Monday, December 31, 2012

The Ultimate Running Playlist

The other day, I did a post about cold weather running essentials. However, no matter what the season, there is nothing more important than an awesome playlist! The perfect playlist can encourage you to run the extra mile when your legs feel like giving out, or get you pumped up to get going out the door in the first place. To be honest, the only reason I think I run is for my music! I love to listen to new music, and running is the best time to do so.

With that being said, not all music is meant for running. For example, while I am loving the most recent Mumford and Sons album for my commute to work, it's not the kind of music that would get me excited about running. I need music that makes me feel good about myself, while at the same time telling me to push myself harder. 

For this playlist, I pulled up some of my favorite running music. As you can see, I definitely have an eclectic taste in music. From country, to alternative to rap, I'll listen to almost anything. These are just a sample of my favorites that get me going when I'm running - I hope you enjoy!

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cold Weather Running Essentials

Every year, thousands of people make new year's resolutions that they will be healthier, work out more frequently, get in shape, and eat less junk food. I can admit that I used to be one of those people. I don't think I am fat by any means, but I always knew I could be in better shape. However, it took me many years to realize that it doesn't need to be new years to make a resolution. If you want to change, all you have to do is put in some effort to do whatever it is you want to do! 

After graduating from college in May, I decided I was going to go for it. My goal wasn't to lose weight, just to eat healthier, and work out more than I had through college. With exams, nights out, and the unlimited buffet far away from me, I figured it couldn't be too hard to accomplish my plan.

I was wrong (of course). Within a month, I had gotten nowhere. I didn't want to get up early to hit the gym; it was too hot to go running; I would rather have a slice of apple pie than an apple; I was too busy. They were all excuses. I quickly realized I was trying to make too changes at once. If I wanted to get in better shape, I had to go much slower. I started by doing my best to eliminate unhealthy foods from my diet. I stopped eating out at fast food restaurants, I cut out my afternoon snack, and picked a small splurge for the end of the day. 

Choosing to make healthier dining options wasn't very hard. Trying to enforce a work-out routine on the other hand, was a different story. I tried a Zumba class, which I absolutely hated. I tried just working out at the gym on my own, which wasn't fun either. It wasn't until I started taking turbo-kick at my local gym and began running in my neighborhood that I began to like working out for the first time.

I like to run because it's easy. You don't need anything other than a pair of tennis shoes. That's it! However, when it's cold, just a pair of tennis shoes isn't sufficient. Here are some essentials I would recommend for cold weather running (especially for those who are making a new years resolution to run)! Although you can use most of this stuff no matter what the season, some of these are must haves during the winter. 

Nike + iPod sensor: If you have Nike compatible shoes, you can use this to track your runs, calories, and so much more. All you do is slip the chip into the left sole of your shoe, and your iPod/iPhone collects information about your workouts. However, if you're looking for an app to use if you don't have Nike compatible shoes, I would recommend MapMyRun. I used this for months, and loved it! The best part - it's free!

Belkin Armband (similar here): I've had this arm band for years, but just started using it this summer. I don't know how anyone can run without it! It doesn't slip, and provides a tight grip to hold your iPod in place while you run. It can be difficult to change songs though, so it's helps to already have a great playlist picked out.

iPod: Like my armband, I don't know how anyone can work out without an iPod! I guess some people might enjoy the peace and quiet, but I for one love to listen to music that pumps me up!

Nalgene: After a long run, there's nothing better than downing a big bottle of cold water. Nalgene bottles are durable (you seriously couldn't break them if you tried), colorful, and hold half your daily water serving. They can be a little pricey for a water bottle, but I wouldn't recommend anything else. 

Headphones: Lightweight and simple, these are perfect to slip under my knit ear cover. I've been using the same ones for years, and have never had a problem with them.

Texting Gloves: When I run in the cold, the first things to get goosebumps are my hands. These gloves have a soft fleece lining that keeps my fingers warm without being too much. Plus, I love the tips on the index finger and thumb. They make it easy to control my iPod when needed without having to completely remove my gloves.

Ear Cover (here): Right after my fingers get cold, my ears get cold. This wide band covers my ears perfectly! Just like the gloves, my ear band is fleece lined, so I can stay warm. It also keeps any flyways tucked back, and my headphones in. This is an absolutely necessity if you plan on running in cold weather.

Pumped-Up Playlist: There is nothing that gets me running better than loud music that motivates me. It helps to distract me from the cold weather, and sets a relative pace of where I should be at certain time. Look forward to what I listen to in an upcoming post.

Fleece Jacket (not seen): Of course, don't forget a lightweight fleece jacket that you can wear while you run! You don't want anything too heavy, just something to keep your arms covered. I found a cheap one from Target for $3 that works perfectly!

I hope my recommendations help any newbies out! Seasoned runners - is there anything you would recommend that I am missing?

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Facets of Fuchsia and Black Out

As the holiday season winds down, I have found that I have become bored with all the bright red and gold polish that I've been wearing. That's why for this week's manicure I decided to use an opaque black as my base. It's such a stark contrast from the colors that everyone else is wearing right now, and I love it! The black that I am wearing is "Black Out" by Sally Hansen. For the price, you cannot beat the quality and durability of the brand.

However, the holidays aren't quite over yet, so I knew I had to do a glitter finish. Although to be honest, no manicure is complete for me without glitter. I decided to use one of my all-time favorite glitters, "Facets of Fuchsia" by Revlon. The glitter has a jelly black base, so it pairs best with other dark polishes. See how I have worn it in the past here, and here.
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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas through Instagram

I figured I would save all my holiday shots from Instagram and compile them into one big post. So, here's what Christmas looked like at my house (and throughout the DMV) in the last month.

P.S. - Follow me on Instagram and Twitter to keep up to date with me!

1. My favorite ornament on my Wizard of Oz theme tree this year, a glittery tinman.

2. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care.

3. A little bit of Paris in my bedroom.

4. Christmas cheer courtesy of Babar and a koala bear on the stairs.

5. My Hawaiian theme tree decked out for the holidays. Can you tell we have way too many trees?

6. It's not Christmas unless I watch all the classic claymation movies at least once.

7. Spritz cookies ready for the oven.

8. Sugar cookie cut-outs.

9. Another year, another Lilly Pulitzer ornament for my Hawaiian tree.

10. Although it's hard to tell, there are 61 blow ups in this photo!

11. A cute little snowman.

12. My boyfriend's grandparents puppy looked too adorable under the tree!

13. Annual tradition: checking out the Miracle on 34th street lights in Hampden, Md.

14. Festive place settings with bow napkins for Christmas Eve dinner.

15. My brothers and me before heading off to mass on Christmas Eve.

16. The large Christmas tree in my living room. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

White Christmas Attire

Cardigan (borrowed from mom): Kate Spade
Skirt (borrowed from mom): Kate Spade
Bracelets: Coach and Segio Lub
Necklace: Vintage
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Camisole: Gap

Whenever I need a little outfit inspiration, I shop in my mom's closet. Honestly, if there is one thing I am thankful for, it's that we're nearly the exact same size. I have never have to worry about running out in the name of a "fashion emergency", having nothing to wear, or being under-dressed. Instead of making spontaneous trips to the mall, I browse my mom's massive walk-in closet in peace, trying on whatever I like at my leisure, admiring racks of heels, and thinking of new outfit combinations. 

As I was trying to get ready last night, I knew I would need to take a trip to the closet. I had plans to go see "White Christmas" at the Kennedy Center, and wanted to wear something festive and different without resorting to red and black combinations that are so common during this time of year. When I spied this navy blue and cream tweed skirt, I knew I had found the perfect thing to wear. Tweed is a great fabric for any winter ensemble, and the color combination is more wintery than overdone holiday red.

I paired my new found skirt with a navy blue cardigan, which surprise surprise, I also found in the depths of my mom's closet. I love how the subtle studded collar had a very different texture from the tweed. It gave my outfit the perfect finishing touch!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

College VoxBox Review

A little white ago, I made a video about the College VoxBox I received courtesy of Influenster. Almost a month later, here's a follow up about the products I received.

These Broadway nails were one of the most exciting things that came in my box! So I don't have to repeat myself, check out the full review I did of them here.

Another one of the products I received are these tropical Necco wafers. Now, I know a lot of people who don't like Necco wafers. Honestly though, I have loved them for years! So, when I saw these included in my box, I was pretty excited. My personal favorite flavors were lime, coconut and strawberry! They were the perfect sweet little bite. However, I can't say the same about passion fruit, mango, or banana. I may be relatively prejudiced because I don't like those flavors to begin with. Regardless, I just didn't like those ones.

A surprising favorite in my box was the Pentel EnerGel-X pen. For years, I have only been using the Pilot easy touch pens, so I thought it might be difficult to adjust to using a ballpoint. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised! This pen writes very smoothly, doesn't budge, and is such a different color! While I don't think anything will ever replace my favorite pens, this has been very fun to use, and I will probably buy it again.

I've never taken energy supplements of any kind in the past, so I was skeptical when I received them. Overall, I thought the flavor was alright, but I didn't feel like I had any extra energy during the day. Honestly, I am a very energetic person as it is, which is why I have never taken them in the past. I definitely don't think I will be ever purchasing these.

NYC New York Color Show Time Glitter Eyeliner

The final product that I received was the NYC's showtime glitter eyeliner. I've been a dedicated Urban Decay eyeliner user for years now, so I wasn't sure if I would like this near as much. And it's true, I didn't like it nearly as much. It's hard to compete with the creaminess and smudge proof Urban Decay, though! I think I would give this product a 3.5 out of 5. The color is a fun addition, and it goes on fairly easily. However, it's clear that the pencil is cheaply made, and it doesn't last all day.

Have any of you guys used these products? What did you think?
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Monday, December 17, 2012

Purple Monochrome

Shirt: Gap
Skirt: J. Crew
Shoes: Minnetonka
Necklace: Kate Spade

I recently purchased this skirt from J. Crew, and was stuck as to how to wear it. Initially, when I put it in my online shopping cart, I had countless of combinations in mind. I knew the bright pop of color this wool mini-skirt provided was going to be a great addition to my dark and dreary winter wardrobe. But as it figures, the moment the package arrived at my house, I couldn't remember any of my previous ideas. So, my new mini hung in the closet up until last week when I finally remembered my first idea.

Um hello, monochrome? Pairing a bright color with neutral colors such as white and black is such a boring option. It works well, of course, but it's just not an interesting or unexpected combination! Hence, today's pairing. 

I have found that monochromatic ensembles looks best when the shades of the color are completely opposite (like a previous look here).  Does anyone remember when JT and Britney Spear wore those matching denim outfits? Okay, I don't think anything could have really helped in that case, but if they had worn dark denim with chambray, their look could have been a little less catastrophic. So, that's why I paired my plum colored mini with a lavender top. Had the pieces been almost the exact same color, I probably would have looked like Barney. To tie my whole look together, I added this chunky bauble necklace to add some texture to my look. Overall, I am beyond pleased how this ensemble turned out!
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Friday, December 14, 2012

Casual Friday

Shirt (borrowed from mom): Michael Kors
Camisole: Calvin Klein
Pants: BCBGeneration
Earrings: American Eagle
Shoes: Coach
I always have a hard time thinking of what to wear on Friday's. After a long week, it's hard to resist taking the easy way out in perfectly broken-in jeans, a soft tee, and a colorful scarf.  However, thanks to a late night raid in my moms closet last night, I knew exactly what I wanted to wear today! 

You know what I love about this outfit? I am basically wearing my lazy uniform: a cami, skinny jeans, and flats. But by simply adding this eye-catching blouse, my outfit is the furthest thing from boring! Love it when stuff like that happens.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Desk

When I am in my room, I spend a lot of time at my desk. I write blog posts, paint my nails, make to-do lists, apply to jobs, and so much more.Unlike most people though, I hate lounging around in my bed - I don't get in until I am just about to go to sleep! So, when I saw this post from College Prepster about her friends desks, I was inspired to do a post of my own.

Here's a breakdown of the two photos above:

Photo 1

Sony Vaio - After my first laptop died in September of my senior year, I was forced to buy a new one - fast! With the help of my boyfriend, in less than two days I had found a new one that was perfect for me. Not only is it in a fun color, it's able to handle all the software that I've downloaded (cough CS5) without any problems.

iHome - My iHome is the ultimate desk accessory. I originally bought this right before I started college for my desk at school, and I'm still using it today. I love that it doubles as an lamp and iPod charger!

Carryall - All the desk supplies I need on a daily basis. It holds the only pens I'll use (Pilot Easy Touch), scissors, white board markers, and this awesome cell phone handset (similar here) that I use all the time!

Tea towel - After I got my desk repainted two months ago, I wanted to put something under my laptop to keep the heat that radiates from it from ruining my desk. I found this cheery tea towel at TJ Maxx, and love the bright pop of color it adds.

Useless Drawer - My desk is apart of my built-ins, so I only have this one drawer. As you can tell from the title, it is absolutely useless. It's not very deep, so it doesn't hold much. On the inside, I have additional pens, markers, tape, memory cards, and USB cords for my laptop.

Photo 2

Sarah Pinto Planner - My planner is the only thing I use to keep track on my schedule. I don't know what I would do if it was ever lost! I keep it at my desk so it's easily at my finger tips whenever I need it.

Kindle Touch - Behind my planner is my Kindle simple touch. I just use it to read, and I love it. Since I bought it last February, I have found myself reading so much more! On the metro, at dinner, waiting for interviews - all the time! I keep it covered with a Kate Spade case.

Stationery - I keep all my stationery and post-it notes in a vintage cigar box from my grandfather. I use this stuff every day, so I like to have it where I can easily access it. On top of the cigar box is the box I got my Coach poppy gift set in. It's basically the equivalent of a junk drawer. One of these days I will clean it out.

To-Do - If you couldn't tell, I am the kind of person who is constantly making lists. Mostly, it's for things that I need to get done for the week, songs I want to buy, blog posts I need to write, and people I need to e-mail. I keep all my lists until everything in crossed off in red pen!

Keychain Collection - Over the past couple of years, I have developed quite the decent keychain collection. I never need to get my car keys out because they are wireless, so it's useless to hang my key

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Fallback Outfit

Cardigan: Calvin Klein
Camisole: Gap
Pants: J. Crew
Necklace: Lauren Ralph Lauren
Belt: Juicy Couture
Shoes: Coach

To say getting dressed this morning was difficult is an understatement. I stared at my closet for at least a half an hour in my bathrobe trying to find something decent to wear, but no dice. It doesn't help that the weather has been super wacky this week. Several mornings it has been in the 60s, and others it has been in the lower 30s. That makes it that much more difficult to pick out just the right thing to wear!

Thank goodness I have my fallback outfit - a bright cardigan, a solid colored camisole, and J.Crew minnie pants. Whenever I don't know what to wear, my fallback outfit almost always works.  Plus, because I have so many different colors of the three staples of my outfit, there are countless possibilities for new combinations. This time,  I used pops of turquoise to keep this outfit from feeling too stale. 
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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thoughts on Peplum

Shirt: J. Crew
Skirt: I.N.C
Shoes: Lauren Ralph Lauren
Necklace: Marc by Marc Jacobs

When I first noticed the peplum trend popping up on the runway sometime last year, I couldn't fathom it ever becoming popular (or something I would want to wear, for that matter). I just couldn't imagine why anyone would want to draw attention to one of the widest parts of their body. But then I got this Burberry sweater, and I kind of fell in love. Since that purchase, I have been dying to buy something else with peplum, but I was having a hard time finding anything I liked that was in my budget.

Then two weekends ago I was shopping at the Macy*s in Tysons Corner (aka heaven) and I spotted this skirt. I was initially attracted to it because of the color, but then I saw it was peplum! And that it was in my size. AND that it was on clearance for 65 percent off. When that many things are going in your favor, it kind of feels like fate. Like me this skirt were just meant to live happily ever after together. So I tried it on, and knew instantly that I would be purchasing it.

For my first time wearing it, I paired my skirt with a basic long sleeve, and classic black heels. Although I could have easily come up with something much more fun and creative, I decided I wanted to let this skirt get all the attention. 
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Friday, December 7, 2012

A week in Instagram

As always here's my week in Instagram.

P.S - Follow me on Instagram (heytherekatrina) and Twitter!

1. So I may slightly have an obsession with the color pink. And hot pink and red together.

2. My massive stack of to-do lists is finally near completed! Nothing like the satisfaction of a red pen.

3. Here's what my daily face looks like as of recent. And why yes, I do need that much lip product.

4. How I spent my Friday at work... #employeeofthemonth

5. A quiet morning in the DC metro. I love it.

6. The most perfect red velvet cupcake from the Red Velvet Cupcakery in DC. I figured I should get the namesake cupcake!

7. In between the mess of catalogs, bills, and junk mail, it is so nice to pull out a handwritten letter from my college roommate.

8. What did I say about not having enough lip products?! Jenna Marbles refers to it as "goop hoarding". This is the small stash that accumulated in my purse over the course of three days!

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