The quest for the perfect white denim

4.23.2014

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve likely heard me voice my displeasure over my white jeans.  When I bought them, I knew that I settled, but they were the right price and at that point, I hadn’t found anything else and I just wanted white jeans.  But I am to the point where I cannot take them anymore. Do you have jeans like that? Pants that you cannot stand to wear. Pants that constantly fall down, leaving you feeling exposed. Pants that are not comfortable.

Why is it so difficult for to find a pair of cute, comfortable, and well-fitted jeans? A pair that won’t reveal plumbers crack when I sit down. A pair that stretches gently, but not so much that they feel baggy after wearing them just a few times. A pair that doesn’t suffer from a crotch sag or tiny pocket syndrome. Why?

With that in mind, like a woman on a mission, I set out to find a pair of white jeans.  And here’s what I found:

Paige Skyline Skinnies
98% cotton / 2% spandex
$80 at Nordstrom Rack
paige-skinny-white-denim
They withstood the test of squats, lunges, and sitting, all without exposing my backside. They seemed like they’d hold up throughout the day, as well. What I wasn’t a fan of was how they made my derrière look. I felt like they were almost too snug looking (but not feeling) for comfort. Something about tight white jeans…its not for me.

 

Loft Modern Skinny Ankle
98% cotton / 2% spandex
$70
loft-skinny-ankle-white-denim
I went into the Loft on a recommendation and a negative attitude. Loft’s pants have never really fit me. I always felt they had more of a “mom” fit to them. They must have changed things up because I was very pleasantly surprised. Fit wise, these were the clear winner in my book. I just wasn’t sure if I was willing to pay $70 for ankle zippers.
 

Gap Real Straight Skimmer $70
98% cotton / 2% spandex
gap-real-straight-skimmer
No. Baggy. Saggy. The denim felt thick and hot (in summer? no bueno). The crotch was droopy and there was too much room for comfort in the booty. BUT I couldn’t go smaller, because I wouldn’t have been able to button them. S’up with that, Gap?
 
JCrew Matchstick
90% cotton / 8% polyester / 2% spandex
$115
jcrew-matchstick

jcrew-matchstick-legs
Another big fat no. These were just too long and they were quite baggy in the calves. Just not flattering all around.

 

JCrew Toothpick Ankle
90% cotton / 8% polyester / 2% spandex
$115
jcrew-ankle-toothpick
I thought these would be a winner, but they fell short. While the fit was very flattering, I felt like they wouldn’t be able to withstand a day of wear. They already had too much ‘give’ in the waist. Sizing down wasn’t flattering…just too tight for my comfort.

So there you go. Are there any retailers or brands I’ve overlooked? Do you suffer from the same issues when shopping for denim?

Linking up with Lindsey.

 photo newblogsignature_zps266b4b3e.jpg

Ten reasons to grow your own food

4.08.2014

April is upon us and that means that its time to get the garden started!  Do you plant a garden? If you don’t, there’s seriously no excuse not to. I cannot even keep a potted succulent alive, but gardens I have no issues with.

succulent
(sad. so sad.)

 

And space? I live on less than a 1/4 acre city postal stamp lot. No space needed!

1. Taste: homegrown fruits and vegetables just taste better. They are jucier and crisper and more flavorful.

2. Health: The Journal of American Dietetic Association found that children more than doubled their overall fruit and vegetable consumption after their parents grew a food garden in their yard. Additionally, fresh vegetables are 50% higher in nutrients.

3. Fitness: When you’re working in the garden, you’re outdoors, moving. Not only can you burn approximately 300 calories while gardening, but you also get to squat, stretch and do other things that are awesome for your body.

4. Budget: Its no shock that a garden can considerably reduce grocery your bill.  One seed costs between 3-10 cents. Compare that with the cost of 1 piece of produce at the store. If you plan well, you can save some great money by gardening from spring into fall and by canning some of your harvest, as well.

5. Happiness: Digging in the dirt makes you feel good!

6. Its good for your kids: It not only teaches them life skills, but you’re teaching them about health and sustainability.

7. Environmentally friendly: By growing your own garden, you’re greatly reducing your carbon footprint. Additionally, if you skip the pesticides, you’re not adding to air pollution.

8. Sense of achievement: Nothing feels better than when you prep a meal made from ingredients that you grew from a seed.

9. Less waste: The average person is more likely to throw out produce purchased at the grocery store that has gone mushy than food grown in their garden. When you take ownership of it, you are less apt to take it for granted.

10. Safer food: When you’re growing it, you have control over it. You don’t have to worry about contamination from farm runoff or from the manufacturing plant where it was cut and bagged.

Like I mentioned, I have no yard. But we still manage to squeeze in 2 square foot gardens and a few pots and patches. By planting strategically, last year I managed to grow asparagus, pole beans, jalapenos, bell peppers, several types of tomatoes, kale, chard, spinach, mesclun, romaine, carrots, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, small cantaloupe, onion, garlic, and lots of herbs.  I’ve tried to grow beets, but every year, I fail.

Do you garden?? Do you have a large yard? What do you grow? If you don’t garden, what’s stopping you?  For more gardening stuff, check out my gardening board on Pinterest.

 photo newblogsignature_zps266b4b3e.jpg

An organized house for spring

4.03.2014

how to: an organized home for spring @houseoftubers.com

Usually the first thing people think of during Springtime is cleaning. However, I’m here to tell you that organization in the home is equally as important. Contrary to popular belief, getting your home organized can be a fun project that the whole family can enjoy. Follow the tips below for a home that is both organized and beautiful for Spring.

Declutter each room: The first step to any decluttering project is to decide what’s going to stay and what must go. One room at a time, make piles of the items you haven’t used in a while. Let’s be honest. If you haven’t used something in over a year, you’re probably not going to use it again. By getting rid of a few items in each room you’ll gain more living space and feel less stressed. (Really, try it out)
Don’t feel like you have to do all the organizing by yourself. Involving children and other family members into the cleaning up process can help you grow closer together. For a list of games to make getting organized fun for children, read this article.

Donate and Sell: Make piles of items that can be sold or donated. If you’re looking to make a few quick bucks (and aren’t we all) consider listing items in good shape on sites like Craigslist, or Facebook pages for people selling items in a specific city. Donate items that you can’t sell, but would are still in good condition. Throw away everything else.

Buy: Here comes the fun part! Using the cash you made from selling unused items, you can now buy fun storage options. Consider looking at sites like Pinterest for organization inspiration. Investing in matching tubes and baskets is always a good idea for books or other small items that need stored.

Decide Function: Now’s the time for some rearranging. If you were unorganized before this process it’s probably because you have too much in too small of an area. Or, it could be your current organization system just isn’t working. Consider the function of each room that you’ve organized. Make a list of the items that you use the most and the items that you use the least. Put items that you use the most at eye level or where they are easily accessible. Items that aren’t used as frequently should be placed out of the way.

Have fun: Nothing says Spring like a touch of color! Now that your room is organized feel free to add decorations for Spring and other colorful accents that showcase your newly organized home. If decorating isn’t your style, be sure to reward yourself (and other family members) for the amazing job they just completed. It could be a walk, a piece of chocolate, or a shopping spree. You decide!

Stephanie Hanson is the community manager for Monkey Bar Storage Solutions. They provide homeowners in Milwaukee and the surrounding areas with custom garage storage solutions. For more ideas on organization, follow their corporate Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/monkeybars/.

 photo newblogsignature_zps266b4b3e.jpg

eShakti’s 2014 Spring line

4.01.2014

I received a free dress from eShakti in return for writing a review on my blog
eShakti spring line 2014

Spring is almost here…and on Sunday and Monday, it actually felt like Spring!!!  I actually left the house wearing no jacket. And yesterday I walked the dog after I was at the gym, wearing my workout capris. Crazy, I know!  With the season temps comes the urge to buy some fun, seasonal clothing, as well. So when eShakti contacted me to review a piece from their 2014 Spring line, I couldn’t resist.

eShakti spring dress 2014

You may have heard me mention eShakti here before, when I’ve talked about some of the other custom items I’ve gotten from them.  I just love that eShakti can custom fit any of their pieces for you, from sizes 0-36. And not only do they custom fit, but they can often tailor certain pieces to your liking, by adding/subtracting pockets or embellishments, changing the neckline or sleeves and shortening/lengthening the hemline.

Every since my friend Robyn found (and wore) a gorgeous yellow dress at Nordstroms several years ago, I’ve been wanting a yellow dress. But I have to be careful with yellows, so its taken a few years to find one whose color didn’t make me look sickly. When I came across this one, it fit the bill perfectly. I wish I had thought to take photos of the back…the neckline is a ‘v’ in the back and there are fabric covered faux buttons that go down to the waist.

eshakti spring 2014
I opted to, once again, go the custom route, and send in my measurements, to ensure a perfect fit. I kept the sleeves and neckline the same, but lifted the hem a bit. And I went with pockets. Because who doesn’t love pockets? (unless its a fitted dress. then pockets have no place being there).

eShakti Spring2014 line

The dress fit perfectly. A little too perfectly. There is only a small partial side zipper that opens to allow you to slip it over your head. It took my husband’s help to get me in and out of the dress. Whoopsie! A full side zip would be so much more beneficial. I’ll be taking this to the tailor to have that done so that I am able to wear this without fear of ripping it or getting a dislocated shoulder when putting it on.

Have you ever purchased anything from eShakti? What spring purchases are you looking forward to making?

linking up with lindsey , Alison, and Allison

 photo newblogsignature_zps266b4b3e.jpg

Go strong or go home

4.01.2014

Its April 1st, so in the words of the great FLOTUS, “Let’s Move!”

Today’s Ten on Tuesday was inspired by the #1800minutechallenge . When I saw this challenge, I thought easy peasy! But I realize that not everyone exercises. I know that its super easy to come up with an excuse like, “I have no time”, “I’m too busy”, or “I can’t afford a gym membership!”, all to which I’ll wave my hand at. If you make something important enough, you can find the time. And you don’t need a gym. Or any special equipment (check out this awesome at-home workout Sadie put together).

With that, I bring you the Top 10 Reasons to Get Moving!

1. it boosts your immunity

2. you can burn more calories at rest (the more lean muscle mass you have, the more efficient your metabolism will be)

3. its a natural mood booster and anxiety lifter

4.  keep your ticker ticking (heart health)

5. it helps prevent muscle loss

6.  it strengthens your bones

7. it reduces fatigue

8. it will help boost productivity

9. it can help lower your cholesterol + blood pressure naturally or keep it at a normal level

10. for pure vanity…strong feels sexy!

1800Button

In addition to the 1800 minute challenge, I am participating in a 1,500 Pushups in April challenge that my gym is having. What are you doing to get moving? What inspires you to exercise??
 

 

 photo newblogsignature_zps266b4b3e.jpg

Theme by Blogmilk   Coded by Brandi Bernoskie