Thursday, April 26, 2012


Time for another post about my undying love for EdenFantasys.  Surely by now you have checked out their site right?  If not...get out from under the rock you are living under and check it out!  EdenFantasys is a one-stop shop for all of your adult shopping needs.  They carry a huge variety of products, from sex toys to lingerie, bath products to gag gifts and games.  Their selection of products is huge, and always expanding.  Plus, they offer free shipping on all orders over $59, and you get to pick out a FREE gift with every single purchase.  Not to mention they always have great sales and specials going on, so you are bound to get some great deals.

Since I've recently shared my weight loss story with you, I thought it would be fun to search for some new lingerie.  EdenFantasys carries a huge selection of lingerie, and I'm a big fan.  There is a big range of styles, colors, prices, you can definitely find something that you are looking for.  I absolutely love wearing lingerie, whether I am with the bf or just by myself, because it is always nice to feel a little sexy when you are going to bed.

I feel like since I have dropped a few pounds, the variety of lingerie that I can wear had now expanded, and I'm pumped to add some new pieces to my collection.  Some of my favorites?

Got any favorites?  I  just added most of these to my they should be arriving to my house shortly! I can't wait to wear them all :)

Besides lingerie, EdenFantasys carries tons of other products, so you should definitely check them out.  To make their site even sweeter, they are currently offering 20% off your entire purchase with the code "XOXO".  With all of the other great deals going on right now, you definitely don't want to miss you!  Enjoy shopping!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Weight Loss

One more "About Me" post to share...what really got me motivated to start running and getting fit.

Like I said in the previous posts, I have always struggled with my weight, and I initially started working out to drop a few pounds.
Christmas Day. feeling huge.

Since January, when I first started working out, I have dropped a total of 26 pounds.  26 freaking pounds.  I have managed to bring my BMI from the "overweight" category down to "normal."-I'm hovering around a BMI of 23 right now.  I initially had set a goal on my Wii Fit of losing 25 pounds by June, and as of last week, I achieved my goal.  Wee!

I would like to lose another 10 or so pounds, and bring my BMI down to slightly lower than 22.  I think that with all the running I'm doing, I should get pretty close.  I had been dropping about 1-2 pounds per week until about the past week, where I've seem to hit a bit of a standstill, and actually gone up about 2 pounds.  I'm attributing some of it to muscle building, and trying not to become fixated on the numbers.  I'm sure a few more pounds will drop in time.

However, I feel amazing right now! I no longer look in the mirror, or look down at myself and see a tub of lard looking back at me.  I've noticeably shrunk, and it has given me a boost in self-confidence that I desperately needed.  My bra size has dropped by at least an entire cup (I really should go get myself measured), I went from a L/XL in shirts to a size M, and went from a size 12/31 to a size 6/28.  Thats cutting my pants size in half (and I tried on a pair of shorts I bought recently and may even be closer to a 4).  To me, thats the most incredible.
Easter Sunday

Looking at that picture compared to the picture at Christmas, I can definitely see some changes.  And I really must say, I feel great!  I want to keep doing a weigh in, keeping myself motivated to drop these last few pounds I'm hanging on to!  Join me, and share with me your weight loss story!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Story: Part III

Welcome back for the third and final part of the beginning of my weight loss journey :)

So like I said in my previous post, after joining the gym, I was hooked.  I started going nearly everyday, and sometimes I would go for nearly 2 hours at a time.  I was working myself hard on the elliptical, occasionally running on the track, and beginning to lift weights.  Around this time, I started seeing the numbers really begin to drop on the scale, and I was notching major changes in myself.  I was becoming more confident, and feeling way better about myself on the inside.

It was around this time that I really started to get into eating healthier as well.  I was scouring the internet for delicious yet healthy recipes, and trying to incorporate as many fruits and vegetables into my diet as I could.  Since then, my diet had dramatically changed, and I know this is helping me to feel healthier and stay slimmer.  

After a few months at the gym, I was really feeling major changes in my endurance.  One day the boy met me at the gym after work, and we decided to run some laps on the track together.  This was something I was not looking forward to doing.  He is a super athletic guy, had played soccer his whole life, and works out all the time.  However, I decided to tough it up, and do the laps with him.  We ran together, side by side, for a mile...and then I kept going.  I ran one mile, then two, then three...and I felt great!  I was so proud that I was able to stay next to him, and then exceed him.  He dropped out after the first mile, and I kept going.  INCREDIBLE!  

Before this run, the idea of racing had started in my mind, but I was always talking myself out of the idea.  I am not a runner, I am not good at running...why would I want to run in a race?  Dumb.  Well, after this day of running with the boy, my mindset changed.  Maybe I could do it.  Maybe I'm not as weak as I think I am.  And so it started...

I decided I was going to run a half marathon.  I did some research, and found one in June that sounded perfect.  I bought a book on my Kindle about training for and running a half marathon, and then I started.  I read the book, made a schedule, and started running.  Before this, I had run outside a few times when the weather was warmer, and was logging some indoor miles at the track at the gym, but nothing big.  When I started the training, I had 11 weeks before the race.  That was 3 weeks ago.  I'm now 8 weeks pre-race, and training well.

Surprisingly...I have found that I love the runs!  At first, it was hard to get myself out the door and starting running.  The weather in Chicago has been rapidly changing, the motivation was lacking some days, and some days fatigue was taking over.  However, after the first week or so, I realized that I'm not terrible at running.  I have been keeping track of my times and my average mile splits, and I'm doing shockingly well!  I have discovered that I actually like the feeling of when I run, and have found myself looking forward to my runs.  I've become addicted.

And now, I want you all to be a part of my journey! I want to share recipes, workouts, favorite gear, and motivation! I feel like my life is rapidly changing, and running is becoming all-encompassing.  I can't wait to blog more about it, and continue to grow and change.

PS...I also signed up for a MARATHON this week.  October 7th, 2012.  Milwaukee, WI.  yikes :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Story: Part II

So like I said yesterday, Christmas was my rock bottom.  I decided I was going to make changes and start living healthier.  At the time, I didn't really know what this was going to entail and what changes I was going to make, but I knew I needed to start incorporating exercise into my life.
The boy and I on Christmas Eve

Actually, I think I had decided to make this change a few weeks earlier, around Thanksgiving, but wasn't planning on starting until the new year.  I knew I wouldn't be able to stick to anything through the holidays, and I didn't want to disappoint myself yet again.  On Black Friday, I bought myself a Wii, and knew I could start making some healthy changes in a fun way.

Flash forward to new years, when my journey was supposed to begin.  I developed a cough Thanksgiving weekend, and it never really went away.  The doctors I work with had listened to my lungs, started me on an inhaler a few times a day, and I figured I would just tough through it.  Shortly after New Years Day, I had a day at work where I felt completely lousy-I was struggling to breathe and the cough seemed to take a turn for the worse.  I finally went to an adult doctor the next day (I work for a pediatrician) and I was diagnosed with a double whammy...pneumonia and whooping cough.  Hello a bag full of antibiotics, steroids, cough medications, inhalers, etc.  This put a serious dent in the beginning of my workout plan.

Luckily, that bag full of medications did the trick, and within 2 weeks, the cough was gone and I was finally feeling back to normal.  At this time, I started using the Wii, and was beginning my journey to get fit and lose weight.  I bought Zumba 2, and started working out for at least an hour nearly every day.  It was fun, I was burning calories, and most importantly, I was sticking with it!

After a few weeks of Zumba, I pulled out the Wii Fit I had gotten for Christmas, and started incorporating this into my workouts as well.  I set a weight loss goal, and started doing some more aerobic activity using the Wii Fit.  Mine also came with a Biggest Loser Wii game, and I started using this as well.  I was working out for an hour or two at least 5 times a week, and I was starting to feel great.  I was slowly starting to lose some weight, but more importantly, I was starting to feel good about myself.  I was able to tolerate an hour of exercise and not be totally wiped, and it was getting easier for me to bear.  I wasn't gasping for breath after 20 jumping jacks, and it was actually starting to be fun.

Everything changed again on February 14th, where the boy and I had a hot Valentine's Day date at a gym near my house.  I had been wanting to join this gym but didn't want to go by myself for the first time, so he finally agreed to go with me that day.  So that morning, we met at the gym, I signed up and paid my membership fees, and officially joined.

And then I got hooked...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Story: Part I

So like I said in my last post, I have lately been making major changes in my life, which have lead me to start feeling better about myself.  I am eating healthier, working out nearly every day, dropping weight, and overall...feeling great!  Perhaps I should start at the beginning.  Welcome to my journey...

I feel like for as long as I can remember, I have struggled with my weight.  I've always felt like I have been heavier than I wanted to be, and bigger than most of my friends.  It has always bothered me, but I have never done much to make myself feel better.  Sure, there were times when I would start exercising and setting goals for myself, but working out was painful and miserable, and I would quickly make excuses and give up.  This has been the cycle I have been in for years.

Throughout college, I felt like my weight was going up and up.  I hated it, but I honestly felt too busy and too stressed to make any changes.  I would try to eat a healthier diet, but the junk would keep calling my name, and it was often my comfort during stressful times.  For me, nursing school was downright stressful. I have always been a perfectionist, and I strived to get the best grades possible.  I spent long long hours studying and sitting on my butt, all while watching the weight pack on.  The little exercise I got was basically walking too and from class, but I didn't have the dedication to make any other changes.  I was dedicated to school, and at the time.  It was all I could handle.

Fortunately, my hard work did pay off, and I was able to graduate in May 2011.  I graduated with top grades, won an amazing award at graduation, and really felt successful.  The beginning of my summer was spent studying for boards, and in July 2011, I successfully passed the NCLEX and became an official RN. At this time, I was already accepted to graduate school for the fall, and I was prepared to tackle graduate school and a part-time nursing job.  
Come August, and graduate school started.  I had found a temporary part time job, which I thought would be perfect to do while I started my first semester of graduate school.  Less than a week after starting, I realized I was MISERABLE.  Complete misery.  I had never felt so stressed out in my life, school had never felt so overwhelming, and I felt like all I was doing was crying.  It was terrible-nothing at all like what I was expecting.  I had a few days of some deep soul searching, and decided I was going to make some changes.  I dropped a few classes and changed my student status from full time to part time, and I began to look more dedicatedly for a job.

A few more weeks pass, and I really decided that graduate school was not for me.  I was going to finish this semester, and then say goodbye to school.  Once I made this decision, I felt about 10,000 times lighter. It was difficult-I felt I was letting everyone down, and I mostly felt I was letting myself down.  But I knew deep down that this was the right decision, and I was feeling some inner peace for the first time in a while.  Around this same time, I had several job interviews, and in the middle of September, I was hired!  I started my first official job in the end of September 2011 at a pediatrician's office near my home, and so far, I love it!

It took a while for me to get used to the new job, the new routines, and learn all the new information that I needed to know.  I was working a crazy schedule as I was training, and I was frequently so tired at night I would come home and sit on the couch and do nothing.  Again, I started feeling terrible about my weight and the way I looked, but didn't really have the motivation for change.  However, around this time, the seeds were planted.

I think Christmas was really the rock bottom.  I felt like a whale, I had reached the biggest size and heaviest weight ever, and was just miserable.  I decided things had to change, and my goal for the new year was to become a healthier person.

Come back tomorrow to read about the beginning of my journey!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Design Crush: Sarah Richardson

Are you an HGTV addict?  I certainly is one of my absolute favorite channels to watch.  I love the different design shows and the variety of designs they feature.  It is a great way to learn about new styles, and find what you do and do not like.  There are a variety of designers featured, and there are some that I completely love.  One of my favorite designers on HGTV is Sarah Richardson.  Her designs are beautiful, and each room leaves me drooling.  She combines old and new, expensive and cheap, to make absolutely stunning rooms.  Here are some of my favorites:
I love this bathroom! The stripes in the tiling of the shower are such a unique detail.  I also love the free-standing deep bathtub.  The details are stunning.

I love the use of the different patterns and textures in this family room.  Such a cute collection of accessories...the whole room looks warm and inviting.

How cute is this nursery?  I LOVE that polka-dot chair.  I feel like you don't often see polka dots in a nursery, but it is such a fun pattern in such a room.  I love the details like the letters of the alphabet around the top of the room.  Who says a nursery can't be elegant and classy?

Love grey! Love the headboard, love the pillows, love the ottomans at the foot of the bed.  

This is across from a bed.  The design on the mirror is beautiful, and I love the shape of the chairs flanking either side of the dresser.  The chandelier is a nice touch as well :)

LOVE this bathroom! I love the style of the sink, and the mirror is just amazing!  Details such as flowers in the bathroom are always a cute unexpected touch.

How great is this?  The mix of patterns works wonderfully, and I love the contrast of the green and black and white.  The yellow flowers also add a great pop of color.

Again, more green mixed with black and white.  I love the overstuffed chair.  It looks like such a perfect place to curl up with a good book.

Another fabulous nursery! I really love the chairs she uses in nurseries, the patterns on them are so fun and unique.  The red crib really makes it the highlight of the bedroom.  And the reds and yellows really make it gender neutral.

I'm loving the pairing of green and white together.  That color combination makes a room feel bright and cheerful, without feeling too crisp and clean.  Adding plants is a perfect way to tie in the green with other pops of colors, and lets face it...who doesn't love fresh greenery?

This dining room is to die for.  I love the wallpaper mixed with the painted walls.  I adore the pattern on the front of the chair and on the cushions, while the pattern on the back of the chairs is so unexcited and fun.  The mirror is fabulous, and the use of the various patterns all flow so well!  I have a hard time combining patterns like this, but I think it looks so beautiful!

Is this bedroom not amazing?  Seriously...I'm in love.

Another fabulous room that has a great mix of patterns.  The rug is so fun, and I love all the different details used.

More combination of patterns.  Seriously, is she not amazing?  I would never pick these patterns to go together, but they really look fabulous all paired together.

If you had a rooftop deck/balcony like this, would you ever be able to leave?  The aqua color used for the chairs is the perfect color for a beachy retreat.

Amazing outdoor dining area.  Blue and white are such great costal colors, and really look great against the natural greenery of the outdoors.  White furniture looks awesome as well, because it keeps everything bright and airy.

Are you in love?  Which of her designs is your favorite?

All images via HGTV

A Re-Vamp!

So, I've been blogging for quite a while now, but I have recently decided that I am going to do some major changes to my blog.  Big, big changes.  Since I started this blog, it has been basically about one of my passions in life...home design/decorating.  Of course, there have been a splatter of other posts along the way, but the majority of my posts have been about design.  And while I still do love this and still look at design photos, I'm getting a bit tired of blogging about them all of the time.

Since this is my little corner of the internet, I am going to start sharing more about me.  My life, what I am doing with my life.  Over the past few months, I have started making conscious effort to live a healthier life, which has led to me feeling healthier and more fulfilled!  I am working out everyday, eating well, and trying to be as earth conscious as possible.  I want to share workouts, recipes, tips, and learn from other people about the same!  

Since spring is always a good time for a fresh start, thats what I'll be doing.  Cheers to new beginnings!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Umbrella Stand

I want a fun umbrella stand for next to my front door.  Perfect for rainy spring days!  I think these are so cute, I'm really going to be on a hunt for something to use in my own house.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bathrooms Galore

You know me and my love of bathrooms.  I think there are so many varieties in bathrooms, which is funny because it really is such a standard room.  But these varieties can make the bathrooms amazing, and they should definitely not be a room that is forgotten about!
I love the large tub that is placed in the corner of this bathroom, allowing there to be a separate shower and tub.  I also like the square sink.  And of course, a chandelier in any room is perfect for me!

I love the use of wallpaper in this bathroom.  And the vase with the long branches and flowers makes a great decorate accent!

Love the sink with the baskets underneath.  And that tub is fabulous, along with the tiles along the wall.  Beautiful.

Love that deep tub! And the vanity makes the perfect place to get ready :)

Would you not love to take a shower or a bath and stare out at that view?  How would you ever leave.

Love the shape of that bench.  Its fabulous.

The zebra mirror in this bathroom is the perfect accent! 

ADORE that wallpaper! Love love love!  And the gold sink is amazing :)

Brick on the walls in a bathroom?  Soo great! This bathroom looks amazing, and seems to have a great view as well!  Considering my bathroom is windowless, this makes me very jealous.

How big is this space that you are able to have a full-sized island in the middle.  The step up where the tub is really accents that area of the bathroom.

I love all the different bathroom counters that people use now.  This one is particularly eye-catching.

A mix of dark wood and white....heaven in my book :)

Which is your favorite bathroom?

All images via HGTV

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kitchen Tiles

Tiled kitchen backsplashes offer a wonderful opportunity to add some design pizzaz into the kitchen.  With all the different options available, you are sure to find something that is perfect for your space and style.  Of course, it is often an expensive addition, so the tiles must be very carefully chosen.  Here are some fabulous kitchen backsplashes that I just adore.
I love the use of subway tiles in the kitchen.  They are clean, classic, and traditional, and they really are beautiful.  In a beautiful clean kitchen, they make the room for crisp and clean.

Such a fun little accent on the wall above the stove.  I have also seen this done above a sink, and I think it really looks fabulous.  The multiple different styles used here looks beautiful.

I LOVE these beautiful shiny stainless steel small square tiles.  That is a lot of "s"'s, but you not love this?

The use of a variety of different tiles fitted together like a puzzle really looks beautiful and unique.  I love the colors in these tiles.  But not making it all the way up the wall, the different colors do not become overwhelming.  This also allows you to splurge on some more expensive tiles, since you don't have to cover the whole wall.

I love the vertical tiles in this kitchen.  Definitely gives some visual interest, and I love the clean lines.  Very appealing.

More stainless steel tiles.  Love them!

I love these beautiful glass tiles.  Using accent tiles when you can is a definite yes in my book.

I surprisingly really love these beautiful blue tiles.  They are thin, have some shine to them, but the color really looks beautiful.  I normally am not into blue, but these really stand out!