November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

While I may not be able to visit my immediate family this year, I'll certainly be celebrating.

I'll be fitting in an early morning workout for a great cause at Elmntl Fitness. Kevin Wimmer, the brains and brawn behind the outdoor fitness program, is donating all the proceeds to an animal rescue.

(Calm down ladies, he's married)

If you aren't familiar with Elmntl Fitness, here's an example what I'll be doing while most people I know are still cozy in their beds:

Luckily, I'm a morning person! Sunrise is by far my favorite time of the day.  

 I'm also very blessed to have the opportunity to spend a few hours with some extended family and friends in Cincinnati. Let's all take a moment to be thankful for hospitality and cocktails, shall we?

Wishing you a wonderful holiday and lots of things to be grateful for!


November 19, 2013

Ikea Desk Upcycle

In need of a desk and inspired by Kelly, I decided to grab the Vittsjo desk from Ikea for a DIY project. It's only $39.99, so I figured my project couldn't go too badly. The desk is the perfect size for me, and I like the streamlined, open/airy feel.

I picked up a jar of Liquid Leaf from a nearby craft store for just $6 and started applying it all over the steel frame using gloves (very important!) and a paper towel. I prefer liquid leaf to spray paint because it has additional depth. An old dress bag served as a drop-cloth to save my kitchen tile. This is what the first coat looked like: 

After allowing it to dry, I went back and applied a second layer of Liquid Leaf with a foam brush. The desk also comes with a little shelf, so I used plain old masking tape to create stripes. I subconsciously tried to channel Kate Spade a little, maybe?

Aaaand the finished product (although the space is certainly still in need of some styling): 

Stay tuned for more DIY projects! The joys of a new apartment...


November 16, 2013

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Holiday themed everything is creeping into my life, and I love it. The holiday season is my absolute favorite, and I like to celebrate as long as possible. This BCBGMAXAZRIA dress makes it all the more fun:

I love cozy weekends in parks and coffee shops. What are you up to this weekend?


November 8, 2013

Instagram Magnets

I love Instagram and finding awesome new companies, so I was thrilled when Instajunction sent me these photo magnets made from some of my Instagram pictures!

The following pictures (taken with my iPhone...still unpacking from my recent move!) don't do them justice. Each photo is a two inch square and the colors are completely vibrant and crisp, just as they would appear on Instagram. The magnets come in a single sheet, and it takes just a few seconds to separate them.

(Note: "Be the change" magnet and yoga class pass not included...)

The founder, Chris, and the rest of the team are so passionate about their products and their customers. They also offer items other than magnets, including coasters, posters, greeting cards, and calendars. The Instajunction team was kind enough to send me a discount for my readers! Use FRIENDS25DQ on any order before December 8th to get 25% off. I think these items would make great stocking stuffers or Secret Santa gifts! 

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Instajunction. All the opinions in this post are my own, and I did not receive compensation for this review.

November 7, 2013

Style Inspiration: Jessica Alba

Can we just take a moment to recognize the perfection here?

I love the Old Hollywood glam vibe with this outfit. I don't normally run around the city in a pink tulle midi skirt, but it looks dramatic and gorgeous on her. Add Brigitte Bardot hair, a structured bag, and delicate heels for extra sophistication. (By the way, everything she's wearing is Ralph Lauren)


November 6, 2013

On Being a (Terrible) Runner

I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I don't particularly enjoying feeling like I'm performing any activity at a less than excellent level. As a result, I've sometimes avoided activities that don't come naturally to me. This trait has certainly made me miss out on some amazing experiences.

I've made it a personal goal to do things at which I'm terrible. Running is one of these things. I am prone to injury, slow as molasses, and usually miserable every step of the way. That's exactly why I keep doing it.

Chasing perfection instead of progress only hurts you. I might never have the best mile time or become an ultra-marathoner, but I am okay with that. I do it because it's good for me - for both my cardiovascular health, and for my level of humility.  I don't just risk failure - I readily invite it into my life. While I still devote myself fully to projects, work, and reaching my goals, I think it's healthy to have a "Phoebe" moment every now and then:

This weekend, I will be volunteering with my sorority alumnae group at the Disabled American Veterans 5K. We will be pushing veterans in wheelchairs through the Honor Roll course, and I am so excited to participate in this event. It's such an amazing privilege to be able to use my body freely and push it to its limits. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to thank some individuals who gave up this privilege to protect our freedoms.

P.S. Online registration for the Cincinnati DAV 5K is closed, but you can still register on the day of the race! Details here. 

November 4, 2013

Holiday Shopping Spree Giveaway!

I am SO excited to reveal my latest collaboration! If you haven't already heard, Sweet Lemon Media is the fabulous culmination of Sweet Lemon Magazine, Sweet Lemon TV, and "freshly squeezed" daily news. I adore reading Sweet Lemon Magazine and I am so pleased that the SLM team selected me as one of the bloggers for this giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
It's so easy to enter the giveaway - just follow the steps in the Rafflecopter above. The giveaway will last for a week, starting today and ending on Sunday the 10th at midnight. The winner of the $500 Visa gift card will be announced on Monday, November 11!

I'm in such good company - check out the other lovely ladies participating in the giveaway:

 Buy me something pretty if you win?


November 1, 2013

Hello, November

 October is filled with apple picking and Halloween and about a million pictures of pretty leaves on Instagram. Of course, December has Christmas and New Years Eve and all the wonderful things that come with the holiday season. Nestled in between is November, with.....a holiday that basically becomes lost in the Christmas obsession. While I'm one of those (few?) people who doesn't mind seeing Christmas decorations in stores in October, there are some pretty great things about November itself.

1. No-Shave November

 I feel as if women everywhere decided to either love or hate No-Shave November (or Movember). While I understand not being attracted to the lumberjack look, the origins of the tradition are pretty great. Here's the concept, as described on the No Shave November website:

      "The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free.  Donate the money you usually spend on shaving and grooming for a month to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle." 

I think we can all agree that we'd like our fathers, brothers, boyfriends, uncles, whoever to be around as long as possible. If they have to grow crazy mustaches to encourage them to prioritize their health, I say go for it.

2. Thanksgiving Episodes

Friends is my favorite television show, no contest. During college, I used to keep it on the background while I spent hours and hours studying for my biology or chemistry classes. Even now, it never fails to make me laugh.

3. Warm Drinks

'Tis the season for hot chocolate, bourbon apple cider, and whatever else warms you up on the chilliest fall days. I'm a fan of almond milk chai lattes lately.

4. Farm Sanctuary's Adopt a Turkey Program

 Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because of family time and the emphasis on gratitude, not because I partake in the "traditional" meal. I'd rather spend my money on the awesome organization Farm Sanctuary, which rehabilitates and cares for farm animals. They invite the public to "adopt" one of the rescued turkeys at their sanctuary and give the turkeys their own celebration. I visited the New York shelter this year, and made friends with this guy (named Turpentine):

What's your favorite thing about November?