Friday, January 30, 2015

What To Wear for The Big Game

If you're a football fan, or even if you're not, you're probably aware that there is a REALLY BIG GAME coming up on Sunday. Many people, myself included, watch it mostly for the awesome commercials and the halftime show, more than the game itself. But this year, with Deflate Gate, there may be even more people watching the game.

I've always wanted to throw or attend a big party and dress to support my favorite team. Most years, it's us at home, having a finger-food party dinner in front of the TV and a contest for who can guess the score the closest. But this year - my kids' favorite team - the Seattle Seahawks are playing, so I feel like we should up our game day celebrations!

For all you Seattle Seahawks fans out there, support your team in apple green and royal blue with accents of grey or silver. This is the favored team in our house, so we have plenty of hats, blankets and jerseys to choose from. Shop your own closet for things you have in these team colors. I may pull out an older green sweater and a comfy pair of jeans for myself.

Seattle Seahawks Outfit Ideas for the Big Game

For you New England Patriots fans, sport some red, white and blue for your team support. That's probably the easiest color palette for us to pull off, but this year they are not our team. Throw on a pair of jeans, a red or white shirt and you're good to go.

New England Patriots Outfit Ideas for the Big Game

What team (and colors) will you be wearing on February 1st?

catch you soon -

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Get Walking for Fun and Fitness

Starting and Sticking with a Walking Program for fun and fitness

Walking can be a great way to get your daily exercise. Research shows that walking as little as 30 minutes a day can lower the risk of heart disease (America’s Number 1 killer) by as much as 40 percent. By even taking two or three 10-15 minute walks per day, like around the parking lot at work, people can improve blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes and improve mental well being.

I have been on and off a regular walking program for the last year and there is no doubt that when my program is operating strongly, I feel a lot better, lose weight and make better choices relating to my health. So when the great people at Vionic Footwear offered to help me kick-start my walking program for 2015 with a pair of walking shoes, I jumped at the opportunity.

One great thing about walking is that you don't need any fancy equipment to start a walking program, just a good pair of shoes. There are a lot of athletic and fitness shoes on the market, and it can be difficult to choose the right pair. According to a study by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), 72 percent of Americans say they don't exercise because of foot pain. This astounding figure emphasizes the importance of getting started with a pair walking-friendly shoes or sandals that are breathable, offer good arch support, are relatively lightweight and have flexible soles to allow the front of the foot to flex comfortably.

Vionic Walking Shoes - perfect for starting your walking program

Vionic Footwear with Orthaheel Technology offers footwear that helps prevent and alleviate foot pain and fits a variety of lifestyles. Vionic shoes feature a removable orthotic footbed that supports feet and helps realign the lower-legs, improving posture and balance – an ideal option for daily fitness walking. Plus? They look great too!

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, “Walking can become almost equal to jogging in terms of getting your heart rate pumping for a healthy cardiovascular workout. It is probably the safest [exercise] option of all, with the least chance of injury.” I find that walking with a friend motivates me more than walking alone.

This year, I've vowed to keep up with my walking, and to start my program off right, with these steps:
  • I've joined up with a group of women in my neighborhood also challenging themselves to walk more, and also made a regular walking date with a couple friends.
  • On days that I do walk alone, I find a motivating Podcast gets me going better than a playlist of songs. It seems as if my brain can take in more information, along with oxygen during a walk. So I count that as multi-tasking. I'm exercising AND learning something too! 
  •  I also track my steps and activity level with my FitBit Fitness Tracker. I've used it for years and it's my favorite. It's easy to use, and I don't even know I'm wearing it!
If you want to start a walking program for yourself, now is a great time because Vionic's annual Walkabout challenge starts February 1st, just in time for National Heart Health Month. The Walkabout encourages people to live a healthy lifestyle simply by walking everyday for 30 days (for as little as 30 minutes). The initiative is co-promoted by Vionic spokespeople Dr. Andrew Weil and celebrity trainer Juliet Kaska.

The Walkabout campaign is open to the public  and anyone can participate in the Vionic Walkabout simply by signing up. Participants will receive Vionic’s “Get Active” guide with fitness tips to optimize your Walkabout experience.

This year, Vionic is partnering with SparkPeople, an online platform that helps users to reach their goals and lead healthier lives through free nutrition and fitness tools, expert created content and a vibrant, supportive community.

Vionic Walkabout Campaign

Where will you walk this year? And be sure to let me know, here, on Twitter or Facebook if you sign up for the Vionic Walkabout - we can cheer each other on!

catch you soon -
Disclosure - I received a pair of Vionic Walking Shoes for review. I was not compensated for my time or for this post. As always all opinions are my very own. Statistical information provided by Vionic.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wardrobe Staple: A Demin Shirt

Welcome back for What I Wore. If this is your first visit, this is a weekly fashion post where I share real clothes for real women (along with what I wore). We talk about styling what you already have in your closet, and updating some of your favorite pieces for new and exciting looks. This week we are discussing a classic piece. . .the denim shirt.

Wardrobe Staple: A Denim Shirt
Back in the 80s I had my first denim shirt. It had 2 patch pockets was really too thick to tuck into my jeans and sort of "hung" off the edge of my chest (can you picture a stiff shirt and a large chest?) But it was stylish, so I wore it.

These days, denim shirts come in a wide variety of styles and fabrics. You can still find the thicker classic western cut, but there are a ton of modern thinner denim shirts on the market. Recently, I got an email for a big sale at Ann Taylor - one of my favorites for classic pieces. So I started perusing their options for shirts - two of mine had recently become too snug across the chest and had to go.

They had what looked like the prefect one! Confession time - I am more of an in-person shopper. I like to touch it and see how it drapes. I like to see how a piece of clothing is going to fit - boxy, fitted, etc. You can't always tell that from Photoshopped images and online descriptions. Since it was 40% off, I figured I'd try it.

It fits great, although a little long in the sleeve. I love the weight - thin enough to tuck without being too thin. The color is a bit lighter than I thought it looked online, but it will do for the looks I have in mind.
Denim Shirt styled with Skinny Jeans
Denim Shirt - Ann Taylor (current season)
Jeans - Ann Taylor Modern Skinny Jeans (currently available)
Boots - Clarks
Necklace - Premiere Designs

To meet a friend for lunch on a cold day, I added a sweater and changed boots for this look:

Denim Shirt styled with a Sweater and Skinny Jeans
Denim Shirt - Ann Taylor (Current Season)
Jeans - Ann Taylor Modern Skinny Jean (currently available)
Sweater - Ann Taylor (old but similar style available now)
Boots - Aerosoles
Necklace - Premiere Designs
Earrings - Kate Spade

Both of these looks would be great with a backpack or a nice tote along with a scarf. I have a million ideas for adding this to outfits I already have in my closet.

Do you have a denim shirt in your wardrobe? How would you style it?

catch you soon -
This post is linked up at The Pleated Poppy and at Get Your Pretty On. Both are great sites for additional outfit ideas and inspiration!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Slow-Cooker Chili

We are creatures of habit around here. We don't experiment too much when we find something that we like and it works. This basic chili recipe is one of those things. It's simple to toss together and because it cooks in the slow-cooker, it doesn't require any maintenance during the day.

Delicious and Easy Slow Cooker Chili

It's been a Halloween and Bowl that's Super staple for years. But it's perfect for a cold or busy weekday too. The best part, is that it's pretty easy to keep the ingredients on hand so you can make it whenever the mood strikes!

What You Need:
2 lbs of Ground Meat (beef, turkey, etc)
1/2 pepper - any color will do
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (or 2 14 oz cans)
2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
1/2 6 oz can of tomato paste
1/8 cup (or more to taste) of chili powder
1 Tbsp of sugar
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp (or more to taste) ground red pepper
1 Bay Leaf
optional - 1 14-16 oz can of black, cannelloni or kidney beans.

What You Do:
Brown the ground meat in a skillet, drain off any liquid and put it in your slow-cooker.

Browning the Ground Beef for Slow Cooker Chili

Chop your Onion and Pepper and toss them in.

Produce for Slow Cooker Chili

Crush your Garlic and toss that in too.

Add the Diced Tomatoes, the Tomato Sauce and the Tomato Paste.

Canned Ingredients for Slow Cooker Chili

Toss in the Chili Powder, Sugar, Salt, Pepper and Paprika. Add your Ground Red Pepper.

If you're using Beans, rinse them and toss them in.

Stir everything up and add your bay leaf.

Slow Cooker Chili in the Pot

Turn your slow-cooker on. (depending on when you want it to be ready, you can do 2-4 hours on high or 4-6 hours on low.

When it's ready, I serve it up in large bowls or crocks and add a little sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese to the top. You can also sprinkle on some bacon, green onions or any other topping of your choice.

Easy and Delicious Slow Cooker Chili

Do you have a favorite Chili recipe?

catch you soon -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Menu Plan Monday - 2015 Week 5

Welcome to another edition of weekly meal and menu planning. We are preparing for a potentially history making winter storm here in the Philadelphia Burbs. That's putting a bit of a kink in my organization and meal planning, as I probably won't get to my regular market shopping tomorrow (or Tuesday and maybe not even Wednesday).

To compensate, I picked up a few ingredients on my errands today, but I'm mostly planning based on what I have in the freezer and pantry. Right now, I'm glad I spent the extra money on a pork tenderloin at the store last week and threw it in the freezer.

Here's what we have on the plan for this week:

Monday - Roasted Pork Tenderloin with baby carrots and potatoes
Tuesday - Caramelized Salmon, Spinach and Quinoa (pushed from last week)
Wednesday - Frittatta with Crusty Bread and Salad
Thursday - Chicken Cutlets
Friday - Pizza Night
Saturday and Sunday - TBD - leftovers

Hopefully by Thursday, we will be able to leave the house again. I'm also praying that we don't lose power during this storm. Do you meal plan differently when faced with a potentially bad weather?

catch you soon -
This post is linked up with I'm An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday, Check it out for additional ideas and inspiration for planning weekly meals.