Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pyramids Aren't Just for Egyptians

Hey Preps!
Pre-Distance you can see, still a little chilly in this picture,
but it won't take long until I am sweating, even in this cold weather.

"It's like a secret that running can transform your life in more ways than you know"
-Mary Whittenburg

Happy Sunday Funday! What do y'all look forward to most on Sundays?  For me, it's a distance run.  All who follow my blog, know my love of classic fashion, and all that it entails.  Classic fashion should be matched with a classy personality.  That personality is who you are, it's your character.  It isn't something that you put on for others and then take off when you are out Saturday nights.  (Ok yes, a rant...sorry) The point is, that is who I am.  I want my fashion to reflect my character.  Another thing my fashion does is reflect my lifestyle.  I live in my duck boots.  Literally.  I wear them to the gym, to class, wherever.  I don' care if I look ridiculous in them or if they are worn to death...they match my on the go lifestyle, and I'm proud of who I am...that is reflected in my duck boots.

Part of being a prep is living a clean life.  A prep is classy, they know how to carry on a conversation about practically anything, they dress in a way that is put together...but not over the top, and they are into a healthy lifestyle.  For me, a healthy lifestyle means being emotionally stable (I truly think everyone should see a psychologist at some point in their life), independent, and practice good nutrition and fitness.

Fitness and nutrition are very important to me.  I recently found out I have a wheat allergy, and have had to go on a Gluten-free diet.  It has been hard.  There are times where I cave-in because all my friends are grabbing a pizza to split and it looks tempting so I grab a slice.  The next day, I wake up feeling hungover from eating the wheat.  It's really not a fun process, so being able to hold back my impulses has been something I have been striving for.  Gluten-free diets do allow you to eat certain types of rice and other carbs, but basically it forces you to stick to a 'clean eating' lifestyle.  For me, I tend to eat a ton of raw veggies and fruit and will grill a week's worth of chicken to keep my protein levels up.  I have noticed that by doing so, I feel great.  I don't wake up feeling sick like I did before I found out I was allergic to wheat.  So, I highly recommend you try eating clean as well.  It allows you to see what is really going into your body in contrast to the many processed foods we Americans eat today.  Just a thought if you are trying to get back into shape.

As for fitness, I am a runner these days.  I grew up a lifelong swimmer, and in addition did cross country and track in high school.  However, swimming is one of those sports that you can easily get burnt out on...especially if you have done it competitively for a long now I stick to my runs.  I run virtually every day.  I have two off days where I run a one-mile warm-up before I lift.  The other days I either am doing short distance interval sets (three to five miles) where I build into a sprint and bring it back to a steady jog...and then I have days like Sunday where I will do an eight to 14 mile run.  Ughhh.  I know I sound sick, but I love it.  It's my release from the world where I get to just do my own thing for a little bit.

If you are trying to get back in shape, I am not recommending that you just go whip out 14 miles.  No, start slow.  I have said this before, I gained 35 whopping pounds my freshman year of college, and it took a rude awakening for me to understand that I really needed to get back on track.  Never did I think I would be back to the teeny sizes I was as a teenager, but I did it through a lot of sweat and hard work.  The weight loss path is not easy.  There is not magic secret regardless of what infomercials tell you...but it's completely worth it.

One of the happiest days of my college career was making the decision to try on a pair of size 0 jeans that I just couldn't seem to give up.  I zipped them up and they fit.  They fit?! I ran around my apartment screaming.  I had accomplished something I thought was took time and commitment, but I did it...and I know that if you are struggling with a similar situation, that you can do it too.

I teach a fitness class.  It is an intense circuit weight training class with plyometrics in between each circuit.  At the end of the class there are the three hardest circuits.  They are called burnouts, pyramids, and declines.

A burnout is when you strive for as many repetitions of an exercise in a period of time.  For my class we do a 30 second burnout followed by a 25 second and 20 second burnout (resting 5 seconds in between).

Pyramids are my favorite.  I build mine in 5 sets.  The first set we start by repeating an exercise 12 times, followed by 10, 8, 6, and just when your muscles are starting to burn...we finish with a set of 15.

Finally, there are declines.  You can lift a little heavier when going for declines (usually 5 lbs per arm).  I do my declines starting with a set of 20, followed by 18, and then 16.  They burn.

All of these circuits are great because they allow your muscles to keep burning fat long after your workout.  So if you are heading to the gym today try doing a burnout set of bicep curls, or a set of declines squats.  I promise you will feel it the next day!

If you ever have questions about fitness, feel free to e-mail me.  I am all for helping others with their fitness goals and encouraging them along the way.  Everyone needs someone to motivate them, and what better motivation to have than from a girl who has gone through the weight gain/loss process.

Weight loss doesn't happen over night, I know the feeling of disappointment when you step on a scale after working your butt off for a month, and it not being the number you wanted...or stepping into a dressing room where the lighting just isn't helping the way your hips look in the cheap mirrors.  My suggestion?  Measure yourself.  Measure your legs, hips, and waist...that's the best way to see results.

People always think I am about ten pounds less that I am, because I have muscle, and muscle weighs a whole lot more than if you feel like you look good, and your measurements show that...don't worry about that forsaken scale number.

I promise, if you stick with fitness, it will help your life in so many ways.  It helps me to stay focused, it is something I am proud of, and is the 'me' time I need during the week when I am stressed to the max.  Don't make excuses, and get out isn't easy...but it is completely worth it.  Don't think you are athletic enough to get started?  I suggest reading Run Like a Girl by Mina will completely change the way you think about yourself and those around you.

I will leave you with these inspiring words:

"In other words, if we say, 'I am a strong athlete,' there's a good chance that's what we will be."
-Mina Samuels

Be strong.  Be persistent.  Be preppy.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oh, The Places You Will Go!

Hey Preps!
Adventurous red pants and some sturdy boots...and off exploring I go!

(Outfit of the Day: Lands' End Canvas Sweater and Shirt,
Delias Skinny Colorful Cords, Sperry Top-Sider Sheerwater Boots)

Don't mind me, just the queen of being cheesy in pictures.  I can't help it I guess.  Last night I was out with a friend, and was told that I never stop laughing.  Then he said, "you're such a cheeseball".  I died.  Apparently my jokes are only funny when I laugh according to him.  Just your personal cheeseball of a blogger here. 

Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?  I don't.  Not a clue.  Today I was writing in my journal, and I made it a point to write out who I think I am as a person, and how I can get to be the person I want to be.  I sat there and made bullet notes of what makes me who I am.  Then, I made a new bucket list.  Do you make bucket lists?  I make one every year, and it's so funny how they change.  Yet, this one is my best yet...why?  Nothing on my bucket list is dealing with pleasing someone else or making my parents proud.  Every single thing on that list is for me.  It's things I want to accomplish in my life, and when I want to accomplish them.  

It's so easy to make a Bucket List, yet so many times those dreams seem farfetched, or we are unsure of how to achieve those dreams.  To reach your goals in life, it takes work...hard work.  Also, reaching those goals takes failure.  Many times we hide our failure.  I am certainly one of those people.  If I do poorly on a test, I am humiliated.  There is a bit of me that is a perfectionist, so when I do fail, I don't like it.  Yet, instead of ignoring those failures, we all need to start learning from them.  I wouldn't be half as strong as I am today if I didn't go through hard times.  I wouldn't know who I am or what I wanted if I didn't try some things I didn't like first.  Additionally, I wouldn't be a fitness instructor or runner if I hadn't gained some weight that made me realize how important healthy living truly is.  

The other thing I noticed that my Bucket List takes is time.  I am an impatient person.  I want things to happen over night.  For example, I got bored with high school, and decided to graduate a year early.  I rushed my last year, and didn't really get to enjoy it because I was so busy cramming two years of classes into one.  I need to slow down.  

Finally, I need to do what I love.  For the longest time, I have forced myself into things I hate.  My major is one of them.  I am stubborn, and never gave that major up.  Here I sit, and I don't want to be in a lab or become a doctor.  I want to write, to work with people, and to be a positive influence on those around me.  Promoting people and their strengths is something I love doing.  Working as a fitness instructor, I have the honor of helping people get back on track with healthy living.  It is awesome to be someone that is inspirational to those I help, and to see people improve and grow in such a short matter of time.  Every day I feel good about doing that for people.  I know that is what I love.

I love traveling, and being outside.  I truly could just travel my whole life and explore if the means were given to me, but they are not.  Which is why there is something called saving money...and something called a Bucket List that will hopefully keep me on track with my world adventures as they come.  

What is my advice to you today?  Do what you love.  Make a Bucket List.  Explore.

...and read Dr. Suess' "Oh the Places You Will Go"

Check out Amy Rebekah Photography on Facebook!

Have a blessed day y'all!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Patek Philipe Obsession

Hey Preps!

For those of you who aren't aware, I work at a gym.  It is quite interesting honestly, because many characters of different personalities, shapes, and sizes enter through these doors.  However, one in particular has my heart.  We will call him Buddy...every morning he comes in and talks to whoever will listen.  Most of the time it's me.  Some people shy away due to his repetitive stories and forgetfulness, but not I...he simply gets my morning off to a great start.

Usually, he tells me that I should go into sales because I am good with people and pretty.  Then he tells me I am smarter than all the boys, just like his wife, which is why he married her 65 years ago.  Finally, he goes into a huge long story about how he came across a Patek Philipe watch on the streets one day, and after a year of it not being claimed, the $60,000 dollar watch became his.

He takes it off and shows me, and we both admire the unique design and time measurements that a Patek Philipe is famous for.  Then he goes on his merry way to the rocumbant bike, and I watch him completely amused and humored, wishing there were more men like him in this world.

Anyways, today Buddy walked in rocking a Tommy Hilfiger flannel button-down, khakis, a needlepoint sailing belt, and Keds.  I'm not going to lie, I DIED.  Seriously my favorite, best dressed, forgetful old man ever.

He's the best!

Hope y'all have a blessed day!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"The World is Mud-luscious and Puddle-wonderful." ~E.E. Cummings

Hey Preps!

(Outfit of the Day: Forever 21 Military Inspired Jacket, J. Crew Flannel Plaid Shirt,
Tommy Hilfiger Corduroy Skinny Pants, Hunter Boots, Polo Ralph Lauren Headband)

Sheesh! I scurried to my car and practically got blown away!  It's ridiculously windy here, and rain felt left out too and decided to add it's touches by ferociously smacking me in the eyes as I made a mad dash to my car.  I kind of like rain.  Especially right now when I'm still a tad bit sad.

So to get back at it, I decided I'd splash in every single puddle I saw.  I was not merciful, oh no...I splashed in those suckers so hard that they dispersed before I could make a second leap.  You know what?  I laughed.  I was the middle of the parking lot... laughing and splashing and people were staring...and eventually cracking up at the silly girl in bright red rain boots splashing in those puddlies like she was five years old.

Laughing is so contagious.  I may be upset or sad, but by watching something funny, or sending Amy a picture of myself in my retainers last night stating, "At least my teefies are gonna be extra straight for the next dude who dares to get entangled in my life", makes everything better.  Sure, this whole ordeal (that I'm sick of writing about, and thinking about, and feeling...and I'm sure you are too) is going to be something I struggle with for a while.  Yet, I know in time it will make me stronger, smarter, and someone who is even more instilled in who I am and what I want in life, instead of having to always try to please others.

For example, this blog was started for my own outlet and enjoyment.  If no one was following me, I would still write in it.  It is simply something I do for myself, and I am very passionate about it.  Apparently someone likes my weirdness too, because I have a great group of followers who I truly am so happy to hear from every day...y'all seriously are the best.

Anyways, something I did do for myself a long time ago was bought a pair of Hunter Boots.  I love them.  They are bright cherry red, and every single girl who I pass by it envy?  No clue, probably they think I'm weird but it makes me giggle. Watcha looking at girl?  

I made a Polyvore inspired by the outfit shown in the picture above, and included my Westie pup:

An Outfit Perfect for Splashing

You know what else my boots are good for? Walking my pup, Sir Maxwell Smart.  I can endure any terrain his sniffing nose leads us too...I feel like I'm safe in my Hunter Boots, like no snake could get me if they attempt when I'm out in the woods.  They are like my Super Woman boots.  Max likes 'em too.  He says: Let's go check out that bush wayyyyy in the middle of the forest, and there is nothing stopping him.

So the moral of this aimlessly written blog post?  Splash in some mud puddles, buy a pair of fun wellies, and laugh until your sides are sore...even if it is all by yourself.

Below are a few more pictures of my 'Outfit of the Day' that I thought you would enjoy.  Of course the lovely Amy of Amy Rebekah Photography took these as well! Be sure to check out her Facebook page!

Puppy is ready to explore!

Thanks y'all for all of your support, it means the world to me.  Have a Puddle-wonderful day!
God bless!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Guest Post: The Way I See It Through My Viewfinder by Amy Rebekah

Hey Preps!

Kalyn here, and I would like to say that I have quite a treat for you today.  One of my best friends, and founder of Amy Rebekah Photography has been going through some similar things as I have been...she was inspired to write a post, combined with her photography for us today, and I surely hope you have the time to sit down and dig into what she has to say.  Regardless of whether you are going through a hard time or not in your life, I have found it is always great to take a step (or a leap) back and look at yourself...Amy did just that, and has written some motivational and inspiring words for all of us to read.  Be sure to check out her Facebook page, Amy Rebekah Photography.

(Photo Credits: Amy Rebekah Photography)

You know that you are beautiful the way you are, right? Sure. We hear it all the time. But have you ever taken a second to really contemplate that?

After the past two months, I’ve really needed to let that sink in. Break-ups are awful. I’m sure there are loads of you out there that know exactly what I’m talking about. He leaves, says that it isn’t you, it’s him, and excuses himself from your life leaving you with the broken pieces of your heart and the future you dreamed about. Ouch.

For a year and a half my self-worth was planted deeply in my man’s approval and affirmations. He loved me so much that it made me love me, too. If such a wonderful guy believed I was great, I was!


No, no. Not the “I’m great” part; the part where I believed I was great because he said so.

There is an endless list of things I don’t like about myself…

The Sourpuss List
-I have a funky eyebrow. Just one.
-I pick my nail polish off almost as soon as it dries. I can’t stop!
-There is a nasty little scar where I had a cancerous mole removed. It is so hideous. (Side rant: I am convinced that it came from years of soaking up UV rays in a tanning bed. I like being a bronzed babe as much as the next prep, but folks say it with me… spray.tan. Stay out of tanning beds!)

For weeks I couldn’t bear the thought of dragging myself out of bed. Who I was, what I loved, and my confidence were as distant as my ex. Nothing was okay and my sourpuss list ran through my head on loop. And then, eventually… I couldn’t take it anymore. One morning I woke up tired of being tired. Combined with some tough love (much of which came from our dear friend Kalyn), I got the kick in the rear I needed. I officially declared war on my negative thinking.

So I made another list, a better one.  Now every time a negative thought or feeling runs through my head, I have something positive to battle it with.  My new lists looks like this…

-I am good at taking pictures and love to spend time in the dark room
-I throw a mean party
-I’ve been working hard at the gym and my bum looks great!

Give-It-A-Whirl Goal List
-Learn to paint
-Give a compliment everyday
-Run faster; take time off of my mile

Now, when I feel beaten down by the not-so-great things in life and my negativity is getting the best of me I have the power to beat it down with positivity.

It looks like this…
Waaahhh wahh cry sob everything is AWFUL! Woah. Stop that thought. Literally, stop where you are and switch tracks. Take something from your positive thinking list and meditate on it, or jump to your goal list and get moving.

When I lift my camera to my eye the rest of the world falls away. It is just me, my camera, and so many wonderful creative juices flowing that sometimes I can’t click the shutter fast enough. I am way too busy loving taking photographs to be negative.

Doing this has changed my thinking about who I am. My value does not come from a silly boy who obviously has no appreciation for the finer things in life (helloooo, me!), but from within myself. I am great because I say so. I am beautiful just the way I am.

I would bet my L.L. Bean Wellies that I am not alone in this, and that’s serious because they’re the cutest things ever. I bet that once in awhile you have a bad moment, or week, or month.

Let’s battle those times together.

So, my darling preps, what do your lists look like? What negativity in your life needs a little slapping around? What makes you great? What new things would you like to try?

Get out there, and do something. Explore.

Go for a hike, volunteer, host a dinner party, or dig into a good book (may I suggest Succulent Wild Woman by Sark for the free spirit, or If You Have to Cry Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone for the young professional).

But most of all, remember that YOU are what makes you great. You are beautiful just the way you are.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

One of the Boys

Hey Preps!

It is snowing (and has been for the past three days)!  Like I said in my previous post, I hate cold weather...but...that excludes lots of white fluffy snowflakes making those ski resorts ever so irresistible!  I just want to go outside and play all day! Who is with me?!

A side introduction there, but winter for a preppy girl means a few things.  It means Wellies with fleece socks, duck boots, and lots of chunky pieces that include sweaters, heavier polos, corduroy, and tights.  A girl has got to survive in these climates, and for me, surviving them means sitting by my heater most nights, and layering these chunky/boyish pieces.

Did she say boyish?  Yep.  Sometimes a preppy girl is stuck with the predicament of having to wear pieces that look like she's one of the boys.  How then, can she possibly keep her girly appeal?  So glad you asked, because I have the answer.

When Menswear Meets the Girly Prep

When Menswear Meets the Girly Prep by pittsburghprep 

Here is a perfect example of pairing menswear with feminine pieces.  Above the 'menswear' pieces are a Rugby Polo shirt, and penny loafers.  Both are known as classic masculine pieces that the ladies just couldn't resist to steal.

To prevent them from looking too manly, an easy way to balance these pieces is to add a classic corduroy skirt to the mix.  I once read somewhere (so it's credible, I just can't credit to the source) that men respect a woman more when she is in a skirt.  Now, I am not talking a hiked up mini skirt that shows all of your goods, I am talking a classic skirt like the one shown above.  So what perfect way to impress the gents than to pair some of his wardrobe favorites with a few girly ones of your own?

The other day, one of my best girlfriends who happens to be an amazing and creative photographer, Amy Rebekah Photography, and I had a play date together.  I put together some outfits, and she masterminded behind the lens.  Knowing I have been dying to explain this whole balance of the gender wearing stuff, I put together an outfit that exemplifies what I wrote about above:

(Polo Ralph Lauren Rugby Shirt)
(Kiel James Patrick's Jephson's Passage Traversed Bracelet
Lands' End Canvas Corduroy Skirt)
(Eastland Penny Loafers)

So ladies, are you willing to give menswear a try?
Hope y'all have a blessed day!

P.S. Be sure to check out Amy Rebekah Photography on Facebook (and expect a guest post from her shortly)!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cold Blooded but Fashionable

Hey Preps!
OOTD: Sperry Sheer Water Boots

OOTD: Sperry Sheer Water Boots by pittsburghprep featuring patch pants

It's January, and its 41 degrees here in Pittsburgh today.  Trust me, I am not complaining (matter of fact I am currently sitting indian style on my bedroom floor situated no more than half a foot away from a space heater).  Warm weather is better in my opinion.  I love the snow, and skiing is a lifetime passion of mine...however aside from skiing and the first snowfall, I could probably live without it.  Matter of fact, that is one of the deciding factors that ended me up in North Carolina for my first two years of college.  The winters here make me question my decision to move closer to home again.

For example, today the skies are gray, it's rainy, and in Kalyn terms; it's frigid outside.  I swear I have reptilian tendencies, one being I am cold blooded, the other being I am a good little swimmer.  Like a fishy (yes I know not a major...I get it...but just hear me out) but more aggressive like an alligator who sneak attacks from behind.  RAWR! Ok, maybe that was a bit far fetched but that is the type of swimmer I was, a sneak attack from behind while you are slow on your flip-turn kind of competitor.  Anyways, the point is I am always cold.

So what's a girl to do when she always has cold feet?  Perhaps score a good boyfriend who is a good Christmas present shopper? Or be a good Christmas shopper for yourself if your not as lucky as I am.

Boyfriend decided to get me a pair of Sperry Top-sider Sheer Water Boots.  If you look at my last blog post you can see a pair of plaid ones I have.  They are cute, fun, but can only be worn with something simple.  So I was looking for a pair of boots that were similar to my Bean Boots, but a different color and Boyfriend beat me to it.  I love how they have the same feel as traditional duck boots, but are given a modern twist with the perfectly quilted material lining the top of them.

I am completely into things that are cute and, more importantly, practical.  These boots are both.  The quilted material gives them a regal feel while the rubber soles (a Sperry trademark) and grippy bottoms make them comfy, they are waterproof, and wool on the inside keeping my feet toasty and dry.  Nothing better than that.

Above, I made a Polyvore of an outfit similar to the one I am wearing today, I will describe it below:

  1.  Barbour Jackets are a classic staple.  Quilted, warm, and traditional, the Barbour Jacket brand is well known for their long lasting quality and fashionable attire.  However, what inspired me to wear this jacket were my quilted boots.  Don't you think they are a good pair?

2.  Polo Ralph Lauren designed a pair of corduroy pants that are inspired by riding pants.  Some may be skeptical, but I love them.  They add a twist to anything you pair them with...especially a quilted down jacket and duck boots.  Not lying, out here in Pennsylvania, this outfit is quite a common one worn among the preps.

3.  Sperry Top-sider Sheer Water Boots.  I explained above.  I love them, they are practical.  Wear them.

4.  I am a huge fan of finding vintage purses on Ebay, especially Dooney&Bourke ones.  The purse shown above isn't the least bit vintage, but I love the caramel leather color of it, and think it looks great paired with the coloring of the cords and boots.

5.  Michael Kors makes a great watch.  Any chunky watch would be great with this traditionally classic and practical "mucking" around outfit.  It just adds a touch of girly.  Agree?

Hope y'all had great breaks, and are getting back into the swing of things.  I am doing so at a sluggish pace!  Thanks so much for your support!

P.S.  get ready for some great posts ahead!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Snow is Like Resolutions

Hey Preps!

(Plaid, Sperry Top-sider Sheerwater Boots)

It's a New Year...that has been welcomed with a snowstorm.  It got me thinking kind of reflectively and philosophically, and I thought about how I define snow.  In a big snow, the flakes blanket the earth with a fluffy white.  The trees that once looked lifeless after losing their leaves completely transform when snowflakes line each branch.  There is something, so pure, and so beautiful about a fresh, untouched snow.  Something that makes you a child again, yearning to stomp around in the wet, cold stuff.  Yet, what happens several days after a snow?  It melts, cars drive through it, and it turns into a muddy, brown mess.

This thought got me thinking about our own lives.  Every year, we tell ourselves that we are going to achieve something...lose weight maybe, or get better at finances, yet often times that pureness of intention in our hearts often fades away into the muddy, brown, messes of our every day lives.  Instead of cherishing what we have, we envy others, or discredit those things.  Why do we wait for the holidays to make resolutions?  I'm not bashing resolutions by any means...I think they are fantastic, and we all do need to take the time to reflect on ourselves and the things we need to work on in our lives.  However, I think it needs to be a daily event...not something we do half-hazardly once a year with no real accountability or ambition to change those things.

Just a thought.  I'm just bursting at the seems with crazy thoughts right now.

I will leave you with a favorite quote of mine:

"Let us live, so when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry."
-Mark Twain

Hope y'all have a blessed 2012!