Glammy Gifts on the Cheap 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Guess what you guys? I totally am done my Christmas shopping already .Except for stocking stuffers, all of my stuff is wrapped and jammed into my guest room, which currently looks like Santa's Workshop. I keep peeking in there and wondering if we've overdone it, which we absolutely have, and then feeling guilty.

My husband and I purposely put off shopping for stockings until Christmas Eve. It's our strange little tradition. Our first year married we were pretty much dirt poor. I'd bought Christmas presents but realized I didn't have money left over for stockings. Of course I ran bawling to the phone and called my mom. In my family, stockings are a big deal. She wired us down $100 which we got on Christmas Eve, and we went shopping together, doing our best to avoid each other in the store. Since then it's how we spend 9 am on Christmas Eve and I love heading out before it gets really bananas.

But that's beside the point. If you aren't as religious with the shopping as me, you may have some stragglers on your list. OR if your husband is like mine and comes to you with a panicked look on his face and asks what you want for Christmas, you may need some ideas to give him. Either way, if you've got some ladies (or some very femmy men) on your list, there's nothing wrong with giving them a little glam. My husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and when I told him that jewelry was good, he was like "But I've already given you a bunch of jewelry."



Check out some cute things on my wish this year... and then hustle!

How pretty are these pins from White House Black Market for $28? I like them for someone who is new to sparkly things. A little shine in the hair is less ostentatious than a big 'ol cocktail ring.

If you're thinking about watches for Christmas this year, you should know that ceramic is what's new. I love how crisp and clean they are. A friend of mine was wearing one the other day and I could not take my eyes off of it. The ceramic is heavier, giving it a more solid look over plastic. Asos - $35.

When you give jewelry as a gift, look for special details that set it apart from your friend's regular Forever 21 stuff. I love love the color of these, and they are such a pretty mix. Yes Style - $20

I will never turn down a glammy ring, and this one caught my eye because I've specifically asked my husband for more classic jewelry. This looks current while reminding me estate jewelry. It would totally match my pearl earrings too! And it's from Kohls and is $14, which means you could probably get it on sale for like, $6.

YAY Festive headbands. I love the rhinestones on this one. Give it to a friend with instructions to wear it over a messy updo or loose waves. Arden B - $19

A big flower brooch is a standard in my jewelry cabinet, because it can be used in about 100 ways. I wear mine in my hair, clipped on a necklace, with a grouping of other brooches, you name it. And this one is pretty and won't break the bank at $24 from Avalaya.

K, I am 100 percent OBSESSED with these Cara bangles from Nordstrom. I saw them on Saturday in store and tried them on and WAS AN IDIOT and didn't buy them, (don't cry for me Argentina, I am going back tonight to get them.) They are seriously a full arm of bracelets, but since they're really delicate, they look trendy and pretty instead of chunky. Anyway, they are $58, which is pricey. But since you get 30 or so bracelets, why not break them up and give them to friends. Five bangles would still be awesome, and you could tie a silk ribbon around them and your friends would love them. All of a sudden you've got a $10 gift for five friends (assuming you'll keep a set for yourself... which you will.)

(EDIT: So I ran over and bought these last night and I am soooo happy I did. They really are gorgeous on, no matter how many you wear. Merry Christmas to moi!)

I love love love ruffled scarves. I wear a military inspired green jacket with a fur hood for a lot of the winter. While I love it, I'm always looking for ways to keep things girly. A red ruffled scarf? Yes please! And it will look just as pretty when you take your jacket off and pair it with an easy boatneck tee. Modcloth - $30 (But I saw them at F21 for like $10... just throwing that out there.)

Alright, this is my last post before Christmas, so I want to wish you all a Happy Holidays! Seriously, my readers are pretty awesome and I love hearing from you all. Thanks for making this silly little blog a success for me, and keep in touch. I'll see you on the flipside of a New Year (resolution: dress better!)

Love to all,


Build Muscle, Lose Fat

Monday, December 20, 2010

One of the things I have sitting on a desk as you enter my studio is a pound of fat. It is a replica of what a pound of fat looks like in your body. To go along with that, I also have a pound of muscle.

To many people it is inspiration. They don't want to have 30 1 pound blocks of butter on their body and they can see the difference between fat and muscle. The fat is basically light and fluffy looking, which will take up more space in the body. The muscle is more dense and even though you may have the same pound as the fat it will take up less space.

So how do you build muscle and lose fat? I'll be honest with you, it's not easy, but at the same time, it's not impossible.

First, you need decide. Are you tired of being overweight, out of shape and not feeling good about yourself? How tired are you? If you are just a little bit tired and not really committed, then you are not going to make the necessary changes you need to build muscle and lose fat and ultimately change your life.

Second, once you have made the decision that this is what you really want, and you are going to do everything you can to make it happen, go get a camera. This may be one of the hardest things you do. When I had to put on that bikini and stand feeling absolutely naked waiting for the flash, it was the most awful thing. Even though it was my husband taking the picture, I was embarrassed, felt so disappointed in myself and I just wanted it over. You may not want to but you need to take that picture. We often have in our heads what we look like and when you take the picture and look at it, you may be surprised. I know my first thought was, "I can't believe that is me". Now that you have a picture, post it somewhere, that you will see it everyday. It will become your inspiration and motivation.

Third, get support. You will not be able to do this alone. There will be times of temptation and frustration and I guarantee you will want to have support when you are feeling defeated. Tell people you love what your goals are and ask them for help. Ask them to encourage you and remind you of your goals and what you really want, especially when things get tough.

Fourth, write everything down. Write what you plan to eat, and what you plan to do for exercise. This is such an important step. The most successful people are those who take the time to write everything down. Once it is written down, there is nothing left to do except follow it.

Some of my favourite exercises to get you started are:
-push ups for chest
-bicep curls for biceps
-tricep kickback with a tube
-back rows with a dumbbell for back
-shoulder press with dumbbells
-lunges and squats for legs
-crunches, bicycle, planks for abs

The key to success is to be patient and stick with it. I know it will happen. You will see results and you will love them:)

Committed to your fitness success,
Kelly Parker

Freaky Friday: Holiday Edition

Friday, December 17, 2010

I'm not trying to rush Christmas on you guys or anything, but since Christmas Eve falls on a Friday this year, you probably won't be getting a Freaky Friday from me. I'll be too busy entertaining and eating so much food that it squidges out my eyeballs and I want to die a little inside. But I'll eat a little more first. Then I'll watch "It's A Wonderful Life" and cry quietly until my husband makes fun of me. CAN'T WAIT.

Seriously, I love Christmas and I'm at an excitement level of 14 right now. The highest is 10.

UGH! Is there anything worse than a matching sweater/scarf combo. OK FINE, the Holocaust was worse. But this is pretty high on the list.

Creepy snowman just wants to get in your shirt. What a pervert. What is he doing in there?

This was billed as "PARTY SWEATER!" That's a sad party you're having by yourself man. Quick PSA: Your chest is not a billboard for Christmas cheer. Especially weird 1800s Christmas cheer. Go drink some wassail or something.

AH! YES YES! The Kardashian's Christmas card picture. SO EPIC.
Few things:
1) Oh Kim, nice to see you in a tight white dress for a change, you're so versatile.
2) Scott, YOU'RE not Armenian. Lay off the self tanner.
3) Someone (slash everyone) has been reading one too many Cosmo articles about putting your hand on your hip to look thin in pictures, amiright?
4) Lamar... one of these things is not like the other... I MEANT THE PINK TIE. Geez.
5) Green caterpillars. Also, this whole thing looks miserable and Tim Burton-esque. Guess that's what you do when you have buckets of money and are famous for absolutely nothing.

Oh reindeer shoes, you are so appropriate .

I really hope this was not being sold on Etsy or anything and this picture was taken for hilarious purposes only. Because quilted pillow candy canes can only make you look fat. Period.

Sorry, this has nothing to do with anything, but WHO DOES THIS TO THEIR KID?

You all know how much I love novelty jewelry right? The answer is not at all, actually. It's all a bit literal, isn't it?

Actually... this is more literal. Literaler?

And it's super relevant too. I DARE YOU to wear this to your husband's Christmas party. Someone will definitely be getting a bonus. Stuffed directly into the g-string.

Is it not enough to walk around looking like a Christmas tree? Does it have to look like my four year old daughter designed it?

Well, that should tide you over till the week after Christmas right? If you see any other awesome finds, send them over and I'll post them in the interim. In the meantime, Merry weekend before Christmas, and don't dress like an idiot!

Secret Santa

Thursday, December 16, 2010

So I was contacted by T.J. Maxx and asked if I'd like to take part in a fashion blogger Secret Santa and I was all, YES. What could be better than having fashion bloggers buy me presents? T.J. Maxx/ Marshalls gave us all a $50 gift card and a blogger to shop for and set us loose in the stores. I had so much fun picking out my present for Jackie of Sweet Pie Style. After looking at her blog, I concluded that we had similar styles and basically went shopping for myself. Actually, I really wanted what I bought her. Check it out here. (Jackie is wearing the necklace and bracelet I got her under the "Day 23" heading.) More pics of the items found here.

Also, I got to go shopping with only one child since my daughter was on a play date. Shopping with only one child pinging off of the walls and touching everything in T.J. Maxx was the real gift, actually.

So, as I was being a happy little fashion blogger Secret Santa, Juanita from The Frugalicious Mommy was out shopping for me. And she actually bought me something similar to the necklace I bought for Jackie, yet secretly wanted to hoard for myself. YAY! She also sent me an adorable sequined clutch, which I brought with me to my Christmas party on Tuesday. I LOVE not bringing a bulky bag with me. Check out my prezzies!

My new clutch and necklace.

The magpie in me wants to hold onto this sparkly clutch and never let it go.

The cool thing about this necklace is that it has a huge pendant but a shorter, oversized chain. It's serious stuff and I love it.

Thanks, Juanita!

So, by my count you have eight shopping days till Christmas. I'm actually completely finished except for a few random things for the hubs. It feels GOOD! And I came under my Christmas budget about $300 so I'm feeling pretty good and itching to spend... well, $300. How about you guys? Good deals? Are you done? Or are you like me and purposely leave a few stragglers so you have an excuse to go shopping on Christmas Eve? I know. It's an illness.

Killer Cardio Workouts

Monday, December 13, 2010

If you are trying to lose some unwanted weight and inches, having some killer cardio workouts in your routine is a must. Tis the season for extra calories, be sure to add in an extra cardio workout to make up for the "extras" on the weekends.

Depending on what you have available try these four awesome cardio workouts...guaranteed to burn lots of calories.

If you go to a gym, head to one of the stair steppers.
Warm up for a couple of minutes at a pretty easy pace, then kick it up. If you have never tried this exercise, you may want to stay at a challenging steady pace, if you want to give yourself more of a challenge, try alternating single-stepping for two minutes at a fast pace with two minutes at a slower pace, climbing two steps at a time. You won't need to do this for very long!

One of my favourite cardio workouts is stairs. You can do this pretty much any where there is a set of stairs. Your house, a local stadium, or we have some awesome stairs on some hiking trails near by. Start by warming up for a few minutes, walking or even walking the stairs. Then pick up your speed by walking or jogging down the stairs (if you are in your house you might want to walk down-house stairs are closer together) then run up the stairs as fast as you can. Alternate between running up every stair, and skipping a stair. Do that for 30 minutes and you will be sure to burn tons of calories.

Take a boot camp class. These are awesome for burning tons of calories and getting in a great cardio workout. Just when you think you can't do anymore, you usually get do something great like burpees, or wind sprints!! I love them:)

If you are lucky enough to live by a beach, you have an awesome workout just waiting for you. Go down to the beach and start running. If you have never run, you may want to start with a fast walk. The sand alone makes this exercise so much more challenging. To begin warm up with a brisk walk or light jog for a few minutes, then pick up your pace to challenge yourself and go for 30-40 minutes. If you are looking for more of a challenge, try some interval training. After your warm up, go down to the water's edge (the sand is better packed there) and run/sprint for 30 seconds and then jog or walk for 1-2 minutes until you have recovered. Try doing that for even 10 will be done. You can mix the interval portion with your regular run and give yourself the best cardio workout ever!

No matter where you are, or what you have available, you can always get in a great cardio workout, burn tons of calories and look and feel great!

Committed to your fitness success,
Kelly Parker

Freaky Friday: Freakin' Awesome

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sorry, you only get one picture for Freaky Friday today. And that's because it is so epically epic, it shall not be shared with other fashion mishaps.

To know me is to know my insane love for Conan O'Brien. When I was growing up there was a movie about teen girls who robbed a bank OR SOMETHING, I don't remember now, but one girl was totally in love with Coco and I aspire to be her every day.

And this is why:

If you watched the clip posted at the end of my jeggings post, you'd know that Conan was telling Tim Gunn how much he enjoyed the ladies wearing the jeggings. When Tim Gunn pointed out that men sometimes wear them too, Conan promised to wear them on the next show.

Yeah. I know. It's awesome.

Person who posts the funniest caption or comment wins street cred. And go!

How I, Jae, Conquered My Fear of the Jegging

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So, remember the jegging fiasco of 2010? If you don't, here's a quick refresher.. Jae went to store. Jae tried on jeggings. Jae's bod looked ridiculous. Jae felt bad about herself. Jae drowned her sorrows in Chunky Monkey. Basically.

HOWEVER, after I wrote that post, I still was a little sad I couldn't find any that I liked. Because I really did want some to wear with my boots. So, I braved the stores again. This time, I brought my mom so she could watch children while I tried on jeggings in peace. There was less pressure this way. Anyway, long story short, I found some that I hummed and hawed over until I finally bucked up and bought them.

They sat in my closet for about two weeks before I got up the nerve to wear them. Finally, after trying them on with roughly every piece of my wardrobe, I wore them out in public. And guess what? I'm a little addicted now. I love my jeggings oh so very much. I still contend that they aren't for everyone. And I am very careful about HOW I wear them. But they can work! Even for disproportionate people like yours truly.

In fact, Facebook fans will know that I wore them on my four hours of flying yesterday. And since I promised pictures for judgmental judgment, here we go.

Here's the breakdown:
Tunic - H&M
Tie cardigan- Bluenotes
Jeggings (omg) - Forever 21
Boots - Soda via Head Over Heels
Cuff watch - Gucci
Pendant - Local

Also... this picture is taken in my childhood room. Except when I lived there I had cow wallpaper. And a keyboard. I don't understand either.

OK, so I feel like I got away with the fashion equivalent of murder here. I looked put together for my flight AND I got to wear comfy boots that I didn't have to jam into my suitcase. My suitcase which was 60 lbs already.

So, learn from my mistakes ladies. Here's what I learned in my great jeggings search.
1) Jeggings look stupid the first time you put them on. I know that know. If you have a generous backside like moi, try them on with boots. Otherwise, tears will fall.
2) Go up a size. This is advice I gave back when we were discussing skinny jeans at the very start of this blog. Don't squidge yourself into jeggings, even if they are stretchy. For heaven's sake, they're made of spandex. They're tight no matter what size you get. Save yourself the depression and go up.
3) Buy a practice pair. I loved a pair that I tried on at the Gap, but they were pricey. So I bought the $14 F21 versions. Now I know I love them, I'll spend more coin on the next pair.
4) Look for DARK washes that have traditional jean styling. Seriously, pocketless jeggings make me look like I have a diaper bum. It's not pretty. Pockets give some visual interest so it's not just a wide expanse of booty.
5) Get the safest jegging equation down: longer shirt + boots = happiness. As you get more comfortable with your jeggings, you might try flats with them, or a shorter jacket. Just do so with caution.

Still, I can understand general hesitation when it comes to jegging. I will not put them on as a MUST HAVE in your jean wardrobe. It's a bonus, like trouser jeans. If you can pull them off, awesome. If not... you can make disapproving throat noises when I walk by. No biggie.

PS: This post has been approved by Conan O'Brien.

Avoiding Fitness Scams

Monday, December 6, 2010

You hear about fitness scams all the time. One thing I can’t stand is when people are not up front with you. I was just on my computer looking up Goji berries. I knew they were good for us and wanted to know more about it. I heard the business line ringing and ran down to get it. It was a blocked number.

I answered it, and there was a gentleman on the other end who identified himself as Ron and from a company I didn’t quite catch. He then told me he was calling to make sure our fax was working properly.

I said “really”. He said yes, was everything going well. I then asked him how he got my number. He said it was on the fax machine list.

I quickly told him I didn’t have a fax machine, and he even more quickly said he must have the wrong number. I hung up the phone saying to myself “BUSTED”.

You know I don’t mind being marketed to. If you have a good product or service that will benefit me, then sure go ahead, but do it properly. Don’t be sneaky about it. Don’t try to hide what you are really doing. I can’t stand that.

If you are thinking about joining a club, new class, or personal training do your homework. And follow the tips below to ensure you don’t get scammed on your next investment.

Tips For Avoiding Fitness Scams.

1. Look for social proof. Do they have testimonials? Can you see and meet people who have experienced the program you are about to do? If other folks are getting results, it’s a good bet that when you follow the program too, that you will see results as well.

2. Look for Guarantees. Do they guarantee their program or class? If they won’t, why not? Are they unsure of it themselves? If the program is as great as they are saying, then it should be guaranteed.

3. Can You Try It Out? Investing $600 in personal training without first trying it out and meeting the trainer is not cool in my books. When you are investing that kind of money, you want to be sure you “click” with both the company and the trainer. Not only will you love your results but you will enjoy every workout as well. Always try it out first.

4. Hidden Fees. Take a look at what the program is offering. If you are joining a gym, are there hidden fees on top of your membership rate? Do you need to pay extra for classes, sauna, or pool? How many days a week does your program include? Ask lots of questions, don’t’ be shy and find out as much as you can.

When you are meeting about the program you are interested in, you definitely want to go in prepared and know what you want. Know what your goals are and if they seem like they can’t address your goals specifically then it might not be the right place for you. If you feel comfortable with them, and the program sounds good, try it out. One of the most important things in a program is if you enjoyed it. If you enjoy your program you will do it more often and when you do it more often you will see some amazing results!

Committed to your success,

Kelly Parker

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Does anyone else hate when superstar singers screw around with Christmas songs? There's nothing I hate more than when I am belting out Christmas carols in an impromptu concert in my car and the Christina Aguilera feels the need to throw in 10 minutes of runs so I can't sing along. IT'S RUDE.

But seriously, it is kinda freakin' freezing out where I live right now. I've got a little over a foot of snow and I'm heading up to Canada in two days to warm up. There is something very wrong with that picture. Anyway, last week it was my week to carpool and OF COURSE I would have to head outside at the unholy hour of 8:30am to scrape off my car in preparation of loading four four-year-olds into my SUV and slip-sliding down the hill to preschool. And believe you me, I very much wanted to do so in sweatpants. But of course, I blog about fashion and whatnot, and I'm constantly terrified one of the other moms is going to be like "Heeeey! You're wearing yoga pants, you hypocrite!" And I would never live it down. So I force myself to get dressed in the morning.

Luckily, since I grew up in Canada, I am a prostar at dressing for the cold. I tend to underdress out here because I don't find it as bone-rattling as Canada winters, but I still keep warm while looking mildly fashionable. Here's some ideas for you to marinade upon as you think of me, begging my seat warmers to hurry the freak up, and then telling the kids that "freak" is not a nice word to say.

If You're Classic:


OK, I have a firm believe that EVERY woman should have a winter dress coat. I got my first pea coat when I was 17 and I fell in love. I love how classic and streamlined they look. I have three now, in black, red and cream, and honestly, they are as warm, if not warmer, than my big ugly snowmobiling parka. They felt is warm and they don't make you look fat. Need I say more? I like pairing mine with flats as long as it's not snowy, otherwise it's boots.

If You're Sporty:


If you're a little more sporty and the whole pearls and loveliness isn't really your bag in the winter, might I suggest a super cute bomber? It's super warm and I kind of love the lumberjack-esque plaid. Just girly it up with a ruffled skirt so no one mistakes you for an actual lumberjack. You should definitely invest in a pair of warm ankle boots that go on and off quickly. Wear your jeans over the top and you just see your cute, soft, warm little feet. I have a bomber with fir on the hood and it is my go-to jacket when it's blustery out. Plus, I find treats from last year in its myriad of pockets. Once I found an entire Three Musketeer bar. SCORE. ALSO! Be careful when wearing puffier jackets and a purse. Tiny purses jammed over a puffy arm looks silly. Look for big straps or a messenger style.

If You're Trendy:


Now, if you're a little trendier, you should definitely own a leather jacket or something like it. Now, note that all jackets are not created equally. You've seen both my Steve Madden and my Guess jackets, and my Steve Madden is TERRIBLE in the winter because it's very thin. My Guess one is heavily lined so it's a lot warmer for the winter and I've been wearing it a lot. Sorry, Steve, but you're in the closet with spring. Pull out the knee-high boots to wear over skinny jeans for extra trendy points from moi.

So remember that cold weather is not an excuse to look like a dog sledder. Unless of course, you actually OWN a dog sled. No, I have never owned a dog sled.


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