A ‘Chic and Fit 2014’

I had a relatively stressful day today.  All self-imposed, so no one to blame but me. 🙂  That said, I turned to a couple of things today that usually help me ‘de-stress’, so to speak.  Among those things, chats with friends!!  Many thanks to my amazing friends (you know who you are) who listened to me vent. 😀  The other thing I tried was…a run.  Yup, a good ‘ol run on the treadmill.

I haven’t worked out regularly in a while, mostly because I was breastfeeding my son for the past 10 months (have you ever tried running with breasts full of milk?!  PAINFUL.  Or at least it was for me!!).  But also because I didn’t HAVE to!  He’s turning 11 months this week and this past month, I’ve watched the scale climb faster that I ever knew it could!  I knew I was burning lots of calories while breastfeeding, but didn’t realize how many until I stopped (though we do have frozen stock to get us through the year, fortunately!)!

Anyhow, I forgot how good it feels to get some physical activity in my day.  The stress is not completely gone, but the endorphins appear to help me manage the stress better, I think (this, by the way is not a scientific opinion, haha!  Just my opinion. 😉 ).  So, I thought, why not engage my friends and see if we can all get a little healthier and de-stress together?!

So, I am starting ‘Chic and Fit 2014’!  The goal here is not to:

  • Get skinny
  • Try new diets
  • Workout like crazy

The goal is simply to incorporate at least 30 minutes of physical activity into my day.  If by chance I happen to lose some weight along the way, become less stressed, eat healthier, or decide that I love working out (this has never happened before, so I doubt it will happen now, but I’ll never say never, haha!), then so be it!

Want to join me?!  I will post updates here on my blog, also on Instagram, and on Twitter using hashtag #chicandfit2014.  You can post as well and use the hashtag, so we can all keep up with each other.  Sure, we may be halfway through 2014, but the year is not over yet!  So, follow along as I incorporate fitness into my attempt to stay ‘Chic in Academia’.  No gimmicks, nothing difficult, just me, a workout, and social media. 🙂

Stay Chic!

Workout Treadmill Day 1 edited

Me, my treadmill, and my phone (camera) 😉

Workout Day 1

Day 1 – A slow jog on the treadmill.

A Cinderella Moment with Lotus Boutique!!

This past week, I attended Birmingham Fashion Week for the first time…as a blogger!!!  Last year I attended simply as a guest, and the experience was much different than it was this time.  I had so much fun this year; it was super exciting and so amazing!!  In preparation for Fashion Week, I wanted to make sure I planned fun outfits for each night.  Cue: Lotus Boutique!!

Lotus Boutique was amazingly gracious!  I was able to wear three looks from their current in-store collection!  It started out with a visit to the Lotus Boutique at the Summit to pick out some outfits. For those of you who haven’t been to the Lotus store at the Summit in a while, be aware that they are no longer located over by Sephora and Gus Mayer, but rather next to Gap, and in the same suite as the Halcyon Day Salon & Spa!

041714102304171410250417141025aSo, I got started! Selecting only three outfits was by no means an easy task!  There was so much to choose from!  Check out some of the cute things I saw:

0417141028b 0417141032a 0417141031 0417141030c 0417141030a 0417141029d 0417141029b 0417141029 0417141028 0417141027c 0417141026a 0417141026 0417141025b0417141033 0417141034 IMG_20140417_121939I made my choices based on uniqueness if you will.  I wanted pieces that people wouldn’t think to pair with a metallic jacket, or with a peplum top.  I also wanted pieces that spoke to my style, which is fun and feminine.  In the end, I selected a few things:

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All of the outfits were so fun to wear and fit so well!!  I am SOOOOO grateful to Lotus Boutique for making this experience such a memorable one!!  I had so much fun styling all three different looks!  Here are the three looks I put together with pieces from the Lotus collection:

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BFW – Night 2 (This outfit was also featured on al.com!!)

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BFW – Night 1 (LOVED this outfit…this dress is one of my all-time favorites. I’m planning to wear it ALL summer!!)

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BFW – Night 4 (Loved, loved, loved this skirt!! Loved that it was a stretchy pencil skirt, so very flattering for curvy-figures!

What do you think??  I could fill my closet with Lotus clothing and accessories!!  Couldn’t you??

Follow me on Instagram to see more outtakes from Birmingham Fashion Week, and my blog, Chic in Academia, for work-appropriate outfit inspirations, as well as tips on how to mix high and low fashion!

Stay Chic! 💋

Neutrogena Face-Off Challenge!!

Disclaimer:  This post is a compensated post in collaboration with Neutrogena® and Latina Bloggers Connect.  However, opinions expressed in this post are my own and have not been modified by the sponsors or any other third parties.

When I learned that I was selected to participate in the Neutrogena® Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes Face-Off Challenge“, I was beyond excited!  I LOVE Neutrogena products!!  True story. However, the towelettes were a product I had not used.  So, imagine my excitement when I received a trial of the towelettes to try, in addition to a cute white face towel for the challenge.

0306142237aSo before I go into the details of the challenge, I first have to share my usual makeup removing, sophisticated, technique.  Haha, not really! 😛

My usual night-time removal routine involves:

  1. Washing my face with Neutrogena Face Wash (which I love, but is not completely effective for 100% makeup removal).
  2. Removing the rest of my make up with face or any Aveeno lotion and a tissue or, usually, a piece of toilet paper!  Waa, please don’t judge me!!! 😦

0306142238-1That’s it.  My usual make-up removing ritual, before these magic wipes came into my life, was pretty depressing.  What’s worse is that I usually STILL had mascara smeared around my eyes because the baby lotion wasn’t effective enough, so my hubby slept next to a raccoon most nights!  Haha!

Sigh!  Anyway, cut to the Neutrogena® Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes Face-Off Challenge”!  This was a complete GAME CHANGER!  I’m talking Oprah ‘Aha’ moment, fat lady singing, ‘Eureka’ moment, all in one!!

For the challenge, I took a picture of myself right before bed, prior to removing my makeup (yes, a selfie…SCARY!!):

0304142052aThen I took a single Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelette and used it all around my face – yes, even around my eyes!  The towelette is soft and smells pretty amazing!  It left my face amazingly clean!  But, yuck, so much remained on the towelette:

0304142114_1Ummm, perhaps I should consider wearing less makeup??!  Hmm, sounds like a good idea in theory.  Good thing I’m not a theorist! 😉

Next, I washed my face with my usual face wash.  No picture for that, sorry! 😛

Okay, the final step was honestly, a bit scary.  I REALLY wanted this challenge to be a success.  Because I had never used the towelettes, I had my doubts about the effectiveness of the product and wondered whether they would really pass the ‘white towel’ test!!

THANK goodness for the makeup removing geniuses who created these towelettes, because after drying my face with the white towel – yes, even around my eyes – there was NO makeup left on my face!!  SUCCESS!!

0304142114a_1Here’s a picture of me, with no makeup on (ACK!!!) and a CLEAN white towel!!  Please excuse the makeup-less selfie, but it was part of the challenge!! EEEK!

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Anyway, you get the picture…the towelettes work!!  I’m officially a fan!  Thankfully, I also have a whole box for participating in the challenge! 😀

PhotoGrid_1393989225092Anyhow, challenge completed and deemed a complete success!  I leave you with some information provided by Neutrogena about these makeup removing soft cloths, and hope that you enjoyed this review!

If you care to share, comment below with your makeup removing routine, or simply what you thought of this post!  Look forward to hearing from you!

Stay chic!! 💋

Some key info from Neutrogena about the Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes!

  • Neutrogena® Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes remove 99.3% of all traces of dirt, oil, and makeup to reveal clean, fresh skin.
  • Neutrogena is recommended by dermatologists two times more than any other brand.
  • Safe for contact lens wearers.
  • Neutrogena provides superior cleansing and make-up removal products.
  • Gentle enough to use around the delicate eye area.