Saturday, December 8, 2012

Obsession: My Fitness Pal

Back in November, when Kingsley came back to Cali for a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving she introduced me to a lovely app, "My Fitness Pal". Essentially it helps you track your daily calorie intake and exercise.  I was hesitant at first since I've tried Weight Watchers and that turned into "Well, I have 30 points/day and if double-stuffed oreos are 5 points each I'll just starve all day and eat six oreos for dinner". But I fired it up and gave it a shot anyway.

Turns out, I LOVE IT!!!

The app has 3 options. Lose Weight. Gain Weight and Maintain Weight. When you start it up you enter your current height, weight (and measurements if you want to get serious) and your goal weight. It will then give you a daily calorie allotment so, in my case, you loose about 2lbs/week.

If you work out with a heart monitor or on a machine that counts calories then you can enter your calories burned in the exercise tab. If not, it helps you estimate based on what you did and how long you did it for. 

You also have to enter everything you eat. Which I thought was going to be a pain and make me sad, but it actually is very helpful. It takes everything you eat and breaks it down into your daily nutrition and graphs that show you where your calories are coming from. Its become a game each day to get different numbers up (or down) and I'm kind of addicted!  

It's a good addiction though because I've lost 5lbs in the last month!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Countdown to Christmas: Personalized Gifts

We've all been there, invited to a party hosted by an aquaintance, struggling to find a gift for the person who has everything or the person who has extremely specific tastes. In these situations I find it best to stick to the simplest gifts. Those things that everyone needs. Napkins, candle sticks, clutch, hors d'eorve tray, stationery...Maybe you use it everyday, maybe you use them once a year, but you cannot go wrong with a classic, functional gift. The problem with gifts like this is that they're usually pretty plain and come off as a little impersonal and that is the exact opposite of what a gift should be.

How do you spruce it up??? Well, with personalization of course!!  Here are some of my favorite personalized gift ideas!

The Everyday Leather Zip Pouch {mark&graham}
You can use it as a clutch, put your iPad in it, carry travel documents etc. Really it's an all purpose and unisex gift that anyone will appreciate! I love it in Porcelain Blue with a center monogram!

2013 Diary {Smythson}
For the more traditional calendar keepers you can't go wrong with a datebook. Smythson offers a variety of sizes, fun colors and personalization options! And the leather bound covers make sure they'll never wear out. Graphic Image offers some equally stylish, but less expensive options.

Letter or Zodiac Pillow {Jonathan Adler}
I have been pining for one of these letter pillows in black and white!!! Jonathan Adler also offers some  more whimsical personalization options with his Zodiac collection as well.

Silver Plated Julep Cup {Pottery Barn}
A GREAT hostess gift idea! It's a classic shape will fit in almost any room and she can use it as a candle holder, a vase or even a Julep!

You can find these everywhere on etsy right now, but I like the fun designs that Lilly Pulitzer offers!
She has her classic 'ropes' print or you can go crazy with one of her more signature bright, palm beach designs. If you're looking for something a little simpler Design Darling has a adorable standard monogrammed tray too!
Lilly Pulitzer's 'Rope' Pattern
Cleaner look from Design Darling

Happy Shopping!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

November Goals {Follow Up}

So December is finally here!! We got our Christmas tree last night and I'm feeling especially Christmas-y now! That also means it's time to evaluate my progress on my November goals.....

#1) Be more Positive! - CHECK!...?
I don't really know if there is a way to evaluate this one, but I do feel like I made an effort to stop and remind myself that there is a silver lining to everything! I don't know if it is because I've been busier or actually just looking on the bright side but I feel pretty satisfied with my life last month. Looking forward to the craziness of December and keeping my November goal in mind!

#2) Finish 1 Book - eh?
.....well, I didn't exactly 'finish' a book, but I did make more of an effort to read!  I've gotten about 3/4ths of the way through The Great Gatsby. Which, considering I bought it LAST November and had only read the first chapter, is faster than I was averaging :) I love the book though! It is completely different than I remember from High School, but in a good way. I absolutely cannot wait for the movie to come out!!!

#3) Workout 3x a Week! - CHECK!
It took me a week and a half to get into it, but since November 11th I've been hitting up BurnSF at least 3x a week. I love it because it's close to my apartment, but also it incorporates cardio, strength and Pilates all in one!!! I've been reading more and more how you have to start strength training in your twenties to keep your muscles and your metabolism up. I am definitely not one to get up and go to the weight room on her own so I've experimented with a couple classes. I did a weight class at the gym, which wasn't that challenging for me and then I tried the Bar Method this summer. I liked the Bar Method, but if I went 3x a week I felt like I had put in my workouts and never did cardio, which is still necessary!! BurnSF brings it all together and adds Pilates to keep us short gals as long and lean as we can be!

#4) Be more Budget Conscious  - CHECK!...?
I haven't been sticking to my budget completely, but I have cut back on lazy cab rides and un-necessaries (which may or may not vary depending on the moment). I did set up a budget on my bank's website though so I got a start! And I also rejiggered my 401k accounts so hopefully I'll be rich when I retire! It's like when you're steps right?

#5) Get Christmas Shopping Done! - CHECK!
I'm officially checking this off, because even though they haven't been created yet I've picked everything out.

Brother- I have purchased my brother's gift and mailed it home for X-Mas! I got a GREAT deal at J.Crew on cyber Monday.

Parents - For my parent's I've decided to make them this:

My family has moved A LOT; 10 houses and 6 states. So I thought it'd be cute to get a snapshot of our family at the time we lived in those places and frame them with the map.  I have my Grandma's on picture patrol, but if they can't come up with enough I have this as my backup. I think instead of hearts I'll just cut out the states and put little hearts on the cities we've lived in!
Grandparents - I bought one sets of Grandparents tickets to the Nutcracker in Chicago when I'm back, followed immediately, by my Dad's gift to them of a "delicious" Swedish Smorgasbourd dinner in Andersonville. If you sensed sarcasm you were right. Silver Lining (see goal #1) - no worring about Holiday weight gain that night!

Co-Workers and Acquaintances -I am going to attempt to make homemade Caramels next weekend for my co-workers!....stay tuned for a blogpost on that. Considering I lit the Thanksgiving Pecan Pie on fire, I'll probably be an interesting one.

Friends- Christmas Cards & appropriate gifts have been purchased! Addressing them next weekend!

Wrapping - I am pretty excited for wrapping this year. I LOVE the simple wrapping and fun ribbons. On Pinterest that someone suggested using left over paper bags. (of which we have a ton of in San Francisco since plastic are outlawed....seriously.) I 'm going to use those and get some cute ribbon at Michaels and tie them all up beautifully!

#6) Blog 2x a Week {at least} - CHECK!
Um...did you read them!??