Friday, July 29, 2011

Fab Fit Friday: Healthy Marshmallows


Instead of bringing the plate of cupcakes to the summer parties, bring a healthier tray! They taste so delicious no one will know the difference! 
Summer can be fun, pretty, and tasty!

I made these munchies for a Hawaiian luau party. They were a hit!



Mini Marshmallow Munchies

12 Calories Per Munch!

Ingredients
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Mini Kettle Corn Rice Cakes
  • Sprinkles
  • Food Coloring
Directions
  • Place 2 Marshmallows on a mini rice cake in microwave for 14 seconds
  • Dip a toothpick into the food coloring and spread the marshmallow onto the rice cake until its blended
  • Sprinkle some Sprinkles for decoration


p.s. Taralynn is wearing our textured mini skirt. If you try this recipe let us know how you liked it and show us some pics.

Don't forget to check out Taralynn's Tumblr here!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Three Way Thursday: The Polka Dot Skirt

Skirt: $32.90
I saw this skirt when the buyer was first considering it and I fell in love with it! It's different, at least for me, but it's still wearable. I know it can look a little odd and trying to style it can be a challenge because I do consider this skirt as close to a statement piece as possible so we gave S and I the challenge and they definitely delivered!



The first look is a casual way to dress the skirt. They actually removed the belt that comes with the skirt and did the unthinkable. They mixed black and brown and still they made it look good!


Top//Lace Sweater//Shoes//Earrings//Belt//Clutch

The second look is a look we'd totally wear to the office. Yes, they totally wore the skirt as a top and we love it!

Blazer//Pants//Shoes//Bracelet//Clutch
The last outfit is perfect for Saturday night don't you think?

Top//Clutch//Belt//Necklace

How would you wear this skirt? Which look is your fav? Tell me in the comments below :)

Awkward and Awesome Thursday


Awkward:

  • Trying to not limp so you don't have to explain that you pulled a muscle. In your sleep. This does nothing for our klutz reputation
  • Thinking you're the funniest person and laughing at a comment you made only to have 1 person laugh with you--er at you. Not quite sure about that one.
  • Being in the building at the end of day and hearing noises but no one is around. I insist that our building is haunted!
  • Finding out that a person you have done business with leads a double life. Seriously you're engaged?! When did you start talking to real people?
  • Talking to our bosses and insisting that a store is closed only to have them look at us like we've finally cracked. 
    • Them: Uhm the store is still open. 
    • Us: You're wrong. You told us that it was closed. 
    • Them aka owners of the company: No we're PRETTY sure it's still open and we haven't closed it since it opened years ago.
    • Us: Oh. Well this is awkward. You sure?
  • Technology fails.
    • Coworker: Ok it's working you can let her know.
    • Me: Nope sorry can't tell her anything my e-mail is down and I can't message anyone. Grrr!
    • Coworker: Not sure if you know this but there's this thing called a phone that can get the message to her as well.
    • Me: Oh. forgot about the phone that is in front of my face 
Awesome: 
  • Had the BEST dinner with Carly, Gina, Alexa and Cristeen at the best macaroon place in LA!
  • The portobello mushroom fries at Bottega Louie. Carly will vouch for this.
  • This skirt. You will live in it! 


Tell us your awkward and awesome's in the comments. We'd love to hear that you're awkward just like us!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Inspiration Wednesday: Kelly Kapowski

via pinterest
I don't know about you but Saved by the Bell was one of the only things that made me get up early on Saturday. I had the biggest crush on Zack Morris and I would never miss an episode. To this day when I hear the Saved by the Bell song I totally get a smile on my face. When I saw Justin Bieber wearing a Kelly shirt I totally had to do an inspiration post about it! Hopefully it brings a smile to your face too!



Kelly was known for her girly colors and her sweet personality. The main thing I remember about her is the fact that she loved her floral skirts and baring her midriff! Now here is the outfit we came up with.
Jacket//Bandeau//Skirt//Shoes//Polish//Lipstick//Earrings


What do you think? Do you think this is a "Kelly-approved" outfit?

Who was your fav character from Saved by the Bell?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

On Trend Tuesday: Kelly Ripa

via Pinterest
I've always loved Kelly Ripa. I love her style and her quirky personality. She always manages to look pulled together while still managing to wear items that look completely affordable. She has an uncanny ability to mix high end items with affordable items. Since it's Summer, nothing says it more than stripes. That's why when I came across this image I just had to recreate this look. It's simple enough that you can wear it shopping or you can toss on a jacket and wear it to the office.

Top//Skirt//Bag//Shoes//Sunglasses//Polish//Lipstick//Necklace
What do you think? Did we do a good job of recreating her look?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Must Read Monday: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Via Amazon

You guys know that I am a sucker for a good dystopian story right? Well, when I was browsing for my next book this one came up. I bought it mostly because the cover reminded me of The Hunger Games. I am so glad I did because I think I just found my next trilogy.

What It's About:
Divergent by Veronica Roth is a story about Beatrice Prior or Tris. She lives in Chicago where society is divided into five factions based on a person's virtue. At the age of sixteen a person is placed into their society based on five virtues-Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent). The way that the decision is made is by having the person go through a test that helps them choose their new life. Beatrice surprises everyone because she and her family are Abnegation but she chooses Dauntless.
Once she goes into the Dauntless society you would think that her problems would be over, what with abandoning her family. Well her problems are only beginning because once she enters the Dauntless society she has to pass test after test before actually becoming a legit member of the society. Now if the physical tests weren't enough, Tris has to pass a test of heart once she meets Four.
Oh but the problems don't end there. Beatrice is considered Divergent and that is most definitely not a good thing to be since technically society considers these type of people a threat. So of course she has to keep this actual status secret.

Why You Should Read It:
If you liked the Hunger Games then I promise you that you will love Divergent. I wasn't kidding when I said I found a new trilogy to handle my Hunger Games withdrawals. This story is a little different from everything I've read because it focuses exclusively on feelings and how powerful these are. So powerful in fact that society has divided itself into the five most notorious ones. Can you imagine having to live your life based solely on the society you live in? Take for example Beatrice's family, they are abnegation so they have to live their life being absolutely selfless. From giving up your seat on the bus, to wearing drab clothing and always having to give of yourself this is what they do. I know what you're thinking, that actually doesn't sound so bad. At first I didn't think so either but when you have no choice then it doesn't sound so great. One of the greatest things about our society is the freedom to be who we are and most of us have a little bit of each of the 5 factions in the book. To have to be just one thing forever is just not realistic in my opinion hence the issues that come up for Beatrice. I sincerely enjoyed this book and I think you should pick it up and tell me what you think about it. Can you believe it's already been optioned for a movie?

Any books you think I should read next? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fab Fit Friday: Eat Healthy

Eating fruit is best way to stay healthy all summer. The price of fruit is cheaper in the summer since they are in season, and that means they taste fresher. Not everyone enjoys fruit, but there are many ways you can incorporate it into your diet while still grabbing all the important nutrients. The convenience of grabbing and going without any messes or cooking makes it so much easier as well.
  1. Throw some extra fruit into your ice cream or frozen yogurts
  2. Blend up a fruit smoothie
  3. Create a fruit pizza
  4. Top off your salads with fruit slices
  5. Add fruits to your jello
  6. Make a glass of home made fruit juice
  7. Freeze your fruit 
  8. Add Marshmallows or Chocolate to your fruit for desserts
  9. Add cottage cheese to your fruit
  10. Bake your fruit into chips
There are tons of other ways to incorporate fruit into your diets so start munching away! 


Flower Print Top: $26.90




Don't forget to check out Taralynn's Tumblr and follow her here!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Three Way Thursday: The Military Boot

Boots: $39.90
Last week we were so excited when these boots came in. The style is a little different for us but I love them! There was a concern that there weren't too many ways to wear them so we posed the challenge to S and I and boy did they come through.


I'm actually really excited about these looks because they are casual chic and they're exactly up my alley. I had a very funny and yet painful accident that involved a treadmill and a wall that makes me run from heels. Flats are my bff's. This first look is perfect for a day at the flea market. Comfy, casual and cool.

Vest//Romper//Belt

This second look is perfect for a night out with the girls. It's dressed up without being over the top. Perfect for the movies in my opinion.

Top//Bottoms//Earrings//Bracelet//Clutch

This last look is perfect for date night at a mini golf course. It's cute and your shoes won't make you fall or sink.

Jacket//Top//Skirt//Bracelets//Ring
What do you think? Will you be giving the military boots a try?

Awkward and Awesome Thursday


It's almost Friday and boy oh boy are we excited because we have some fun-ness coming to visit us! In the meantime enjoy some randomness while we finish up Three Way Thursday.

Awkward:

  • Having the words that come out of your mouth not be the ones you were trying to say. Caffeine free mornings are entertaining.
  • Realizing too late that the smart aleck comment, which involved the word wedgie, that you just made was directed at someone important. Sometimes our brains are not as fast as our mouths
  • Telling a story and realizing halfway through that you forgot the point
  • Going to watch Harry Potter and realizing that we were not emotionally ready for it when images on Pinterest make us tear up at work
  • Picking up the phone thinking its one person and then realizing you were a tad bit off after having a little convo
  • Realizing that you are too old to vote in the Teen Choice Awards. The 20s are not old! (Quarter life crisis here I come)
  • Going on lunch and sitting at our desk logging on to Facebook for the first time in ages and having the VP walk up behind us. I swear I was on my lunch!
Awesome: 
  • Our AMAZING photographer baked us brownies today

  • Our AMAZING photographer made us coffee. Have I mentioned I work with the BEST people ever.
  • Carly Cristman is in LA--impromptu dance party to come
  • The Harry Potter movie is out! Have you seen it?!

  • Realizing how cool the people you work with are when the wedgie comment only resulted in office hysterics. We're a fun lot here at Windsor
  • The Fall boots we have coming in. Seriously, can it be Fall already.
  • The new cozy lounge wear that just came in. Cozy and comfy are my middle names.
  • Lace...anything

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Inspiration Wednesday: Nostalgic Times-The BabySitters Club

via 

All of last week Harry Potter was the talk of the town. I just saw it yesterday because it took me a moment to get emotionally ready for this conclusion. Yep, I am one of the Potterheads and I am not ashamed to admit it. To say that I was a hot mess at the theater while watching this movie is putting it mildly. Anyway, I think I tend to get attached to characters and therefore I have an affinity for book series'. I trace back this book series issue to The BabySitters Club books. When I was working on today's post I was quite surprised that so many people saw this image and totally remembered it. I guess I'm not the only one that gets attached to books...


The colors are a little Fall themed but that's ok. I'm a cold weather girl so I guess I'm a wishful thinker because I can't wait for Fall colors and items to arrive! Now here is the outfit we came up with.

Top//Bottoms//Shoes//Bracelets//Polish//Bag//Earrings

What do you think? Did we get the outfit right?

Any book series' you were in love with?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On Trend Tuesday: Get the Kim Kardashian Look

Via Pinterest

Love her or hate her, you have to admit that Kim K has style. While out and about she was totally sporting something a little new for her. We're so used to seeing her in form fitting items this is a refreshing look for her.
Top//Skirt//Belt//Clutch//Earrings//Bracelets//Shoes//Sunglasses


What do you think? Did we do a good job of recreating her look?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Must Read Monday: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire



Well I think I've done it. I think I found my favorite book for the Summer. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire is definitely one of those books that you find yourself unable to put down. Truthfully I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. It was an impulse buy from a suggestion on a previous purchase and being that the price was under $5  I figured what the heck. Man oh man am I glad I bought this book!!

What It's About:
The book centers around Abby and Travis. Abby is a reformed girl who has moved away for college. She wants to get away from her dad and the life she had before. She goes to college thinking her life is going one way until she meets the proverbial college bad boy. Every college has him and you can't help but like him right? This is the case of Travis, the bad boy who refuses to settle down. Aside from the fact that he's the walking one night stand, he is also involved in underground fighting. His whole life is turned upside down after he meets Abby though. Abby wants nothing to do with him and this of course cause Travis to want her even more. The book also includes America and Shepley, Abby's friend and Travis' cousin respectively

Why You Should Read It:
This book is so fantastic! I guarantee you that you will not want to put it down. The premise of the book is slightly different because it actually centers around college students. It actually does a remarkable job of painting a college students' life (you know aside from the illegal underground fighting). I love the relationships and interactions between the four main characters and I loved the fact that I could totally see everything happening as I read the words if that makes sense.  It was such a fun read for me because it really did do a good job of painting college life. College is a time for you to grow up and turn into the person you will become. The experiences in college, more than high school, in my opinion, shape the person you are. College is a time where you learn to take care of yourself without your parents and without a safety net. You learn to make decisions on your own that will ultimately shape your life. From something as measly as not skipping class to the person that you date, the college years are really the formative years. 'Beautiful Disaster' does such a great job of showing you what college can be like. It's a time where you meet the best friends you'll have for the rest of your life, you learn to trust yourself and you realize that life will really be ok.

As promised Jamie McGuire is a new author and her books are beyond affordable. Trust me on this YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK! Go buy it right now and come back and tell me if I was wrong about this book. Seriously go right now and download it. You can totally read it on your computer no Kindle required. My only qualm with this book is that there may not be a sequel. The book ends perfectly but I was so invested int he characters that I want to see what happens to them after that ending. Now on to wishing they make this book into a movie and picking my dream cast. Travis is between Max Irons or Alex Pettyfer. Ah those British boys....

via google.com
If you read come back and tell me who you would cast.
   
**After you guys suggested Channing Tatum I had to add this picture in because I think you guys are spot on.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fab Fit Friday: Be Active!

Go out and do something active. Start off the weekend with a nice relaxing work out. Be nice to your body and it'll be nice to you. Sometimes you don't have to log in tons of hours at the gym. Just get out there and get some fresh air and end your week right. It's not about the calories you burn, that's just a bonus. Get out there and walk, ride your bike. Even though you're reading this online, get away from your computer. You'll be amazed at how refreshed you'll feel afterwards. Taralynn is wearing our Black/Leopard yoga pants. By the way, are you  just as jealous as we are of that ocean view? Check out her blog for more exercise routines!
  
Leopard Yoga Pants: $16.90

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Three Way Thursday: The Sparkly Bra

Sparkly Bra: $19.90


When we first got this in alot of the girls were a little iffy about it. They knew it was cute but they weren't sure how much wear they would get out of it. That sounded like a challenge to me so this week S and I used this sparkly bra to create three different looks.




Awkward and Awesome Thursday


Awkward:
  • Thinking you're starting the week on the right foot since you are wearing the cutest wedges and then having said foot give out on you. Right foot you let me down.
  • Driving to work totally rocking out to Rise Against. Think drum on steering wheel with fingers and singing out loud only to turn to your right and realize you are being watched. By 2 police officers. In the car next to you. What can I say officers, at least I wasn't texting.
  • People commenting on how quiet our office is. Apparently that's quite rare for this little group of ragamuffins. Are they trying to say we talk too much? Hmmmm...
  • Swearing up and down that you sent an e-mail to someone and them swearing that they didn't get it only to find that the blasted e-mail is still in the drafts folder. Tempted to bust out pen and paper and a stamp or the old school fax machine. E-mail is not our friend this week.
  • Random LONG pauses in a conference call. Can't hang up but have nothing to say. Sometimes I think Verizon's "Can you hear me now?" phrase is a ploy to avoid awkward pauses.
  • Having that "huh" moment from last week's post. Yes, again. It's contagious.
  • Online shopping and having your package end up on top of your boss's mailbox. This is, of course, immediately followed by a mass announcement from aforementioned boss to the building that non Windsor package is ready to be picked up. We work with some characters.

Awsome:
  • Harry Potter comes out this week!
  • So Does "Friends with Benefits" What can I say I never outgrew my N'Sync crush days. Justin may even tempt me to log into my MySpace again.
  • Random Harry Potter quotes that fit into any conversation. "What were you up to today? Oh I solemnly swear I was up to no good today. Uhm ok but you do know that that isn't something a boss wants to hear." That is kinda my fav quote ever. Hence its overuse. Just ask Carly.
  • MissGlamorazzi's Harry Potter gangsta rap tweets. Need I say more?
  • Random tweets with a few girls from YouTube discussing a shopping addiction and then proceeding to tweet random Mean Girls movie quotes. That was sooooo fetch Carly, Alexa and Meghan!
  • Pretty accents. We could hear Brits talk all day about absolutely nothing at all.
  • CollegeFashion.net using our skirt in their Marc Jacobs post
  • Scalloped. Shorts. Yep, finally!


Got any awkward/awesome moments this week? Do share we'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Inspiration Wednesday: Here Come the Flowers


So the office has been getting calls and calls from newly engaged girls and so of course it stands to reason that we have weddings on the brain. I always knew that there was alot of work involved in wedding planning but until  you hear some of the stories from brides and bridesmaids you don't really get it. That's why this post goes out to the people in the midst of the planning madness. We hope that everything goes smoothly and just know that we're here to help with your bridesmaid needs. A special mention goes out to Rachel from RachhLoves and Lyz Tu-Swt P, one of our Facebook fans that just got engaged.


The color palette is very girly and pink. I know the palette can easily lead the outfit to OD on pink but not to worry we made sure to keep the main pink item in a very light shade so that you avoid the Pepto Bismol look.

Pink Dress//Clutch//Shoes//LipStick//Hair Pins//Earrings//Polish//Necklace

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On Trend Tuesday: Chiara Ferragni-Style Icon


I have been following Chiara from The Blond Salad for quite some time now. Ever since she started her Flickr account I have been a loyal fan. I love her laid back style and how she mixes high end and affordable items. At this point she has gotten so popular that the likes of various high end designers are clamoring to dress her. While we may  not have the funds to carry a few thousand dollars worth of accessories we do have the ability to recreate her look with more affordable items.

Bandeau//Top//Pink Pants//Ring 1//Ring 2//Bracelet Set 1//Bracelet Set 2//Bag//Watch//Shoes
The main thing about Chiara is that she loves accessories and she isn't afraid to pile them on and mix and match. We added a few rings and layered on the bracelets to get the look that we're going for. What do you think? Did we do a good job of recreating her look?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Must Read Monday: Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Style***CLOSED***

Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Style $10.97

As you probably know we here at the Windsor office LOVE Seventeen Magazine. It is definitely on our Must Read Monthly list. Each month when we get the magazine we know that we will not be disappointed. Going through the magazine is definitely one of the best parts of my job (have I mentioned I love my job!). That's why when we heard that this book was coming out we had to run out and grab it immediately (almost got a speeding ticket we were in such a rush--no lie).

What It's About:
The premise of the book is simple enough. It's your ultimate style guide. It breaks down looks for the girly girl, the edgy girl, the classic girl, the glam girl and the indie girl. After that it goes into what pieces each of these looks requires as staples. It also lists what celebrity style you resemble and what stores you should frequent. We have a soft spot for the girly girl section since we are on the list of stores to frequent ;)

Why You Should Get It:
I don't know how else to say this but it's just really pretty. The whole book is done in such great way. The layout is not cluttered as some other style books tend to be. It's easy to understand what they're trying to say and the editors at Seventeen make it so simple to adopt some of the basic style principles into our closet. The fact that they also used real girls to show you how to pull of the looks makes it even better. It's really easy to show clothes on celeb who have the means and access to all the best design houses but I need real looks for my real girl budget. Seventeen gave me that in this book.

Since we love the guide so much we are giving 1 away along with a $50 Windsor gift card to get you started on your wardrobe! Just tell me in the comments what type of girl you are(Girly, edgy, classic, glam, indie) and what you would get from our site with the gift card. We'll announce the winner tonight at 9pm PST!

As always the winner will be chosen through random.org. Good luck and if you can't wait like us. Pick up the book here!

And we have our winner! Scarletknight26 please e-mail us your mailing info to info@windsorstore.com and we'll get your prizes out to you asap. Congratulations!!




Friday, July 8, 2011

Feel Good Friday: Meet Taralynn aka Undressed Skeleton

via


Let me give you a brief intro as to how this series of posts came about. In the industry that I work in you hear horrendous stories about girls and even guys that do unthinkable things to their bodies in order to fit into this ideal that society has setup and the fashion industry seems to perpetuate. Let's get one thing out of the way now and once and for all. We at Windsor think you are beautiful the way you are. There is no perfect size, shape, color, height, or pout. Perfection is what you already are. We truly and utterly believe this. 
via


With that said I have been following Taralynn's Tumblr for a little while now and let me just tell you that she is an inspiration to me. Not because she managed to attain a number on the scale but because she went through quite a journey to get to where she has gotten to today. Being a certain size doesn't make you beautiful and neither does being a certain weight however we want to make sure that "skinny" isn't confused for being healthy because the two things are not the same. In this day and age people can be beyond skinny but also be absolutely unhealthy. We want to promote a healthy body image in girls and Taralynn has kindly agreed to share her knowledge and her journey.
via




Taralynn is just a normal girl. She is not a nutritionist or an expert so please consult your physician before beginning any exercise/diet routine. She is just hear to show you that you are not alone in your quest to be healthy. She'll be sharing her life story, her recipes and her fashion sense along with some other fun things. Now without any further ado I leave you with Taralynn's story.


Taralynn wearing our Tribal Top


I believe happiness is always within a person, but a series of unfortunate events can cloud happiness making it hard to find.  No one can take your happiness away, but you can push it away making it a challenge to chase after. 

Twenty years ago I was just a baby. Happiness was all around me and still is till this day, but their was a struggle I was yet  to be faced with as I grew older. I pushed my happiness away for the future while worrying about my happiness in the present.  I was born in Virginia and raised in a military family. That meant lots of moving and traveling. Since I was a bubbly and outgoing child, moving didn’t seem to bother me so much or maybe moving to Hawaii was the part that made me less bothered. As a kid I was always active playing in the pool, gymnastics. I was constantly on the monkey bars, biking, rollerblading, playing tag, dancing etc. I never wanted to go inside.  

Suddenly life was about to change. My dad decided that after 25 years of the service he was ready to retire and head back to the main lands. I was crushed, but being a child you learn to conform and find happiness in all of life’s set backs.  Moving to Iowa may have been the biggest set back I was faced with as a child. My mother grew up in Iowa and left for the military after high school. It was hard for her to visit home. My grandpa was diagnosed with cancer leading my parents toward the decision to move to Iowa to start a new life. I’m so blessed I got to spend the time with my grandpa. I learned what a wonderful man he was in my life and in so many others. I blame him for the strength he fills me with in my life and the obsession with baking.  

Starting school in Iowa was much different than the schools I attended at before. Iowa kids don’t know how to deal with as much culture or change. I had lost all my friends and it was a challenge to make new ones where no one was welcoming or willing to include you.  In fourth grade kids aren’t suppose to make fun of your clothes or the way you talk, but they did. I felt so much disappointment. This was the first storm clouding up my happiness. As an outside kid who never wanted to come inside for anything, I found myself sitting in front of the television, coloring, or helping my mom cook or run errands because I had no one to play with. During birthday parties that the entire class was invited to I was bullied and cried in the bathroom where no one could see me. Everything I did was always wrong to the other kids.  Looking back on it, I was never wrong in wanting to be different like my mother has always taught me to do. Encouraging originality and creativity in a child was the smartest move my mother had made.  As a kid it’s hard to understand the teasing which leads to frustration and lowered self esteem which at a young age can be haunting.  After an incident on the playground in fifth grade I thought about suicide, now when an elementary student thinks about suicide you know something wrong is really occurring.  My parents even considered home schooling me because of the challenge it was to face these kids everyday. As a counselor with kids today in my current job I’m happy this happened to me. It makes it easier to notice the signs that the teachers never saw or bothered to deal with. Kids may be innocent but they aren’t always nice.  

Middle school was next on the route. After a summer of considering home schooling my parents encouraged me to give it a chance. In middle school all the kids from different schools were joined. My parents believed I would find acceptance and appreciation with a variety of new kids, and they were right. Over the previous summer I had a  lack of exercise, and formed an unhealthy eating pattern so I started to add more clouds to my happiness by becoming a tad overweight for my age. My parents weren’t too concerned because now that I had found happiness the weight would eventually even out and fade away from the activities I had decided to join. Seventh grade started to give me hope that my life was turning around. I had joined basketball, volleyball, theater, music, softball and many other activities where my friend pool was just out of control. The trauma of elementary school was being overshadowed by my new life and the memories were fading. My mother always taught me to kill people with kindness as a way of revenge. It’s more effective and lady like, so I was super nice to the bullies I went to elementary school with. I really felt like a better person. 




Having new friends meant having more birthday parties, more movies, more activities which all lead to more unhealthy eating. Birthday parties every weekend meant cake, candy, pizza, popcorn, and more junk food. Away games for sports meant more fast food stops or quick fast food dinners after practice. Pizza and breadsticks with cheese were offered at lunch followed by a candy bar and a Pepsi.  I also had a brother who was active more than I was, so every time it was time for him to go out to eat of course I was there. Walking tacos and nachos at baseball games followed by candy concessions, grabbing a candy pack every time at the checkout line of the grocery store, Saturday night pizza and popcorn, Friday night Mexican food at my favorite restaurant with my mom was what I looked forward to every week. Doughnuts and juice after church on Sunday followed by a home cooked meal from mom or a back yard barbeque brought on by dad. Some nights our family would hop in my dad’s truck stop at the ice cream store for a huge creamy dessert and drive around looking for deer. My family has always been very close and sometimes we based it around our appetite a little too often. Life was great my happiness was at full throttle but as I began to mature and prepare for high school my appearance sort of became a concern for me. 

Starting high school was a huge deal . The anxiety of starting a new school was a little scary because of previous years. I started to care about my appearance and wanted to go to school with a fashionable wardrobe and a killer hairstyle. Fashion was about to play a huge role in my life. A week before high school started  my mom gave me money to get a variety of clothes I would be needing.  My parents have always done everything to keep our family happy and are our number one supporters for my brother and I. My mom dropped me off at the mall and gave me a couple hours to find what I needed before she picked me up. I went to all my favorite stores, tried on all the cutest clothes and my mom picked me up a couple hours later. I stood there empty handed with a purse full of money and a face full of shock. No words needed to be exchanged. At that point the motherly instinct sensed what had just happened.  She didn’t say a word and waited until I broke down. I cried more than I have ever cried before, The question "how could I have let myself get this way? my life is over!” was running through my mind as my overdramatic teenager tantrum took its course.  My mother calmed me down, took me for a walk and we set out a future plan of healthy eating and staying active. 

 



It was the first day of high school. As I walked through the doors I looked around at all the girls wearing little jean shorts, tight fitting tank tops and tanned bodies. I looked down and saw sweatpants, a baggy T-shirt and pale arms. My stomach began to tighten as self esteem began to lower. I couldn’t understand it, I sat at lunch eating semi healthily but I was barely touching my food because I felt like everyone was calling me fat in their heads and watching me eat. The girls with the skinny bodies were eating pizza, cookies, cake and still staying thin, what was wrong with me!? My mom had explained about metabolism and how everyone puts on weight faster or slower than others. I even visited a doctor to make sure I wasn’t experiencing an over active thyroid or facing a problem with rapid weight gain. I left the doctor and was perfectly fine. I decided to keep my head up, continue to eat healthy, stay active in extra activities and the weight would eventually fall off. As my high school year was very busy again with music, sports, and other activities healthy eating became less important. I fell off the bandwagon once again going back to fast food, gas station food, boxed freezer food, and the cafeteria junk food line. I guess wearing baggy sweatpants and oversized sweatshirts would hide my weight gain in the meantime and I would just start my diet tomorrow. I still had a huge group of friends and I thought that was the only thing that mattered and appearance would eventually become a priority when I was ready. 

Junior year I landed the lead roll in the musical for my schools' Spring production.  Theater and music started to become my focus and I was ready to devote myself by quitting sports. To be honest I never enjoyed playing sports because that meant showing your arms and legs in front of a crowd. Pictures in the yearbooks upset me because they were there forever. I didn’t want the weight to be there forever though. I started to find my talent through music and theater.  While I was finding happiness through music I found a false happiness through going out with friends. On top of my unhealthy eating habits I began to consume calories through a new hobby of partying and drinking. When I started to drink it was the worst thing I ever allowed my bubbly self to do. I don’t regret how things were in those days because it has made me the person that I am today but it definitely wouldn’t be the choice I’d make today.  
  


If high school doesn’t have enough fighting and drama already, then partying and new groups of friends will certainly introduce you to more, which is what happened to me. The friends I had were still my friends but just different in so many ways. I started to believe I needed to conform to fit in even though that was out of character for me. I kept up with my activeness in music but found myself going out on weekends and becoming a careless teenager that I never wanted to be. A regular weekend consisted of sleeping all day, eating late at night, partying till morning, going to breakfast, and continued the pattern all over again. Again I was the one wearing the baggy clothes while my friends were wearing the short shorts and tight tanks, while eating the same way I was. 

The flashback of the first day in high school hit me one morning when I was staring at myself in the mirror. I pulled my yearbooks off the shelf and stared at the photos that were taken of me, I observed the weight change through the years and remembered what I had promised myself the week I left the mall empty handed “I will start my diet tomorrow.” That phrase became my enemy, I used it almost every time I put something bad in my mouth, I used it as a comfort.  That was the moment I decided the drinking and late night partying needed to end. I lost a lot of friends over it but my health was way more important. Even when my friends were being real and meaning nothing by their actions they still were enablers to my lifestyle and a brick on my track. I was over being the girl with the “pretty face” or  the "best friend” of the skinny girl.


Theater kept my mind off the loss of friends and the nights I spent at home instead of going out with everyone else, but it was for the best. Senior year was finally here and I landed the lead role in  “Dark of the Moon” which was a huge deal. We would be performing this risky production for our school, for the community, in front of a panel of judges, and crowd of students at Thespian Festival.  The play was very intense full of breath taking scenes and shocking effects. My drama teacher gave me so much confidence in myself when I was on stage and I felt so powerful as a performer and really gave everything I had in me. The judges were stunned by my performance, they were enlightened with my talent but told my director they were set back because I was too “fat” to play the part of “Barbara Allen”. I stayed strong while she read through the review sheet to the cast. I immediately went into my dressing room and sat in the shower fully dressed crying under the running water. The embarrassment, the failure, the anxiety that ran down my body into the drain put me on an all time low for days. This had to be the final stab at my unhealthy lifestyle, but as the days went on I lost power and determination and jumped back into eating unhealthy . Sometimes even the best motivation or the worst situations can’t keep you on a healthy track. 

Even though I took a break with theater for a while I continued singing and playing music with my band. The band and I became like family. I ended up falling hard for the drummer and shockingly he fell for me. I couldn’t understand what he saw in me but I liked the feeling of being in a real relationship or the illusion of a real relationship. We hung out constantly and that put a stop to the band because of the arguments between him and another band member.  Graduation came and the distance between us grew and he became distant making me feel completely insecure so we ended up splitting because I couldn’t take the anxiety I was feeling. I needed to move on. 

My heart was shattered. The first heartbreak is supposed to sting but this stung a little too much.  Food and friends would be the first thing I would turn to, but I didn’t have anyone left and food didn’t fill the emptiness, it just fueled the fire of my anxiety. The anxiety would come at the most random times. I remember walking through the grocery store and all of a sudden feeling nauseous and bursting out in tears. I was so confused on what was happening.  One day I was sitting on the computer and noticed an email from a friend telling me how he was out with other girls and it just made me so sick I grabbed my Ipod and left the house.  I walked for about two hours that day, listening to music and looking around at the world and the amazing things in it. When I was walking I felt like the world was staring at me back noticing the amazement in myself and that I needed to find my happiness again. After I got home I felt so much better. I sat down ate a healthy dinner, watched a movie with my family without crying, and realized that no medicine could fight my anxiety like the endorphins I gained through going out and walking.  After taking a long walk it actually gave me a little control over eating healthier. I started changing my eating habits gradually.  I ended up training my body to relate exercise as a way of relaxation. 

The success of the first month of my new healthy life style was the start of my healthy life. 25lbs had fallen off through the simplicity of switching to a healthy diet and a active life.  The compliments I received from the people around me kept pushing me to move forward and continue to be strong. The reason I lost so much weight the first month is because when you first start a diet you lose a lot of the extra water weight you consume through sodium and other processed foods. I finally had control over my life and it felt great. My ex and I ended up getting back together after hanging out a couple times and realizing there were still feelings there. That was the worst decision I made and my parents were soon to be right about him. I was starting to get a lot of attention as the year went on and my weight began to drop off. Getting back with him still didn’t stop me from my goals. I was finally finding the happiness I had been missing. My boyfriend wasn’t too fond of the attention I was getting and grew an insecurity within himself. As the insecurity grew so did his anger. The anger started with bickering, to emotional abuse to a physical abuse.  I still decided I was going to lose weight no matter how he treated me and one day he would stop hurting me because I was everything he wanted. At that point I had fallen into a deep hole of confusion and became oblivious to the life I was living and the world around me. The relationship was different to everyone’s eyes except mine. Soon I became insecure and he made me feel like he was the only guy out there for me and no one would want a girl like me in their life. He deleted my emails, my online accounts, the numbers in my phone, cut up clothes in my closet and tried to isolate me from my family. The worst part of the situation was I was fighting to be with this guy. Catching him cheating on me should have been the stop to our relationship but it was the moment I made his mistake my fault. After all the lies and stories about the bruises on my body I just broke down and couldn’t handle it anymore. I wrote my mom a letter explaining everything that was going on in my life and she was immediately there for me. Crying for me and comforting me for the pain I was dealt with. No one in the world deserves to be treated with disrespect and relationships should be about love and happiness. 





A month later I found a perfect summer job in the Hampton’s working with kids. Living in New York became the perfect escape to find myself and happiness again. I continued to eat healthy and stay active. I grew a love for baking and creating healthy living ideas. I am currently writing a book for a healthy way of life in the eye of a young adult for young adults.  After the summer in the Hampton’s I returned to Iowa. No one had recognized me. I looked like a complete different person. The year transformation was shocking to everyone. I was acknowledged by people that acted as if I never existed. As I lost weight I found my happiness again as a complete person. I let myself be me and found real love called life. Today I can look in the mirror and smile and say I am truly happy inside and out. I am faced with the rumors of how I lost weight and sometimes it stings a little because my healthy journey was a challenge but I had to find the fun to stay motivated. I know exactly how I lost weight, the people who matter the most in my life know how I lost weight so I never let the words of others bring me down. 

I am still in college studying business. After my book I want to continue writing and publishing health books for teens. I want teens around the world to find inspiration through healthy perspectives and not was the fashion industry portrays. Fashion is important but so is your life. Weighing 90lbs by eating a bag of lettuce to walk a thirty second runway isn’t worth the hours spent in hospitals for the damage of malnutrition, or a lifetime of a mental state. Losing twenty pounds in two weeks to look good in a bikini isn’t worth losing a baby because you messed up your body. I want girls to focus on the fun of  a healthy lifestyle and find patience in the process. 

Opening up a cupcake/ bakery is also another dream of mine. I am currently working in the Hampton’s this summer. I love spending time on the beach, shopping, and hanging out with the greatest people on earth. I love to blog new healthy recipes, how to eat healthy from day to day and basic tips. I even throw in the random post here and there.  I love fashion, I love food, I love fitness and love to blog about it!






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