Fitness Friday 22

This month might look a little different than usual...but welcome back to Fitness Friday! Sure I haven't stepped in to a fitness studio or gym in over 2 weeks, but there have been no shortage of at-home workout options! I have recently posted on Instagram about what I did during the first week and some app and streaming options. But here is my schedule, as always, with the second half of it all done either on Instagram Live or streamed on the SweatNET site. This team got local Charlotte trainers together over the last two weeks and filmed 70 workouts for all to stream! They are even offering it for free for a month with code "STREAMFREE". I've definitely gotten by with just the 2 and 3 pound dumbbells and extension bands that I have in my apartment. Exercising has been a great distraction from all that has been going on, and I definitely plan on keeping this schedule for the 3 more weeks it is looking like Charlotte residents will be spending at home.

Week of 3/2-3/8
Kick boxing at RockBox (twice)
Cardio dance with 305 Fitness and SweatNET Charlotte
Megaformer pilates at SculptHouse
Barre at Flywheel Sports

Week of 3/9-3/15
Ballet Fit Theory at Fit Atelier
Reformer pilates at BK Pilates
PT exercises on my own
Blogilates on the FitOn app

Week of 3/16-3/22
The beginning of the all online workouts:
Jabs by Gina (twice) on Instagram Live
Barry's Bootcamp on Instagram Live
Ballet Fit Theory on Instagram Live
Club Pilates on SweatNET Charlotte streaming
BK Pilates on SweatNET Charlotte streaming

Week of 3/23-today
Ballet Fit Theory on Instagram Live
Jabs by Gina on Instagram Live
Flywheel Barre on SweatNET Charlotte streaming
Sculpthouse on Instagram Live

I honestly don't have much to add this month due to the fact that I've been avoiding grocery stores. So I guess I'll share my quarantine staples? I have been spending a little more time cooking rather than meal prepping all at once. I've kind of just been trying to resist the urge to bake a lot of sugary things. But unlike most of social media, I have not made any bread.
  • My go-to breakfast has been either oatmeal with peanut butter, blackberry chocolate collagen, and raspberries or  avocado toast with a poached egg and Everything But the Bagel seasoning.
  • I have been making a lot of smoothie bowls for lunch, pretty simple: frozen berries, almond milk, chocolate protein powder, and granola.
  • I stocked up the basics like on pasta and my favorite cauliflower gnocchi for dinners to have with chicken and pesto or a basic pasta sauce. But I also got a chocolate protein pancake mix that has been great with strawberries and maple syrup.
  • For snacks I also stocked up on oranges, dried apricots, chocolate covered chickpeas, and pretzel chips to have with a little mozzarella!


Thanks for reading!

Navy Eyelet Dress

Let's pretend I have put on makeup or some real clothing that's not leggings and a t-shirt or pajamas in the last 9 days. So...bringing all the vintage vibes with this look! I found this navy eyelet dress during the last Lilly Pulitzer sale in January, and it's a the top of my list of items I'm excited to wear post-quarantine. I more recently found this pair of vintage Ferragamo heels at a vintage store for only $25! I'm not sure how old they are, but they were in pretty great condition and looks like they had never been worn. I was so excited to find them, as I always look for Ferragamo shoes when I go vintage shopping. Also vintage in this outfit is the scarf tied around my bag (it is silk and I found it for only $10) and the earrings we're my mom's in the 80's. Vintage accessories are quickly becoming some of my favorites, and I've recently found a few more I'll be adding into some future outfit posts as well!

Thanks for reading!

Spring Wedding Guest and Easter Dresses from Small Businesses

As I mentioned in Monday's post, this is a pretty crazy time we are in. It still feels a little strange to be promoting products while some people are facing some financial hardships while being out of work. But it also seems like there is a crowd of people that are bored and are filling their time with online shopping, so if you happen to fall into that group, this post is for you! I also thought this post would be fun to put together as something to look forward to.  I'm trying to think positively, hoping that we will be somewhat back to normal for occasions like Easter and spring weddings. In an effort to highlight some small businesses, this is a roundup of spring dresses ideal for Easter and spring weddings, (plus some white ones for brides to be) but won't be linking any department store or national chains. It is really important to be supporting small businesses while many of them are closed. Local to Charlotte that I'll be supporting are Fit Atelier and SweatNET Charlotte. They both have online streaming options with all of the home workout options. Fit Atelier has their signature exclusive classes (with a free 2 week trial) and SweatNET is adding several new classes every day with code "STREAMFREE" for a free month!

Thanks for reading!

Red Toile Dress

Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

Puff sleeve toile dress c/o (use code "S1Caralina15" for 15% off) | J. Crew loafer mules | Brahmin bag | Pink Reef earrings c/o | Similar sunglasses

Trying to get back to some regularly scheduled programming around here...I had a post planned for last Thursday but didn't quite feel right publishing it considering everything going on in the world with the coronavirus. I shared some thoughts in an Instagram post over the weekend, and I mostly stayed home since Friday. But I figured I would get my content started back up as it seems like a lot of people are looking to blogs as a distraction. So here is an outfit that makes me happy, because despite the craziness, it is still the beginning of spring! The return of warm weather, and spending time outside, and wearing fun dresses. So here's hoping the social distancing, business closings, and cancellations are short lived and are the solution to life returning back to normal soon.

Thanks for reading!

T-Shirt Dress Season

I know I say this every year, but I wait all winter to be able to bring my t-shirt dresses back out! Especially when I find them in the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale in January, and they sit in my closet waiting for spring. This might be the third print I have bought in this exact style, although I've bought a few other styles in multiple prints as well. I just can't get enough of them! Year after year since I was in college, t-shirt dresses are my go-to for a comfortable but still put together look. It's no secret that Lilly Pulitzer has always been one of my favorite brands, and their variety of prints are styles makes it easy to start collecting fun dresses like this one. I think these dresses might become a new work favorite in my more casual office now as well!

Thanks for reading!

Luxury Activewear Brands: Pros, Cons, and Where to Find Them for Less

I recently got into a Twitter conversion about luxury activewear, and it inspired me to share some thoughts about some of the brands I have tried and liked. I only have a few pieces from each brand, but I've definitely put them to the test in plenty of workouts. So whether you have had your eye on any of these brands, or are looking to step up your activewear game here is a little about fit, functionality, and how to get the best sales!

Let's start with what is probably the best known brand, lululemon. Although they are typically associated with leggings, I actually have 3 jackets (the Define, a fleece hoodie, and a bomber type jacket from last year) and a crop top. Whenever I have tried their leggings on, they have been too long for me. I'm aware they do alterations, but I just feel like that is too much effort while there are so many other great leggings out there that fit right off the hanger. 
On to the products I own, I think the Define jacket is the perfect warmup layer. It is so functional with pockets and what they call "cuffins". Which are cuffs that can fold out over your hands, as it looks like this jacket was created with runners in mind. I wear it into the studio and for the beginning of most workouts I go to. I also really like the other jackets I have, they both have really great material and structure. The crop top I have (from this post) stays put in any workout and the material wicks sweat really well. The only negative things I've really heard about their products is the leggings not holding up. But they also have a lifetime guarantee and will replace them.
As for deals, the items I have from lulu have been given to me as Christmas or birthday gifts. So I have not personally had much luck finding any great markdowns. But they do occasionally have a "We Made Too Much" sale, and usually have an annual Black Friday sale as well. I wouldn't say they're groundbreaking discounts, but I've also seen a lot of pieces on secondhand sites and thrift stores.

Another better known brand is the Gap brand, Athleta. I wouldn't really consider them to be a luxury brand in comparison to others, but their pricing is pretty similar to lululemon. However, it is more often discounted. I have 2 pairs of leggings, a sports bra, and a tank from Athleta. I think they're all really nice quality and fit made with functional and durable material. The leggings usually have some functional pockets and the pairs I have had for awhile still feel brand new. They also have extended sizing, I love that they have an XXSP size for the shorties, but they go all the way up to 3x. As for affordability, they usually have a decent selection in the sale section. There is also sometimes offer an additional percentage off those markdowns, and storewide sales. I've found the pairs of leggings I have for around $40 each and the tank and sports bra came down to about $20 each. Plus if you're a fitness instructor, they have a program that gives you 30% off!

I feel like one is more of a brand you would see on Instagram than at your local gym, Outdoor Voices. I've listened to their origin story on a few podcasts, and they seem to have a really strong brand. I got the set in the above photo on a Black Friday sale the year before last for about 50% off. There is a chance I should have sized up, but I honestly have to say I don't love it. Although I really like their entire aesthetic, I think the seams on the colorblock leggings make them uncomfortable. I usually can't wear them for long before or after a workout. The "TechSweat" material as the name implies, is great for wicking sweat. But it has a very different feel from a fabric you would expect to see in an activewear piece. As for the crop top that went with it, it has a nice fit except for the elastic band around my ribs feels quite tight. I thought maybe both pieces needed to be washed and worn a few times and they would feel better, but they didn't change. I remember reading some reviews on Nordstrom (which they are no longer sold on) around when I first got the set, and the reviewers seemed to echo some of my thoughts. So I would say from the limited experience I have, I do not think the pieces I have from this brand would be worth the price. However, it does look like all that is left from when they were sold at Nordstrom is now marked way down on Nordstrom Rack.

You've seen this one on the blog a few times before, K Deer! I have worked with them twice now through an influencer agency, and the pieces from those collaborations (2 pairs of leggings, 1 sports bra, 1 tank) are always in my regular rotation. The material of the leggings and sports bra is a light spandex-feel that wicks sweat and has UPF protection. Their signature stripe styles also donate a percentage to different charities! The fit on the leggings is a really flattering high waist. These are my favorite for any workout I know will be extra sweaty, but they are also super comfortable to wear outside of a workout.   I also think they are worth a higher price, but they do have a sale section on the website and are sometimes available on Nordstrom Rack.

A brand I've become a little obsessed with in the last year or so is Koral. They are at my local favorite Fit Atelier where I have bought their probably most popular Lustrous Leggings and a more fun iridescent pair. Koral's pricing is a little bit lower than some others, and I think really nice quality. The lustrous leggings have a similar feel to what I mentioned above with K Deer, light and very functional. Their pieces are also very versatile to be worn outside of a workout. While I'm not a huge fan of dressing up my activewear....I typically like to pick one and either be dressed up, or be in activewear. But I once took these leggings from work, to a workout, and out to dinner. I also think black leggings are boring most of the time, but not these shiny ones! As for finding sales they are on Nordstrom Rack a lot of the larger sites with some markdowns (around $50) like Carbon38, Bandier, and department stores like Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.

Let's close out the post with my most recent acquisition, Ultracor. I had seen the brand here and there on Nordstrom but the Fit Atelier ladies really love some Ultracor. So I had to see if it lived up to the hype. Although I cannot bring myself to pay $198 for leggings, it definitely does! I found the pair I wore in this post on the SoulCycle (this was a collaboration style) Black Friday sale for $49. I basically could not believe my eyes when I saw them for that price. They just feel like no other leggings I have worn before, and they have some of the prettiest, unique designs. They are also lined in black, so they will never look see through when you're doing squats or any bending. I think they are definitely worth a higher price, but I will of course still look for a sale. They are on larger sites like Bandier and Carbon38 that have a sale section and site-wide sales. They are of course also on my local favorite Fit Atelier, that has fairly regular sales online. And while putting this post together, I also just found out they have some marked down styles on Zappos!

Thanks for reading!

7 Spring Transition Staples

It's about that time...you're sick of sweaters and boots, but aren't quite ready for spring dresses and sandals just yet. I've always found dressing for spring transition time to be a little annoying because I tend to just wear a lot of the same things for a few weeks. So I like to mix things up as much as I can with different layering, accessories, and shoes. I plan to break down exactly how I like to do that in another post, but today I thought I would share my most worn pieces that I tend to wear during these 50-60ish degree days, before the full spring wardrobe can make its way into rotation.

1. Trenchcoat

I've mentioned before that this might be the most worn outerwear piece for a southerner, as I wear mine through fall, a good bit of warmer winter days, and early spring. I've had the same one (pretty similar to this one) since 2016, it wasn't really much of an investment buy because I did not expect to be wearing it as much as I do! Although I also got this pink faux suede one this fall that I have gotten a lot of use out of as well.

2. Stripe tees

I think we all know how deep my love runs of stripe tees. I've probably owned 8 or 9 different ones in the last few years varying in color, sleeve and neckline details, even some with mixed stripes. Although I love to wear them through summer, I think they are most worn during both spring and fall. I have always thought they are so versatile and are easily my favorite basic wardrobe item. I prefer a 3/4 or long sleeve structured boatneck style. But there are plenty of great short sleeve options with different necklines out there as well.

3. Tissue turtlenecks

Similar to stripe tees, I can't get enough of the versatility these layering turtlenecks have. I did not start wearing these until this year, but I'm always coming up with new ideas for how to style these thin t-shirts. I recently posted this Instagram with a few different ways to style some of them, but my favorite way to wear them during this time is with jeans, ankle boots, and a scarf of some sort draped over the shoulders.

4. Medium wash denim

I think this kind of goes without saying, jeans are great. But I do start to wear my medium or lighter wash jeans over a darker wash during this time of year. And as I've mentioned a few times lately, the fit on Madewell denim has basically changed my life. Although I am linking just the styles I have really liked to wear, regardless of the wash. For sizing reference: I'm 5'2" and wear a size 23 in Madwell jeans that never need to be hemmed. My other favorite brands are AG and J Brand that I can usually only find in a 24.

5. White denim

Same as above, this doesn't exactly require much explanation. But I have never really been a "white denim in the winter" kinda girl. So I slowly work the white jeans back into rotation during this time of year. As much I love Madewell's blue denim, I have yet to try their white denim because I absolutely love this pair that James Jeans sent to me about 2 years ago.

6. Fun flats

My favorite way to break up a lot of the same pieces I wear during "not yet spring" time is trading boots for fun flats, like these backless loafers I have in 2 colors! I also have been really into fashion sneakers lately and have been wearing this ruffled pair and these classics to work a lot lately.

7. Scarves

This is more of a recent obsession, but silk scarves are another easy way to mix up wearing a lot of the same pieces. I also feel like this time of year is a last chance to wear them in some ways (like their main purpose: around your neck) before it gets too warm for them. I've also been searching vintage stores for new prints lately, and they have not disappointed!

Thanks for reading!