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Marching Forward…

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How is it already March??? The beginning of 2015 went by in a flash, but the beginning of the year always does for our family. Birthday after birthday, Valentine’s Day and Girl Scouts and hey… one year since my arm first broke. We didn’t celebrate this milestone (arm, you’ve come a long way baby), but every time we have a crazy or difficult day Karl and I say to each other, “Well we’re doing so much better than we were a year ago this day.” It helps put things in perspective, and remind us of how blessed we are.

Friday night I went to yoga for the first time in a long while. Before Emerson, I used to go to Karl’s classes three times a week and Karl and I would start our mornings with a few sun salutations. After Emerson it was impossible to attend since someone had to stay home with baby and I woke before K, so our family sessions were few and far between. A little over a year ago, my mom started coming over Friday nights to put Em to bed so I could go to yoga. My mom has been going to Karl’s yoga class twice weekly since he started teaching and she knows the benefits from flexibility to a chance to let the mind be still. With the broken arm and the lack of flexibility after the casts and braces came off, it was near impossible to get through a class. And then winter hit, family illnesses and heating issues in the building where Karl teaches. Needless to say, Friday night’s class was a long time coming. It was exciting to be able to do every form, to put weight on my right hand and arm without pain or fear, and to get away from a computer and decompress.

With the weather, I’ve dropped my morning walking. A bit gun shy from the ice last winter, I’m pretty nervous outside in this weather and don’t feel confident enough to walk around, especially in the dark of the early morning. I try to do some yoga in the morning but I’ve gotten really out of habit. This month I am getting back into the swing of things, giving my body the movement it needs and deserves.

The holidays was also terrible for my food intake. I went off the Whole30 rails, enjoying desserts, pasta, Girl Scout cookies, and plenty of cocktails and I feel sluggish and… well old. It made me realize how light and comfortable I felt when on a primarily Whole30 diet so I’ve gone back. I’m still enjoying a glass of wine from time to time, but again cutting out the grains, the sugar, and the dairy. Karl’s completely on board and makes Whole30-friendly dinners and we’ve agreed to again have the kitchen stocked with Whole30 foods to make breakfasts and lunches easy. I find it’s not temptation of the non-compliant foods; except for things like Samoas and potato chips I don’t crave the cheese, bread, or sweets that are in the house. I find I falter when it’s too difficult to figure out what to eat. Having ground beef, avocados, olives, pre-cut veggies, lots of fruit available makes it easier to stay on track.

I’ve been pretty stressed in general, but it hasn’t been bad things. I don’t know what I was smoking when I agreed to be a co-leader for Emerson’s Daisy Girl Scouts troop, it’s not like I needed anything additional on my plate, but I love it. I co-lead with two amazing fellow moms in my community and I love how we’re very different people bringing different skills and talents to the troop, and how well we work together. Right now it’s all about the cookies (as an FYI to those who don’t know, Girl Scouts doesn’t give troops any funding, the money for their troops to run and their activities to take place – even buying patches and badges comes from either dues or fundraising/selling cookies). Since we’re a brand new troop and have girls of different economic levels, we’re trying to make it with just fundraising profits and not dues. This weekend we had our Investiture Ceremony and the girls got their pins; they were so excited and we are thrilled to see how much they have learned and grown since we started just a few short months ago. Booth sales run through this month, but we’re starting to focus on the girls earning their Daisy Petals. I’m looking forward to our spring activities!

Work has been a bit crazy. My department transitioned to a new company, and so far it has been pretty great. They’re a friendly, collaborative group and have really made us feel welcome and part of the team. We’ve had a lot of moving around for the companies: most of our DC office moved to a new location this January, a different location’s staff is moving into our office in those empty desks this week, and come this summer my department will be moving to the new company’s location. It’s the time of year for annual reviews so I’ve been spending a lot of time after work hours writing evaluations. It’s also a time of the year for proposals and rebids, so we’ve also been busy with budgets. With the change to a new company, my staff changed so we’ve had to adjust with fewer folks and learning how to ask for help from our new coworkers. But there’s a positive feel in the air, we’re doing some fun new things with new clients, we’re getting energy from our new creative coworkers, and I think it’s going to be a great year for my department.

And the blog… well after ten years I think it’s time for some renovations! I hate it when my favorite blogs change so much I don’t recognize them and don’t know how to navigate them. As I do a bit of a facelift to Wardrobe Oxygen in the next couple of months, I’m keeping that in mind. I’d like to hear from you so I can be sure this site is still easy for you to read and access. The content isn’t changing, it’s more of a site makeover. What do you like, what do you hate, what does another blog have that you find really useful. I’ll consider all feedback, there’s no point in updating this site if it makes it less enjoyable for you to read and access!

I’m starting a monthly newsletter, which you likely noticed by the pop-up on the screen (mobile users don’t see it because I think pop-ups are a PITA on my phone and I didn’t want to do that to you). This newsletter will provide content not on the blog or social media – reviews of what I have recently read, listened to, or seen; upcoming events I’ll be attending or you may wish to attend; promotions and sales just for newsletter subscribers; I’ll also be answering reader questions and discussing personal style and current trends. Do sign up (here is the link), the first newsletter will go out this week and they’ll be a first week of the month occurrence. And as I request for the site update, I appreciate any feedback to make these newsletters better for you!

Fashion has been minimal with this weather. Lots of layers, wool, cashmere, and fleece. I said I was going to return these boots in this post… but I didn’t. The soles are awesome for the slush and ice, and I can step on what I think is firm icy snow and fall into a deep puddle of slush and stay dry. They’re not the most flattering but they’re pretty badass in how they handle winter. I wear with leggings or jeggings, and have worn under work trousers for my commute.  I can't wait for warmer, dryer weather so I can get excited about fashion again!

So how are you doing?  Surviving the winter?  Anything new or exciting happening in your neck of the world?

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  1. I do low carb and I find if I keep saying to myself that it’s a lifestyle, not a diet, I am able to stick with it. I lost 15 lbs without a lot of pain.

    I love your site and I especially love the what you wore, wardrobe capsule, what you are buying for a new season, and online store sales posts.

  2. Oh those Girl Scout cookies! Thin Mints are my downfall. And they last in the freezer for a long time, or so I’ve been told. Lol.

    I’m sure your daughter is loving being a Daisy and having you be a leader. It really sets an example for volunteering. Though I did not get involved with Girl Scouts as far as being a leader, I did participate in GS and volunteered for many other activities. My daughter is now a college student and volunteers for many groups. Animals is her choice of activity. I think it’s good for them to see their parents getting involved in school and community and know that they too can make a difference somewhere or in someone’s life.

    As for the blog, I agree with Dee and the “click to read more” annoys me too. I’ve stopped reading blogs because of that feature and if I’m directed to one and I see the “click,” I just close the tab. I did not realize how important click views were. I don’t have a blog so I don’t really know how those things work, lol. I’m glad to hear that you won’t be changing the blog look.

    And lastly, I’m glad you kept the LL Bean boots. They’re products are practical, well made and serve their purpose well. I live in FL, so no snow for me (yay) but a few years ago I got a version of their Bean boots that they turned into ballet flats. These are the greatest things for the rain, and we do get a lot of that in FL! Fashionable too.

  3. I’ve been on Atkins for two years now. I miss beer SO much but it does a great job of controlling my blood sugar. (I give myself 4 or 5 cheats a year.).

  4. Wow I thought I was busy. But I guess you really show that a focused, determined woman with good support at home can do it all!. I have been dealing with managing the cold, making sure I am spending time with my daughter and grand daughter, doing a good job for my students by prepping and being current and relevant, and attending to the blog. I feel right on the line of everything being too much but yet I am managing. Spring break is soon and I hope to get a little ahead with posts in the can etc. Good choice about the Daisy leader, my little girl is 31 now and time goes very fast enjoy every second. Good luck with the changes, I think you are perfect right now.

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    1. Aww you’re the best. And I hear you about being right on the line, I’ve felt that way for a while now but I know it’s all worth it, and every day I’m so grateful to have a great partner in Karl who keeps me from freaking out or having too much on my plate. You’re doing a phenomenal job with everything, I can’t wait to see where the blog takes you in 2015!!

  5. The cold weather and dreary days has really gotten me down. The start of March makes it seem like spring can’t be far away and I’m feeling like I need a ‘reboot’.
    As far as blog changes go, I’ve always enjoyed your posts and writing style. I like how you have a search function. What I dislike about many blogs is where they’ve gone to ‘click to continue reading’. I’ve stopped reading all blogs that have gone to that format. It’s annoying if you want to read more than a single-day posting. Good luck with your newsletter, but those too are things I don’t bother with. I read the blog, I don’t want to have to get a separate email or read a facebook page etc. I’ve become very selective about how I spend my free time, and when I choose to spend time on the computer, I don’t want to spend extra time clicking around.

    1. This is great feedback, Dee. I also hate the “click to continue reading,” I get that it provides more space on the main page (and increases pageviews which brands care about), but I’m old school, I want to be able to scroll to the bottom, click to the next page, and see a few more complete posts. So I will be keeping that. As for the newsletter, you won’t miss anything by signing up, the content here won’t change. It’s smart to prioritize your computer time!

  6. About your blog and the changes you are contemplating…I think that no matter what changes you might make that your unique voice and writing style will shine. I am always so impressed with your personal and positive style. Thank you for sharing so much of your life and goals with us as your readers, even when you are stressed! I always feel encouraged to be a little more stylish and a little more accepting of myself after reading your blog. I look forward to continuing to read whatever direction the renovations take you!

  7. I’ll tell you, those Girl Scout cookies are driving me nuts! I bought some from someone at work, then a box at the Wheaton Giant, it was a terribly cold day. Then this weekend I’m at TJ’s and there is another table of girls. I’m probably the only person in the world who doesn’t like Thin Mints (not chocolaty enough), but the Ra-Ra-Raisin is a winner. One plus for GS cookies is that they are properly sized. You can eat one and not have blown through 200 calories.

    1. Thin Mints don’t do it for me, I’m a Samoa kind of gal 🙂 Booth sales will continue through this month so expect to see more booths when you least expect them! We’ll be at the White Oak Giant later this month (not me and Em, but other girls from our troop), it was hard to get spots in our neck of the woods. We’ve learned so much, we’ll be far more prepared for cookie season next year!

  8. I’m glad you are enjoying yoga. I am quickly realizing how dependent I have become on it for so many things. I am starting to consider getting certified to teach it, which, with everything else on my plate, seems insane, but also kinda…right? I am so over the winter and ready for spring. My husband and I are planning our raised beds and landscaping our backyard to include a big firepit. Can’t wait to see the kids running around barefoot out there!

    1. Oh you should! Chelsea (my friend and columnist here) got certified and got a job. I say do what you love, and how great to get paid to do yoga! Karl says it’s the best thing he ever did for himself!

  9. Welllllll, I fell off the eating healthy bandwagon several months ago so today I am starting the South Beach Diet. I am actually quite nervous. I feel like if I just break it down into one day at a time I can do it but I don’t know. I tend to feel overwhelmed and then give up.

    1. I did South Beach before my wedding and lost 12 lbs pretty easily. My coworker has been doing it for a year and he’s not only smaller but he says he feels amazing and he looks a decade younger. I’ll motivate you if you motivate me, okay? 🙂

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