April 5, 2017

Colorful Spring Athleisure Picks

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As much as I love gray and black, at this point in the year I’m in desperate need for some color. The longer days and patches of grass peeking through are encouragement that there’s a light at the end of the winter tunnel and I’m feeling festive. Since you can find me wearing leggings and a hoodie most days (it’s the perfect outfit for working from home and toddler wrangling!), I guess I’m the designated ‘Sporty Spice’ around here. Good thing, because I had so much fun browsing all the new spring athleisure and putting together fun color combos. Easiest way to add color: start with a pair of wild pants and pick one of the colors for a hoodie, like I did with these bright blue Zella live in leggings (aka party pants) and dusty pink Superdry hoodie. Unexpected and definitely a mood booster! Check out the other yummy new spring colors I found…

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January 18, 2017

Activewear Brand You’ve Gotta Know: Outdoor Voices

 

Gang, have you heard of Outdoor Voices?  They’re an activewear brand with a decidedly different vibe.  First of all, their color-ways are downright inspired, and their styling reads more I Am Fabulous At Lounging Around Nonchalantly than the intense WORK HARD DON’T STOP message of the typical activewear brand.

In fact, the company motto is Doing Things.  “We believe,” their website states,  “…when you drop the expectations to perform, the magic happens. That the joy of the game outlasts a win.  That friends who sweat together, stick together.”

I swear I have this same conversation with my little guys every day.   Thanks, Outdoor Voices.  Your message makes me want to stand up and cheer.

But make no mistake:  these pieces do work hard.  They use serious fabrics – like a technical compression material for their leggings that washes and dries beautifully, yet is always opaque.  And merino wool!  I love that there’s a whole line of merino wool products that drape beautifully, and are thin enough to layer over, under, whatever.

I packed a few pieces from Outdoor Voices on our recent ski trip to Breckenridge, and wore them around the clock.  They were just the thing for skiing (the merino wool is a seriously good base-layer), as well as the nutty pre-ski dress-the-kids-in-5-million-layers-while-they-tantrum routine and then the – ah, bliss – of an apres ski hang.

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By January 18, 2017 6 No tags Permalink
November 14, 2016

Workout Gear Update: Fresh LAYERS

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I’ve been doing some running lately.  I mean….I’m always doing a little bit of running, but I recently broke through my 2 mile barrier – the one I’ve been struggling to crush since chemo, three years ago.  It started with a (slightly threatening) text from a dear friend:  “Wear running shoes to drop-off today.  DON’T ARGUE.”

So I did.  And I was met by a small posse of friends.  “We’re doing this,” they said.  “SLOWLY.”  And we did.  I’m not clear on the exact number of miles, but I heard whispers about almost four.

God, I hope so.  By the end, my legs were shaking and I was totally exhausted yet completely exhilarated in a way that only comes after a good, long, satisfying run.  Motivation lately?  HIGH.  (Girlfriends are the best.)

So when Lululemon reached out, wanting to talk about layering for workouts in colder weather, I was all YES YES and OH HELLS YES.   Lululemon, unlike many other workout brands I’ve tried, makes workout clothes that can be washed a zillion times without changing shape or getting worn out….AND….they never smell.  I’m not a big sweater, yet am always disappointed to find that most technical clothing stinks after one workout.  A smell that doesn’t always come out in the wash.  Lululemon?  No. Smell.

I also managed to find a workout uniform that I can use for running, yoga and pilates.  The key was layers  – without being super tight across my stomach.

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July 25, 2016

Athleisure & Work Wear Selfies from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

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Hey ladies – I made a naptime escape for my local Nordstrom today to try on some athleisure picks and workwear options from the sale! What did I find? Lots of killer comfy leggings, cool jackets (including this amazing Zella moto puffer!), cashmere sweaters and leather jackets to swap out for blazers this fall.

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February 10, 2016

Seriously Cute AND Functional? Putting Fabletics To The Test

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I have an old pair of workout leggings.  I wore them the last time I visited Shana.  We were working out together in a bright room with lots of windows and mirrors when I happened to catch a glimpse of my derriere in the mirror.  “Um,” I said, slowly. “I think these might be see-thru.”  “Yup, they are.” Shana said, without hesitation.  Fabulous.  Nothing like finding out a pair of workout pants you’ve been wearing to the gym, running outside, to YOGA class (dear God) are, in fact, see-thru.

I understand the plight of trying to find the perfect workout pieces.  So when readers asked us to review Fabletics, I jumped at the chance.  I was looking through the outfits (you can order by outfit or individual pieces) and these capris with the side tie caught my eye.  I also focused on tops that weren’t super skin tight – one of the things I hate about athletic gear is that lots of them seem to be made for people who are already in shape.  Those of us who are post partum, just starting to workout, who want to lose weight (or just lift and or tighten) – we really don’t want skin tight shirts when we embark on our workout adventures, amiright??

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January 29, 2016

Full-Bust Sports Bras That Are Actually Cute (Nursing Sports Bras, too!)

Hi ladies! Still on a fitness kick over here, I’m psyched to write about a topic that’s quite literally near and dear to my heart: the search for a full-bust sports bra that’s actually cute and keeps the girls in check while running, zumba, hip hop yoga, or whatever activity you love. (Kind of surreal to hear the instructor calling out yoga poses over lyrics that would make your mama blush, but whatevs.) And by full-bust, we’re not talking C, D or even DD since those sizes are pretty easy to find from any major bra brand.   We’re talking sports bras that can accommodate for-real full bust sizes,  DDD and up.  Supermamas that have the energy to work out while pregnant or nursing? I found some seriously good nursing sports bras for you, too.

Nothing’s more demotivating than feeling uncomfortable and self-conscious while you’re working out. Show of hands, anyone resorted to double-bagging? I can attest that’s neither effective nor a good look. After baby #1 I found an awesome Moving Comfort style and even starting running.  Since it’s discontinued and also laughs in my face when I try to smoosh into it post-nursing baby #2, I’m shopping for myself, too and am only recommending bras I would actually buy.

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January 28, 2016

What To Wear and Pack For a Ski Weekend

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Every weekend we’ve been heading up to Poconos to ski – both boys are in Blue Mountain’s ski racing program.  It’s awesome.  Raines skis for 5 hours each day (Sat and Sun), and Pax’s group (the tiniest ones) ski for 2 hours each day.

Which means….doing the math here….Mike and I get to ski alone for two hours each day.  [cue hallelujah chorus]

Since we go so often, I’ve got the weekend packing down to a science.  I could drone on and on about how to pack ski bags for each kid (hint: THESE), but instead I’ll focus on what I’m packing pour moi.  I figure I can’t be the only one googling various iterations of “look cute and be warm ski weekend what to wear”.

Right?

Here’s what is currently working for me (as well as a – hopefully – helpful packing list):

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By January 28, 2016 9 No tags Permalink
January 25, 2016

Athleta Dressing Room Selfies (Laura Reviews Their Fit & Style)

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Hello out there! Easing into your New Year’s workouts? I’m trying to be active but not beat myself up if I don’t get around to the perfect workout everyday. Here’s to more self-compassion in 2016!

Sooo….any other recovering perfectionists out there? I have to remember my main form of exercise right now is chasing around a toddler and that probably burns a decent number of calories!  In addition to toddler-wrangling, I’ve also really been enjoying Yoga With Adriene’s 30 Day Bootcamp. Granted, I’m only on Day 5 and *should* be on Day 20…but…

Athleta.  I did try on lots of great workout wear at Athleta (and got a parking ticket while doing so! Doh).  It was worth it because they surprised me with some seriously good finds. If you haven’t shopped or perused Athleta before, they offer a mix of athletic wear and everyday clothing with a sporty-vibe.

One thing to note: I found their overall sizing really generous. I had to size down at least one size for pretty much everything I tried on. The sales associate let me know this as I was shopping, so that was really helpful. For example, I usually hover between and Small and Medium in general, but was a solid Small here, sometimes an XS. I will put the size at the end of each description, just for reference. Shout out to the helpful ladies at Athleta in the Pearl! Thank you so much for assisting me!

By the way, this post is not sponsored. It’s just me telling you what I think about the fit and style of their clothing. Here we go:

Workout Wear

I found some great pieces for working out. I really loved their leggings. I tried both high rise and mid-rise, long and capri and they all felt very solid in construction and were great at holding in the mama tummy. They offer regular, petite and long lengths, too. I only tried the regulars, but think I might check out petite length for the full length leggings. I would definitely give their pants a try, among a few other pieces below…

bluepantstop | jacket | pants

Chi Top – Liked this for a basic, racerback workout top. The gray is nice with the bright pants. Size S

Spotlight Half Zip – This is one of the few tops I really liked. I’m wearing a small in this and it’s not quite as fitted as the model on the website’s is. If you really like fitted for running, you might size down even more. Size S

High Rise Quest Chaturanga Capri – I really really love this blue. Their capri pants also hit at a nice spot on my legs, I think. This is the high rise and it was a little too high rise for me, but this color is so good I would go with it! I also tried on the regular Chaturanga Capri and loved that rise better on me. Size XS

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January 21, 2016

Wintertime Running and The Warmest-Ever Leggings

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My Christmas-day tradition, as long as I can remember, has involved a long, slow run on Marquette’s snow-covered streets.  I’d carefully stutter-step my way down the street – shortening my stride to match the icy, snow-covered roads – and marvel at the quiet.  Marquette, the town where I grew up, is a picturesque little town located on the southern shore of Lake Superior.  It’s a stunningly beautiful yet harsh place to live, the winters unrelenting in both frigid cold and lake-effect snow.

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When I was younger, I’d simply wear running tights under a pair of giant sweatpants, and layer several running jackets on top of each other.  A hat, the warmest mittens I could find, and sometimes a scarf across my face – the bitter cold has a way of pulling your breath from your lungs.

These days you’ll find me in….slightly more technical clothing, which is a definite improvement from the 90’s.  Now I like long-sleeve running shirts with thumbholes and a lightweight packable down jacket (I’ll take sweaty over freezing any day), and the warmest-ever leggings.  I don’t know why it took me so long to discover these things – several brands make them – but these running tights are thicker than average, and brushed on the inside so they feel fleece-lined.

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By January 21, 2016 22 No tags Permalink
January 12, 2016

A Collection of Favorite Wintertime Workout Pants

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colorblock | spaced dyed | floral

Ah…New Year, new goals of trying to get butt off of couch and work out. I try to eat healthy most of the time and try to be generally active, but I’m not the most disciplined when it comes to exercise. I adore yoga…when I remember to do it. I love a quick, tough workout like 21 Day Fix or Bikini Body Mommy workouts, but one must actually remember to do said workouts on a regular basis and this is where I fail. Right now my daily(ish) workout is dancing around the house with Sienna and I’m ok with that. We have some really good dance parties (picture a mix of ballet to songs from “Frozen” with some booty shaking to Notorious B.I.G. – I know! So fun.)

I digress…GUYS. There are so many good activewear lines out right now that are making me want to workout more. Everyone has jumped on board…even Anthropologie! There are about a million options to choose from and these are just a handful of my very favorites. Seeing as it’s winter, I stuck with warm, longer pants for the most part and there are some fabulous choices.

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