Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Jay-Z in Dallas: The Carter Takeover is Now Complete

*Sigh* What can I say? I'm with Kid Fury on this one.  The Carters combined for 2013...have snatched my edges completely this year and left me bald.  I mean...first was Beyonce's concert in July and it was EVERYTHING!  It was non-stop dancing and singing for at least a couple of hours.

Then came the shocker on December 13, 2013 when Beyonce secretly dropped her album. It's a moment I will never forget.  I was late to work because I wasn't leaving until I downloaded all 32 items off of her visual album.  My productivity that day...was at an all-time low.  I drove to work in a daze....in shock that Beyonce had released an album and I had no clue.  At this point, I didn't need a Christmas present because Beyonce had just given me the ultimate Christmas gift...her album.

And then...came the Jay-Z concert on December 21, 2013. The last time I saw Jay-Z was when he came with Kanye for the Watch the Throne concert.  I have videos on my iPhone STILL from the concert it was so great. My last phone was at the brink of having zero memory and shutting down....it came between me losing my contacts or losing my Watch the Throne concert videos...and let's just say I deleted contacts.  The concert was just that great.

So what to wear to the newest Jay-Z concert? It was a little cold in Dallas but not cold enough for tights or anything so I opted to go balls to the wall with no tights and peep toe booties.  I think the outfit turned out pretty good.  And knowing that I would be completely turned up at the concert and probably sweating, I opted to layer just in case I needed to shed a layer or two. I think that a faux fur vest goes great over anything (t-shirt, blouse, dress, etc.) so you really can't go wrong.  You should definitely invest in one if you don't have one.

Layered a faux fur vest from Nordstrom Rack over a cowl-necked sweater dress; paired with Marco Santi peep toe boots purchased on sale from Hautelook.com / Clutch by Coach
I went to the concert with my girlfriend Marquea and as always, we screamed all of the lyrics at the top of our lungs and Jay-Z rocked it out.  One of the best concerts of 2013 for me.  He really knows how to get the crowd hype and the energy was just amazing.  If you missed the concert, then I'm sorry...it was crazy good!

You missed the concert?  So sad for you!
Marquea and I

Friday, December 20, 2013

Viva la Via Spiga: Exclusive Peek at the Resort Collection (Discount Code Included)

I am a certifiable shoe addict...just ask anyone who has taken a look into my closet.  Shoes are stacked high on the shelves, hidden behind my clothes and hanging on the backs of several of my closet and bathroom doors.  So imagine how much I swooned when Vogue sent me the pics from Via Spiga's resort collection??? Which ones are your favorite styles???  Just for being a loyal follower, enjoy 15% off by using the exclusive gift code RESORTREADY when you shop this newest collection. This offer is good through January 16, 2014 and is only valid on full-priced items. HAPPY SHOPPING FASHIONISTAS!






Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bloggers of a Feather, Flock Together: Face of Aftershock Event in Dallas

Last night was the reveal of the "Face" of Aftershock London, an international formal wear brand that opened its U.S. flagship store right here in Dallas! The winning model would be the face of the brand for a year and also win a trip to London.  All of the Dallas fashionistas were at Aria and dressed to the nines. After all of the holiday eating, I was dressed "comfortably" to the nines...ensuring that my pants had a stretch waist haha but nonetheless all decked out in Express.  First...let's start with the shoes.  Yes, I built my outfit entirely around my shoes.

Gold strapped ankle heels by Michael Antonio from DSW

I paired these heels with a "Members Only" styled jacket from Express, a regular cotton racer backed tank and silky styled cobalt blue "above-the-ankle" pants from Express.  Cobalt Blue was THE color of the year for me for 2013 (See blog post featuring my cobalt blue Kate Spade handbag). I finished off the look with a gold and black clutch by Express (of course) and accessories by Stella and Dot & by my girl, Chelsea Bond's "Jetsetter Happy Hour Jewelry".

Pictured with fellow Dallas bloggers: Kelley Barnes of The Style Barn and ShantaQuilette Williams of Style Follows Her
I am always encouraged when bloggers can gather in one building and get along so great and encourage and uplift one another. We are all in it for the love of fashion...but sometimes women can get catty and our competitive natures can take over. However, with these women it was all love and I'm excited for any new ventures that involve these beautiful and talented Dallas bloggers.

The whole concept got me thinking about Ecclesiastes 4:12: ~Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.~

Once we realize that as a unit we are more powerful and can make more waves in Dallas and the fashion industry as a whole TOGETHER, I think that we will all go pretty far. My theory is to always uplift and support all bloggers that I encounter and to engage in as many partnerships and collaborations as I can. I think overall in life, this is how God intended for us to be--to work together towards a common purpose instead of trying to do everything on our own.

Me and the beautiful Mary Mirsky, Stylist and Dallas Blogger...this is what I call "High Low Fashion"...me being the high and Mary being the low...height-wise...haha!
All in all, it was a fabulous event..full of mixing and mingling and rounding out 2013 with some of Dallas' finest fashionistas.  I can't wait for what 2014 will bring...what God will reveal and the opportunities that will be realized.  BLESSINGS TO YOU ALL~Leah

Me and the hardest working PR girl in town, Amber LaFrance of Culture-Hype

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fabulous Find: All the Wire Jewelry

This week I stumbled upon my newest jewelry obsession: All the Wire. After going to Courtney Kerr's premiere of her new show and meeting her bestie Tori Gonzales (see blog post here for more details), I found out through all of the various social media channels that Tori has her own jewelry company with her sister Desiree. Naturally, me being the nosy fashion journalist that I am...I just had to get the skinny on her jewelry collection. I immediately click on "shop" and the shop-a-holic in me just goes nuts...despite the fact that I should be Christmas shopping for others...OOPS!  Don't you just hate when that happens?

All The Wire Texas Charm Necklace ($25.00)
I see this Texas charm necklace and I immediately purchase it. I'm a Texas girl at heart, born and raised in Dallas and anything that I can wear to let everybody know that Texas is the best...I gotta have it. The jewelry is excellent for layering which is one of my favorite things to do. I can't wait to show you guys how I rock it when it arrives!  WOOP! WOOP!

All The Wire Chevron Midi-Ring ($10.00)
She also has adorable midi rings which have become my favorite jewelry obsession for the past year. Above all, the prices are super affordable. I just purchased both the charm necklace and the midi-ring and both cost me under $50!  SCORE!!!!  HAPPY SHOPPING DIVAS AND ENJOY! LET'S SUPPORT THIS DALLAS DIVA AND HER COMPANY!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Up Close and Personal With Courtney Kerr

I was so privileged to have been only one of a handful of hand-selected press to attend the "Courtney Loves Dallas" premiere at LOOK Cinemas on December 5, 2013. Although "Ice-Maggedon" was slowly making its way into Dallas, I drove through sleet to go to the premiere (I'm a Bravo TV-aholic so what can I say?) and to obviously see and interview Courtney Kerr. To read my interview click here.

Now....since I am in the fashion circle and on the scene in Dallas...there are many times where I will sit down at shows a seat or two from Courtney or attend special blogger events with Courtney but never have we actually talked face to face.  Can I just say....that she and Tori are hilarious???  Like seriously...they have both been adopted into the family as my home-girls...they just don't know it yet.

Tori Gonzales, Me and Courtney Kerr at the premiere of Courtney Loves Dallas at Look Cinemas on December 5, 2013.  Photo Credit: Thomas Garza Photography

Tori totally tried to jack me for my Kate Spade handbag but I wasn't having it. I told her she could cop one too for $90 at Nordstrom Rack. But in all seriousness, I was just touched with how down to earth Courtney was and the fact that through all of the fame, she still sticks close to the friends that have been there with her since day 1.

Tori Gonzales, best friend of Courtney Kerr and co-star of "Courtney Loves Dallas" cracking me up...I think at this point she was telling me..."Let's not talk about me...let's talk about you...and that handbag!" (See a better pic of my fabulous handbag in another one of my blog post's by clicking here.) Oh yeah...and all that hair is MINE OH MINE! / Photo Credit: Thomas Garza Photography
She is also a true testament to the fact God can change your life in an instant. Courtney was in corporate America doing like most of us bloggers...blogging on the side.  I can hardly imagine that she knew that she would be in this place right now.  All of that to say...don't get down on your luck or think that God has forgotten about you. In the blink of an eye He can elevate you and give you so much provision that you are just amazed. Just keep believing and pressing forward.

I pray that Courtney remains humble throughout it all.  This is the second interview that I have done with Courtney and she has remained the same.  Last interview I had with Courtney she said that she prefers to do most of her PR so that she can retain control of her own image and how she is portrayed. You have to respect her hustle.  

Me interviewing both Tori Gonzales and Courtney Kerr / Photo Credit: Thomas Garza Photography
All in all, being there with Courtney was first of all an honor...that Plan B PR thought that I was "special" enough to be one of the select press individuals there to interview the new reality star.  But overall, I gained so much motivation for myself...to keep pushing...to know that what God has for me is coming...and that I need to be prepared...because in an instant, your life can change in the blink of an eye.  Will you be ready when He elevates your life to the next level? How are you preparing yourself? Have you prayed for humility and that His will be done?  If not, these are the questions that need to be asked and ultimately answered. 


Leah J.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Does This Skirt Make My Butt Look Big?

So I went into H&M several weeks ago to get this sweater that I had my eye on.  I've been into this big print movement and just wanted to try it out.  It's a huge oversized sweater that I can wear with a skirt or with leggings/jeggings.

All H&M Everything...Large Over-sized sweater, Leather skirt with Studs and textured tights

So of course I go into H&M and the sweater is only $14.95...so excited! If I'm going to wear a large oversized top then I always make sure to slim my bottom so that I don't look large.  It's a way of balancing the whole look out. So this leather studded skirt from H&M was perfect in mixing in a more fitted bottom and balancing out the huge sweater on top. If I ever want to slim it out, I can add a belt around the middle. The whole look was under $50, so score!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

J. Brand Jeans, Tootsies Blogger's Brunch and New Friends

Tootsies Blogger's Brunch 12.4.2013 - featuring a special presentation by J. Brand Jeans (Model wearing: Blouse by Alexis and J. Brand Jeans)  PHOTO CREDIT: LEAH FRAZIER
Tootsies invited roughly 20 Dallas fashion bloggers on December 4, 2013 inside its store for a special bloggers brunch and I was so excited to be one of them.  We received first hand tips from J. Brand's guru, Oscar--who has fitted J. Brand jeans for Madonna, Serena Williams, Kelly Ripa and Beyonce.

My name tag from the event...they spelled my name wrong but who cares...it's still a pretty big deal!
After the event I am officially in LOVE with J. Brand's jeans and I can not wait to get my first pair.  There is a pair called "Photo Ready"...it has 4 times the amount of stretch (Thank god!) and makes you look 1 to 2 sizes skinnier.  I can't wait to get these jeans and to take pics for this blog!  Especially since I have been going SUPER HARD on the holiday eating. (oops!)

Tootsies treated us like royalty...an awesome swag bag with a $50 gift card to Tootsies, Nicole Miller iPhone 5 case cover, sunglasses, etc. Also, I really enjoyed meeting all of the other Dallas fashion bloggers. They were all friendly and so super excited to network and to connect with other bloggers.  There was no competitive air and I was so encouraged that these women looked at me as a friend rather than rolling their eyes in envy or jealousy as women can get when we are all after the same thing.  There was nothing but DALLAS BLOGGER LOVE in the air!

Me and Dallas writer, Teia Collier (My Outfit details: Necklace, Express; Polka-Dotted Blouse, H&M; Jeggings, Express; Boots, Nine West)

Me and Dallas fashion blogger, Meredith Govea of Create That Outfit (she was super sweet and will always get my support here in town!)
Welp...just another day and another fashion event in Dallas..until next time!  Ciao fashionistas!!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Day In The Life of a Charity/Fashion/Lifestyle Writer

I get asked a lot of questions or better yet told of how cool my job is and honestly, I couldn't feel more blessed to be able to do what I do everyday and to meet such an amazing and diverse group of people in the city of Dallas. So since inquiring minds want to know...I figured I would do a post about a typical Saturday OR a day where I'm slotted to cover several events at one time.  And since Dallas is SO huge...it ends up being 3-4 events in one day.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

  • 6:30AM - wake up...fix my early morning cup of joe which normally rounds out to about 5 cups of coffee (I know...horrible habit)  Start to think about the events I have to cover, the people I'm going to meet and the questions I will ask.  At this point in time, I actually consider writing 1-2 articles/posts before heading out the door for the day.
  • 9:00AM - hit the shower but not before skimming through social media to get a good laugh or to see what I can do to increase readership for the events that I will be covering for the day (What hashtags will I use, who I will tag and what are they already posting about their events)
    • In between all of this, I have to carefully select a comfortable yet trendy outfit. Nothing is worse than being photographed as a "fashion writer" and you look everything less than fashionable.
  • 10:00AM - bolt out the door to head to the grocery store to get canned goods for the first charity event.  Yes...most people will get things like this the day before...but with my life...I don't have time for that!
  • 11:25AM - DETOUR!  Remembers that today is Nordstrom Rack's holiday sale and Kate Spade handbag/tote is on sale for $90!  Heads over to Nordstrom Rack...already knows where the purse is...scoops it up, gives troubling husband advice on what handbag to buy for his wife for Christmas, and is out in less than 10 minutes.
"Isn't she a beaut???" In my Cher from Clueless voice. haha Kate Spade tote for $90 from Nordstrom Rack..what a steal and worth making a detour for.
  • 11:35AM - Starts to think....there was a clutch I left at Express and didn't buy last week that will look REALLY cute with my outfit for tonight's charity event...makes another DETOUR across the street to North Park Mall and picks up clutch. SCORE!
Express clutch for FREE 99!  After applying my Express coupon and remaining funds on my Express giftcard. SCORE!  I love the gold detailing on this clutch and its versatility.  It can be dressed up or down. If I didn't have the gift card it would have only cost me $22.
  • Noon - arrives at Chili-anthropy charity event in Deep Ellum.  Scopes the scene, finds the organizer to make introductions, finds photographer for arrangements on post-event photos and then makes the room (with a cocktail of course) to get short interviews and gather info for a write-up. After I feel like I have enough content then I par-tay! Chili, Tequila and Fritos...FUNNERS!
Great friends...freezing our butts off for charity...thank God Jarrod's chili could warm us up! From left to right: Larry, Amber, Me and Jarrod at Chili-Anthropy charity event benefiting North Texas Food Bank
  • 1:10PM - hauls butt from Deep Ellum to Frisco through traffic to make the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Holiday fashion show for Miss Me Jeans. Looks at gas light...nope, can't make it to Frisco...will have to pull over and get gas!  Darn...especially when my GPS shows that I'm gonna get to the event at 2:03PM -  Anyone who knows me knows that I HATE being late...plus the event organizer made it VERY clear that the show was going to start on time promptly at 2:00PM. So....I'm not going to say what I did or how fast I went but....I made it to the event on time. LOL Was also excited to get a V.I.P. swag bag that included a pair of my very own Miss Me blinged out Jeans!
Me and the lovely ladies of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
  • 3:30PM - head home for a quick nap before getting ready for the Trend Next charity fashion show benefiting Baylor Health Care Systems. Watched crap reality TV to unwind and tried to get in a quick hour and 15 minute nap before getting glammed up for Trend Next.
  • 5:00PM - started getting ready for Trend Next...mulled over whether to go "natural girl", "vampy vixen" or "smokey-eye Kim K-ish". Decided to go with a smokey eye with vampire red lips...it was a hit! Finished up getting ready but couldn't head out the door without taking my journal with me to take notes on the event.  Have to mix business with pleasure!!!
My new ECO-FRIENDLY journal courtesy of one of my newest partners, Grapevine Mills Mall.  Small enough to throw into my clutch and go!  PERFECT FOR THE JOURNALIST ON THE GO!
  • 6:45PM - arrive at the event...ready to see some awesome fashion, eat some gourmet food and support founder, Shamequia Cason, as she educates about organ donations and Baylor Health Care Systems. This event was fantastic!  Elegantly done and I am SO proud of all of the hard work that Shamequia did to have Trend Next (in my opinion) as one of the top fashion events in Dallas for the year.
Me posing at Trend Next.  Outfit Details from Head to Toe.  Earrings by Purple Aura Jewels, Necklace by Lia Sophia, Dress by Express, Clutch by Express, Textured tights and Booties by Steve Madden Girl from DSW
Photo Credit: Eden Russom (Love her!)

  • 10:35PM - post updates to social media...eat my cookie from my swag bag from the event, fix a glass of Dr. Pepper 10 and CRASH!!!!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Get the Defibrillator---Urban Decay Is Coming Out With Naked 3

So...by now you guys should be at a point where when I tell you something is going to be a hit, or that you should mark your calendars for something, then you should do it, right?  Well...my favorite make-up brand Urban Decay is posting all over the web and on Instagram about the release of Naked 3...the third (well technically 4th) eye shadow pallet from the Naked series. (See related blog post: Get Naked!) 

Urbandecay.com / The moment I thought I was gonna pass out from excitement.
Anyone who is everyone will be rushing out to get this new pallet so PLEASE take it from that it will behoove you (I just love that word..behoove)...it will "behoove" you to go to Urban Decay's website and sign up to be on the list to get the EXACT release date for this newest pallet. It will sell like hotcakes as soon as it hits the stores so I wouldn't even risk it.  Both Naked 1 and 2 were $50...so start saving your funds now and get ready to own a piece of greatness.

Naked 1, 2 & 3 side by side...SWOON!!!!! This is a snapshot of the evil trolls at Urban Decay teasing the lowly beauty obsessed peasants about the newest release of Naked 3.  HOW EVIL!
I have both Naked 1 and 2 and have yet to be disappointed. I've received the most compliments I have ever received makeup wise when I use these eyeshadow pallets and it's just all around a must have. Whether you are new to the use of eye shadows or a pro who uses 6 brushes when doing your eyes, you MUST have these pallets.

Recap: Janelle Monae Does Dallas, Does It Big and Renews My Faith In Music

It's only once every blue moon that you can truly say that you experienced true artistry at its finest and for me...that was the Janelle Monae "Electric Lady" show that she did on November 9, 2013 at the House of Blues.  I was already pretty pumped up to go...but I was NOT ready for what the Electric Lady herself had in store for us.

First off...her opening act... *no words*.  Roman Gian Arthur...completely tore the roof down and shocked the entire house! He was like Prince, Donnell Jones and all of the great R&B acts all mixed together.  The entire time he was on the stage I think everyone's mouths were on the floor.  Janelle could not have picked a more perfect opening act...and to make it all come together...he was from Denton, Texas...so BOOM! #Texasisthegreatest  As soon as he left the stage, we were all on our Smart phones trying to Google him and download his music, he was just THAT GOOD!

So after Roman Gian Arthur left the stage, it was like being at an old school house party.  The House of Blues started playing everything from Stevie Wonder to Lauryn Hill...*sigh Lauryn Hill*.  It's just one of those names in music you hear and you automatically get mad...just thinking about "what could have been."  Anyways, I digress.

So the electric lady herself takes the stage and she's all in a straight jacket. The whole show was not just a performance but a production with themes and everything. When I say I got my entire life out of this concert, I mean exactly that.  And I know I may come up missing after I type this but....I enjoyed this concert so much more than the Beyonce concert. (Grips pearls...)  I can't believe I just typed that.

So if Janelle has not yet made it to your town...PLEASE catch this show..it's only between $25-$35 AND she comes out into the crowd AND she crowd surfed AND get there super early because they hand out backstage passes to meet Janelle Monae herself to people who are in the front row before the show even begins.  The darn early birds caught the worm...and I wasn't one of them because I was trying to be cute in my heels and didn't want my feet to be hurting by the end of the night so arrived at the venue after the doors opened.  Again...can't change the past...so I digress.

Oh last word of advice...if you don't have a boo, find one for the show...because once she performs "Primetime", it puts you in the mood to slow dance...and you don't wanna be like me, wrapping your arms around yourself singing all the words to the song.  NOT HOT!

Janelle Monae arriving on stage in a straight jacket

The Electric Lady Tour - Janelle Monae / House of Blues Dallas 11.9.2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Blaine's Tamed My Mane....and I Liked It (Giveaway Included)

Blaine's Salon is one of the top salons in Dallas and is located in the trendy and posh area of Uptown off of McKinney Ave. I personally know the owners, Blaine and Sharon Schlaudt and wanted to see if their salon had what it took to tame my "natural" mane. Blaine, a guru of ALL hair types, gladly invited me in and wanted to show me why his salon knows no bounds and can tame even the toughest of manes...MINE! haha

My hair type is super coarse and after a 4 day old twist-out, I really wondered whether or not Blaine and his crew could fulfill the task.  But just as any professional stylists would, the Blaine's Dallas crew welcomed me like family, poured me MANY glasses of the champs (fancy word for champagne....I was in Uptown so you know...gotta get a little fancy) and had me feeling like a million bucks in a couple of hours.

I came into Blaine's after work after sporting a 4-day old twist-out that I had smooshed up into a bun with a double-wound headband.  Let's face it, I was a "natural" disaster.  I guess this is what you get when you're a full-time attorney, writing for 6 publications, with clients that I'm styling and attending social events several times a week. Pic 1 is after we took my bun down, pic 2 was after Manny finger-combed my twist-out.  Pic 3 and 4 is after straightening. 

Hair done by Manny at Blaine's Salon in Dallas. God Bless Him! I have a lot of hair and it is thicker than a snicker too!
While Manny was testing his skills out on my hair, I had a chance to talk to Blaine about the products that he was using...because as you know, us naturalistas are VERY particular about what products we put in our hair.  We steer clear of heavy concentrated alcohol hair products and if the first named ingredients aren't water or some form of organic oil (i.e. coconut oil, argan oil, etc.), then it's pretty much a no go. 

However Blaine's Salon uses their specially made products that Blaine personally created and tested in the labs to ensure that they have the highest level of concentration of organic oils and ingredients. And...you know me...not that I didn't believe Blaine and all...but I had to look on the back of the products and sure enough the first ingredient was water so major points for Blaine on that one!

And did I mention the smell???  The products smell amazing! I was practically in spa-mode when I was getting my hair massaged and shampooed at the bowl. *Sigh*  Pure Bliss.  *Future boo--take notes!*

I must say that after all was said and done and my hair was straightened, this was THE softest that my hair has felt in YEARS!

Manny trimming my ends.  2 years and 8 months natural.  Look at the length!!!
2 years and 8 months natural.  I'm going for bra-strap length.  Hopefully the next time I go to Blaine's I'll be 2 inches closer to my goal!  Look at the healthy sheen!

The finished product! I felt amazing!!! *fingers crossed that it wasn't humid outside...we all know what that means...*

All that to receive one of the best straightening experiences that I have received in awhile. If you're a naturalista like me and you're looking for a salon in Uptown to straighten or tame your mane, then Manny at Blaine's is the guy for you. Get your hair straightened, sip some champs, and then walk across the street and grub out at Del Frisco's Grille which has some amazing flatbreads and a fantastic wine list.  Now if only Blaine's can tame both my hair AND these obnoxious guys in Dallas, then we would be on to something here!

For more questions on Blaine's and to see what all his salon has in store, then click here.

Now for the giveaway....one lucky reader will receive full-sized bottles of Blaine's Salon products to try out and tell all of their friends about. The contest will run until November 8, 2013 so good luck!  Products will ship between November 9, 2013 and November 10, 2013

Leave a comment on this blog with your email address to be entered to win. Earn extra entries by following me on twitter @diamondicon, following me on instagram @beautyforeashes and/or by liking my styling companies' Facebook page "Diamond Icon Image and Styling Consultants."  Good luck!

(If you're having troubling entering a comment, choose "Anonymous" from the dropdown and enter your email that way.)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fabulous Fashion Find: Bagadocious Bags (Promo Code Included)

So how annoying is it when you go to your closet and you are looking for a particular handbag but can't locate it quick enough because you don't know which dustbag it's in?  I know that I have several dustbags for my Kate Spade and Brahmin handbags but I have to look through each one to find the handbag that I want when I want it.

Well, there's a cure for that and it's called Bagadocious.  With Bagadocious, all you have to do is choose the type of dust bag that you want and it can be used for your handbags, clutches, shades, shoes or other accessories.  Upload a picture of whatever item you need a dustbag for and VOILA!  You have a quality made dustbag with a picture of what's inside so that you can cut down on how much time you spend in your closet looking for certain items.

I feel like I hit a gold mine.  Check out the Bagadocious handbags I made below.   For the first 5 followers to leave a comment on this post with their email address, I will email you a PROMO code to receive 50% off of a custom-made Bagadocious dustbag!  These make for perfect gift items as well!

Bagadocious handbag dustbag covers...you even get to choose the outside trim color!

Sunglasses Bagadocious covers--a great way to protect your sunglasses if you misplace your case.
Bagadocious bags for shoes.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Eat Clean (with a little bit of dirty) 21+ day Challenge

*WARNING---YOU WILL SLIM DOWN AND POSSIBLY LOSE WHATEVER BOOTY, BOOBS AND OTHER CURVINESS YOU ONCE HAD* (Disclaimer: I lost some of these because I did not exercise while on this eating plan...now back to your regularly scheduled blog-reading...)

So there's this whole "Eat Clean - Train Dirty" movement going on.  You see it everywhere.. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram...everywhere! I'm not really into working out or training per se.....so I just decided to "eat clean" before I went on my vacation to Hawaii. I left off the "train dirty" part...if I'm going to do a so-called lifestyle change...I have to take it one step at a time.  Eating right AND working out together would have been a little too much for me.  So...I started on my eat clean journey about 25 days out from the day that I was leaving for Hawaii.  I wanted to give myself plenty of time to cheat and then start over again. haha

So I adapted this grocery list from a woman I follow on Instagram by the name of @Mankofit.  She is absolutely so amazing and an inspiration. I was also inspired by a friend of mine, Keya @kmg_fitness on Instagram.  She set her mind to transforming her body and in 6 months she is so lean, with abs and doing body-building competitions. AMAZING! For her "eat clean" rituals, she used the same ingredients as Mankofit and helped me to come up with different ways to prepare my food...but to be super healthy.

So here's the grocery list I followed taken from Mankofit's "Eat Clean Train Dirty" 30-day Challenge (if you can't read the list, please contact me and I will email it to you):


So I went to the store and picked up the ingredients...not really knowing what was in store for me or just how difficult this may or may not be.

(Kinda blurry but you get the idea...)

I did a prayer to the good Lord above that I make it through this challenge and not let my inner fatkid take over.  Here are week one pics.  So I am very critical of myself.  In doing this challenge, all I wanted to do was flatten my lower tummy and feel great in my bathing suit.


Team "No-Camel Toe" haha / You can tell I'm a fashion blogger too...look at all the shoes on the back of my doors...the makeup brushes on my counter so that my face stays BEAT...but not in this pic obviously! Oh and the gold Michael Kors phone case...love!

The side view...the lower pooch has got to go!  And I'm not delirious...it's really there. I wanted more definition and to burn the fat/jelly.

Ok, so the first thing to this challenge is prepping your meals.  The last thing you want to do is bust out pots and pans all week.  I'm a full-time attorney and part-time blogging and attending Dallas social events...so Leah does not have time for that! I choose to prep my meals on Sunday while I'm watching crap reality TV and sipping on a glass of wine.  And if you're not on Pinterest...sign up now!!!  The majority of my crockpot chicken recipes came off of Pinterest and kept me from getting bored with what I was eating everyday.  If you don't have Pinterest and want some of my favorite recipes, contact me and I will email them to you.

I would suggest buying tons of tupperware.  This was only me stacking my lunches in the fridge after I prepped them.

So I am in LOVE with the way the Mankofit outlined what to eat for breakfast...especially where the fruits are concerned.  She's very specific in that you can only consume the blueberries, grapefruit and strawberries in the morning.  DO NOT DEVIATE FROM THIS!  I noticed that after a week of following this...that my metabolism was through the roof!!!  I was eating constantly throughout the day.  I definitely credit this to the way that Mankofit tells you specifically what and when to eat certain items on the grocery list. (Grocery List is pictured above) 

One of my faves...oatmeal with sliced strawberries, sweetened with splenda.
For work throughout the week, it was easier for me to bring strawberries and blueberries for breakfast.  After a week my palette was cleansed of artificial sugars and these berries were VERY sweet to my taste-buds.  If you're a heavy sugar eater, it may take a week or so to entirely taste the true and natural sugars.


SO....during week 1, I cheated twice...I couldn't help it.  My friends called up and were like, "Hey girl, let's catch up"...and that was that.  But even still...all this to prove that even if you fall off track, you can STILL REACH YOUR GOAL!


 Ok people...so you have to get REAL creative with the grocery list..but it is totally doable.  I love fish...so most of my meals were pan-seared fish with seasonings and as far as my sides...I just had to create dishes to avoid getting bored.  This one is an egg-white scramble that I created with diced tomatoes, sliced avocados...all on a bed of sauteed spinach. #nomnomnom

 More pan-seared tilapia with brown rice.  For the brown rice, I boil the rice in a mixture of water and chicken broth to create more flavor..top with your favorite seasoning.  Sides of sliced tomatoes, avocado and more sauteed spinach.  Just call me pop-eye...I can eat spinach EVERYDAY!

 Baked lemon-peppered tilapia on a bed of lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, peppers and onions.

So this is one of my absolute FAVORITE dishes to make.  You can use either canned tuna or salmon for this.  It's so healthy and tasty.  Be sure to add some seasoning into it to create flavor.  A big thanks to my girl Keya @kmg_fitness for this recipe.  Hands down my favorite! (Here's my advice to lightly salt your dishes and don't go crazy.  The point is to slim down and not bloat due to excess salt consumption...ok???)

Sigh....and then I cheated again....it's hard to contain the inner fatkid.


I ate the whole thing and it was EVERYTHING!  Garlic, shrimp and chorizo pizza from Del Frisco's Grille.  BOOM!


So once week 3 arrived, I was actually liking the new eating habits I had acquired.  I wasn't really craving the carbs, fast foods, etc. that I was eating before.  I was making healthier choices if I had to go out to eat (except for the few cheat meals) but even still for something that started out as a "challenge" or "diet" was becoming a lifestyle change.  It takes 21 days to form a habit right?

For me...I noticed a thinner stomach, flattened lower stomach and a more defined waistline.  The muffin top was burning itself away. haha  But...due to no exercise...my booty was disappearing. Oh well!  Deal with it!


One last cheat before Hawaii....please!!!!! Come to mama. #nomnomnom

Bo-Bo China...only some of the best Chinese food in Dallas and on this side of the Mississippi! haha


Hello Kauai tan lines!!!!!


Even after the challenge, I still continue to eat off of the grocery list.  It was easy, doable and I didn't feel like I was depriving myself...clearly.  I've had several people ask me how I lost weight and I've heard comments "You're tiny!"  Not that that's a good thing...I'm 5'11...don't want to be tiny but I do want to be healthy.  Even after this challenge, my metabolism is still high and I continue to slim down.

Sigh...the booty is gone but it was well worth it!  GO GIRL!  I totally forgot to tell you guys that I DID NOT stop drinking coffee this entire challenge.  For those that know me...that WAS NOT an option. (See my Starbucks post paying homage to the Pumpkin Spice Latte.)

OK....so one last thing before I bounce.  This IS a Christian blog...so in trying to tie in all of life's lessons to how God wants us to live....I really feel like this experience taught me about how often we can fall short or backslide...but you just have to get up, NOT GET DOWN OR HARD ON YOURSELF, and keep moving forward.  Sometimes that means starting all over again, re-gaining focus...but you WILL reach your goal if you are persistent and focus on progression.  

Learn to forgive yourself and God will be there through the rest.  In life, we do things we're not proud of...or there's something that we need help with.  Instead of focusing on the negative or how often you keep giving into that "thing" (whatever it is), look ahead and try, try again! I cheated more times than this blog post actually shows...but I didn't beat myself up about it.  I just told myself, "Hey Leah...tomorrow's a new day and you can start over again."  That's what got me through this challenge...and that's what will get me through with life.  I feel like this is the type of life that God wants us to lead...forgiveness of ourselves, grace, redemption and restoration--principles to live by.