Thursday, January 31, 2013

Retail Therapy - Because Everyone Needs a Break

Ever had a toddler demanding from and a baby screaming at you at the same time? Welcome to my everyday.

When new moms go to therapy, people mistake them for encountering postpartum depression. However, most of them just need an hour every month to themselves, and talk about common motherhood anxieties to a sounding ear (with a ph.d of course).

While some moms may have it worse -- and I feel for them -- my job is still quite laborious: long days, hectic schedule, and spontaneous mishaps. (By the way, your child will have millions of accidents before she is potty trained.)

Luckily, my parents have been exceptionally generous with their time. Today, they gave me a break from the children -- what? really? Hells yes! -- by offering to babysit.

"Go do whatever you want for two hours," my mom said. It was music to my ears.

New In: Statement Necklace. Perhaps for the next fashion blog post?

Hello Target! Hello TJ Maxx!

Favoring stores that start with a "T" was not my intention, but I love Target and TJ Maxx. They are affordable and carry good brands. What's not to like?

Today, I filled my two hours of freedom with time at both stores.

New In: Night Cream. Always in search of a good one.

New In: Mud Mask. Can't wait for the shower tonight :O)

New In: Cheap Makeup. Reviews to come.

Hey, It's Okay...

To take a break, and buy yourself something nice.

According to, "after a stressful experience that challenges their self-image, consumers tend to increase their overall consumption in order to distract themselves" -- and handling two little ones 24-7 brings plenty of stress.

Sure, the pleasure is temporary, and superficial. But good God I needed it! 

"The important thing about retail therapy is not in the buying...but the process of looking. Like a treasure hunt, it is the journey not the destination that is most real fun." (  

Well, if that's the case, I certainly had a productive journey today :O).

New In: Yoga pants. Hey, I'm a mom. Yoga pants are my uniform.

New In: Leopard top. Yes, I still love leopard.


Stressed? Take a break. Buy something.


And feel better!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Must Have Boots to Wear with Skinny Jeans - Fashion Blog Post

Meet Jack and Jill, my new riding boots. Don't they make a pretty pair? And for $50 -- thanks to Fred Meyers' clearance markdown -- they are a deal too.

Boots -- they are more than meets the eye

Back in the Midwest, I feared wearing tall boots over skinny jeans. Always thought it was for the trendier crowd, and opposed my girl-next-door style. After one rainy day in Seattle, however, when the bottom of my jeans dragged through puddles, I realized how functional boots are -- that they protected pants from getting wet. 

From that day on, I became an advocate of tall boots, and have fallen especially for riding boots, the most down-to-earth of them all. I like them so much that I've categorized them as a "must have."


Okay then, why are riding boots must have boots?




They are comfortable

With just a small lift, riding boots are mostly flat, and great for walking. For a pedestrian-friendly place like Seattle, they are great for a (stylish) day around town.

They are versatile

Riding boots can be worn with many things, including leggings, dresses, skirts, and even shorts. 

Also, if you don't feel like wearing them on the outside, you can always cover them under a pair of boot legged or flare jeans.

They are warm

Riding boots are high, and cover your calves. They provide warmth on cold days. 

They are sleek

Riding boots have a sleek appearance and an understated elegance. Putting them on gives you instant class.


Why Wear Them With Skinny Jeans?

Speaking of riding boots' sleekness, they look fantastic with equality sleek -- yet casual -- clothing. Therefore, they look best with skinny jeans, leggings or jeggings (like what I am wearing today).


Thanks for reading.


Hope you enjoyed today's fashion blog post.


Looking for your must have boots? Try riding.  


Beach Dress Up - Cover Up Ideas for Beachwear

Has the cold weather gotten your mind wandering to warmer places? After a long pregnancy, three months with a new baby, and a cold Seattle winter, I'm off to a sunny vacay very soon. Cannot wait to step onto the beach!

Unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried to get rid of baby weight, I still carry extra baggage down below. Beachwear? Sure. Cover up? Soooooo necessary.

How about you? headed to the beach too? If you also need cover up ideas for beachwear, here are a few to consider:

1. Sarongs

Sarongs are simply pieces of fabric with various patterns, prints and sizes. They are easy to wear, and easy on the eye. Wrap them around your chest, drape them off your shoulders, or tie them around your waist or neck -- you can wear them as dress, skirt or accessory. 

(For a secure tie, purchase sarong ties from Fair Winds Sarongs at

2. Sundresses

Don't sundresses scream "summer time?" They are cute, fun and breezy. Just top them over bikinis or bathing suits, and you are ready to go. 

3. Tunics

With the right type of fabric -- linens are great, by the way -- tunics make dream beachwear cover up. You can wear them tanning on the beach, or having a cold beer on the boardwalk.

4. Rompers

Rompers are fun and sexy. They are the newest style to hit blogosphere. Now, they are invading the beach. 

5. Tank Maxi Dresses

Maxi dresses are still going strong. Not only are they classy, they are also comfortable to wear. Add a tank to the top part, you are ready for ocean view.

6. Drawstring Pants

Drawstring pants on the beach are like pajamas on Sundays. They are relaxed, roomy and so easy to wear.

7. Caftan Dresses

These flowy dresses are super sexy and comfy. Try them with a pair of gladiator sandals or straw wedges.

8. Ponchos

Like caftan dresses, ponchos provide comfy cover up. Plus, they look quite seductive in crochet.

Hope you are enjoying the weekend so far, and staying warm.


Any vacation plans yet?


Removing CommentLuv Commenting System For Now

Due to a few issues, I have removed CommentLuv, and reverted to default commenting system via Blogger. 

Can you still leave a link to your blog? ABSOLUTELY! Please do so.

However, links now will be nofollow. If you frequently visit my blog, leave valuable comments, and would like a dofollow link back to your web page, please email me separately at thegirlieblog(dot)author@gmail(dot)com. I would be happy to add your blog to a new page named "blogroll." 

Thank you!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fashion Blog Post - Casual Friday


What a horrible week we had -- first the toddler, then the baby, and now both my husband and I came down with a cold. This infamous super virus traveling around the country has certainly made an unwelcoming stay at our house.

Today Was a Good Day

Finally feeling better, I took the kiddos to Chinese School today, and joined a mama friend for lunch. Even though we were out and about, the entire day felt super chill. Sun was out; kids were happy. What else can I ask for?

By the way, taking a two-year-old and a baby out isn't that bad. (At least not yet.) The trick is to keep the toddler as entertained as possible. That's why we always ride public transportation -- kids just love buses, rails and such -- and I let her walk as far as she can go.

After hours of learning and playing, our active todd turned into quite a couch potato. Yay!

Friday's Casual Outfit

You can't really dress up with a baby. She always spits up or drools on your clothes. Today's outfit was super casual -- just layers of leggings, long tank and cardigan.

Of course, I wore flats during the outing. These pumps are just for pictures.

fashion blog post casual friday outfit
fashion blog post casual friday outfit

fashion blog post casual friday outfit

Thanks for reading.


Happy Friday!


Any exciting plans for the weekend?


Friday, January 25, 2013

Lose Weight After Pregnancy - Clean Eating Plan Made Easy

Your New Year's resolution was to lose weight. (In my case, it was to lose weight after pregnancy.) How's that going? 

If you've already lost inches by exercising and reducing calorie intake, then kudos to you. However, right about now, at a few weeks in, you are beginning to plateau. Such a frustrating feeling, isn't it? To work so hard and feel so good, and then stop.

clean eating plan

Train Mean. Eat Clean.

Before you rush into some crazy cleanse or hire an expensive trainer, ask yourself: am I eating the right foods? If you are spending hours at the gym but scarfing burgers and fries, you won't succeed.

I did lose all baby weight after my first was born, but it took nine months, even though I ran up to 12 miles a week. Thinking that breast feeding required fatty foods, I loaded up on carbs, neglected protein, and thoroughly enjoyed desserts.

This time, I started to eat clean, by consuming nutritious yet satisfying foods. So far, weight came off easier, clothes fit better, and most of all, I have more energy.

Should you stop working out then? ABSOLUTELY NOT! In fact, you should give it all at each workout. 

To achieve weight loss success, combine exercising with clean eating. They go together like salt and pepper. And if you need help getting started with clean eating, check out the easy-to-follow plan below:

Clean Eating Plan, in Easy and Doable Steps

Step 1: Identify your enemies.

Food is not your enemy. Bad food is your enemy. 

In clean eating, avoid processed foods like white rice, flour, junk food and soda. 

Step 2: Find your friends.

Eat natural foods like protein, oils, nuts, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Think of your body as an engine, and food its fuel.

clean eating plan
Buy fresh. Buy local.

Step 3: Keep it simple.

When in doubt, stick to the basics. Fruits, veggies and lean meat are always good. Cook with as little ingredients as possible. (I usually aim for 3 - 6.)

clean eating plan
Whole grain pasta and tomatoes in pesto sauce, topped with non fat feta.

clean eating plan
Whole what toast with pesto and all natural provolone.

Step 4: Cook more. Eat out less.

Make meals at home. You'll always know what's in each dish.

Step 5: Read labels.

At the store, read labels. Aim for products with less than five ingredients, and avoid anything you cannot pronounce.

Step 6: Don't shun fats.

Fats are good for you, as long as they are unsaturated. Unsaturated fats, divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, come from vegetables and plants, and reduce risk of diseases.

Good fat. Great taste.

Step 7: Drink water. Lots of it.

Water is the BEST! It hydrates, cleanses, and makes you too full for junk food.

Step 8: Be flexible.

Had a bad day? Hey, it's not the end of the world. I actually reward myself with little treats once a day. (A spoonful of nutella sounds mighty appetizing now.)

Also, if you go out with friends, loosen up. Try ordering healthier choices, but still enjoy the meal if you can't get what you want. 


Step 9: Stop obsessing about weight.

The more you focus on weight, the less you lose. Clean eating is a lifestyle choice, not a diet. Stop obsessing.

My trick? Lock up the scale, and take it out once a week to track progress. 

Step 10: Connect with others.

There are many online communities that promote clean eating. Members are extremely dedicated, resourceful and motivating. Connecting with like-minded people is healthy and fun.

clean eating plan
Baby shrimp, cherry tomatoes (in balsamic vinegar) and whole wheat toast.

Congrats! You made it to the end of this post.


Just had a baby?


How do you lose weight after pregnancy?