Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: skirt (page 1 of 6)

Self-Care: Part 3 – Weight Loss

Well, I’ve been putting this one off, but I guess the time has finally arrived to talk about what we all probably think about first when it comes to self-care: weight and nutrition.

If you didn’t know me in college or grad school, you might not know that I’ve lost about 30 pounds since I graduated in 2007. 30 pounds may not sound like a lot, but I’m only 5’3″ – a couple pounds difference on my frame is noticeable. 30 pounds at the time of my heaviest weight was 15-20% of my total body weight. Now, it’d obviously be an even larger percentage.

I’ve thought about talking about my weight loss for a long time, but I’ve always waited. I wanted to get to my “perfect weight” before I did a big dramatic reveal. But, perfect to me is Carrie Underwood, which will likely never be attainable, unless I suddenly have a job that literally pays me to look beautiful.

So, in the interest of being transparent, and with the hope that my experience can be encouraging or helpful or at least relatable to anyone, here we go. (Warning, this is long – I have a lot to say.)

In 2007, I looked like this:

I wasn’t morbidly obese, obviously. But, I was an unhealthy and uncomfortable weight for my frame. And, I wasn’t really happy with how I looked.

But, I was in school, and I was a good student and kid who did nothing but study and eat ice cream while watching the Bachelor with my best friend and her mom. There were no liquid calories for me all throughout school – it was very real, very permanent food calories.

Once I graduated, though, I had the time and interest to get a little more serious about being where I wanted to be, so I got to work.

Weight loss was not a new topic to me. I think I had my first Slim Fast shake in 8th grade. In high school, I packed my own lunch and took an apple, an orange, and carrots every day. That’s it. It was the early 2000s – I don’t think most of us knew a lot about nutrition then. Fruits and vegetables were healthy, so I thought I was doing great.

Part of my issues with weight at such a young age stemmed from a health class in 9th grade in which we learned about obesity, and the boys selected me to be the lucky girl they called an “obese fat cow.” I knew they were calling me that because I wasn’t fat – they weren’t quite mean enough to call the actual larger girls that. But, still – at 14, a nickname like that leaves a mark.

I can’t blame it all on them, though. Being worried about your body is an almost universal issue among American women, and as a girly girl who was way more into boys and shoes and school than I was running around the soccer field, I was no exception. I also come by it naturally. My grandmother – the mayor’s wife and the best dressed woman in Fort Thomas, Kentucky – was worried about her weight until the day she died, just shy of 92 years old.

Of course, none of my efforts had really been successful prior to this point. I did manage to avoid the Freshman 15 in college, but I made up for it with the Sophomore 20. I would try various fad diets now and then but was never very good at sticking to them. I’m still not.

But, at 22 years old with a master’s degree, I was ready.

The first thing I did when I moved to Virginia Beach was to join a gym. There, I had a few sessions with a personal trainer who helped me learn the importance of weight training, instead of just the cardio I had been doing. Apparently, lifting not only burns calories while you’re doing it, but muscles burn more calories than fat, even when at rest. That sounded very efficient to me.

She also helped me get on board with eating more frequently throughout the day. I’d always been afraid that eating 5 small meals would really end up being 5 large meals (portion control wasn’t one of my strengths), and I’d end up consuming even more calories. But once I started, I found that I actually wasn’t so hungry that I needed to eat that much in each setting.

I lost a few pounds over the next several months, and then I plateaued.

I wasn’t yet where I wanted to be, though, so I decided to change something up. This time, I joined a group training class. I didn’t have the money to continue personal training, but I also knew I didn’t know enough about weight lifting to really be effective on my own. Group training was a cheaper alternative.

I lost a few more pounds, and then I plateaued.

I was getting closer to where I wanted to be, and I was certainly much happier with how I looked and felt. But, every now and then I’d get a wave of motivation and decide to change up something else.

For a while, I was going to the gym two times a day, but that was mainly because I had a crush on a guy working there (shout out, Hot Trainer!), and I really just spent most of my time talking to him. The next weight loss came from me getting a little more serious about what I was eating.

They say abs are made in the kitchen, and while I doubt I will ever have abs…I do think what you eat is far more important than how much you workout, unless maybe you’re a professional athlete (or a “tactical athlete”, as the special ops guys call themselves (insert heart eyes emoji)).

So, I began shopping at Trader Joes and finding ways to incorporate more fresh foods into my diet, while still maintaining the convenience that I value most of all.

At this point, I was down about 20 pounds. It’d also been about 6 years.

I say that to emphasize that this was not an overnight thing for me. Sure, it would have been nice to lose the weight much quicker – to not have so many plateaus.

But, because my weight loss was so slow, I’ve never regained any of it. If I notice that a pound or two has crept back on (which I notice by how my clothes fit; I hardly ever actually weigh myself. It usually makes me feel worse.), I just readjust slightly and it’s gone again. I’ve never yo-yo’ed, which is something trendy diets usually can’t promise.

The next several pounds came off while I lived in Georgia. I had almost no friends, so I ate out a lot less, and worked out a lot more. I also was depressed, and while I can be an emotional eater, that emotion is usually happiness. I don’t advise living somewhere that makes you miserable for two years to lose a little weight, but at least that was one silver lining.

While in Georgia, I also really started focusing on eating more protein. My brother is a power-lifter and big on getting in your macros. I tried it for a while and hated tracking everything. But, it did give me a good idea of how to balance my meals better and the importance of enough protein when it comes to body composition.

And now we arrive to my current weight. The remaining couple of pounds I’ve lost have been since moving to Nashville. I had a personal trainer here for a while, who helped me immensely in working out more effectively. (I also was talking to Bradley Cooper during that time, who was in perfect shape. I was very motivated.)

I’ve become more aware of what my body likes to eat. I saw a naturopath for a while, and we discovered that I don’t do well with night shades (RIP, Chick Fil A waffle fries. I will forever miss you), or gluten. I can handle gluten – I don’t have celiac’s disease, so I don’t want to belittle the experience of those who really suffer. But, I feel MUCH better when I avoid it.

Turns out, eliminating white potatoes and flour from my diet makes a big different in my waist line. Imagine that.

So, tl;dr:

The secret to my weight loss is…diet and exercise.

I wish there were a magic formula we could all apply and immediately be the size we wanted to be. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

I have friends who have found success with strict Paleo or keto or counting calories or macros or whatever. But, for me, it’s really been a process of figuring out how my body works, and tweaking what I’m doing accordingly – while still maintaining balance so I can actually enjoy my life.

Currently, I try to eat mostly clean. I sub sweet potato fries for french fries – I don’t like them as well, but they’re the better overall choice for me. But, I love a burger, and it’s not the same without the bun. So, I usually get the bun – gluten and all. I’m currently drinking a frappucino, but every morning, I eat hard boiled eggs for breakfast. I don’t love them, either, but they’re easy and a good source of protein.

I try to make sure I go to the gym 3-4 times a week. Sometimes it’s 1-2. But, it’s a priority for me, and I chose a gym I enjoy going to, to help motivate me.

I still eat several times throughout the day, but I only buy snacks that are good for me – almonds, La Croix, apples, etc. It’s hard to make healthy choices when I eat out, so I make it as easy for myself at home as possible. I can’t choose poorly there.

I eat a lot of REALLY dark chocolate. Like 85% dark, dark.

I intentionally have not used any specific numbers here, other than the 30 pounds that I lost, because I don’t think the numbers are that important. A girl I follow on Instagram lost 20 pounds, but her starting weight was my current weight, and it made me feel bad. I didn’t think I needed to lose 20 pounds, but after seeing her posts, I suddenly thought maybe I did. I don’t want to do that to anyone else.

What’s most important is being healthy and taking care of your body in a way that will sustain it and allow you to enjoy life to its fullest. It’s being comfortable in your clothes and your own skin. It’s not the number on a scale.

So, now, 11 years and 30 pounds later, I look like this:

I’ve never regained any of the weight, and I don’t expect to. I’ve learned so much about my body. Maybe another wave or two of motivation will hit me and I eventually will achieve Carrie Underwood status. But, if not, I’m happy to say that I’m just that – happy. And I hope you are, too.

Thank you for reading my most vulnerable post I’ve ever written. I love you all.

<3,
SB

That Time I Forgot to Give My Post a Title

It’s always a weird transition for me after a serious topic to go back to talking about my clothes. But, since that is the primary purpose of this little blog, I suppose we’ll make the awkward transition. At least I have a great outfit to help smooth things over.

I love yellow. I don’t wear it a lot, really, because it’s hard to find cute clothes in a good yellow (read, not highlighter yellow or too green-tinted).

But, when I do find a really great yellow piece, I tend to wear the heck out of it. So, expect to see a lot of this skirt this summer.
I got this top at Target for like $8 or something, and I was so excited about it. I still really love the bokeh pattern and all the bring colors that can be mixed and matched in a million ways – theoretically. The problem is, the cut of the blouse is oddly assymetrical, and the side is sheer from about my waist down. So, unless I wear it tucked in, it is a) not appropriate for work (which is unfortunate, because it’s definitely a work-type blouse), and b) it just hangs weird. Even tucking it in, I have to be careful to pick an appropriate waist style, or it is still quite unflattering.

So, despite the myriad of colors, I think this top may get limited exposure. Too bad, but at least I know I have one strong showing out of it.
Have you ever bought something you were really excited about, only to discover it didn’t work as you’d envisioned, after all? Hopefully, you didn’t spend too much more than the $8 that I did!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Spring Forward!

Spring is finally here in Nashville, and there was no rain this weekend – you wouldn’t believe the impact this good weather had on my mood! I’ve never thought I had seasonal depression, but I’m starting to think I might have a little bit of it, because honestly, I felt SO MUCH BETTER in the sun this weekend.

Also, I have a lot of cute new clothes to wear in said sunshine, which definitely doesn’t hurt.

That smile is because of the glare on my face – sunshine!!!

Really, my favorite thing about this outfit is the back of my shirt. Apparently, “ballet backs” are in now, and I like it! I bought this top in 2 colors, because why not?

Cute, right? It’s just enough to take an otherwise standard t-shirt and turn into something unique and fresh.

Springtime also brings bright lipstick again. Hot pink, I’ve missed you so!

What fashion/makeup trends are you most excited about this spring?

Cool Cool

I made a comment on facebook recently that I think I might be losing people’s attention because I haven’t had any good dating stories in a while. So…it’s time to give the people what they want!

One of the reasons there has been a shortage of stories about my love life is that I deleted all of my dating apps. I decided to just give real life a chance again for a while. And real life has treated me pretty well – I can generally weed out the weirdos before I go on a date with them (that doesn’t prohibit me from doing embarrassing things like asking out my chiropractor, but it does limit the awkward interactions), and so my dating experiences are much more pleasant. Perhaps, though, pleasant isn’t as great for my blog readership.

Fortunately for all of you, the other night, a ghost from Tinder past popped up.

For you to understand this story, I need to tell you about a guy I met online back in May. He lived in Knoxville but came to Nashville a lot. We exchanged numbers, and he started texting me. His texts were not exactly stimulating, though… Almost every day, he’d ask me how my day was, I’d answer, and then he’d ask when I got off work. Everyday I’d tell him I got off at 5. Guys, 5:00. Like, that’s not a weird time to remember. But, every day we’d have the same conversation, and I’d tell him the same time. His response was always, “cool, cool.” End of conversation.

Naturally, he became the “cool, cool” guy to my friends. After a week or so of this dead end conversation, I just ghosted. People may disagree with this technique, but when we’ve never met and I’ve shared no more conversation with you then when I get off work and “cool, cool”, I think ghosting is completely appropriate.

Fast forward to last weekend, I went out with some friends for my birthday. A man I’d never seen before came up and started talking to me, and as the conversation progressed, he insisted, repeatedly, that he knew me. I knew I’d never met this guy, and I don’t usually have “one of those faces”, but he insisted. After about 5 minutes, my friends were ready to leave, and I was over the conversation, so I said my goodbyes and the guy asked for my number.

Side note: I almost always give my real number, unless the guy is REALLY creepy. It’s hard to reject someone out right like that, and I don’t like lying by giving a fake number. I figure the worst that can happen is I get a few annoying texts after. Again, you may have a different philosophy on this point than me. That’s fine.

Anyway, the guy texted me while I was standing there so I’d have his number, but I didn’t open the text then. My friends and I went on our way, and it wasn’t until a few hours later that I looked at my phone and saw the unopened text. I opened it, and much to my surprise, there was a text history from that number. And, of course, as you’ve likely guessed by now – it belonged to the “cool cool” guy.

I guess my profile pictures are super memorable, or maybe he just has a photographic memory, because I for sure did not recognize someone whose pictures I’d seen 9 months ago. But, kudos to Cool Cool for being right; technically, we had “met”.

Also, as you might have guessed, I did not ever respond to him. Sorry, buddy. Meeting you in real life had only confirmed what my intuition has previously told me.

So, the morals of the story here are 2-fold. 1) Always listen to your intuition. It will not lead you astray. And 2) never delete your text history.

I was going to show you the outfit I wore that night – it was a very cute romper/choker combo, if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, none of those pictures turned out well. So, instead, here is what I wore on my actual birthday. I told you’d I’d probably wear this tulle skirt – and, I did! (Still not my best representation of a cute outfit. I promise it looked good, though. And I was a big fan of this color combo!)

My Favorite Things (rn)

I’m not going to lie, this jacket is on major repeat this winter. It’s just so multi-purpose. It makes casual outfits more professional, professional outfits more wearable, and it’s wool and I’ve been freezing for two weeks straight.

So, if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen it once this week…oh well. Hashtag real life.

dsc_0022There’s just something about a camel blazer that is so universally classic. I dig it. And this skirt, because I’ve also worn it a million times recently – occasionally with less static, but again, #reallife.1-camel-blazer-wool-skirtDo you have pieces you’re basically living in this winter? What’s seen the most play from your wardrobe?

NYE 2017

Well, we have arrived in 2017, y’all! I’m excited for the new year, as I am every January. I don’t have anything in particular that I know will happen this year – but I have hopes for lots of good things!

One of those good things is to grow this little blog of mine. I love it so much, and I’ve heard from many of you who read it, that you love it, too. (Thank you for that!)

To that end, I’ve launched a new Instagram account, dedicated solely to all things fashion. I’ve long thought hashtagging my way to a wider audience was the best method of growth for me, but I didn’t want to annoy other friends who aren’t as interested in that aspect of my life.

Now, I don’t have to worry about irritating those people, while I can also focus on meeting more insta friends who share my interests!

So, if you’re in the not-likely-to-be-annoyed category (as you probably are, if you’re reading this), please feel free to add me: Tastefully Trendy. Should be pretty easy to remember.

Now, to the matter at hand. New Year’s Eve! In my adult life, NYE has become one of my favorite holidays – in part, because it is such an optimistic night. In full reality, because I get to wear sequins.

This year, I couldn’t find ANYTHING shiny in stores. I guess I waited too late and all the sparkles sold out. So, I was forced to wear one of the three sequin skirts I already owned…and I actually was very pleased with the result.

dsc_0029-2Off-the-shoulder: check. Choker: check. Cute furry hot pink clutch (that’s actually an Ipsy makeup bag): check. And of course, sequins and shiny shoes: check and check!!

Here’s a close-up of the off-the-shoulder detail (and my makeup! My secret is great highlighter and NYX’s matte setting spray!).

1-nye-off-the-shoulderAnd the rest of the outfit (sans ring, because I forgot to take a picture of that).

1-nye-sequinsSadly, one of those cute pearl earrings were a casualty of the evening. I somehow still had the back, but the pearl itself was nowhere to be seen (insert sobbing emoji). Oh well. On a happier note, can we talk about how good my new camera is? I mean, look at those silver shoes sparkle!

Did you all have a good New Year’s Eve? Any fun plans? My party was Y2K themed, so you know it was amazing. I hope yours was, too, and that it sparkled and shined with all the magic and promise of a new year! Send me your outfit pictures – I’d love to see your shimmer!

My Tribe

I told y’all last week that I am currently obsessed with chokers. And I did not lie. I only have them in black right now, which is probably a good thing because if I had other colors, I might wear them EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

I’m not sure that the choker in this outfit adds a whole lot, especially since the rest of my outfit is brown. But, it’s cute, so I went with it.

Not much else to say about this that I haven’t already said – chokers are back, and I love it. Shirts tied at the waist are back, and I love it. Tribal prints are probably about on their way out, but I still love it. And the cold(er) weather is here, bringing with it tights and boots – and I love it!

1-denim-shirt-tribal-skirtAre there any trends that you refuse to let go of, even if you know they’re on their way out? Or, maybe they’ve long passed an you just don’t care – fashion is all open to interpretation, anyway! Share your favorites!

The Tooth Fairy

Happy Halloween, y’all! I’ve become a big fan of Halloween in my old age. There are many reasons for this:

1) Seeing cute kids costumes on social media is the highlight of my year.

2) Halloween really kicks off the holiday season, with Thanksgiving only 3-4 weeks away, and then Christmas!

3) I LOVE COSTUMES!!!

I may have said this before, but honestly, if I could dress up in costume at least once a month, I’d be a happy camper. As it is, I get one day a year, plus a couple themed parties if I’m lucky. So, I take full advantage of it.

This year’s costume was inspired by Pinterest (per usual) and I put my own spin on this fantastic tooth fairy look:

tooth-fairy-inspoby recycling my tulle skirt from Cinderella 2 years ago:

wpid-photogrid_1414253311902.jpgI thought making the tulle skirt was the extent of my craftiness, but I ramped it up a notch this year, buying my first ever glue gun! I’ll be honest, guys, I was pretty afraid to use this new tool. But, it’s remarkably easy. Like, SUPER easy. And I didn’t even burn myself once.

So, with my new crafting skills, a couple pinterest photos for inspiration, and some spare time, I turned a dollar store crown and wand into something fit for the elegant tooth fairy I was becoming. My wings were also from the dollar store, the toothbrushes for my crown from Big Lots (I spent about 6 dollars total on them), and the shirt from a cheap store in the mall (a back-up, because I broke my cardinal rule about buying things online and ordered a shirt from China….maybe I’ll have it by next Halloween).  So, altogether, I spent less than $20 and had a super fun costume that got rave reviews from children and their mothers alike.

Also, of the 4 other tooth fairies I saw, my costume was the best, if I do say so myself.

1-tooth-fairyDid you dress up this year? Or did your kids? What’s your favorite costume that you have ever worn or seen? Do you purchase your costumes, or are you a DIY-er like me (side note: Halloween is oddly the one time of year I try to be crafty. The rest of the year, I figure I can support the economy by paying other people to make things).

Be safe everyone, and send me cute costume pictures!

Baby’s First Review!

One of my good friends from Virginia Beach has recently started selling Arbonne, the skin, beauty, and healthy-living products with which many of you are probably familiar. Normally when I hear someone is selling something, I RUN the other way. I’ve had too many experiences where potential-friends have turned into actually-just-salespeople, and where real-life friends became consumed with hocking their wares. Or people I’ve not talked to in years are suddenly sending me facebook messages inviting me to parties in states I left over a decade ago.

But, Joyce is a good friend that I trust – and knew long before she started selling anything – so, when she asked me to review some Arbonne products on my blog, I was happy to help.

Joyce sent me some tea from Arbonne, a couple fizzy drink add-ins, and most exciting, a sample of the full RE9 Advanced Skincare line. One of the things I really like about this line is the convenience. Order everything at one time, and you’ve got a full line of morning and evening products to take out the thinking (I’m definitely a routine person; I don’t like to have to think about something as mundane as washing my face).

The set includes cleanser, toner, a serum, eye cream, and day/night moisturizers – 5 steps to better skin! Most of them have a delightful creamsicle scent. I can’t use the full-line; it wasn’t quite the right fit for my skin. However, the cleanser is HANDS DOWN the most thorough cleanser I’ve ever used. I wear two kinds of mascara, and taking it off at the end of the night is an impossible task that, even with eye makeup remover, leaves my washrags permanently stained. This stuff made eye makeup remover superfluous and left my skin so clean and refreshed.

Arbonne boasts natural ingredients, which I didn’t research enough to comment on. But, if you like a full no-thinking routine, it might be a great fit for you. Or, if you like a very thorough clean, the RE9 cleanser might be just what you’re looking for. Or, if you just like creamsicles. Regardless, Joyce would be glad to help you find the best products for you at www.joycereddinger.arbonne.com.

If you sell something you’d like me to review, please feel free to send me a sample or something, and I’d be glad to try it. But, keep in mind, that I might not buy your product myself because I’m cheap. And please don’t try to befriend me solely to get me to buy/sell something. That’s just rude.

Now, here is my own version of a (now out-of-season) creamsicle. Have a good Monday, y’all!

1-orange-blouse-white-skirt

New Cities

Hey guys! This may be the only post I have time to write this week (and by may, I really mean 100% certainly will), but I wanted to say hi! The past two weeks have been so crazy with Labor Day travels, leaving a job, starting a new one, etc., but everything is going well. I feel very much back in my element in my new position, and I’m continually so grateful that God placed me in Nashville, the perfect city.

A friend of mine recently moved to another city, after giving Nashville a go for about 2 years. Why in the WORLD she didn’t absolutely love it here is beyond me, but she spent the past two years being miserable, much like I did in Georgia. Now that she’s been in her new home for all of about 3 days, she’s already making friends, taking in beautiful sunsets, exploring, and generally loving life. The dramatic shift in her circumstances and outlook is so similar to what I experienced when I moved to Nashville last October, that I can’t help but be excited for her to have finally found “home”. Sometimes, you’ve just got to find where you belong, even if that means taking a scary step in faith into the great unknown.

The point of my story is two-fold: one, it’s so important to not let fear hold you back from stepping out into something new. You just don’t know what will be on the other side, and it might be the very thing you’ve been hoping and praying for.

And two, joy really does come in the morning. I’m so grateful that God moves us in and out of seasons. Yes, the hard ones are important – for character building, if nothing else. But, there are also good ones on the horizon. So, if you’re in your own version of Georgia, don’t give up. Keeping moving forward, keep stepping out in faith, and one day soon, you’ll suddenly wake up and realize you’re in a new, beautiful, wonderful place that even 10 months later, still feels like a surreal vacation sometimes.

This outfit has nothing to do with any of that – or with much of anything else, for that matter. But, I like it, and my makeup game was on point that morning.

So, have a great rest of your week, everyone, and keep pressing on to the good!
1-black-and-white-and-turquoise

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