Hauling and Bloggerversary

Happy 1-month anniversary bloggy!!

I know it’s not a big cause for celebration in comparison with some long-running blogs, but I’m still pretty joyous, just like any new momma 🙂

In honor of her (his?) (its?) big day, I purchased a little present.

If you’d like to bring your attention upwards, towards the top of the screen, you will see..

MY FIRST DOMAIN NAME!!!

WHAT UP!?

I’ve always wanted my own .com even though I by no means feel you have to have a personalized URL to be a “real blogger.” Pleasure doing biznaz with you, WordPress 🙂

This purchase was only part of the mini-shopping trip I went on yesterday.

AKIRA Haul

At the beginning of last month, I purchased a Groupon for AKIRA, a clothing chain in Chicago. I’ve always dug their dresses – usually of the clubby/ dressy variety  – but have actually never found anything there worth buying! I figured the style would be prime for Vegas and bought the coupon anyway. The Groupon expires Thursday and is only redeemable at one location so I was feeling the pressure to find something.

I think I put a little too much pressure on myself because it did not turn out to be my favorite shopping trip.

Lots of travel times, aimless driving around for parking trying to decide where I’d like to go then accidentally missing the turn and having to make the loop all over again (isn’t that worse?!).

2 frantic hours and 23534543 dresses later, I had found two accessories worth being purchased. Ha! And I was still $5 short from the Groupon value…!

So I hunted more. And as if by magic – or the power of the parking meter gods – a few previously-unseen pieces popped into my view and it was love at first sight! I felt a surge of relief and happily purchased a pile of  assorted goodies, in the end spending about $70 (including the cost of buying the Groupon), which isn’t too bad considering the expensive nature of this store.

In the assortment:

Gold dangling earrings with blue/green tops. I can’t wait to wear these with a black dress or skirt or even to dinner with jeans and sweater.

Blue and gold Pashmina scarf and a brown belt with silver buckle. The scarf was the first thing I saw that I knew I HAD to have

Finally a dress! And it looks better with the new belt!

The dress is brown with one shoulder, a ruffle hangover trim and pinkish belt. I was going to take a picture of me in it – because I only tried it on over my jeans and tank because I’d been in AKIRA for TOO long to undress…

But instead I went to the kitchen.

And made these!!

Salted Cashew Cookies

This number has been sitting in my tab archive for a few days now (I know another blogger made these recently, apologies for being unable to remember!) and I definitely wanted a little baking to revive my energy.

Is it just me or can shopping feel like the ultimate work out? All that undressing and bending over and walking around? Exhausting. 🙂

On the left are one dozen cookies from the Original Recipe. With the remaining batter, I added a handful of butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips and mini chocolate chips as per mom’s request, to make another dozen cookies.

I was surprised because these cookies came out of the oven so gloopy and mushy but after cooling for 5 minutes, they became thin and cripsy. The salty nut mixed with very buttery oat bran is quite the flavor combo! I personally liked the butterscotch added in to make it taste more cookie-y.

So I think I’ll call yesterday a win!

Have you seen any deals going around? Anything you’re looking forward to buying for Spring? I noticed The Limited is having a suit sale that may be cool to drop by. Also I want these! Nude heels from Forever 21 (because I will most likely destroy them).

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Mel’s Workout Plan

Hi Frandz!

I had a picture post all set to go for “My Monday” but it was more of the random nature I cooked up last week.  Maybe it will be best served as a go-to when I’m in Vegas NEXT WEEK!

Considering my Vegas trip is only 6 days out, I thought I’d revisit my goals a little bit and talk about the measures I’ve taken to crank out a hot bod.

Also, I realize that this is supposed to be a healthy living blog, right? Kinda sorta? To be honest, I started this blog because I loved hearing other’s stories and thought this would be a good way to relay my own. Already I’ve learned how much more difficult it is for me to tell my own stories; so now, I’d like to try to bring more substance and less random junk to the bale.

My Workout Picks

I’ve been working out pretty hard this month and with the help of Groupon and a new gym membership, have been trying some new classes. Every person has their favorite ways to workout and today I embody Kanye West to bring you Mel’s Work Out Plan…the way in which I see the best result for each body group.

  • Upper Body – Nothing challenges and shows results to my arms, shoulders and chest like Body For Life style work outs. I’ve never actually participated in a B4L challenge but I do like adopting their lifting technique because it allows for various levels of weight, times and quick results!
    • For those unfamiliar with Body For Life, the workouts are done with sets for each muscle group performed in a pyramid form. To summarize briefly, you select a muscle group (shoulders, chest, back biceps, triceps) and corresponding exercise and perform 5 sets with it – starting with 12 and slowly increasing weight as you continue with reps of 10, 8 and 6. Then after the pyramid, you follow with a medium, yet challenging weight for 12 reps of the same exercise, IMMEDIATELY followed by 12 reps of a 2nd exercise that works the same muscle group. For a  full explanation, read more here.
    • An example for a bicep work out could look like:
    • Move Weight in lbs Reps
      Hammer curl 3# 12
      5# 10
      8# 8
      10# 6
      8# 12
      Bicep curl 8# 12
  • Abs and Core – The name, CoreFusion, should imply it’s killer for the core..and it is! I first began Exhale Spa’s CoreFusion videos after a long exercise hiatus and after only a few viewings, I could already feel the improvement in total core strength. With various videos and classes, CoreFusion enables your core constantly with every exercise. Their motto is “strength in stillness” and each move, including their infamous C-curve is usually held and held. It’s a nice change from crunch after crunch. I like to throw in one ab segment from CoreFusion: Pure Abs & Arms after a total body workout class or cardio day.
  • Lower Body – For thighs and glutes I, again, hand it to CoreFusion. The CoreFusion: Body Sculpt – Thighs portion **my absolute favorite** & CoreFusion: Pilates Plus – Thighs and Glutes portion leave me feeling like I’ve trimmed down my legs every time I do them. I have curvy little legs and many other exercises beef them up more than I’d like or feel like nothing at all! I aim for a good CoreFusion lower body session where it’s hard for me to walk down stairs! I’ve done a few different videos and have actually seen more sleek calves after only 3 sessions.
  • Cardio – My new pick is Spinning. I’ve taken a few spin classes so far and have become enamored by the work outs. Spinning is notorious for it’s ability to crank your calories and your heart rate while keeping you entertained. I like pushing myself through a high resistance and have lately been working on speed. I’d like to attend a class by more youthful teachers, because right now my class’s music selection has only been old-school techno and Bruce Springsteen. Downfall: the sore butt never seems to go away and I develop a raging hunger after.
  • Stretch – I think it’s wonderful that CoreFusion incorporates stretching into their segments, lengthening as they tone and definitely improving noticeable results. Many of their stretches are taken from Yoga, the ultimate stretcher. As a dancer, I think stretching is the best feeling in the world. I would stretch for 15- 30 minutes everyday and it paid off in flexibility! Right now, I’m digging moves that stretch my hammies, hips and back.

I’ve tried to put it all together and my average work out schedule looks something like:

Sunday – CoreFusion video

Monday – Wild Card. It’s been off, Yoga, Spin, Extreme Pump, elliptical, etc.

Tuesday – Spin class

Wed – Extreme Pump class (my gym’s take on Body Pump) + 10 min CoreFusion abs

Thurs – off lately because I’ve had events after work

Fri – Spin Class

Sat – CoreFusion video and/ or BodyForLife upper body weights

Please note this is more of a compiled average. I like to keep it interesting, hate running and usually only go to the gym after work since it is significantly closer to work than home. Plus I CANNOT work out in the morning.

Any workouts I should try to kick my bod in gear?

Lastly, we had a stray cat visit our yard today and I leave you with the video of Tippy’s loud, territorial meowing at the stranger cat.

Editor’s note: I am not a licensed personal trainer, all opinions posted here are my own. Please consult with a doctor or trainer before creating your own routine.