Monday, October 20, 2014

How I Lost My Postpartum Weight In 8 Weeks

So, if you are curious on how to lose your stubborn weight, this blog post will help you, but I'm warning you, it's not an easy way out..there's no pills, shakes, weird diet plans. It took me hard work, self-control, and accountability.

This was me 8 weeks ago on the left and today on the right! 12 lbs. and TONS of inches lost!

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These pictures are super embarrassing! But, they definitely show how much weight I lost!

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I still have about 7 lbs until I am at my pre-pregnancy weight, but I am able to fit into all my pre-pregnancy clothes again!

I have some friends who did the same thing as I did and lost 20+ lbs. Just depends on how hard you want it! I will admit, I didn't try as hard as I could, but I still got GREAT results. Ok, so here's what I did to lose 12 lbs. in 8 weeks.

Every day I followed this checklist:
___Contact with accountability partner
___Drink 64 oz water
___No food after 9 pm
___1/2 cup fresh or frozen fruit
___2 cups veggies (or 3 cups leafy greens)
___MyFitnessPal food journal
___No sweets
___45 minutes exercise

This is all from the 8-week FIT challenge a friend of mine made on Facebook. If you are interested, the next challenge starts after the Holidays. If you give me your email, I will add you when the next challenge starts! In the group, we have teammates that you contact daily to share your successes or struggles with.

The first thing I did to prepare for the challenge was went to Wal-Mart and bought a big insulated cup so I could keep my water cold to drink all day. I struggled the most with drinking 64 oz. of water every day (exercising helps to get more water in though!) Also, I bought Organic Spinach, frozen sliced strawberries, and bananas for my daily breakfast green smoothie. It tastes AMAZING! I just put 2 handfuls of spinach, 6 oz of water, blend, then add a big handful of frozen strawberries, and one banana, and blend until it's all mixed well. That was the easiest way to make sure I got my veggies/fruit in everyday. One tip my mom taught me, was to make a big salad on Sunday night and eat on it all week! I love salads! I put spinach, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and some red onion in my salad. I have it pre-made, so for lunch I just throw some of that salad in a low-carb wrap, add some chicken and some ranch, Ta-da! Quick, low-calorie lunch! I also like Boca chicken patties! They are high in protein, and taste great on those thin sandwich buns with a little mayo!

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Also, I kept track of every thing I ate with the MyFitnessPal app. It's a great tool to show you the nutritional value of your food! The next hardest thing for me was the "no sweets!" I never noticed how much sugar I ate! I used to eat granola bars, yogurt, or some other sugar filled item for breakfast, no wonder I couldn't lose weight! I cut out sugary snacks, desserts, sodas (diet or regular), pretty much anything that you could sit down and indulge a bowl of! This didn't count bread, crackers, or similar items that aren't considered "desserts." That was a big boost in my weight loss! There is ONE cheat day a week, where you can eat sugary items. :) I learned to replace my sugar crave with an apple or some almonds.

The last, and most important key to losing weight is exercise! I started this challenge at 9 weeks postpartum, and I hadn't done any exercising since I had my son. So needless to say, I was out of shape! I started walking a mile 4-5 times a week, pushing my son in the stroller. Then I slowly increased my walking time, and started jogging closer to the end of the 8 weeks! I can now walk/jog 3 miles like nothing! :) I learned to love walking, it's a great way to relieve stress as well! I also use the Nike+ running app to keep track of how far I walk/jog.

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It's all things I already knew I needed to do, but when I had a checklist to do every day, it helped me get it done! I feel SO much better about myself now that I lost 12 lbs. and plan on keep going and following this checklist! Being fit is hard, but so is being fat! Pick your HARD!

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Remember ladies, your body is a temple, it's not yours, you are bought with a price! (I Corinthians 6:20) Just as you believe it's wrong to smoke, drink, do drugs because they destroy your temple, eating JUNK is just as wrong! God only gives us ONE body to serve Him with. The better you take care of it, the better you can serve him! I hope this post encourages someone to get fit! I promise you, you will feel so much better physically, emotionally, mentally, and you will look better in and out ;) of your clothes!

Now, here's the week of my outfits!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall Color Combo Series Week 6

I am so excited for this guest post! Pong is a beautiful stay-at-home Mom of four little cuties! She is a huge inspiration to me and many other ladies, that it is possible to be put together even when you are a Mom!

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Hello again ladies!! I feel so honored to be doing another blog for the fall color series for our lovely Lauren!!

Fall is one of my favorite seasons! I love the changing of leaves, cooler weather and all the fun fall activities that I get to do with my family and of course the fun fall styles I get to wear! One style in particular that I love to wear in fall are boots, and boots in Michigan are a MUST because of all the snow we get in the winter! ❄️

Today I wanted to share some of my different fall looks in different style boots. If you don't own a pair, it is a wise investment to get a pair. A very popular style boot which I would recommend for everyone wanting to try to start wearing boots are riding boots. These boots typically fall a few inches below the knee and have a flat heel. They can be pricey, but I bought mine on sale on Black Friday for 50% off and they are a great investment. These look great with maxis, pencil skirts and a-line skirts or dresses. Many ladies have asked about wearing maxis with boots, and riding boots work so good with this particular skirt.
Here is my maxi skirt with my riding boots:

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Another great boot to have are some pull on boots! And they do just that, they are so simple to wear, you literally just pull them on! They do not have a zipper like the riding boots, I have big calves, I know, I'm so sad about it! :( So, for me these are tricky to find. The top part of the boot, should be loose enough to pull up without your calves feeling like they are suffocating or you getting calf rolls! (lol) I looked around for a few months before I found the perfect pair for me at Yonkers and got them for 40% off! I literally wear these all the time, they look great with jean skirts, pencil skirts and dresses as well.
Here are my outfits with my pull on boots:

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My last boot is the ankle boot, this boot is really just your preference in taste! Some ladies love the look and some don't. I personally didn't know if I would like them or look good in them, so what I did was buy them used. I got my ankle boots for $3 and figured if they didn't work on me, it was ok because they were cheap. But I personally love the look, they can be worn for a dressier look and I'm short, so I love the extra height it adds on my short frame :) They look great with pencil skirts, a-line skirts, dresses and pencil jean skirts.
Here is my outfit with my ankle boots:

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Another fun thing about boots is you can accessorize them with cute leg warmers. They can be pricey, so I wanted to share how I made these easy leg warmers out of an old sweater I got for $3.99 at Goodwill!

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1. Cut a straight line and cut sleeves off of sweater

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2. Take a button, these ones I got at Hobby Lobby for 40% off with a coupon, I love coupons and saving money! I'm Baptist, what can I say! (lol) Sew the buttons onto one side of the sleeve, repeat on the other sleeve with other button.

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3. Sew ribbon on the end of the sweater you cut off to keep from fraying! Let me be honest, I didn't since I was too lazy lol but if you ladies wanted too you can :) and viola you have cheap easy leg warmers!

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Hope all you ladies have a wonderful day getting your boots out and making some leg warmers!!! :)

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Yay! Oh my gosh, I LOVED those DIY leg warmers! Definitely going to try that! Hope you ladies enjoyed the Fall Color Combo Series! God Bless! ♥

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

How to Have a Remixable Wardrobe

I have had so many ladies ask me what are some essential pieces needed to have a great, remixable wardrobe. I hope this post will help you ladies know what are some staple pieces that you need! (in my opinion!) Disclaimer, you may not agree with me on all the essential pieces I choose, but I feel like I have a VERY remixable closet, since I try to never wear the same thing twice, (but life happens & sometimes I do) but I don't buy new things very often! :)

What is a remixable wardrobe?

A remixable wardrobe means you can mix-and-match your current clothes and create many different outfits. Not just having one piece that goes with another specific piece. Back before I started Modern Modesty, I was not so great at mixing and matching. I was very one-track minded with outfits and repeated the same ones a lot. When I starting studying my closet and doing a lot of fashion challenges, I learned to make so many different outfits with my current pieces. So, here are some things I've learned on my journey.

Build your wardrobe with pieces that are versatile.

Skirts

For example, this floral pencil skirt is adorable, but unless it was very cheap ($10 or less)..I would pass on it, because it is not a very versatile piece. There might be 2 or 3 different ways you could wear it, but it's a bold memorable piece, so you couldn't wear it very often anyways.

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But instead, a more versatile piece would be a solid, classic pencil, like below. You could literally wear this skirt with a thousand different colored/patterned tops, cardigans, blazers, etc.

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I have over 75 skirts..but I probably on a regular basis wear about 10-15 of them. The ones I wear the most are my remixable pieces, because I am constantly thinking of ways to stretch my closet. Of course, the remixable pieces get used the most, because they go with so many different colors and patterns!

Here are my most worn and remixable skirts. I think every woman needs a black, navy, gray, and an assortment of other colored skirts to have a remixable wardrobe.

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Also, some great classic printed skirts are great assets to have in a remixable wardrobe. These are a few of my classic prints I wear a lot.

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Tops

I think tops (cardigans, blouses, sweaters, blazers, etc.) are easier and cheaper to buy in your trendier prints, colors, and patterns. I usually buy a shirt if I can think of 3-4 different ways to wear it, and it's below $15. I will spend up to $20 on a solid or classic printed cardigan, because I know I will wear it hundreds of different ways.

So the moral is, buy items that you can create TONS of other outfits with. Think solids and classic prints. Classic prints would be polka dots, stripes, leopard, and houndstooth.

Learn where to find versatile pieces.

I just did a blog post on this last week. Look at the above list of solid and classic patterned skirts, and decide what you need to have a more remixable closet, then, make a list and shop only for those items! Now, remember, you aren't going to find all these skirts in one shopping trip, it might takes months or years to re-build your wardrobe. I suggest to ALWAYS look at thrift stores or consignment shops first. In those two pictures of my remixable skirts, 5 out of the 11 came from JCPenney. Their Worthington brand skirts fit me perfectly, and they go on sale a lot!

Learn how to remix your pieces once you have them.

One thing I always do is search on Pinterest for outfit ideas with a specific piece, for example, if I wanted to know what outfits I could make with a pink cardigan, I would search "pink cardigan outfits" on Pinterest and then my imagination goes wild!

I could do this with tons of different pieces, but since I don't have all day...(and I have a baby that I'm playing with as I write this)...I'll just show you some different ways I've remixed my hot pink cardigan.

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There's just SOME of the ways I've worn my pink cardigan!:)

I hope that helped! If you have any more questions, just comment...I'd be glad to help!

Today, I was a leopard lover for the #modmodfallchallenge, and I wore one of my all-time favorite dresses! I haven't gotten to wear this since before I was pregnant, so I've missed it! :)

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Now on to my week of outfits! We had a great week of the #modmodfallchallenge! I love how many ladies are participating!

Here's my Pinned it & Did it outfit!

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My Belt-it Outfit

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My Thrifty Thursday Outfit

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My Pattern-Mixing Outfit

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Stay tuned for Wednesday, when Pong writes the last blog post for the Fall Color Combo Series!
God Bless ♥

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fall Color Combo Series Week 5

Your guest writer today is my dear friend, Tara! :) Tara and I went to college together and even worked together after classes at Americall. (Telemarketing company) We have a lot of fun together, but one thing I love about Tara besides her handwriting ;) (seriously, it's the best) is her creative, fun personality. Her personality definitely shows through her clothes!

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Hello, Ladies! First off I want to thank, Lauren for letting me share my thoughts and ideas on outfit planning on her blog. It's been over a year since I first joined MM, and it has been so much fun to watch it grow! There are so many of you that I feel like are my friends, yet we've never met.

I am a newlywed that lives just South of Dallas in the little town of Red Oak, Texas. I was raised in NorthWest Indiana. I went to Hyles Anderson College where I met Lauren. We were neighbors one summer, and we worked Americall together. Yes, I was a telelmarketer for 6 years. Don't hate; it paid my college bill. After college I moved to Saginaw, Michigan to teach, and after a year and a half I moved to Tampa, Florida to teach. I met my hubs there. My husband and I run the bus ministry and Jr. Church at my church. I certainly love serving the Lord!!

Let me start the fashion part of this blog post by ​saying that I am plus size. The most important thing a plus size girl can wear is Spanx or something similar. This picture took a lot of guts to post on the world wide web for everyone to see, but it's important! On the left is me as free as a bird, and on the right is with my Spanx on. I'm not sucking in or standing at an angle that hopefully takes 15 pounds off me. The proper underagarments just matter so much!! Do I always wear mine? Nope. Should I? Most definitely!!

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I love to sew. I don't consider myself good at in the least. If my garment looks okay from the outside; don't you dare look on the inside. I mean who sees the inside of your seams anyway?? ;)
My favorite alteration is making skirts from pants. This black skirt used to be pants. I don't have a pattern. I just pin pieces and top stitch. It's so easy!! You can watch a You Tube tutorial if you don't know how to do it.

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If you went to a Christian college; you more than likely had a "dress check skirt" for that moment you went running back to your room to change in 15 seconds. It was probably a solid color and huge in all directions and one that couldn't be tear stained from embarrassment as you walked into class or Chapel late. You know all those people were looking at you like, "Yep, she failed dress check." So glad college is over!! I took my dress check skirt and made it into a pencil skirt. It's a bit tight at the waist, but I think I can take the top seam out and it will be fine. I took out nearly 10 inches of fabric by the knees and bottom!!! I also shortened it. This took maybe 5 minutes. I used one of my existing skirts for a pattern and drew on the skirt I was altering with a pen. I'm keeping it real with the wrinkles.

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Another quick alteration is with scarves, I've found some great scarves at the Dollar Tree (my favorite store)! The only bad part was the length. If I wrapped one around my neck; I could totally pull off the Frosty the Snowman look. That's not the exact look I'm going for. When I bought this scarf I bought a white with blue stars and a blue with white stars; I didn't want to sew them because I mixed the prints. All I did was safety pin two together, and WaLa a big, nice scarf. If you can't sew; I know you can use a safety pin! The pins are very easy to hide in the folds of the scarf.

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Another quick alteration is this skirt. It was a maxi dress that was too short. I'm 5 foot 10, so you tall ladies feel my pain. The top of the dress was two triangles. Um, my girls are way to big to be under a little triangle of fabric. I cut off the top just above the waistband, and added a dart. I now had a maxi skirt that touches the floor. WooHoo!

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When I was getting ready for this blog post I pulled out everything I thought I could use. I have a California King bed, and it was overflowing!! You never know when inspiration will strike!! I had a little Michael Buble playing and my Pinterest app open. :) My husband was thrilled to find the bed like this when he came home from a long day of work... Totally thrilled I tell ya!! ;)

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My favorite place to find fashion inspiration is Pinterest, duh!! I am an addict, completely and thouroughly, an absolute addict. Here are three of my Pinspired outfits.

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This green skirt pictured below was a skirt I made from pants. It is my absolute favorite piece in my wardrobe!!

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Don't feel captive to find the exact outfit from Pinterest in your closet. I took the same brown tank/mustard cardigan mix and paired it with more skirts here. All of these options go. Don't be afraid to go outside of the box!!

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My favorite thing about fall is layering!! I love to layer button ups under sweaters. This is a great way to pattern mix too! Here's my take on layering. The picture on the left is pink scarf on top of the vest!
The purple vest came attached with white Oxford style sleeves and collar. I cut them out to make a much more versatile piece.
The day coloring blocking goes out of style will be the worst day of my life... :'(

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Another favorite outfit inspiration of mine is to pull one of my scarves of many colors and make an outfit out of it. I've worn the scarf below (far right) with so many different outfits!! This is my favorite green skirt, a burnt orange tank, and a brown shrug. You can pull yellow and navy from the scarf too. I never pay more than $5 a scarf. I buy most of mine from Charlotte Russe.

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I hope I've helped you all a little bit!! My nerves are on edge putting this blog post out there. Thank you to each lady that is nervous to post, but does it anyways. You are an inspiration to me!! Thank you for your positivity! I've been overwhelmed by the love and support you ladies have shown your Admins that past few days!! It is so sweet of you!! Best of luck on winning this weeks giveaway!!!

Much Love,
Tara Sumner Pruett

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Yay! I love that Tara talked about Spanx! I am a big believer in proper undergarments as well! They can instantly take off 15 lbs! :) Hope you enjoyed! Next week come back and see Pong's favorite fall combos!

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

How to be Fashionable & Frugal

A lot of women have the mind set that they can't dress nice, because they aren't rich. Well, I have news for you honey..that's not true at ALL. My husband and I are both Christian School teachers...let's just say we are definitely not rolling in the dough. The average public school teacher makes $47,855 in Florida, my husband and I together don't even make close to that! (Not complaining, just trying to paint a picture of our finances!) Believe me, we are NOT in this profession for the money, we just love serving God. But, with that being said, I don't ever want to look as broke as I am! :)

I know the rut women fall into after having kids and getting comfortable in their marriage. They stop trying to fix themselves up, because they don't want to be selfish. I promise you, that is a bad decision to make. Don't let yourself go, and blame it on being a mom. There are MANY moms that are still fashionable, in shape, and not rich. Don't make excuses for yourself. You just have to have a game plan! I know this might hurt to hear, but I love you, and I'm trying to help some of you! Your husbands and kids will appreciate you taking care of yourself! In two weeks, I'm going to share with you the secret of losing weight. Hopefully that will also help some ladies struggling with this area.

The key to having a great wardrobe for a small price is knowing where to shop and what to shop for. Here's some tips to help you become fashionable & frugal:

1. Know what you need before you go shopping. Unless you have the money to blow, don't just wander around "shopping." If you want to be frugal, you only need to shop when you need something. Next week, I will do a post on essential items you should have in your closet. When I'm shopping I'm always looking for specific items. If I don't find that item, I don't just buy other random things, I leave and try again another day.

2. Go to the thrift stores first. Before you head to the mall, always look at Goodwill or a consignment shop first! I find SO many essential pieces from Goodwill. You can't beat their prices. But, you need to know what you're looking for at thrift stores or you can come out looking frumpy and not classy.

3. Invest in classic pieces. I wrote a blog post on it last year, and it gives you tips on what to buy when you're out shopping. For example, I wear my navy skirt at least once or twice every 2 weeks. A navy skirt is an investment, because I will wear it A LOT. So to me, $20 for a classic, navy skirt is worth it. (If you can't find one thrifted!) I get MOST of my pencil skirts from JCPenney.

4. Buy cheap trendy jewelry & accessories. Right now the big craze is a plaid blanket scarf from Zara, it's $69...Ha. I wouldn't spend $70 on a scarf if my life depended on it, especially on a trendy piece like that! But, I would buy a replica one from eBay for $12.99! :) You just have to shop smart. I bought 2 statement necklaces from Charlotte Russe yesterday for $10! I won't spend that much on trendy statement necklaces, because they go out of style so quick! You can also find cheap, classic jewelry online, like these gorgeous cubic zirconia studs for $6.

5. Buy remixable pieces I don't buy a skirt or shirt, unless I can think of at least 3 or 4 different outfits I can wear with it off the top of my head. That's why I tend to buy solids or stripes a lot! :)

There's nothing wrong with being stylish & modern along with our modest outfits. You will draw more people to Christ if you look classy and fashionable. No one wants to come to your church if they are trendy and everyone in the church is frumpy looking! That is a big turn-off to the world! As long as we are modest, I don't see why you wouldn't want to be fashionable too!

With this post being about being frugal and fashionable, I decided to wear an outfit completely from Goodwill!

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I found this peplum top at Goodwill yesterday, and I got this black skirt at Goodwill last year, and my nude heels I found at Goodwill two years ago!

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Tomorrow's challenge is Mani Monday, so if you're following the challenge, get ready to show off your nails!! Here's some inspiration.

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Here's some of my outfits from the past week challenges! (Bright color combo, make a statement, favorite handbag)

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Stay tuned for Wednesday, when my dear friend Tara shares her fall color combo series post!


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