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Yes, I know.  Fashion is not a usual topic for me.  I prefer hiding my body under layers of denim, or thick dress pants.  However, when you have a twin sister that starts dressing cooler than you do, you find yourself in need of stepping it up.  Oh, and losing 17 pounds and having no clothes that fit doesn’t help either when it comes to hiding behind my usuals.  But that’s for another post altogether.

After trying on a pair of my sisters LC Lauren Conrad leggings from Kohl’s, I knew I had to have them.  I’ll admit, the fabric is a bit thin, and I’m still getting used to wearing something so form fitting, so I’m struggling a bit with being self-conscious about it.  However, with a long tunic-style top covering all the areas I want covered (butt, thighs) I could see these leggings become a staple in my weekend/going out wardrobe.  Oh, and it got the mom stamp of approval, instead of a “hmmm, I don’t know about those.”  🙂

On Saturday, I got 2 pairs for only $9.99 each.  Online they are about $2 more, however, they are still a great deal.  While I have definitely been known to say that leggings should not be worn by people of “my size”,  the size of this particular pair is comfortable for those of us with larger lower bodies; most form-fitting items like this only serve to remind me of my big hips and thighs, but these do a pretty good job covering without making you feel like you’re totally exposed.  I’ve paired mine with a mock layer top very similar to this one.  The length of the top really seems to help balance it out.

While I’m certainly no shopping expert, these seemed like a pretty great deal, and are super comfortable to wear.  Anyone else find a great pair of leggings recently?  What do you pair yours with?

With all the discount sites available out there these days, who ever wants to pay full price for anything?  Certainly not me.  My latest obsession in the land of online discount shopping revolves around Rue La La.

My sister sent me an invitation to Rue La La before I got married, and to be honest, I kind of ignored it.  Designer clothes?  Who needed those anyway.  More recently, my cousin sent me an invitation, and out of sheer boredom one afternoon, I signed up.  After all, people have signed up for all sorts of things for me, I might as well give this another try, right?

Obsessed.  I’m not a label freak, by any means.  I just like nice things.  Rue La La is like an emporium of nice things at prices that normal people can afford.

Here’s how it works:  once you join, you receive access to premier brand, private sale boutiques that are open for a limited amount of time.  Rue La La seeks to provide members with a “well-edited collection of sought-after offerings from the best brand names in the world.”  The best way to make sure you take advantage of the great sales right away is to receive the daily email that lists the featured “Boutiques” of the day.  Recent boutiques have included Elie Tahari, L.A.M.B, Calvin Klein and La Perla.

So are you really getting a discount?  In my opinion, yes.  For instance, today there is an L.A.M.B crossboy originally priced at $158 marked down to $79.90.  I’m sure if I knew more about designers and brands, I’d have more to say about the discounts, but in my opinion, it’s a great way to shop luxury on a mid-career budget.

But, to my surprise and delight, Rue La La is not just for clothes.  They are expanding their local deals section, which so far has included restaurant deals and spa services.  Additionally, I’ve seen some great deals on gourmet treats and wines, as well as vacations and home decor items.  So, even if you’re not a label hog, there’s still something for everyone!

While I haven’t bought anything yet and can’t speak to the service element of Rue La La, I have heard great things about it so far.  Why haven’t I bought yet?  Well, I’m on a budget, for sure, so I’ve been waiting for the perfect thing.  Also, I have to admit, I’m always leery of buying clothes online, due to my figure.  But, one of these days, maybe I’ll find that perfect thing!

Wanna get in?  You can!  Visit http://www.ruelala.com/invite/vberger06 and let the “Ohh la la” begin!

Can your skin gets used to certain products?  Although most will argue that it can’t, I’m not sure I necessarily agree.  I spent a lot of time raving about Clearasil’s facewash before our wedding.  After going through 2 bottles of it, I thought maybe it was time to try something new.  I had a coupon for Biore, which is honestly what drove my purchase of the Biore Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser.  That, and it’s warm in our house without AC, so I thought the “ice” part would be refreshing 🙂

Ice, Ice, Baby

So far, so good.  But maybe that goes back to my belief that switching it up product wise always has a positive impact on your face for a short time. I’ve been using the cleanser for about 2 months now, and I’m pretty pleased that I haven’t had any major breakouts during the times I usually would.  The product uses salicylic acid, which I learned a long time ago I need to use daily, as well as lavendar and eucalyptus to soften the blow of a strong cleanser.  In the past, I had to move away from salicylic acid cleansers because they were too harsh on my face. However, cleansers without it didn’t work very well for me.  This is a great combination of power and softness.

While I can’t see that I necessarily feel as refreshed as the “ice” description had me hoping I would in this heat, the product does what it promises.  And right now, that’s good enough for me!

Here’s a confession:  I’ve never had my hair or makeup done before.  Yes, it’s true.  At the tender age of 26, I’d never gone to a salon to have hair or makeup done for an event.  So, needless to say, choosing someone to take care of this on one of the most photographed days of my life was a big deal.  However, I’m happy to say I chose the best two ladies in the business!

I found My Cinderella’s Dream where else but TheKnot.com.  I got in touch with Mari who I liked right off the bat.  She provided all the information I needed in a timely fashion to make the best decision possible.  At the time, I wasn’t sure about makeup, and Mari never pressured me to add this as a service, which I appreciated.  Her prices were fair, and she wasn’t going to charge me a fee to come to The Madison Hotel to help us out!  Furthermore, her son went to Susquehanna, so it was pretty much a match made in heaven!

Getting my hair done and my makeup touched up!

I had my bridal trial with Mari in December.  She was so wonderful and patient with me.  I had just switched jobs, so I ended up having to reschedule my trial and had to leave early the day she came to get back to work, but Mari got the job done quickly, efficiently, and exactly how I imagined it!  By this time, I had decided to go with makeup, so I scheduled a makeup trial with her partner, Rita.  Rita did a great job listening to my fears that my makeup would look too heavy.  We had a great trial, and even later when I emailed Mari to ask if the eyes could be a bit lighter day of, Mari and Rita understood and were very accommodating.

The day of the wedding, we had a blast getting hair and makeup done!  I had booked a conference room at the hotel so we’d have lots of room.  Mari and Rita went right to work at 6:30 and we were all camera ready by around 9:15!  There were 8 of us that needed hair done, and I was the only one that had makeup.  I couldn’t believe how quick they worked!  All of my girls were very pleased with how things came out.  My mom even remarked that she’d never seen someone take a picture of a hairstyle and replicate it on someone’s hair.  All of my bridesmaids got compliments on how great their hair looked-even from the guys, who hardly notice that stuff!  Finally, everyone kept remarking on how natural my makeup looked, which was exactly what I had wanted!

Some great handiwork!

Mari and Rita and truly a dream to work with.  From the trial to the wedding day, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of ladies to help me and my girls look fantastic on my wedding day.  Thanks so much, Mari and Rita!

Well, friends, it has come to my attention that it’s crunch time.  I mean, it’s literally time to start getting serious about that pesky stomach of mine.  I had thought I was seeing some improvements when I first added Jillian Michaels into my rotation, but now it seems like it’s all gone downhill again…and so close to the wedding!

As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, I’m a loyal Glamour subscriber and have done their Body By Glamour program a few times.  In my most recent issue, I saw that they were now offering “Bikini Blast”, which is a program similar to Body By Glamour that offers 30 days of tips to get your abs in shape for bikini season.  Since I’ve had success with these programs in the past, I figured there was no time like the present to sign up and get the job done!

I’m only on Day 2, but so far my only complaint is that I couldn’t get today’s work out tips yesterday so I could begin them today.  Since I work out at 5:30 a.m., I like to maximize the time I have, and I don’t have time to log on to the computer or power up the IPhone and print the workout.  So, I’ll have to be a day behind with everything I guess!  Oh well…the price of beauty…

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.  Thanks again to the ladies and men at Glamour for providing such useful and fun tools!

I recently cancelled my subscription to Cosmopolitan magazine.  A sad day for me, as I’m pretty addicted to the world of girly magazines.  However, I just really didn’t find the content relevant to me in my engaged, 25 year old state.  Not that I can’t enjoy reading some of it, but it almost got to be too immature for me.

The one subscription I did keep was Glamour.  I’ve written about Glamour pretty consistently in this blog, and I have to say, I’m always impressed with their content and level of maturity.  I noticed the other day that they recently launched a section of their Web site devoted to weddings.

Way to go, Glamour.  Particularly on today’s post about being a better bride.  What an excellent idea for a series.  I absolutely hate blogs and sites that tout the “it’s all about you” mantra to brides.  It wouldn’t be a wedding without the groom!

Glamour can count on me for at least another year!

When was the last time you had a doctor’s checkup just because?  How about the last time you went to the doctor because you weren’t feeling well? That long ago? Yeah, I’m with you.

As women, we tend to not take time to take care of ourselves from a health perspective.  Sure, we schedule the usual annual appointments and dentist appointments (right??), but when it comes to actually not feeling well, most of us choose to just ignore our symptoms for various reasons.

Glamour recently highlighted this problem in its December issue, finding that emergency room visits among women younger than 45 are on their way up.  What does this mean?  This means that women like me and you are waiting until the last possible minute to take care of our health rather than being proactive.  And the results are scary.

So, why do women wait?  I know for me, it’s easier to bulk up on OTC medicine and binge on Theraflu than to take time off from work to make a doctors appointment.  Most women like me just don’t have time to schedule an appointment during the day, and can’t find a clinic that will take their health insurance that’s open after hours.  But, as the Glamour article pointed out, waiting until the last minute can make things worse than they really are.

With flu season at it’s highest, we need to take proactive measures this year to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves and not ignoring serious symptoms.  Please carefully read the above article, and do your homework!  For me, half the battle is finding a doctor to go to that can accommodate my schedule.  If you research that information before you get sick, it might be easier to make that phone call.

Stay healthy, ladies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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