, but I might have to retire them sooner than I had planned because they just feel a bit too big because I’m in between sizes in the Wave Rider’s new release. This makes me sad :(

Lululemon’s Cool Racerback (aka CRB) and Groove shorts. The CRB is brand new and it looks sooo amazing. I’m not big on wearing tanks when I exercise (they make me feel a little too exposed), but this one looks too cute and comfy to resist, plus it’s longer than most wicking tanks, so my ample chest won’t give it the illusion of a midriff top. Their Groove shorts are also amazing.

Some Tarte cheek stain. Cause it’s cute :)

This. No explanation necessary.

 

 

New running gear always gets me super excited to hit the gym or the streets, even if it’s something small like a headband. What are you currently coveting?

 

July 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm 5 comments

Peaks and Valleys

I hate how up and down I’m feeling lately…I kid you not, I was doing dishes the other night and out of nowhere, just burst into sobs. So. Pathetic.

(Maybe it’s because I hate not having a dishwasher?)

Thankfully I was in better spirits yesterday, but I’m not really sure why. It might have been that asked the ex-fella to please stop contacting me for the time being because all it did was make me feel worse, yet hopeful at the same time. Conflicting emotions + lack of sleep = bad.

It’s frustrating because I can tell this is affecting my work a bit…thankfully, we’re in the middle of a huge slump, so I have very little work to do and my lackluster motivation and energy likely isn’t an issue. But had this been a busy period, I’m not sure how I would have managed.

After getting through the day with no major emotional leakage (hah), Amy came over for dinner. I whipped together some buffalo pulled chicken that had been in the slow cooker all day.

Sidenote: when I first walked in the door, my apartment smelled like cat food. Apparently slow-cooker chicken smells like cat food? Gross. I kinda wanted to vom, or just throw it out…

"bitch, please"

I decided to take my chances with the cat food/chicken and I’m glad I did. Easy peasy: I just popped two frozen chicken breasts and a splash of vegetable broth in my standard-issue, $10-from-WalMart Crock Pot before leaving work, and turned it on low. When I took it out for dinner, it started to fall apart immediately — success! I pulled the rest of it apart with a fork and smothered some of this stuff on it:

It was a little different tasting than I had expected — more vinegar-y and quite a bit of bite, but it was good! I served the pulled chicken along a chopped romaine salad with red pepper and cherry tomatoes, and a bit of whole wheat linguine with olive oil, salt and pecorino romano cheese. I actually ended up putting the chicken on top of the salad and eating them together — delicious! I love putting pulled chicken on salads :D

After chowing down and watching a HORRIFICALLY DEPRESSING episode of 16 & Pregnant, we needed to introduce some levity back into the evening and decided to paint our nails and get froyo. Four lovely colors and $14 worth of froyo later (cake batter, strawberry, dulce de leche and cookies & cream for me), we were happy ladies :)

Just as we finished up, the sweltering heat started to finally break and before I knew it, I was battling some seriously epic wind gusts on the walk home. Minutes later it started thunderstorming, which was an excellent way to end the night curled up in my bed. I always sleep better when it rains. It sure makes it harder to get up the next day though…maybe that’s why I accidentally woke up at 9:30 this morning. Oops.

Back to (not really) working for now, catch ya later kids.

June 9, 2011 at 1:47 pm 1 comment

omigodyouguys

So remember my embarrassingly self-indulgent sobbing fit the other night?

Well, coming into work the next day wasn’t as horrific as you’d think, because of this stuff.

Fresh cosmetics are so insanely adorable, lovely smelling and insanely fabulous that I regularly find myself lusting over them in Sephora for inappropriately long periods of time. Unfortunately, they’re also quite pricey (what in Sephora isn’t?), so I don’t purchase them as often as I’d like to, but thankfully I tried this stuff on a whim.

I have horrible undereye circles, and even though I was blessed to be spared from super puffy bags, even the slightest bit of puffiness exaggerates the crimson half moons regularly hiding out under my eyes. I know that most undereye treatments are just the winning combination of caffeine + hydration, but hey — it works for a reason, right?

This stuff isn’t magic, and it doesn’t work miracles, but if you’re regularly out or up late (check and check), have spent an evening getting intimate with your pillow and a box of kleenex (check), or just look like shit occasionally (check!), try this eye gel. I’ve gotten into the habit of dabbing a tiny bit on every morning (the bottle is itty bitty but you don’t need to use much), and I swear it takes me from looking like I’ve had 6-7 hours of sleep (dream) rather than 4-5 (reality).

I didn’t have the foresight to take some before and after shots for you (although now I’m thinking I wouldn’t want my nasty, crusty eyes on here anyway), so you’ll have to take my word for it. If you don’t trust me (hey, understandable!), head over to Sephora and chat one of the salespeople up. Often, they will give you a sample of a product you’re thinking about buying but aren’t ready to commit to just yet. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I’ve built up quite a collection of “sample” perfumes of my own doing this…hey, I don’t need an entire bottle of sticky sweet vanilla perfume, but I wanted to try it!

Let me know how this stuff works for you, kittens.

May 12, 2011 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

Big changes

Howdy!

This is my friend Amy. She makes me smile :)

Hi Amy!

We decided to put on some cheap (and not so flattering…) sunglasses after a few beers and have a photo shoot. This is why we are friends :D

My life is going through some crazy transitions right now, and one of which involves this lovely lady above! I will be moving out of my current apartment soon, and Amy might be a new roommate. Thrilled doesn’t do justice to my excitement about this!

The issue, however, is that my current lease is not up until August 31. Amy’s is not up until July 31. And, well….as I may have mentioned before, I don’t exactly love my roommates.

I’ve been trucking along and doing the best I can to get by though, and for the most part things have been fine. Recently, however, things have taken a turn for the worse. I’m naturally somewhat of an anxious person when things get stressful, and the relationship (or lack thereof) between the troublesome roommate and I is making me physically ill with stress. Not only does coming home when I know she is there put a knot in my stomach, but she is also disrespectful and even took something of mine (a coach purse), then lied about it when I asked (nicely) for it back.

I’m feeling like I can’t live here anymore, but am not sure if I can afford to move out.

BUT. I am a happy, goofy, hilarious and fun person that is generally positive an optimistic about life.

Those last two are pretty weird, huh? I was trying to emphasize the “goofy” part, hah! Say hello to my friend Amanda in that last one — she is pretty fantastic!

I truly believe in the mantra that if you don’t like something, you should change it. Instead of sitting around feeling miserable, you can get up and do something about it! Life doesn’t always (or really, never does) go as planned, but if you are flexible, positive and willing to go along for the adventure, everything will be okay and turn out exactly like it is supposed to.

Because my current roommate situation has gone from “nuisance” to something that is actually interfering with my happiness and living of my daily life, I have decided to look for a new place to live ASAP as a temporary solution.

This freaks me out for a number of reasons: 1) moving is expensive, 2) living on your own is expensive, 3) I have a lot of stuff and moving is a HUGE pain, and 4) I’m not sure how exactly this will work out. I will have to coordinate the timing of my moving out with someone new moving in to takeover my lease (and who knows how difficult a person will be to find), and I also have to talk to my roommate about doing this. Since she is the type of person that seems to need to control everything, I’m not sure how this will go. I just know that I need to get out of there for the sake of my sanity, and that I cannot afford to pay for 2 apartments at once.

Wish me luck.

Another big change that I’m beyond excited about is that I (officially) have…

…drumroll…

A NEW JOB!

I’m keeping the company name under wraps (at least for now) because I haven’t really ironed out how comfortable I feel about sharing that sort of thing, but it’s for a large and well-known company in Chicago that I’m thrilled to be joining. My start date is April 25; I’ll be part of the editorial staff and will finally be back on salary, something I haven’t been on since I moved from Madison and switched jobs back in June. It’s been a looooong time coming, friends.

Big changes, but happy changes. I hope I can keep improving my life everyday and continue to be the happy, downright KICKASS chick that I know I am (she’s just been hiding from satan roommate).

I’ve had some delicious eats recently, but I’ve scarfed most of them down before thinking to take a picture! (bad blogger!) Salads are back in my life, and I’m so happy about it because I think a big salad a day is what makes me feel the best. In today’s mix:

  • huge handful of arugula
  • huge handful of TJ’s organic broccoli slaw
  • sliced leeks (soo crunchy and add a huge pop of taste without being too onion-y)
  • sliced 1/2 bell pepper
  • 1/4 avocado cubed
  • a few shakes of ground flax
  • 3 oz grilled chicken
  • TJ’s lemon pepper seasoning
  • big dollop of TJ’s Mediterranean hummus

It was DEEELISH. It was so crisp and fresh tasting, but I feel totally satisfied afterward. I also have an orange to munch on later. I’m sorry I didn’t take a picture, but I’m sure I’ll have the exact same lunch tomorrow! :)

I made an internet pact with my buddy Mike last night that we would both hit the gym today, since we’ve both been slacking this week. The universe must have answered my prayers yesterday when I was talking about lacking motivation, because it arrived to my doorstep yesterday in a shiny little package!

I wish it had been SHAPE or Women’s Health, but hey, I’ve always said that the ladymags are the best way to get my butt to the gym when all else fails.

See ya on the flip side!

April 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm Leave a comment

Never enough hours in the day [+ pasta rosa verde]

Why, hello there.. *bats eyelashes*

I hope your Tuesday was a lovely one! Mine sure wasn’t, but I’m trying to get myself into bed and move past it…

Remember how I wanted to get plenty of sleep last night? Yeah, that didn’t happen =/ I got caught up making my lunch for today and the stinkin’ pearled barley took for-EVER to cook — even in the rice cooker! After waiting for that to finish, I still hadn’t wound down for bed and couldn’t get myself to go to sleep. I didn’t end up passing out around 2am.

Needless to say, I was tired and a big cranky pants all day.

But I still didn’t work out. What is going on with me? I feel like I’m in a funk :(

At least my lunch was delicious — with the pain-in-the-ass barley (not really, it was super easy) I mixed in some chicken thighs that I popped in the slow cooker with onions, veggie broth and poultry spice on high for about 3 hours. When I reheated it this afternoon, the chicken just fell apart and mixed in with the barley. Super tasty! (Make sure to sneak some of the chicken slow cooker juice though, or else it will be too dry). I also had a side salad. I would have taken a picture, but to be honest, it was pretty boring looking. How about a picture of a puppy instead? ;)

this is what I feel like right now

After work, I had another appointment with my chiropractor’s assistant (or colleague? I’m not really sure of her title) but she does more massage work than the crackin’ stuff. I saw her because I’ve been having issues with my sinuses, and boy did she help. I’m still feeling a little skeptical because I can’t figure out why my health insurance would pay for weekly 30 minute massages…because that’s what these are! Okay…maybe not JUST like a massage, but I always walk away feeling incredible, loose and refreshed. She spent a good amount of time massaging my face [that sounds super weird, doesn’t it?], concentrating specifically on my sinuses and temples — it felt amazing. I was honestly trying not to melt into the table…

As I was leaving, she told me that I need to be wearing a hat when it’s cold out to prevent headaches [I’m not really sure I understand this part.] I laughed and told her my mom would agree with her, to which she responded that I must be the same age as her grandson. The natural jokester that I am (hah), I laughed and asked if he was cute. Apparently that was the magic line, because within seconds she had me writing down my Facebook information and told me she would have him contact me…and she was dead serious! Bahahah! I tried to hold the laughter in and finally burst through the door outside to laugh my ass off….oh my.

Unfortunately when I left to run a few errands afterward, my hair and face were a big greasy mess from the lotion she used. I was a sight to behold, let me tell you…

On the trek back home, the weather dipped a few degrees cooler [and it was already cold, crummy and windy] and started drizzling a bit — just as my tummy was starting to grumble. The icky weather [and relative lack of all things carb/cheese loaded] had me craving something gooey and comforting, but I didn’t want to bust my calorie goals (more on this in a minute), so I decided to play around with a few things hiding in my freezer.

image

frozen shrimp + frozen broccoli

See my Misto hiding in the background? ;) I sauteed about 3 oz. [this is a complete estimate] of frozen cooked shrimp in some olive oil, garlic powder and sea salt. I know you are supposed to thaw shrimp before heating it, but I always just toss it in the pan — is this bad? I don’t see the point in taking 2 separate steps!

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cheese and pasta -- now we're talkin!

After cooking about 3/4 cup of whole wheat rigatoni (my favorite pasta shape, next to orrechiette), I poured 1/2 cup Whole Foods marinara on top and mixed in about an ounce of WF goat cheese, then popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt. I then mixed in about a cup of broccoli florets, mixed it all together and sprinkled some parmesan on top. Oh goody!

cheesy

I love the combination of colors in this dish — the red and green look so tasty together!

image

shrimp time

This may not be quite restaurant quality, but it’s close enough, easy as pie to put together, and pretty healthy to boot. Win!

For dessert, I had a few small squares of Green & Black’s 85% cacao dark chocolate and a bit of Malbec rose. I had thought about hitting the gym, but by the time my food had digested, it would have been at least 9pm — and that just sucks.

I talked a bit yesterday about how crummy I am feeling lately about my self image…One of the great things about living in Chicago is all the incredible restaurants + bars that are a hop, skip and a jump away. But that is also one of the worst things about living in Chicago as well — if you go out to eat/drink regularly, you are taking in a lot of extra calories!

I thought I was doing a good enough job keeping my intake in check, but apparently I have not, as I am feeling very uncomfortable in my skin lately. Add to that the jitters of dating someone new, and, well..you have a recipe for anxiety. So, dear friends…I have begun counting calories again.

BLEGH. I despise counting calories. It is so tedious, so time-consuming and so….sucky! I don’t want to know that my favorite foods are veritable calorie bombs because that means I can no longer eat them! But as any “dieter” will tell you, it keeps you accountable for everything you put in your mouth, and therefore it works. I don’t plan on doing it for long, but I feel that right now I need to get my food priorities back in check and re-learn calorie estimation and budgeting so I can still splurge on dates or weekends [or simply when I want to!]

I’ve been using Livestrong.com because they seem to have the most comprehensive list of foods. Here is a snapshot from my tally today:

This isn’t my usual intake of calories, but since I am trying to slim down, I’ve set it so I can drop a certain amount of weight per week [whether that actually happens or not remains to be seen]. The thing that I don’t understand is their goals for protein and fiber — why on earth would they imply that it’s bad to get more of those things, especially if you’re trying to lose weight?! I mean, they keep you full + satisfied — how the hell would someone eat a low calorie diet without adequate protein and fiber and still stay full? Kinda makes me laugh…silly Livestrong app, I know more about nutrition than you! ;)

The only reason I’m over on cholesterol is because of the shimpies I had for dinner, and I’m okay with that :)

They just released the Android app for Livestrong’s calorie tracker, but since it is so new it has horrible reviews and costs a whopping $2.99! I think I will wait until they drop the price and fix the bugs, thank you very much!

If all goes according to plan, my original goal of hitting the gym 3x a week (minimum) should do just fine in combination with calorie reduction for weight loss. The real trick now is going to be sticking to the numbers and getting enough sleep.

Speaking of which, lately I am really feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day. How do you gals do it, between working full time, errands, gym time, showers/prettying up, dating, friends, cooking dinner, prepping lunch….my head is spinning just writing this. It’s only Tuesday and I feel like the rest of my week is completely planned out, with nary a second to spare =/

More details to come, but some of said plans involve butterflies and pencil skirts.

I’m hitting the sack early for real this time. Night kiddos!

March 22, 2011 at 9:01 pm Leave a comment

Fast food

Boy, did this day fly by! I had a lot of work on my plate and barely looked up from the computer most of the day. I’m glad it went by quickly, but I felt like a big lump of blah.

Instead of staying late, I decided to eat lunch at my desk so I could leave at a normal time. (I do this far more often than I’d like to admit). Since it was a Monday, I went with healthy convenience foods instead of something elaborate for lunch; since I already had a can of soup in my desk, I grabbed a strawberry Chobani and an English cucumber to throw in my purse while my morning oatmeal was cooking in the rice cooker.

Sidenote: I am legitimately obsessed with making oatmeal in my rice cooker. Post on this to come!

I ate one of these guys:

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As noted before, this stuff, while delicious, is just too salty for me. I had to down several glasses of water, all in my goofy Santa-Simpsons cup.

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I never got to the cucumber, so it’s still waiting for me in the fridge at work!

I got hungry a few hours later (shocker) so I had the Chobani with some of the strawberry stuff mixed in (all of it makes it too sweet, in my opinion), some uncooked old fashioned oats and some of Kara’s Vanilla Almond Special K mixed in to tide me over. Delish and worked like a charm!

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So despite it being only Monday, I already had plans set for every day this week, as well as a trip for this weekend, so I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed and worried that I would’ve have much me time – let alone any gym time. I decided to rearrange my plans a bit so I could not only have Laura time (very important :D), but also feel less..I don’t know, boxed in? I tend to get really anxious when I’m overwhelmed and it’s just not good for anybody. I’m now on the bus home (update: finished the post at home!) and feeling much better about the week ahead :)

In other and less important news, why do the ends of my hair always look like they’ve been chewed on by an animal?! I need to get a haircut, blegh.

February 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm 1 comment

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