Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Summer Health & Fitness








I'm so excited to be sharing a different kind of post with you today! Over the last few months, I've been working really hard on my health and fitness routine. I preface this by saying I am not a doctor, dietitian, etc., but what I've been doing the last few months - eating right, working out five or more times a week - has really made me feel better. 

Like many of us, come the new year, I always make a resolution to work out more. To be honest, I usually always fail. Back in my 20's I could eat whatever I wanted, not go to the gym, and I it didn't affect me at all. I remember someone saying to me, "Just wait until you turn 30." Yeah, right I thought (insert eye-roll), but sadly, they were right. I definitely saw a change in my energy, metabolism and the fact that I couldn't have all those carbs I love so much without it being visible. I realized quickly I needed to start working out, and be more aware of what I eat. Even after I turned 30 though, I kept dipping my foot in, but not fully jumping in...until this year. 

I think what gave me the extra push at the beginning of 2019 was that one of my favorite workout classes, The Bar Method, was having a 'New Year New You' (or something like that) challenge. The challenge was to do 20 classes in 30 days. Phew, it's a lot, and if you've ever done a barre class before, you know how hard they are. I thought to myself, I want to do this, I can do this. You know what, I did (!!!), and since then, I've signed up for and completed two more challenges.  

The workout is a mix of yoga, pilates, and ballet. Not only is it great for strengthening and creating long lean muscles, but they focus a lot on stretching too, which is great for my arthritis. If you're new around here, I shared more about my journey with arthritis in a post a few years ago, which you can read here. I've seen my flexibility and mobility increase, and just have felt stronger. This is definitely not a sponsored post, although I'd happily welcome it (pst, Bar Method!). I truly just have found a workout that is perfect for me. I feel more confident, and I'm not talking confident in my appearance (although I definitely can see a difference). I'm more confident in my capabilities, myself, my work ethic, my commitment and my sense of community. When you work from home, it's nice to have that interaction at a gym/studio, and the ladies (and a few men), that go to Bar are great. The instructors at the Montrose studio are amazing, fun, and so encouraging, which is what keeps me coming back. An added bonus, it's perfect for all ages and skill levels! 

I also mix in spinning/biking on our Peloton at home, and when it's not 100 degrees, my favorite form of exercise is walking. I could walk for forever if it was possible!  It's true what they say, you just feel better after working out. 

I found these great monthly exercise calendars (see below) from a fellow blogger, and they've really helped me hold myself accountable to getting in those five days a week. I'd love to hear what your favorite workout is and why. Be sure to stay tuned for health and wellness posts, too! 





Friday, August 9, 2019

Pink Ombré Tassel Dress









Dress | Wedges | Purse | Earrings | Cuff | Sunglasses

Feeling frisky this Friday! After being home in Wisconsin, and then gone back-to-back in San Diego and Dallas the past two weekends, I am so excited to finally be home. Bring on the Netflix and chill this weekend!

Tonight we're actually having a date night at one of our favorite places, B&B ButchersHouston Restaurant Weeks is going on now through September 2nd, and so many good restaurants are on it (like B&B), with prices ranging from $25-$45 for three to four courses! It's really such a good deal, especially when some of the participating restaurants are on the higher-end side. I literally want to eat at every.single.one. Proceeds go to the Houston Food Bank, which is another great reason to dine out this month, as well. 

This cute pink dress definitely has me weekend ready. I love the cute tassels on the bottom, and can we talk about the fact that it has pockets! Obsessed. It's great when clothing can be cute and practical! Perfect for the beach, brunch or vacation, this dress also comes in a blue pattern, as well as a turquoise, orange and red print! I'm wearing a size XS for reference.  

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Our Quick 48 Hour Trip to San Diego






Nearly two weeks ago, we jetted off to San Diego for a quick weekend trip. The weekend was all about baseball, and has quickly become a fun, yearly tradition.   

Each year around Adam's birthday, we go see the San Francisco Giants (his favorite baseball team) play at different stadiums across the country. Previously we've been to Dodger Stadium in LA, and Wrigley Field in Chicago, and this year we decided to escape the Texas heat for some good ol' California sunshine again. And yes, the weather was perfect, of course! 

We got there Friday afternoon and decided to stretch our legs after the flight! We were staying downtown because of the proximity to the park, and also we wanted to maximize our 48 stay and avoid being stuck on the PCH for hours. We started out by roaming through the Gaslamp Quarter before making our way over to Little Italy. This cute neighborhood was bustling, and had countless restaurants, bars and shops. 

We started out the evening by having a 'progressive date,' where we'd stop at one place and have a bite/drink before heading to another location. I love this concept, especially when traveling. Instead of sitting down at one restaurant and having dinner, you get a chance to enjoy smaller samplings and see more places. Our first stop was Farmer's Table, followed by appetizers at the highly recommended Born & Raised, and then pizza and pasta at Barbusa

On Saturday we got up early and went to The Broken Yolk. After a quick 20 minute wait, we had a big breakfast before walking to Waterfront Park. From there we caught the ferry to Coronado Island. When we got there, we rented some beach cruisers and ventured out on the scenic tourist route. Well, after one (or more!!) wrong turns and terribly mis-marked paths, our small coastal bike ride turned into a 10 mile one!!! Once we got back on track, we rode along the water past the Hotel del Coronado, and continued along the esplanade until we finally got back to where we started! Always an adventure! After returning via the ferry to downtown, we roamed around a bit and grabbed a bite before heading to the baseball game at Petco Park that evening. 

Our seats at the park were absolutely amazing! I was really impressed by all the amenities that the stadium featured - they even had a Bark Park where you could bring your furry friend to watch the big game with you. Loved that! They also had a great selection of food and drinks that was more reminiscent of a Parisian cafe or farmers market, than your run of the mill hot dogs and peanuts. We had a great time cheering on our Giants! Not to mention, there were a ton of Giants fans there, which made it more fun. Also, the Padres fans were nice and welcoming, unlike our experience with Dodger fans! 

The next morning we got up early, had breakfast and enjoyed one last long walk along the water before heading to the airport! Truth be told I am not the biggest fan of baseball, and lord knows I am still trying to learn the rules, lingo etc. of the game, but I love getting to do something fun with Adam that he truly loves. Plus, it's been a fun way to "explore" different places. There are 30 stadiums in the US, and I'm looking forward to seeing what stadium we wind up in next!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Back-to-School Plaid Dress











With the summer {almost} coming to an end, I can't help but be reminiscent of heading back to school, especially while wearing this plaid dress. The colors of this dress definitely give this timeless print a fresh update. Gone are the days of tartan, now we're seeing plaid in every color of the rainbow. 

I never had uniforms at my school per se, but we definitely had a very strict dress code. No joke, we could only wear solid neutral colors - no patterns, prints, or brights!!! You know this drove me crazy, and of course I always tried to push the limit!  That being said, like everyone else, I've always associated this plaid with with the preppy, East coast school girl vibe. It's hard not to after watching and wanting to be part of the cast of Gossip Girl! 

I love how simple and streamlined this shift dress is. I know I'll be wearing it all season long! Pair it with a denim jacket and tennis shoes for a great, casual brunch outfit, or take it up a notch for fall/winter and pair it with a mock turtleneck and ankle booties! I have this same style dress, The Beth, from Jude Connally in tons of patterns and prints. You can check out their newly released prints for Fall here


Thursday, August 1, 2019

If the Shoe Fits...











Dress | Earrings | Bracelets | Headband (similar style here & here) | Blue Heels


With the August heat in full swing, I figured it was the perfect time to take some pictures inside, and save myself from the insufferable heat outside. Plus, I've been wanting to share this gorgeous dress with you for a while, and now it's on sale! I love how ethereal it is, and am obsessed with the bold, yet effortless sheer cape. It definitely makes for a great house dress. haha jk! Can you imagine?! Yes, this is me, just casually lounging in my office.

My office is definitely my favorite place in our house. It's my girly retreat, where everything is pink and bubbly. From my accent wall, to this colorful chair (probably my favorite piece of furniture ever), and of course my shoe wall, I love having this extra space all to myself.

It's no secret that I am a shoe lover. High heels, flats, boots, I want them all. From budget finds to designer brands, I love filling my closet with a mix of high and low. I will splurge on pieces that are timeless, and tend to be a bit more conservative, like these black Dior J'adore heels. If something can be worn easily with jeans and a tee as it can be with a dress, then it's a no brainer. I also ask myself before investing in a higher cost item if it's something I can wear now while I'm 30-something, but also when I'm 50.

I love when I come across a good deal, like these cork Jimmy Choo sandals that I found the other month at their outlet in San Marcos .... dangerous territory!!! Whoever said no to something on sale?
I'm also a big fan of finding a designer 'dupe,' like these cobalt blue Manolo Blahnik inspired heels. This is a great alternative if you love the style, but maybe it's more trendy or the color is bold and can't be worn as much, Yes, I may have the real deal, but why not have a little fun and not break the bank. I have the same mentality when it comes to purses, but that needs to be an entirely separate blog post.

I've linked my outfit and tried to link most of my decor, as well. As far as the shoes go, there are too many pairs to share, but if you have questions on a certain one, definitely ask!



Friday, July 26, 2019

Blue & White Stripe Bell Sleeve Dress








Dress | Shoes | Hat | Purse (similar style here) | Sunglasses | Necklace - on sale! EarringsGold Bangle | Pearl Cuff 

How is it already Friday?! After being gone for nearly a month, I got back to Houston on Monday, and have been going non-stop. Even though I was still working while I was visiting my family in Wisconsin, I came home with more on my plate than I anticipated. From countless packages (literally our entryway was strewn with them), to trying to get organized and back into the swing of things, this week seriously flew by. With {a lot} more travel on the horizon, I am trying to balance everything...and keep my head on straight.

Happily the weekend is here, and nothing has me more excited than this blue and white stripe bell sleeve dress from Jude Connally. It just screams refined comfort, doesn't it? The stripe dress also comes in a maxi style and a sleeveless version, which are perfect for summer. 

I know I've mentioned it before, but since I stumbled upon their store in Charleston in March, I have been addicted. Their pieces are on-trend, and great for someone on the go. Their signature material, Jude Cloth (which is what this dress is made out of),  is easy to wash, doesn't wrinkle, and has the perfect amount of give while still being fitted and flattering. The compliments you'll receive are endless. The price point is also great, and their pieces run TTS (I wear an XS in their clothing for reference). 

Whatever you're up to this weekend, I hope you have a great time! 

This post was brought to you by Jude Connally. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Ashley Nicole Style possible.


 

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