As you may have seen on Instagram, I enjoyed a fun Tacky Christmas weekend.

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It’s a really good thing WalMart still had one tacky sweater left.

I’m not kidding. This was the only one I found. And it’s a size 4x. *Awesome*, right?

A few months ago, my friend Melissa twisted my arm to register for the Carmax Tacky Light Run here in Richmond, VA. I was excited for a race that had a different spin on things, and I was interested to see how I’d fair running a race that didn’t begin at the crack of dawn, but at 6:00 p.m. on a Saturday night.

As I was shopping for my tacky garb, I spoke to Melissa on the phone, and she had the bright idea to make the run a little more leisurely. You know, the kind of leisure that includes special water bottles and no sweating.

If you know me at all, you know that I really struggle with being the non-athlete. If I’m running a race, injury or not, I want to go all out and prove to myself that my training (or lack thereof) was worth it. I’m really not good at taking it easy. I’m so competitive with myself that I just want to be better than I’ve been before.

I learned something about myself this weekend. Give me zero race prep (all barre, so little running), curl my hair, and put a water bottle full of wine in my hand, and I have zero intentions of running.

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It was the best race I ever walked.

Sure, I was a little envious of the runners stretching in my old home of Corral 1 as we passed them, but once we got to the back and blended in with the rest of the people solely there for the fun, I was completely satisfied with our plan.

And thus began our Tacky Light Stroll.

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It was so fun stopping for photos, beer, brownies, and whathaveyou at all the houses with bonfires, block parties, and small gatherings. We stopped for photos with santa, paused to check out the fun houses and enjoy someone playing guitar outside his decorated yard (!), and even skipped for a few yards.

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Of course, a “6k-ish” feels a lot longer when you’re strolling than when you’re running, but after the experience, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed the run had I raced it. The course was extremely dark (obviously, so you can see the lights), so with my track record, I probably would have tripped and had a travesty of some sort.

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And I would have missed all the sights and fun neighborhood parties!

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It’s been decided. Being the non-athlete is totally necessary sometimes.

What’s your take on races versus “fun runs”? Do you have trouble taking it easy, too?

{ 7 comments }

2014 Holiday Dress Guide

December 11, 2014 · 9 comments

Sometimes, I feel like the holiday season just torpedoes me out of nowhere. I blink, it’s time for Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and my birthday, and I don’t gain footing until around…. oh, say January 12.

And by “gain footing,” I mean “enter into no-more-party-time depression.” Can I move to create another holiday season in March or so?

Anyway, I realized yesterday that the holidays are indeed upon me, and everything I do in preparation is no longer ahead of schedule. Thank goodness my decorations are up.

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Not finished, but they DO exist! Everyone knows the Christmas deco isn’t complete without candy dishes full of red and green M&Ms.

So, in prep for the holidays, I decided I need a New Year’s dress. Because… it’s New Years. And that includes SPARKLES.

You know, my favorite.

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I think that third photo is a capture of the “Single Ladies” dance party that was happening in Anastasia’s kitchen. That was absolutely the best NYE of my life thus far.

So why not continue the theme? I’ve snagged a sparkler that I’m anxious to get in the mail and try on.

In the meantime, let’s fawn over these cute frocks (I just wanted to use that word). These are, in my opinion, great picks for this holiday season. Snag one for a Christmas or NYE party before you’re scrambling!

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2014 Holiday Dress Guide:

    1. $59.50 New Unique Fresh Green With Beading Party Dress- secretshop via Luulla
      • I like the way the collar necklace pairs with this, but you can absolutely dress it up or down. It’s a great option for a day to night party look.
    2. $108  Tight Race Mesh Dress- Nasty Gal Collection
      • This one definitely isn’t specifically a holiday dress, but it could totally work for a sassy NYE look, and then saved for a night on the town some other time. I’m a big advocate for versatility in special occasion dresses!
    3. $183 Fallen Navy Blue Dress- Keepsake via Urban Outfitters
      • How stellar is the back of this little number? I would love this as a birthday dress. Perfect for if you’re looking for something fun and cute that doesn’t scream “holidays.”
    4. $148 $99.90! Sequin Shift Dress- Vince Camuto via Shoebox NY
      • Grab this one before it’s gone, as it’s final sale only.
    5. $64 Dazzle and Amaze Beige Sequin Dress- Lulu*s
      • My favorite of the bunch, as I’m sure you can guess. The sparkles with this color and simple, light straps just make me want to dance.
    6. $88 ‘Yale’ Lace Panel Fit & Flare Dress- BB Dakota via Nordstrom
      • Red lace can get a little crazy-looking for my taste, but I like the way BB Dakota made this work. I would totally wear this to a girls’ night cookie exchange.
    7. $77 Strike a Chord Black Maxi Dress- Ark & Co
      • If you need a maxi for a holiday affair, this is a great, versatile pick. The strappy backing gives it a little modern, fun edge to it, too!
    8.  $65 It’s a Gas! Black Beaded Dress- Ark & Co
      • I love the simplicity of this dress, made a little more snappy with the beading. And this is my *favorite* neckline. Can we also just laugh at the name of the dress iteslf?
    9. $38 Perfect Situation Dark Green Long Sleeve Shift Dress- Lulu*s
      • I’m really tempted to grab this for Christmas. I love the rich hunter green, and if you can’t tell, Lulu*s is a go-to for me in my dress searches. At $38, it’s hard to go wrong.
    10. $118 Lace Print Jacquard Party Dress- AQUA via Bloomingdale’s
      • Lace brocade is so in this season. I’m all about this flirty, flattering silhouette, too!

You tell me: What’s your favorite holiday look? Have you already gotten all your dresses? I’m a little tempted to search for a short, long-sleeved velvet dress, but had some trouble finding one I liked.

And, of course, you have to let me know if you snag one of these for your next holiday party! I want photos.

 

{ 9 comments }

If a year ago someone told me I’d be saying what I’m about to tell you, I’d tell them they were cray.

Seriously cray. Cray cray.

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I do little to no cardio these days. If I can sneak some cardio in twice a week, that’s a great week. Three times a week? Maybe, but probably not happening.

And I’ve lost weight. I’ve even been eating cookies. And I finally like the way my arms look!

Now, this weight loss may be a combo of my stellar health coach and RVA bestie, Brittany Mullins of Eating Bird Food (gosh, I’m lucky to have talented friends), and my daily Pure Barre workout.

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I’m a huge advocate for rest days. I believe your muscles and your body need that recovery time to perform to their best capacity. But, when I teach Pure Barre 5 days a week, I’m already there, so I want to get that workout in. I love the workout, it’s never easy no matter how much I practice it, and it gets me in my zen mode. You know what they say, cheaper than therapy, yadda yadda.

So I’ve been Pure Barre-ing 6 to 7 days a week. Because I love it! Not because I’m crazy, desperate, or want to lose weight. That workout, along with some non-obsessive healthy eating tips and recipes from my friend Brittany, have put me down a total of 8 pounds since ending my job at Anthropologie at the start of November (give or take — I don’t weigh myself often, and I’m always considering water weight).

10622754_10202618699652077_6406785285156994158_nUm, and I never thought I’d be a flexible person, nor did I think I could ever do a full split.

Of course, when I’m running from teaching barre to my full-time job or vice-versa every day, it’s sometimes easy to forget to over-snack the way I used to. I think that may be an asset to weight loss, as well. That, coupled with the fact that I rarely have time to go out and be social (read: eat/drink copious amounts of questionably healthy things) on weeknights anymore.

What have I been munching on, you ask? Well, I’ve actually been cooking a lot more than I used to, thanks to Brittany’s 28 day plan I was on with some other Pure Barre clients. I’ll share some of my favorite recipes below, straight from her blog:

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Yoinked from Brit’s instagram.

The pizza doesn’t look half as great as it tasted, and we paired it with a granny smith apple goat cheese salad and my all-time favorite wine, Villa Wolf Gewürztraminer.

So, pair one of the dinner recipe examples with either a slice of Ezekial bread with peanut butter, banana, and cinnamon, a KIND or Balance bar snack mid-morning, a hearty salad for lunch, and another nighttime snack of some sort at night, and you have my typical day of eating around my Pure Barre workout. And water. Lots and lots of water.

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I do miss my regular TidalWheel spin workouts and daily runs, but I’ve come to find that I’m craving less, I feel less bloated, and get more excited to run when I take a longer hiatus between hardcore sweat sessions. Again, I never thought I’d say this, but I’m pretty into this whole cardio hiatus. Pure Barre has made me go down a size in yoga pants, toned my arms and abs the way I’ve always wanted, and gives me the brain break I need each day.

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Psst… if you live in the RVA area and have been wanting to try Pure Barre, my studio is offering a 2 classes for the price of one special for newbies all December long! Come LTB with me! :)

{ 19 comments }

My Dad is Heisenberg [#BreakingBadDoppleganger].

December 8, 2014

Due to what we’ll call my “Autumnal Blog Hiatus,” I never had the chance to show you guys the fruits of this year’s Halloween labor. Remember my costume last year? I was pretty proud of my Jesse Pinkman getup last Halloween. And since it was right after my appendectomy, rocking a hazmat suit was pretty stellar. […]

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New Hair. New Career.

December 5, 2014

I apologize for the months of hiding, but I’ve been a busy lady over here. I finally fixed all our problems. No more problems with reader commenting. No more unemployment. And no more split ends! WHAT MORE COULD THE WORLD NEED? I need a degree in fixing (how appropriate, as Scandal is my newest obsession. […]

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My 2014 Holiday Fitlist

December 4, 2014

I love wordplay. Especially when I can slide the word “fit” into it. Wishlist? Fitlist? It works. Right? …Right. Has anyone else been furiously updating their holiday wishlists ever since Thanksgiving came to a close? Just me? Nah, don’t lie… I know you’ve done it. I’m all over the place. I want a new laptop […]

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Tips for a Rock Star Interview

September 20, 2014

How many times have you felt beside yourself with anxiety over an upcoming interview? Of course, that always happens when you really, really want the job. Who stresses over an interview for a job that’s not super exciting? When I held my Regional Manager position at TidalWheel, I interviewed oodles of people: potential instructors, staff […]

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Cooking Class & Discovering Southern Season

September 11, 2014

Yesterday, history was made. I attended my first cooking class. Wha-bam! Photo from the SouthernSeasonRVA instagram account I have passed the Richmond Southern Season on more than one occasion, curiously eying the place and wondering what it contained. Turns out, it’s a huge, beautiful gourmet food emporium complete with restaurant and cooking school. I headed […]

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Sport Chalet Giveaway Winners!

September 10, 2014

Hidee ho! I apologize for the delay in posting the good news about our Sport Chalet Giveaway Winner — lifeofblyss.com is sporting some interesting technical difficulties that made it impossible for me to view comments and figure out who our winners were. Womp, womp. So I had to get crafty and go through the back […]

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Virginia Beach Rock n Roll Half: Smile Through the Sprain

September 4, 2014

I hit the jackpot a few weeks ago when an old coworker who was signed up for the Virginia Beach Rock n Roll Half Marathon landed tickets for a Virginia Tech football game and could no longer make the race. I half-jokingly told her I’d run in her place, and two days later, I found […]

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