Thursday, March 28, 2013

March in Instagram



Goodbye March, hello April! Next week starts a new month and of course, per usual, I'm excited. In March we usually average some type of spring-like weather, oh no. This past month was full-on winter. Yuck! I'm hoping for April showers to bring those May flowers! But no matter what, I'm content. We're SO close! I think the world knew I needed more time before warm weather. Ha! Thanks, world. This past month I've really gotten into some great routines. I've been eating really healthy, gave up nail-biting, and I'm really close to giving up pop. I got back into a great schedule with WW, and I've started Zumba classes 3x a week. I have so much fun in them. I have a permanent smile and it's one of my favorite things to do during the weekdays. We made more progress on our apartment and I'm confident to say I'm "done" until I buy a house someday (hopefully soon)! 

  • I've been doing great with eating healthy! Lots of greens, salads and juicing!
  • I finally filled all of the frames in my apartment that were empty for the past year. This one next to my bed makes me happy.
  • Eric and I pretty much finished our gallery wall. I still want to add a couple of frames. It's one of those never-ending projects.
  • Winny pup is still as crazy as ever. This is one of her rare, calm moments.
  • I've been doing Zumba and running 4-5x a week! (yes, I'm exhausted, ha!)
  • I bought a Weight Watchers cookbook and have been trying my hand at healthy-cooking.
  • I haven't chewed my nails in weeks!
  • Eric made a guest appearance drumming at a country acoustic show we attended for friends.
  • And we got our chalkboard up and living room mostly finished in the apartment. So fun!

In April, I have all of my goals planned out and I'm so excited to kick some serious butt. I can't wait for our first warm spring day so I can totally turn our apartment upside down and scrub it, I want to continue working at my Move Until May challenge, pay off a credit card, schedule a manicure in celebration of one month of not biting my nails, continue Zumba classes and hopefully reach a certain goal weight that I have planned! Let's go April!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Closed: March Edition Giveaway

Closed Wednesday, April 3!

I'm so excited to bring you this amazing giveaway from some of my sponsors this month! ONE lucky winner will win a prize from each of these sponsors. This package would be great for a gal who wants a few new pieces and accessories for her wardrobe. See details below!


1.  Shabby Apple is offering up a $100 gift card to purchase any item you want! I always swoon over their photography and themes. Shabby Apple is an online dress boutique that specializes in vintage and retro dresses.  Click here: vintage dresses to see our selection! The amusement park photos are so inspiring. I'd go for an adorable spring dress from their Ferris Wheel collection. So cute!



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2. One Ten Zero Seven is offering a $25 store credit to any item in her shop. I absolutely love her adorable, fun accessories. The wood-designed pieces are my favorite. I personally went for the ice-cream cone necklace and guitar earrings for two fun plans this upcoming summer!


3. Kintage is offering a $30 store credit for any item in their shop. I really like their modern meets vintage items. I have their Charlotte's Garden Party Floral Dress and it's the perfect floral print!



4. Linden is offering a $25 store credit to their website! They offer contemporary, fashion-forward pieces. The California-chic lines stays true to designer, Jennifer Lynn's LA roots. I'd go for this floral top for spring!

One of you will get to win all of that! To enter, just visit all their shops/blogs above and post one of your favorite items or blog posts here in the comments. *Shabby Apple requires also that you like their Facebook page. Only one entry per person, please. Giveaway will be open until Wednesday, April 2nd. Good luck! xoxo

Psst... I'll be drawing the winners for the JewelMint and Albion Fitness giveaways this weekend. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dining room tour

A couple of months ago, I did an entryway tour of my apartment. Today, I'm showing you the room as you come out of the entryway... the dining room! Our apartment has a really open floor plan downstairs. You walk out of the entryway into this room, and you have a perfect view of the kitchen. When you're standing in the kitchen, you have a perfect view of the living room. It's great for cooking, because I can still hang out with Eric if he's watching TV. It'll be nice for entertaining someday when I have guests over. Ha! I've been a slacker in that department lately. I just wanted to get this place somewhat finished before anyone saw the insane mess!


I received these birch tree decals from Urban Walls a few months back. Since we can't paint anything like this on the wall, the decals were a great substitute. They'll peel right off when we move out someday. I actually really liked the way they ended up looking on the mint wall too. They turned out pretty good, but they were really hard to put up. It's like a three-man, ladder type of job. And after they were put up, I spent days (weeks!) rolling over them with a rolling pin to straighten them out. We had to eventually put double-sided tape on the branches that kept falling over. But I'd definitely recommend these to apartment-dwellers that can't paint for a fun decoration! I wouldn't expect these to stay permanently.


A pattern I've noticed with my style in home decor is that I like to mix old things, with new things. I picked up this blue table at a vintage mall about a year ago. I fell in love immediately. It's totally falling apart and is probably painted with lead paint, but it looks so perfect. The blue color is my favorite! I switched out the knob to an Anthropologie one. I try not to store much on the table because even if someone leans on it, I freak out. Haha! The dining table and chairs were a pretty low-cost combination from IKEA. I wanted a big enough table for 8 people to eat at, and it ended up filling up the space really well. 


This is Winny's favorite rug, I swear. She's constantly chewing her toys here and as soon as she comes in from outside, she goes and lays down on it. This was also a really inexpensive purchase from IKEA. I wanted a statement rug, but honestly couldn't afford a ton at the time. I just wanted to fill this place as fast as I could. It was so empty! For the longest time, this room sat empty... and then it was a dumping grounds for old couches, arm chairs and bookshelves. Although we rarely sit and eat at the table (we love watching TV shows and movies while eating!) it'll be a great space to have friends over for a fun dinner party. Hope you enjoyed! I'll be back soon with the living room space, especially our new gallery wall! xo


Apartment details:
IKEA Jars, Placemats, Candles, Flowers
Vintage Milk Jug Vase
Vintage Table
ModCloth Latch Stop Key Tray 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Walk to brunch

Eric and I took a quick walk down to brunch this morning. My car has been in the shop all weekend, so it's been really odd not having a car! Plus, it's been way too freezing cold to pull out the scooter yet. It's been a really chill, low-key weekend. We rented movies, ordered pizza and spent Saturday with Eric's family for his niece's dance competition. I'm glad we live so close to some awesome places to eat though. It's been a lifesaver! Other than that, I just cleaned, caught up on some laundry, gave Winny a bath and played Sims like it was my job. Haha! I haven't done that since high school. I loved it!


I'm really excited this is the last week of March. April showers bring May flowers, right? I need to continue to kick butt this week with eating right and working out. This Move Until May challenge has been awesome in motivating me, but I need to play catch up from this slacker weekend. I love going to the gym lately and am really looking forward to my race in May. I've been doing Zumba classes lately too and they are so much fun. I don't even feel like I'm working out because I'm just trying hard to keep up with the class. By the time I look up, an hour has passed! It's been awesome. I'm hoping to do that 3x this week. I need to prep so I can have a couple chocolates on Easter!


I wore this outfit to work on Friday and received so many compliments, so I thought I'd wear it again today and take some pictures. It's funny because most of the time I think the way I dress is too simple to blog about, but most of the time, it's the outfits people like the most! I guess it's relatable and I can understand that. I always love when I see bloggers list Target or Forever21 in their outfit details. That means I can go right out and buy it! Ha! Well anyway, happy Monday tomorrow!


Outfit details:
The Chambray Shirt c/o Sprightly So
Llave necklace c/o Honey & Marrow

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Featured Blogger


For my spring featured blogger, I chose Signe of Signeroo. Some of you might have guessed it when I totally copied one of her outfits recently. Ha! I fell in love with Signe this "past" winter (it's still 22 degrees here!), and I've been hooked ever since. Her style is so inspiring. It's simple, feminine, romantic and so well put-together. I'd really love for my style to evolve to something similar, so she's been a huge inspiration! She's the sweetest southern gal from Texas and I love catching up on her life with Chad and Gertie. Be sure to read more below to learn about Signe and check out her amazing blog!

1. When and why did you start blogging?

I started blogging in October of 2012 (I know, I know. I'm a newbie!) It is something I had wanted to do for so long, but I suppose dragging my feet just seemed easier. And finally, with my husband’s sweet encouragement, I made the swan dive into the blogging world. And I can't say I'm sorry he nudged me (hard) in that direction. I was a fashion merchandising major in college, and after I graduated a few years ago and started a nine to five corporate job, I haven't had a way to quench my “creative outlet” juices. Signeroo has been such a fun way to do just that, while hopefully sharing a little inspiration at the same time.

2. Tell us a little bit about your blog!

Signeroo is a fashion and lifestyle blog. It's full of sarcastic remarks, funny stories, a lot of love for my new husband and our puppy, and of course...fashion. Since we are young newlyweds, we don't have the budget to support a fancy closet. But to be honest, I'm okay with that. I love the special pieces you get from time to time that are expensive and that you know you will treasure. But even more, I love the non expensive pieces that you can pair with lots of outfits, throw into a bag and not feel bad about, toss out after one season...you get the picture. I didn't really mean for my blog to be about "affordable fashion" per se, but more or less just tried to share who I am and what I wear. And I guess I just so happen to be a girl looking for a good deal. No. I honestly just love sharing my outfits with more than my husband and my poor office mate. They are sometimes the only two people who see me all day. And I can't walk around Walmart looking for a "Girrrrl, where'd you get that shirt?!" comment to make my day. So that is how my blog was born.

3. Where do you get inspiration for your (adorable) outfits?

I really like to find my inspiration everywhere. On the streets. In magazines. On Instagram and Pinterest. It just depends where my wandering eye lands and has that "aha" moment. To be honest, I like to stick to my "style", so I really just wear what I find interesting.  I know this is so dorky, but I tend to lie in bed and filter through my closet in my mind to come up with fun, new outfit options. Inspiration begets inspiration, I suppose.

4. Describe your style in five words.

Gosh, these are always the hardest questions. How can I really describe myself? My style has changed as I have aged. I went through a hippie stage in college and now find myself wearing lace, tulle & polka dots. I will say it changes with seasons, as well. More classic and comfy in the winter...turning more bohemian in the spring and summer. Or, okay, fine. I could just answer your question in 5 words:

 Effortless, Romantic, Eclectic, Bohemian, Vintage

5. How did you and your husband, Chad, meet?

Oh, how I love this story. Do you have an hour? No? Well, I will shorten this sweet novel into a tiny paragraph. Chad was living in LA and I in Dallas. He was hired by the company I worked for to guide one of the camping trips (which I happened to be guiding as well) up in the smoky mountains of Tennessee. The first time I met him, he towered over me at 6'5'', and was wearing a basketball jersey and swimsuit bottoms. His toned arms were covered in freckles and his hair was definitely in the "red" family. Not exactly love at first sight. But boy, was he handsome.
We crushed on each other and flirted throughout the trip, but it was the love letters and treasures he sent me after that won me over. He flew from LA all the way to Texas a month later to take me out on a date (which turned into a week long road trip from Texas to Arkansas to meet each other’s parents). I flew to LA for romantic getaways. And the love letters kept coming. And finally? He moved to Texas. And he sealed the deal with a sparkly ring Christmas of 2012.

6. Tell us about Gertie!

Oh, Gertie girl. What a girl she is. Where do I begin? She is a Hungarian Vizsla, and is about 5 months old.  She was the runt of the litter, so we thought we would be getting the "docile" one...but lo and behold, she is one spunky ginger! They call Vizsla's a velcro dog, because they love to be next to their masters. And they do! She has to be near Chad and I every single second of the day. She loves to run and play. Chew anything. And everything. And get into as much trouble as humanly possible. And even though sometimes we don't like to admit it, (like when she chews a favorite pair of shoes) we love her to pieces.

7. What do you love most about your small town in Texas?

If you've ever been to a small town in Texas, you'll know what I’m talking about. There is nothing like it. From our little bungalow, we can walk down to the square and eat a steaming homemade breakfast. Window shop at the antique stores or trendy boutiques (Fun fact. Bloom, owned by Kendi from Kendi Everyday is on our square. And yes, she's just as pretty in person.) On Saturdays, we can walk over to the farmers market for fresh fruit, honey, bread and veggies. There is a local feed store owned by a few good ol boys in their ten-gallon hats that we like to visit in the spring when the baby chicks make their first appearance. And just a short drive away, are the backcountry roads of Texas. And there is nothing like a Texas sunset in the big open sky, on a Texas back road. Trust me on that, y'all. As my father in law would say, life in small town Texas is just honeysuckle sweet.

8. What would your perfect day look like?

The perfect day. I would say the perfect day would be a warm summer day in Texas. All of the flowers have bloomed, and a slight breeze is in the air. The morning would start with a nice long walk around the neighborhood with the husband and Gertie. Breakfast down on the square {on a perfect day that means a calorie free giant cinnamon roll with homemade cream cheese frosting. But if it comes with calories, I’ll eat it anyway}. After breakfast, I'd like to get lost in a book on a hammock in the backyard and slowly drift into a deep sleep. When I wake up, I want it to be to the smell of hamburgers cooking in the backyard and the laughter of my family. Followed up by a summer bbq, and ending with a banana popsicle on the front porch swing while the sun goes down. Can I get an Amen?

9. Favorite food?

My favorite food is honestly anything with sugar in it. I have such a sweet tooth! I can't lie! I have to answer truthfully here and say skittles. I wish I could say something cool like "ratatouille" or "sushi" or something. Nope. Skittles. Time to grow up?

10. Any tips for new bloggers starting out?

This is going to sound cliché, but just be you! Sometimes the blog world is overwhelming because you see all of these amazing blogs or creative ideas or whatever it may be that makes you feel a little smaller in the already giant world of blogging. But honestly, your voice is the only one that should matter to you. I think sometimes people lose themselves, and that's when their blogs become a little confusing. Just be true to who you are! I'm going to go nerdy here and quote one of my favorites from Alice In Wonderland. Daisy: “What kind of garden do you come from?” Alice: “Oh, I don’t come from any garden.” Daisy: “Do you suppose she’s a wildflower?”  I love this quote, and like to think of myself as a wildflower in a sea of generic flowers.  Isn’t it more fun to be a wildflower? Set apart from everyone else? Yeah, I thought so. Be consistent. And be you. Don't be a cookie cutter. That’s what makes you interesting!

I hope you all enjoyed getting to know Signe a little bit more. Be sure to head over to her blog and follow along! You can also keep up with her on Twitter and Facebook. And... if you enjoyed reading this feature, be sure to check out my other featured bloggers!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Closed: JewelMint Giveaway!

Closed Wednesday, March 27th!


Today I am excited to partner with JewelMint to bring you an awesome giveaway. THREE lucky readers are going to win one (1) new piece of jewelry!

Just a little background, JewelMint is a free, members-only website, with personalized jewelry recommendations based on your fashion profile and style. Each piece is only $29.99. New pieces are added monthly, so it's fun to keep checking back and they offer free shipping and returns!

To enter the giveaway, you simply need to log into the JewelMint website (no obligation to buy) and comment on this post with your favorite piece of jewelry.

You can receive two pieces for the price of one ($29.99) for new members/first time purchases at JewelMint, in case you do feel inclined to make a purchase. 

This giveaway is only open to U.S. and Canada only. 

One entry per reader. Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, March 26th. Winner will be announced shortly after! Good luck!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Longest winter ever

So while we're going for the "longest winter ever" record, I might as well go for the "shortest post ever" record. I'm starting to feel like I can't remember my life before winter. That's how sad this is. I'm so burnt out on this season. While tomorrow we "welcome" a new one, we'll get another dumping of snow here in Michigan. Anyway, I'm going to make this really short. I feel like all I do anymore is go to work, diet, cook, exercise, paint my nails, do my skincare routine, and go to bed exhausted. I've been cooking insanely healthy meals lately and juicing during lunches to get back into the WW routine. I'm also doing a #MoveUntilMay challenge that is killing me already, but I'm so excited to see results. I paint my nails almost every day and I haven't chewed them off in weeks. I'm so excited. Those are the biggest goals/things going on right now. Everything else is normal - and good! I'm just ready for spring.


Outfit details:
Alexa Flora Jeans c/o Onze Boutique
Ruche Nicola Chiffon blouse
Urban Outfitters belt
Ruche Loxley Mary Jane wedges

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Diet Recap + Albion Giveaway!



As promised, I will be doing a recap of my health/fitness goals from the new year. The first couple of months are always the hardest to get into a routine. I feel like if you can get through January and February, you'll make it through. Maybe that's just me, but I do better once I get used to a schedule. My goal was 5 pounds a month for 4 months, to lose a total of 20 pounds. I started January 1st, and we're in the middle of March and I'm down 8 pounds! Not at the exact goal I set for myself, but definitely on my way. February was a super challenging month with traveling, Valentine's Day and other winter woes. Honestly winter is the hardest time to lose weight. You just want warm, comfort food! But my clothes are fitting a little better and I'm feeling more active, happier and in control. I'm excited to keep going!

 

To be honest, I was a little disappointed in January while doing WW. Four years ago, when I lost 35 pounds, it was like... if I followed the points, I lost at least 2 pounds a week. That was that. This time, I'd follow the points and I'd gain 2 pounds. It was so discouraging at first. After doing a bit of research online, I found out a lot of women were struggling with the new WW plan. So I had to take down my daily points, and could not touch my extra weekly or activity points. It went from feeling like I was eating a ton each day to basically nothing. That wasn't the case, but it just felt like such a drastic change. But I got into a new routine and felt fine after a few weeks of eating less. As for food these past few months, for breakfast I'll usually do a yogurt or fiber bar. Lunch is pretty much always a salad. I've honestly fallen in love with salads over the past few months and now I crave them. Ha! I also eat a lot of soups. For dinner, I try to cook whole-wheat pasta dishes, stir-fry veggies, veggie tacos and grilled or baked chicken. When dining out, my favorites have been veggie pizzas, thai chicken lettuce wraps and whole wheat mariana spaghetti. For sweet tooths, I always keep fruit around, along with WW fudge bars and frozen yogurts. That's not to say I don't indulge in some of my favorite foods once in a while, but this is what I tend to stick to on my "good" days.




As for my exercise routine, it's really basic. I'm doing the same routine I did when I lost 35 pounds. I try to run 3 times a week, and hop around to a few of the different machines at the gym and do two reps of 15. I do an ab, upper arm, and inner thigh machine. My routine usually takes about 30 minutes at the gym. I can run 2 miles in about 20 minutes, and then my machines only take about 10-15 minutes. I love having a gym membership, but now that it's getting nicer I'm excited to run outdoors a bit. I just crank some music and run! I just received a couple of new workout pieces from Albion Fit and I loved wearing them to the gym! My favorite part about this top is how long it is and didn't ride up at all. I felt so comfortable sweatin' it out at the gym tonight.


Albion Fit is doing an amazing giveaway for Selective Potential readers! They are offering one of you a $100 gift card to their shop. Both my pants and top are from Albion Fit and their materials are so breathable and flexible. Just head over to their website and leave a comment with what you'd get with your gift card!



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Jeweliq Giveaway!



This week's giveaway is from Jeweliq!
They are offering one of my lucky readers a $50 gift card.

To enter, you must:
1) Subscribe to their mailing list on the top right of homepage
(Leave a comment here saying so!)

Bonus entries:
1) Pin one of your favorite items on Pinterest
2) Like them on Facebook
3) Follow them on Twitter
(Please leave additional comments for each.)

Yay, this giveaway is open to U.S. and international readers!

Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, March 19th at 9 PM EST.



The winner of the Pima Doll giveaway is...
#18 // Marisella Lara
Please email me to claim your prize!



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Muskegon Breakwater Light

Here is the second of the two Muskegon lighthouses! This one is called the Muskegon Breakwater Light. It's located on the south arm of the Muskegon breakwater, near the channel. You can walk the breakwater to get to it, but it's also closed to the public. It was so cold when Eric and I walked out here, plus we had to walk over a mountain of snow and ice on the breakwater to even get to this point! I regretted choosing to take photos at these lighthouses when it was still winter. Haha! Oh well, said and done. Now I can spend the warm summer traveling out to harder-to-get-to lighthouses. Those trips are way more fun anyway. I love being a mini adventurer in my state. I have four weekend trips, one "staycation" and two day trips already planned for summer. Can you tell I'm excited?


Coming up soon, I'll have a fresh new look on Selective Potential. It's time for a bit of a change. I've pretty much had this design since I started my blog almost three and a half years ago now. I've gradually updated little things here and there, but this will be my first big "re-design". I'm really looking forward to it. The theme will stay the same though. I'm just hoping to clean it up around here and make the site faster to load. Plus, I just got a new MacBook Pro at work and the retina screen is insane. But any images that are text? They look horrible! My main navigation on this blog is awwwful. So I'll be converting as much as I can to live text. I'm excited!


Tonight I'm heading out with Eric to see friends play an acoustic country show. Tomorrow I have a new giveaway for you. I won't close the Pima Doll giveaway until tomorrow, so you still have some time to enter! I'm excited for this week to wrap up though... I'm hoping it's the last one of winter. I saw snow flurries as I was sitting in a meeting this afternoon. Ugh. I should have planned a warm spring break getaway. ;)


Outfit details:
Easy Breezy Dress in Navy c/o ever+mi.crush
Limited cardigan
Forever 21 tights
Dani Gold Wedges c/o B.A.I.T. Footwear