Nordstrom September Pop-In

Nordstrom has a pretty cool Pop-In shop for September that features “eco-friendly, up cycled, artisanal and community-focused goods.”

Some of my favorites:

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FEED tote ($480) and cross-body bag ($295).


ECOALF small cosmetics bag ($69).


Proof wood sunglasses ($110).


black + blum charcoal filter water carafe ($55). This would make a really terrific wedding or splurge-y hostess gift.

Spring 2015 Color Palette

I don’t really follow New York fashion week, but I did see a mid-week blurb announcing Pantone’s top colors for spring 2015.

If you’re not familiar, this is ground zero for fashion forecasting. Hot colors for fall 2014 were predicted to be cobalt blue, burgundy, and olive, among others, and I’ve definitely seen these on the racks and online.

In doubt? Check out the two new colors of Tieks that just debuted:

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 That’s the Gospel According to Pantone in action.

 Spring 2015 colors include:

  • Aquamarine: Sea and sky blue (Personal favorite)
  • Scuba Blue: A vibrant, deep turquiose blue (Another favorite)
  • Lucite Green: Soft mint
  • Classic Blue
  • Toasted Almond
  • Strawberry Ice: Soft pink
  • Tangerine
  • Custard: Soft yellow/cream
  • Marsala: Wine
  • Glacier Gray

Most of these are cool tones. See samples here.

I am most excited about Scuba Blue, which reminds me of the color of my favorite C&C California shirt ever, although there it was called “Steve.”

I wore that Steve shirt until it disintegrated, so pretty was the shade of blue and so soft was the cotton. This is one time I wish I was a hoarder and would have had the foresight to stock up on those shirts.

Here’s Scuba Blue:




Staying Motivated

Today is Day #18 of my 100 Day Self-Improvement Challenge and I am happy to report that it’s going really well, even better than I expected.

I haven’t been 100% compliant with all of my daily goals (missed maybe 3 total things over the time thus far), but the goal has always been improvement, not perfection.

Even in this short amount of time, I have noticed many positive changes such as:

  • Better sleep
  • More definition in my arms (thank you, push ups)
  • Recalibration of my food intake (truly humbling experience to document – honestly! – my dietary choices)
  • Better food choices (eat this, not that)
  • Genuine happiness via daily connections with different friends

Potential negatives:

  • Occasional enthusiastic proselytizing 
  • Lack of sufficient rest time to recover from exercising. I didn’t adequately calculate for days off in my plan.

Since I’ll be a quarter finished by the end of next week, I also thought it would be prudent to think now about strategies for staying motivated until the end.

Some tips I gathered in my research about ongoing motivation:

  1. Set a concrete goal and work toward it. It could take the form of a specific date or an event, like a race you sign up to complete or a vacation you plan to take. A great example would be getting in shape for a trip in October to hike the Grand Canyon. This would be a date and an event.
  2. Make a commitment. Specifically, a financial one. I am so, so nervous about the marathon I am running in a few weeks, but I went forward with gusto and booked a non-refundable suite at my favorite hotel during race weekend for some pre- and post-race R&R. I can’t let that opportunity go to waste.
  3. Tell people. Openly committing to something gets others excited for you. Having people ask about your progress provides external accountability.
  4. Think about the WOW factor. This could take the form of visualizing how great it would feel to see the Grand Canyon from top to bottom when you reach your goal or perhaps the feeling you’d get if friends who haven’t seen you in a while would be awed by your physical transformation through weight loss and/or exercise. Or how wowed you would be to slide right into smaller jeans in the dressing room.
  5. Build on the power of momentum. Bodies in motion tend to stay in motion. Capitalize on your successes so far. I also find on days that I don’t feel like exercising, I tell myself that I’ll just do 20 minutes. It almost unfailingly turns into double that or more. Showing up is half the battle.
  6. Consider everything an experience builder. Not all workouts are going to be great. Not everything you try will stick. Consider everything an experiment to gain experience, and the more you try, the more you will learn.
  7. Reward yourself. Use smaller awards along the way and a bigger one when you reach a major goal or milestone. The goal itself may be the reward, like a vacation.
  8. Spread the energy! I half-jokingly said that I am prone to compulsive proselytizing these days, but talking about the project ends up motivating ME and keeps my momentum tank full.
  9. Make it fun. My friend S. is an ultra-marathoner and just completed a 100 mile race last weekend. When we’ve run races together in the past, I’ve been amazed to hear her talk about stopping to take photos along the way (she is much, much faster than I am so I hear about it in the aftermath). I usually figure that if I stop, I won’t start again, and my usual strategy is to forge ahead. I envy her ability to enjoy the moment, literally stop at times to smell the roses, and I can guarantee she has a lot more fun during races than I do.
  10. You may not be ready yet, but don’t take yourself out of the game. Change takes commitment. People who study change know that before it’s going to happen, there is a time of contemplation before action. A half-hearted attempt will likely fail. In my own experience, I can say that I’ve had an app to track my food intake for, oh, at least 2 years, but it wasn’t until this project that I started to religiously (and honestly) use it. I’d make small attempts before that were quickly abandoned when I didn’t feel like seeing those two glasses of wine, two slices of pizza, and handfuls of M&Ms staring at me, so I simply didn’t use the tracker. You may not be ready for action right this minute, but surround yourself with the tools you need so that when you reach the tipping point, that app (or those running shoes, or that gym membership) is waiting right there for you. Keep the barriers to change low.

 Keep on keepin’ on, my friends!


Fall Outerwear

The twenty degree drop in the temperature this week prompted me to get out my fall clothes, and experience tells me they’re here to stay.

I’m also thinking about a new jacket to ease the transition.

Bonus points if it’s waterproof, given the soggy conditions as of late.

Here are a few contenders:

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  1. J. Crew
  2. Athleta
  3. J. Crew
  4. Banana Republic
  5. MPG Sport via Amazon
  6. Boden
  7. Boden

I ended up ordering #1, which is the J. Crew Downtown Field Jacket.

Hurry! Right now the mossy brown color pictured above is on sale for 30% off, and with an additional $25 coupon I had for being a J. Crew cardmember (Fall Rewards), I got it for $71.

The jacket also comes in navy and black, but those colors currently aren’t on sale.

To keep it cozy, I’m really, really dreaming about one of these White and Warren wraps:

Since they come in over 25 colors, it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite.

Neutral or pop of color?

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I’m thinking that the medium blue one (Stream Heather) will be on my Christmas list!

Running Like A Girl



I just finished this inspirational book about running, which details the author’s journey from sofa to marathon.

Sample quote:

Running ceased to be about what others might see when they looked at me. It became about what I saw when I ran. I started to find the change in the seasons more interesting than the changes in my body. This weight was the heaviest I could have shed. I was no longer running to prove that I could finish a marathon, or to impress my dad, or to sound good on dates. I was using these runs to give me clarity and focus, to remind myself of what I was capable of, and to spur me on in all areas of my life. I felt unstoppable.

My favorite part was when the author described running the 2012 Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. I ran it, too! Reading her description of the course and the foggy weather brought back great memories, especially of getting a Tiffany necklace as a finisher’s medal.