Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

As much as I enjoy sharing crafty DIY projects and tablescapes, adorable bunnies and decadent chocolate, those all pale in comparison to the love I have for Jesus, who is the reason we celebrate this day. I am so thankful for my salvation in Him-the most beautiful gift one can receive. I am in awe of the love He has for each and every one of us, so much so that He died on the cross for us and endured much unthinkable torture along the way.

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will have life even if he dies." 
~John 11:25

Today we celebrate His resurrection, He is who He said He was. :)

May you always know just how much you are loved and that no matter how alone you feel in this world at time (I've been there many times in my lifetime), there is one who will always be there for you anytime you call upon Him and unlike the loved ones we have in our life here on earth, He will never disappoint!

This is such a beautiful time of year for so many reasons. Wishing you all a blessed Easter as you spend it with those you cherish most.

Thanks for Reading!


*image credit

Friday, March 29, 2013

Don't Allow Others to Destroy Your Inner Peace

Happy Friday Everyone! I wanted to share a great reminder for everyone today in the form of a quote. I already shared it on the Facebook Community page but thought it was worth repeating here for those who may not follow along there. This is a life lesson that I'm still working on myself. I actually just experienced this earlier this week and was disappointed with myself for letting it get to me like it did.

If we want more peace in our lives, we need to learn to let go of the anger and/or frustration we feel with regards to how others behave around us. It's easy to become upset when it affects you directly or it's regarding something you're passionate about but that temporary moment of the negative behavior isn't worth destroying the inner peace and joy that you have created inside you! :)

Thanks for Reading!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Fashion Friday: Spring Favorites from Asos

It's no secret that I prefer shopping for clothing online. No traffic, no parking lots to circle, no lines to stand in to try items on or to pay and of course it helps keep our gas budget down too when I'm not driving all over town trying to find some new staples for my wardrobe.

ASOS is no exception, I love this online retailer for many reasons, one big one being that they offer FREE shipping both ways and their return policy makes things a breeze if something isn't for you. They have a large selection of regular, petite, curve (plus size) and even maternity for women as well as accessories too and they have so many great styles at affordable prices. They show each item from multiple angles and even have a 10 second runway video of the model walking in each item so you get a much better idea of how an item hangs, how long it is and overall what you're ordering.

Come take a peek below at what some of my favorites are for Spring and also for you expecting mamas like myself, I have an additional collection of my personal maternity picks too because a gal has to look stylish and classy for Springtime-bump or not. :)

Spring has so many wonderful options-bold prints, flowing skirts, the classic stripe, bright colors, ruffles, lace, satin and soft textures just to name a few.

I'd love to hear from you! Which are YOUR favorite ASOS styles shown above? What's on your list of items to add to your spring wardrobe?

Thanks for reading!


*Please note that this is not a sponsored post nor was I was not compensated for writing this post about ASOS clothing, all opinions are my own.

Credits: All clothing images by ASOS, all text images belong to me. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hello Spring!

Wishing you all a Happy 1st Day of Spring! There are many wonderful aspects to this beautiful season but for me, I'm specifically reminded of the growth and newness of life which it brings to us all. :) Whether it be our own personal growth as we change and blossom into the person we long to become, the excitement of planting new seeds, plants and flowers into a garden that will bloom and change over the next few months or the warm sunshine and gentle breezes that cause for lazy days in a backyard hammock or exploring the beauty of your own city after a harsh winter, I hope this new season brings you much joy!

While pale pink peonies will always be my all-time favorite flower, there is something special about seeing tulips that were once just bulbs emerge from the ground, open up and reveal all of their vibrant colors during spring. That has always been a true sign of springtime for me along with little buds on the trees. I think it is what I most look forward to each year.

What is your favorite part of Spring? What are your favorite things to do during this lovely season?

Thanks for Reading!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How A Lady Responds to Being Whistled At

Today's post was inspired by a quote from Adele and if you follow our community along on Facebook then you saw me post it there earlier today. :)

I think the simple answer to today's post topic is that a classy woman just doesn't respond at all. She knows she is worth of far more than flippant comments and distasteful cat calls as she passes by.

A true lady just keeps on walking and ignores the whistles as if she didn't hear a thing. ;) Such immature boys who degrade women to a mere physical object are not true gentlemen and don't even deserve a turn of the head from you. Silence is the best reply to a fool!

I wish men knew just how uncomfortable they make us women feel with their silly attempts to get our attention. It is not flattering, it is not a compliment, it is disrespectful.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Do you respond or keep on walking?

Thanks for Reading!


*image credit

Thursday, March 14, 2013

16 Weeks and Counting....

I promised you all that I would share some baby updates and photos as we take them and since hubby snapped some 16-week pics yesterday, I thought I'd post them here for you all to see and also fill you in on new and exciting things that have been happening in our little world. Don't worry, I promise this won't become a pregnancy blog. ;) Regular scheduled classy woman posts to follow! Since many of you asked to be kept in the loop and it's a part of my life and I sometimes share about my personal life, my hubby and our life adventures I thought it was appropriate.

I just booked my 20-week ultrasound appointment and we're really excited to find out if baby Davis will be a little girl or boy! If baby cooperates and isn't crossing its legs so we can learn the sex (I was told to drink orange juice or sweet tea beforehand and apparently that will do the trick), I'll be planning a gender reveal party next month with our closest family and friends to share the news. I'll be sure to share some photos with all of you along with whether we'll be buying pink or blue after our big bash.

Compared to the 12-Week photo that I included in the announcement post last week, you can see that my bump has gotten quite a bit bigger in the past month which caught me by surprise to be honest. I think part of this is due to the fact that my 5'9" height is all in my legs and my torso is quite short. What's funny is that the day we take progress photos for some reason my belly always looks bigger than it typically is, the very next day it always seems to shrink a bit. ;)

{Outfit Details} Top: Ross (chambray sleeved version here)  //  Bottoms: Target  
Wedges: Tory Burch  // Earrings: Jewel Mint sold out similar style here)
Bracelets: Forever 21 (wearing mint & coral of the 7-pc set w/ some thin gold bangles) 

*All outfit items above are non-maternity.

I wanted to share some fun facts, and I'll likely continue something similar in future monthly updates. I don't know about you, but as a woman (even well before I became pregnant) I always enjoyed seeing other bloggers and friends' prego pics as well as hearing their personal journey, cravings and funny stories. Everyone's experiences are so unique.

{Fun Facts}

What I craved the most this month:  Hamburgers. I don't normally eat them but they're all I can think about. ;)

Biggest food aversions this month: The smell of curry and Indian spices (which I normally enjoy) make me feel queasy. The first couple months it was the smell of BBQ'd meats.

The craziest/funniest/scariest moment this month: I slipped while walking to my car in the driveway of my Dentist after a routine cleaning (while wearing flats), I caught myself and thankfully didn't fall but it scared me and I've since stopped wearing those shoes until I have rubber soles added to the bottoms.

The most exciting development this month: I felt baby move for the first time at 15.5 weeks! I hear that is early and most don't feel it until later but It felt like somersaults and as though baby was wearing boxing gloves and hitting my belly.

Weight gain from 12-16 weeks: 4 lbs, I've gained 5 lbs total to date.

Regular Wardrobe or Maternity Clothes?: I'm still wearing all of my own clothes. I've added several new maxi dresses to my closet for the coming months but all are regular sizes in my own size or a size up that will fit me for many months if not the entire pregnancy and post-delivery also. Most of my pants fit however I purchased a button extender so I can keep wearing them longer.

I'd love to hear from you! What do you remember from your own pregnancy at 4 months? Maybe some of my 'fun facts' questions & answers will spark your memory. :) Did you wait until the birth to find out your baby's gender or were you excited to find out ahead of time?

Thanks for Reading!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Manners Monday: Picking Up a Friend

Happy Monday everyone! First of all I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to those who took the time to leave me a sweet comment here on the blog, a private message via e-mail, tweeted to me or shared a comment over on my Facebook Page regarding my recent baby news! All of your kind words and well wishes really blew me away, put a tear in my eye and made me smile. Even though we've never met in person, I feel truly blessed to have so many amazing women in my life through this blog. :)

Today's Manners Monday post was inspired by a neighbor who has someone pick her up and always honks loudly to let the whole neighborhood know that she has arrived. I thought it was time to share this tip here on the blog.

Call me old fashioned, but even in today's time with the simplicity of text messages and phone calls via a cell phone, there is something nice about having someone greet you at your door when they are picking you up, even if it's not a date. ;) I don't often get picked up by friends or family, unless we're taking one car somewhere together, typically I am the picker-upper or we agree to meet at the location. When I do get picked up, nothing makes me cringe more than when someone honks their horn to announce they've arrived. I'm generally ready and waiting in my kitchen where I have a window view of our front property and driveway so I can easily pop outside once I see them arrive to save them getting out of their car.

Unfortunately not everyone treats promptness the same way, you may be left waiting for a friend who is still getting herself together when you arrive. Be mindful of this when being picked up by a friend, it is best to be ready 5 minutes before you agree to meet so that you don't keep the person doing the driving, waiting. If this does happen while you are the driver, it is perfectly polite to return to your car to sit inside the heat or air conditioning where it's comfortable after having knocked on their door and spoken to them unless you are invited into your friend's home instead.

If you happen to be arriving at an apartment or condo building with a gate code and buzz code, elevators, etc., etc., in this case (because of the time involved and sequence of events just to get upstairs) it would be more acceptable to call up to a friend and let them know that you have arrived and where you're located out front. If it is an elderly family member you are meeting or friend you haven't seen in a long time, do make the trip upstairs and greet them personally, it will mean a lot.

If you liked today's post, you might also enjoy a previous post I wrote on Manners and Etiquette for Driving which is where I first mentioned about the 'no honking when picking up friends' tip. ;)

Do you have someone who is guilty of the dreaded 'car honking' when picking you up? How do you prefer to let a friend know that you have arrived? I'd love to hear from you! :)

Thanks for Reading!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sharing Our Exciting News with the World!!

"L" is also for.....





Looking forward to meeting our precious gift

Luminous Glow

Lots of Cravings


Light of our world

I am beyond thrilled to finally share with you all that Paul and I are expecting our first child this summer! :) We found out just before Christmas (it was the evening before we left for a cruise to be exact. It was challenging but I kept it a secret from hubby for a few days so he could be surprised on Christmas Eve during our trip-I loved his reaction.) We kept tight-lipped for a while and finally began sharing the news with our closest family at 6 weeks after it was officially confirmed by the doctor and then began telling our friends at about 12 weeks as I entered the 'safe' zone and got closer to the second trimester. 

We heard baby Davis' heartbeat at 12 weeks and recorded it on my smart phone. My sniffles can be heard on the audio as I wiped away tears, I had dreamed for so long about what that day would be like. As baby's heart beat fast our hearts raced with joy and anticipation as we wait to meet our little one. 

So far I've taken belly photos at 5, 9 ,12 and 14 weeks. I'm trying to take a new photo every 2 weeks now to document my progress sharing it via Facebook with my friends and family back home who I will not see during this time. I recently just turned 15 weeks and bought a much-needed DSLR camera so I'm excited to hopefully get some better quality photos than I had with my point and shoot camera. :) 

{A pic of hubby & I on Christmas Eve when it was only us two that knew.}

In terms of my health, while I endured a bit of light morning sickness from weeks six to twelve, I've had really high energy since the beginning and have felt pretty great for the most part- I credit a big part of that to healthy eating, exercise and a fantastic whole food-based prenatal vitamin. I still fit into all of my clothes which is a plus as my belly growth has progressed slowly. I have purchased a few cute maternity items though for the coming months that I'm actually looking forward to wearing. ;)

{ This is a fairly recent photo of me taken at 12 weeks in our front hallway.}

I'm so grateful for all of you who follow along here at 'The Classy Woman' and always enjoy reading your comments and feedback. As I move into this new phase of my life in the coming months, you can still look forward to many of our regular posts as well as some new posts on etiquette, manners, fashion and more as it pertains to pregnancy and being a new mom which I know many of you will be able to relate to. As an interior decorator, I'm already working on the floor plan layout and nursery design schemes for each gender and I'll be sharing the finished space here with you all as well once it's complete. I'm really looking forward to sharing this journey with you all!

Any other pregnant mamas-to-be out there? When are you due? For all the moms out there-what was your favorite part of being pregnant? What month did you notice that your bump became really obvious? I look forward to hearing what you all have to say. :)

As always, thanks for reading!


Monday, March 4, 2013

Manners Monday: Gym Etiquette

I hope you all had an amazing weekend, it's hard to believe it's already March and spring is just around the corner. As many are still keeping their New Year's resolutions of getting into shape and preparing to wear skirts and eventually swim suits, I thought it was time to share a post on the importance of proper gym etiquette. Also, thanks to Paula (a regular reader) who suggested I write on this topic a few weeks ago. :)

Most people realize that it's only courteous to wipe down the equipment after use and to not hog a machine for a great length of time but there are several others tips that will allow you to be more mindful of others while working out.

Proper Gym Etiquette Tips:

1. Leave Your Cell Phone in the Car- Many gyms actually have strict rules about cell phones, but some do not. Either way, it's hard to concentrate on your workout if you're busy chatting on the phone nor will you be getting the results you desire. Most importantly, it is inconsiderate to those around you who want to focus on their workout.

2. The Gym isn't for Socializing- I used to belong to a ladies only gym, while I really enjoyed the environment, I found that many times women would arrive together to workout and just socialize, not taking their workout seriously but monopolizing the equipment in the process. Socialize at Starbucks, if you're going to truly workout, make sure both you and your workout partner understand each other's goals not only for your own sake but to be courteous of those who will want to share the equipment. Also, don't chat with others who are on equipment, let them do their thing and you can catch up later.

3. Wipe Down Equipment After Use- A lot of ladies feel that because they didn't 'sweat' while using a particular machine that they do not need to clean it, this is not so. If everyone felt that way, we'd have a lot of bodies sitting on equipment that never got sanitized. Do your part, take a moment and use the provided paper towel & spray or wipes to wipe down anywhere your bottom, back, hands or any part of your body has touched.

4. Never Slam Weights- If you're using equipment or dumbbells and feel the need to slam them on the  release, this is a sign that the weight is likely too heavy for you. You'll get better results from a lower weight with multiple repetitions vs. trying to look like Ms. Muscles and dropping the weights. It can damage the equipment and also distract others. Always put away free weights back where they belong so nobody trips over them or becomes hurt.

5. Don't Monopolize the Equipment- When you see someone who is working through their set, it's always okay to ask if they mind if you 'work in'. This simply means that while they give their body a minute to relax and do some stretching, you can get in a set of your own. Be sure to perform your set quickly after selecting your own weight and seat height. Be sure to note what the other person's weight and seat height is so you can adjust it for them before they do their next set. If you don't enjoy sharing sets with others, be aware of how much time you're spending on a particular machine, especially during prime busy times. Limit yourself to 30 minutes on cardio equipment and about 5 mins maximum for each weight machine.

6. Take the Free Equipment Tour- Many who are new to working out don't want to show others that they are so instead of going on a gym tour or being shown how to use the equipment, they dive in without any instructing hoping they'll figure it out. This can waste extra time on machines as one attempts to look at the illustrations and figure it out and can also cause injuries if not used properly. Everybody starts from the beginning at some point so take the tour and learn as much as you can and never be afraid to ask a trainer or employee how to properly use a particular piece of equipment.

7. Never Interrupt a Class- If there is a yoga or spinning class already in session, use common sense and skip the class this time if you are late making sure you arrive early the next time and work out in the gym area instead. There is nothing more distracting than warming up and having people open/close doors, talk and get set up next to you when a class is 10 mins in and instructors loathe this inconsiderate behavior-it's just not fair to anyone. The small yoga studio I belong to actually turns over a sign on the door that says 'session in progress' and locks the door-it's a great solution but hard to implement in a large gym environment, so instructors rely on you to make the right call.

8. Sweat Suits- Have you seen the suits designed for sweating that kind of resemble a garbage bag? I've workout out next to someone on a treadmill before who wore one, let's just say that his sweat was dripping out of the wrist of the suit and flinging itself onto me-I was horrified! Sweat suits are a no-no unless you are running alone outdoors. Even then, many don't think to wash them and they really breed bacteria, so if you want to sweat a bit extra, wear a sweatshirt over top of your usual tee. Be sure to clean up any excess sweat that may have dripped onto the machine.

9. Bathroom & Locker Room Manners- Some women are more modest than others, some have no problem at all stripping nude in front of complete strangers while others prefer privacy. Decide this ahead of time so you'll know if you'd like to change in an individual stall or in the open area. The same holds true for showering. Most showering facilities are private with a shower curtain but some still are not. As much as I love to shower immediately after a workout, I prefer to shower at home so I put a clean towel on my leather car seat and drive home where I have all my soaps and things I need without having to pack them. Always leave the change room and bathroom as clean as you found it. For some reason these areas can get really messy, be sure to pick up after yourself.

10. Appropriate Gym Attire- Many women dress scantily clad while working out in the hopes of 'meeting a man'. Be sure that if you're wearing a sports bra top that it covers everything and doesn't expose nipples or show cleavage. Pants, shorts or capris should not slide down and expose your bottom or underwear while working out. Shorts should  be a reasonable length as to not expose yourself while doing hip adductor/abductor, bending exercises, etc. Form fitting materials are appropriate for the gym, but know where to draw the line. A tank or tee and a pair of  yoga pants or yoga capris are always appropriate. Gym clothing doesn't need to be boring, why not incorporate some fun colors such as a hot pink tee or running shoes with this season's trend of neon.

What rules do you find are most commonly broken in the gym? If you have another tip to add to the list, please share it in the comments below, I always look forward to your feedback. :)

Thanks for reading!


*image source
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