Posts tagged Clothing

The Brighter, The Better

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Looking back I fondly remember my grandma’s love for color and fashion. I remember receiving her hand-me-down shoes and jewelry for dress up and always hoped to have clothing just like hers when I grew up.  Unfortunately for me my grandma’s fashion sense never wore off on me, but I like to think that her love of bright colors did. In my teen years I always thought, “The brighter, the better,” when it came to anything…especially clothes. If you would take a look back at old family photos you’d find that at no point was I a fashionista.  If I liked it, I wore it, and didn’t care what others thought.  My sister’s style was more classic whereas my style was “me”. Somewhere along the line I got into my head that becoming an adult meant leaving the bright colors behind.

The chief function of color should be to serve expression Matisse #quote

(Here I go talking about transitions and change again….)

Like so many other things in my life, I find my realistic side overruling my fun side.  For instance, I’d love a pair of yellow heels but won’t buy them because a versatile pair of black flats would be more useful.  This has been my thinking for the better part of the 10 years. It only makes sense to have this thinking as I make every attempt to simplify my life and lessen my needs and wants.  It should be no surprise that this is just one more thing I feel at odds with given my past.  How can I be true to my feelings and self, but also be realistic and simple? I’m working on that. (just like everything else….)

Since my grandma’s passing I’ve found myself revisiting my love for color.  When I find myself at a crossroads of deciding between color over something realistic like black I’m leaning towards my old ways.  Case in point, my new car.  Sure the old Heidi would’ve chosen yellow in a heartbeat.  The new Heidi would’ve chosen something like black that wasn’t trendy.  With the push of DH and a flash of my grandma that entered my mind I went for the yellow.

2014 Chevrolet Spark

Or when I chose this “different” Swarovski ring over the other simpler ring of choice. Worth noting: I also inherited my love of Swarovski from her. She had quite the collection and I’m grateful to say I now have some of those pieces and hold them close to my heart.

Translucent Beetle Swarovski Ring

Or making a point to wear pieces of my grandma’s jewelry that I would’ve never thought to wear.

NY and Co Fashion

Or requesting and accepting DH to help with a little style change in my wardrobe.

NY and Co Fashion

All of this in turn is helping me step back into what was once my comfort zone.  An area that has seemed so off limits (in my head) for awhile now.  I’m not making these changes because I have to.  I want to.  There’s a reason why we go through transitions in life, and while I don’t want to bring back everything about the old Heidi, there’s nothing saying that I can’t revive some bits and pieces.  While I’m doing it for myself I can’t help but feel as though it’s also a way of honoring my grandma as well.

No, I don’t foresee myself ever becoming a fashionista.  But what I want is to accept myself for who I am. If I want those banana yellow heels why shouldn’t I allow myself to get them?  Is it too indulgent and wasteful?  If I get them and wear them with only 1 outfit, then maybe.  But if I get them and wear them with anything I please, not caring if “it goes together” or if I wore them just last week and someone may take notice, then why not?  And there’s no doubt in my mind that anytime I’d choose those banana yellow heels over the simple black flats I’ll be happier knowing that I’m staying true to myself and that my grandma will be smiling down from Heaven.

Now, I better start looking for some yellow shoes…

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

Help! I Need New Workout Clothes

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Over the past year I’ve added a few pieces of fit gear here and there.  Some of it I won from giveaways while others were to review.  The majority of it has been yoga based.  As I looked through my running clothes I realized it had been awhile since I had updated.  Some items no longer fit (yep, gained some weight) while others just look sad and mangy.  Like my fashion (or lack thereof) when I get set on something I like I buy in multiples and have some favorites.  When it comes to fit gear right support and fit are deal breakers.  As I took to the stores looking to replenish and update my gear I quickly realized it may be harder than I expect.  Let me do some explaining…

I’ll start with the easier problem, shorts.  For shorter runs I’m a Nike Tempo short wearer.  Anything longer than that I wear Road Runner Sports compression shorts to reduce thigh chafing. I’m leaning towards shorter runs these days so I’m wearing my Tempos more.  These are one of the items that have gotten tighter.  I figured I’d just go up a size but going up a size made me feel like I was wearing a diaper.  I need an in-between size.  So…..I guess I need to search out a new go-to short.

As for tanks, this is where things get a bit more complicated. If the subject of bras and boobs isn’t your thing, stop here. A little TMI but I’m honestly reaching out for help….

Running Thumbs Up

Keeping it real, my boobs can cause some major issues when it comes to running.  This is actually one of the things that kept me from attempting to run for so many years.  Due to fibrosis it’s imperative that those suckers don’t move an inch. Thankfully after some researching and real-life testing I found some bras that worked.

I love Nike Pro Bras.  Unfortunately for me they don’t provide enough support when it comes to wearing looser t-shirt tops or tanks without shelf bras.  That’s where my Moving Comfort bra comes into play.  It works perfectly for t-shirts but a no go for tanks without shelf bras as I have the overflow side boob chafing action.  Not cool.

To break it down:
Tank with shelf bra = Nike Pro Bra
T-shirt = Moving Comfort Bra
Tank without shelf bra = ??

Trail RunningEver tried running and taking photo at the same time?  Not easy.

So you may think, “What’s the big deal? Just wear t-shirts or find tanks with shelf bras and avoid tanks without shelf bras.”  If it were only that easy.  It seems that the concept of tanks with functional shelf bras aren’t the thing anymore.  Sure, some have them but they don’t help one bit. The tanks that I do find seem to fit me looser in the chest and tight around the waist.  As I already stated, although I consider myself pretty busty, I have a larger cup size but am smaller around.  Add that to my curvy hips.  I’m the exact opposite fit for the tanks. Are my proportion sizes wacky compared to normal people?

I’ve scoured Dick’s Sporting Goods, TJMaxx, Target, Road Runner Sports, Old Navy, Nike, Reebok, Under Armor and haven’t walked away with anything that works.  So this is my cry for help.  Do you have any of the same problems?  If so, do you have any “favorites” that I need to check out? Or, if you’re a brand that specializes in fit gear, help a sister out.  I would LOVE to see tanks with snug chest areas with longish, looser waists.  I can picture them in my head….Trust me when I say, my working out depends on this.  That or I’ll have to keep running in my old stinky gear.

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

Bright & Versatile #FitGear From @RRSports – Giveaway!

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It’s no secret that since moving to Phoenix I have fallen in love with Road Runner Sports.  From the Adventure Runs to their other fun in-store events what’s not to love? Their fitness apparel is pretty darn cool as well and I’ve found it to performed amazingly well.  However, they just upped the ante.  With the help of the Road Runner Sports Tempe store I was able to grab a quick sneak peak of some of the newly released or soon-to-be released items.  Wow!  Bright colors and versatility are the two things that stuck out to me.

For me, the brighter the better so I’m in love with all of the colors.

Silver Lining Tank

I’ve also taken note of a few differences in the overall style of the clothing.  Dare I say it’s more LuluLemon-esque?  Which leads me to my next point. What I mean when it comes to versatility is the ability to transition from sweat to street with ease.  Sure, the clothing is still active wear, but not all of it screams, “I’m a runner!”  It can be easily worn for other active lifestyles….or in my case, even work.

Case in point. I have fallen utterly in love with my Out & About Cardi.  I wear it a minimum of once a week and most often I wear it to work…in a business setting. Not only can I wear it to work but it can be worn 50 million (ok not really that many) ways.  In all seriousness, it can be worn in more ways than you can imagine. 

Having already connected with Road Runner Sports they reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in doing a giveaway.  After consulting my own personal standards on holding giveaways, I think it fits perfectly, so let’s do this!

Runner’s High Short Sleeve

What’s up for grabs?  This entire outfit below! Men, yes you can enter for the ladies in your life as well.  Even better?  Send them to this post to enter as well.

Stripe A Pose Tank

Free Form Capri Tight

To sweeten the deal Road Runner has also included my absolute fave piece in the giveaway….

Yes, the Out & About Cardi! – dog not included ;)

There you have it.  All 3 pieces of the outfit could be yours simply by entering.  Cool, right?

Here’s how to enter:

-Leave me a comment below.  With spring around the corner, what are you most looking forward to?

-For an additional entry, tweet about this giveaway and leave a separate comment here letting me know you did. Something along the lines of “WIN rad new #FitGear from @RRSports & @BananaBuzzbomb!!” or just click this to tweet.

This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST March 20th, 2013. The winners will be chosen at random using Random.org and notified by the following Monday. Sorry international friends, this giveaway is open to followers with US shipping addresses only.

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

Meet Ellie: Fitness Apparel Review

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I’m sure a week after last week’s post on having my blog be more personal you didn’t expect to see a review.  Alas, I have several posts that I promised to deliver and I don’t break a promise.  Not to mention, as I stated, I will continue to bring insight on products that I use and/or find helpful.  

It seems as though monthly subscriptions boxes of stuff are popping up everywhere.  I even did a review on NatureBox awhile back who offers healthy snack foods right to your door step.  It should come as no surprise that one that delivers fitness apparel would pop up at some point.  Enter Ellie.

Several months ago I was introduced to PV.Body through social media channels and blog posts about a company that delivers high quality apparel to your mailbox on a monthly basis for a set fee.  I was intrigued.  Lucky for me they contacted me wanting to know if I wanted to try their services at no charge to me.  I jumped at the chance. Who wouldn’t? I took their Style Profile Quiz which would help them choose my outfit and I patiently awaited the arrival of what I’d receive.

Soon after I received my bright pink package of two items that I loved I started reading some bad reports from fellow bloggers.  Their complaints ranged from ill-fitting items, lack of quality or high-end brands they expected, and bad customer service. A few days later I began hearing “rumors” of changes that were happening within PV.Body.  They were going to continue their service but under a different name and only provide their brand new, personal line of clothing.  Many felt they were bait switched by having signed up under a different premise only to have the rug pulled out from underneath them.  I didn’t want to pass judgement or jump to conclusions and wanted to await their formal announcement of what their actual plans were with the company.

Staying true to my promise of only presenting products I use and/or believe in, I spoke with my contact for PV.Body stating that I didn’t want to review their service based on the items I received because basically I’d be saying, ” Hey. Here’s PV.Body and this is the concept…but now it’s different…because the concept is different and this isn’t the product you’re going to get…you’re going to get their line of clothing.” Make sense?  They were 100% understanding and told me to sit tight.

I don’t know the ins and outs of all of the details or whether this was their plan all along but as things began to unfold my own personal opinion developed. What I do know is that what I was seeing was a newer company growing at an exponential rate.  Any company has growing pains, whether change in product or vision, but when it is thrust into motion at such a high speed it makes it that much more challenging. Most companies aren’t that well known yet for them to be noticed or criticized.  With its popularity it was that much more in the limelight and placed under a microscope.

A formal announcement was finally made about all of the rumors that were swirling.  Yes, it’s true PV.Body was now going to be known as Ellie and their monthly subscription would only include items from their yet-to-be released fitness apparel line.  They also provided a few more details. Here they are along with my thoughts are in italics:

-Every month, Ellie will launch a new collection of 16 tops and 8 bottoms. <- Different choices each month.

-Your choice of two pieces from that months Look Book for $49.95 per month. You can choose two tops, two bottoms or a top and a bottom and the price is always the same. <- You know what you’re getting.

-You have until the 7th of each month to select your own pieces. Otherwise, Ellie will select and ship an outfit (top and bottom) to you, depending on your selected style profile.

-Ellie offers free shipping on all orders, exchanged, and return to Fit Fashionista program members - If you are not satisfied with the quality of Ellie, you can ship it back for free both ways and you will receive another free piece from Ellie’s collection. <- Doesn’t fit or don’t like it?  Send it back.

-Ellie offers exclusive access to pieces available only to Fit Fasionista members. <- Want more of the pieces released this month?  You can buy them.

-You can still cancel your membership at any point in time. <-Not locked into a commitment.

More from the brand:

-Ellie created their own TruFit technogology. According to Ellie, “TruFit begins with the fabric. Each piece is pre-shrunk to make sure it never shrinks again. We guarantee that our clothing will fit the same the first time you try it and the 30th time you hit the gym. We carefully design very piece to make sure it fits you in all the right places.”

-The waistband on all bottoms will be the exact same. <- once you find out what size works for you, you’re golden.

-Every piece of every collection is washer and dryer-friendly.

-All products are manufactured in the USA. <- That puts the cherry on top.  Pretty rad.

Personally I think this is better than the PV.Body deal on so many levels.  Upon seeing the February Look Book and making my choice of 2 pieces I was pretty pumped for them to arrive.  When they arrived I immediately fell in love.  The Catch Me If You Can top was so buttery soft.

I was nervous when it came to choosing the Electric Love Capris.  I love bright colors but didn’t know if they’d be too bright or make me feel uncomfortable.  I’m glad I took the chance because they are the perfect fit and beyond comfortable.

I loved both the look and feel of the pieces so much that I actually felt inspired to go for a run.  Seriously.  And they performed beautifully.

Final thoughts: I know people lost a lot of faith in the PV.Body/Ellie with all that’s gone down in the past month.  Fingers crossed that they’ve pulled it together or can do so really fast, because I think they have a great concept and product.  I can’t wait to see what this months choice brings.

Interested in trying out some of their stuff?  Click to receive 20% off coupon off of your first order and feel free to pass along to any friends that may be interested.

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

Is Columbia Omni-FreezeZERO Legit?

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Watch on to see my review of Columbia Sportswear’s Omni-FreezeZERO. Have you entered my giveaway yet?

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

I Have a Confession

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Am I really a woman?? ;)

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

Running In Cotton?!

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For those that follow me on other social media platforms (if you’re not, why aren’t you?! ;)) you know that I had an accident yesterday that gouged my leg open, requiring sutures. I’m okay and will post more about this Friday.

I’ve covered several topics already in getting the fun back in my run by getting back to basics. I’ve already covered mixing it up by registering for a fun race, claiming I am a runner, and even how I chose my running shoes.  Next up: What to wear.

Want to know what I wore my first time out?  Plain cotton t-shirt, cotton “cheerleading” shorts, cotton socks, and 2, yes 2, sports bras.

Was I wrong in my choices?  Not necessarily, but I could’ve been smarter with my choices.

Here’s the deal, there are fantastic fitness clothes out there. You’ll want them, but do you NEED them?  Honestly?  Nah.  Personally I couldn’t imagine going back to running in cotton, but really, just to start out, you don’t need anything special.  Look at me!  I started out in cotton and survived.

I ran this race in cotton due to weather and survived

Now, with that being said purchasing some fun, new workout clothes could be just the thing that gets you out the door.  And it’s not a bad idea to invest in some clothing that wicks away the sweat. Your next question may be, “What shorts should I get? What about shirts?”  Really, what it comes down to is personal preference.  I went through several styles of shorts, tanks, socks, and bras before I found “the ones” And this is still changing as time goes on.  Much of it is trial and error of how the articles of clothing feel and fit on you.

Something I can recommend is to hit up the clearance racks or stores such as TJ Maxx or Marshalls.  They carry name brands at reduced prices and you may just happen to find a new favorite there.  Another idea, check out Target.  As you can see from my favorites their stuff fits the bill quite often for me.

What it comes down to is this: you don’t have to wear special clothes to run or break the bank if you do so.  Don’t let this be something that keeps you from running.

Experienced runners: Do you tend to stick with articles of clothing repeatedly and known to buy in multiples?  I am guilty of this whether in my street clothes or workout gear.  I’ve started to step outside of my comfort zone and try new things lately such as my new Nike capris, running commando, and even trying out a new Columbia shirt.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised that I now have some new favorites!

 Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

Vegans And Wool

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Wool’s not vegan?? That is correct.  Some will say, “But you don’t have to kill an animal to acquire wool. How is it not vegan?”  Yes, this is true, but it goes deeper than that.

You can make an argument that sheep grow wool and need to be sheared anyway, so we might as well use the byproduct.  I’m not going to say that’s wrong and I am all for using the resources that are provided.  Unfortunately it’s not as simple as that.

Without humans sheep would grow just enough wool to protect them from the elements.  However, over time sheep have been bred to have more wrinkles which means more wool.  More wrinkles leads to more perspiration which can lead to skin infections from fly strike and even maggot infestation.  Of course farmers try to prevent this by mulesing.  That procedure alone is grotesque. Growing more wool also means more body weight and dealing with discomfort through the hot summer months. It’s no surprise that sheep can suffer from heat exhaustion.  On the flip side, when sheep are sheared, many die from the shock of the cold.

When it comes to the actual act of shearing it doesn’t get any better.  You think you’ve given yourself some serious razor burn?  When a shearer is paid not by hour but by the pounds of wool they shear imagine the razor burns and gouging that occurs.  It can’t be pretty.

I could go much deeper into how sheep are castrated, housed, and exported, but for my reasoning, there’s no need to even go there.

I have chosen to take the stance that I’ve taken with honey.  Sheeps grow wool for their own needs so it’s not right for humans take away the wool, especially since we’re exploiting them by genetically modifying their bodies to fit our needs.

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

Functionality > Fashion

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Recently many of blogs I read have been doing “fashion” posts.  Photos of what they’re wearing and brands that they like.  With the dawn of Pinterest no one is at a loss of ideas for fashion.  Several fellow FitFluential Ambassadors have even started a new series called Sunday Sweat To Street.  What a great idea!  Be sure to check out Charlotte, Emily, Samantha, Erika, and Tenecia’s blogs.

I’d love to join in this trend; alas fashion is not my forte.  I don’t post what I’m wearing because to be quite honest, I wear the same things day in and day out. After someone reads this I have a feeling they’re going to turn me in as a submission for the show What Not To Wear.  Oh boy.  I guess I am putting myself out there.

My wardrobe consists of: workout/running/gym clothes, zip-up hoodies, graphic t-shirts, and jeans.

Weekdays you’ll find me wearing one of my race t-shirts, a long sleeve Nike t-shirt over that (or another long sleeve race t-shirt), Adidas shorts/jeans, and a pair of my retired Mizuno running shoes. Remember, I’m a custodian.  I get dirty and sweat, hence my wardrobe.

Weekends, chances are you’ll find me wearing some sort of graphic t-shirt or sweater (with long sleeved t-shirt underneath) with jeans and my Toms shoes or Chucks in the winter.  Come summer I have every color of “wife beater” tank available and I still sport my capris from a few years ago.  I despise short shorts.  My body was not designed for them. I’ve also taken to flowing sundresses.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you see a trend here?

                               

                                              

I do not go anywhere without a zip-up hoodie. Period. I have multiples and I rotate them out.  I’m always too hot or too cold so carrying one is a must. I guess I could go with something more fashionable.

I have very few dress clothes.  The only reason I ever dress up is for weddings and since these are usually for family members I can’t repeat the same outfit.  In addition my weight fluctuates so much that chances are my outfit won’t fit the same anyway.  We live in medium-sized town and don’t do fancy dates nights nor do I go out to have drinks with friends which means dress clothes aren’t needed.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE special occasions and to get all dressed up, but I want a good reason to fork over the money for an outfit I’ll wear once.

Yes, I’ve sported my Chucks with a dress before

I buy in multiples and if I find something that works I go back and buy several…one in each color.  This sweater: I also have it in purple.

Although not entirely loyal to a single brand for all of my clothing, I am loyal to specific brands for specific articles of clothing.  As with above, when I find something that works I stick with it.  Not only do I stick with the same brand, but the exact same style too. Chantelle T-Shirt Bra, Nike Pro-Fit Sports Bra, Jockey Naturals Underwear, Gap Curvy Flare Jeans, Old Navy Bootcut Diva Jeans, Mizuno Wave Rider Shoes, Nike Tempo Shorts, Adidas Astro Pants, Nike Thermal Pro-Fit Top, Target C9 1/4 zip polar fleece pullovers, Target C9 running skirts, Columbia gloves/baselayer/jacket. You get the idea. Some of these I already spoke about in my Favorites.

Many Phases Of Mizuno – I’m on my 5th pair of Mizuno Wave Riders

My mind is constantly in motion and never shuts down…ever.  I’m constantly (over) analyzing every little detail, so the easier I can make it for myself, from food to clothing, the better.  This is a huge reason I left my previous profession for my current less mentally demanding position.  By doing so this let’s me focus on the details in my life that REALLY matter.

I’ll be honest, there’s a piece of me that would love to be a fashionista.  I’d love to go to the Oscars, wearing a rocking dress, or live some glamorous life that calls for fashion to be important.  But that’s not the life I live.

It’s not that I don’t have fashion sense.  On the contrary, not only do I have it but I can appreciate it too.  You may think, “You need to step out of your comfort zone.”  That has nothing to do with it. I have always been known for wearing “loud” ensembles.  I love color, mixing things up, and still do it randomly to this day (remember my virtual Sparkle Run getup?), so that’s not it either.  And although I may be locked in on a certain brand or style right now, it doesn’t mean I won’t try something new.  I love trying new things…but they have to work for me.

What it comes down to is I just base my fashion on functionality.  In recent years I’ve scaled back on my material items and have tried to include clothing in on that.  I will admit I still have a decent amount of clothing, but I have functional clothing that I can wear from day-to-day. Considering the majority of my life revolves around swimming, biking, running, working out, or work…that’s what my wardrobe consists of.  If I can find articles of clothing/brands that are versatile enough to go from workout to street clothing, I’m all for it!

So are you going to turn me in to the fashion police?

What article(s) of clothing can’t you live without?

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

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