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Shopping "My" Way

Alright, ladies. When I say "my" way, I'm not talking about dressing like me... I'm talking about my how-to's of shopping.

Just so you know, I'm beyond excited to dress in this season's bright colors and patterns. Florals, neons, creams, black & white, and stripes...EEK! I get giddy just when thinking about it. Especially considering snow is falling as I type.

Anthropologie is my favorite store! From basics to unique clothing and accessories, Anthropologie offers well-made products that are sure to get you noticed. The downside- cost. This chick can't afford to dish out $80 plus for a blouse or $150 plus for a dress. Let's not even discuss the expense of accessories, such as handbags. There is good news though! Anthropologie has a consistent sale section both online and in-store. Since the nearest store location is 4 hours away, I stick with online! Plus, there's more variety. Here are some tips for snatching up items from Anthropologie:

- Create a wish list. I have wish lists for different seasons/events. I pay no attention to cost and add whatever I like. Each Monday, Anthropologie adds items to the sale section, and those sale prices are reflected in the wish list. Check it. You never know when your $150 sweater may be on sale for $40! Last year, I snagged two silk, jewelry adorned blouses for less than $30 each. They were originally over $200! Have an amount in-mind that you would like to spend. If the discount doesn't match it, don't purchase it. Either wait for it to be reduced more, or delete it from the list.

- Don't just visit the sale section and shop from there. Stick to your wish list. Don't get caught up in thinking, "Oh, that top was originally x amount and is not on sale for 1/2 cost." Yeah, it may be a major cost reduction, but do you really like the item and will you really wear it?

- Explore the site's top looks. You'll get inspiration that can help you define your signature style.

My other shopping rules:

- Join email lists. I love Dillards, but again, it's a little distance to the nearest store. About once a month or every two months, Dillards puts clearance an extra 40% off. And, email subscribers receive advance notice of such sales. These sales usually start on Fridays and end on Sundays and often coincide with holidays. The downside is quantities are usually very limited.

Here's what I picked up today:

BCBG: $18.69. Azure
Originally $89

Antonio Melani: $18.89. What girl doesn't need black heels?
Originally $89.99

- Ask sales associates about coupons. We all receive coupons via mail, email, text, etc. Don't assume multiple coupon offers can't be used together. And, if you don't have any coupons, ask! I have never had an associate tell me to go get a paper and cut them out... they have extras at their counters.

- Shop Local.  Okay, so I know I've referred to major chain stores, but I support local retailers! You can find one-of-a-kind, unique, and/or reasonably priced merchandise. My favorite near me: Serendipity Boutique.

But, let's all remember: buy only what you know you will wear! Don't get caught up in offers and buy, buy, buy. 


Fitness Challenge: Day 2

You know you've asked or have heard others ask... What's the quickest way to lose weight?

Exercise combined with better eating habits, two workouts a day, diets, fasting, the list goes on. Want my answer? The stomach virus... I was hit with it Monday. I am feeling better, but we all know what that usually means: wanting to eat everything in sight! My will is being tested...

So, the second day workout of the fitness challenge is just now being posted. Good luck and let me know how you're doing!

Fitness Program Designed by Fitness Trainer Adam Mays

Remember, if you are accustomed to exercise, you can increase time and/or reps.

Click here to learn how to do burpees.


The Fitness Challenge Starts Today!

Okay, ladies (and gentlemen that may be interested), the day is finally here. It's time to get serious about living healthy. Exercise should be part of our lives (consistently, not just every now-and-then). I know I feel so much better: less headaches, more energy, better posture, and less illness.

My mom is doing Weight Watchers and is having great success! My brother and sister-in-law got serious about health and look and feel amazing! They are such an inspiration.

I am sharing this in hopes it will help you, so here's my personal goals... Yep, I am going to share my clothing size/weight...

When I first embarked on my journey to get back in shape, I set a goal to go from a size 10/12 to a solid size 6. I didn't think so much about weight, as I did about how I felt before I gained weight and steered away from exercise. But, I'll share the weight now because it relates to my goal now. I went from 160lbs to 140lbs during my training period. Since moving and being without a trainer, I've gained 7lbs. Not too bad, but I better get back on track now!

Set your goals and don't give up!

Trainer Adam Mays has developed a fitness program with you in mind. Whether you struggle with exercising, availability, or knowledge of fitness (or maybe a combination of these), his program will help you! Intended to be 30 minute workouts, this first week of the program will challenge you, but hopefully be easy-to-follow.

(Read more about the trainer: "meet your match")

I prefer to start my weeks on Sundays, so today's my first day of Adam's program. Start on whatever day works best for you.

Let's Get Fit: Week 1, Day 1
Target: Upper Body 
For 5 minutes, do as many sets as possible of the following exercises:
(I recommend using a mat/blanket for your knees if you are a beginner.)
Try to remain in the "up" position only resting if you must.
Remember to keep your torso tight and straight. NO Sagging in the back.
Next, do 10, 30 Yard Sprints
(Imagine you are running on a football field if you are running elsewhere.)
15 Minute Cool Down Walk
If you are more accustomed to fitness, you may want to increase the number of reps or time.
My personal note: If you just can't get outside to run or don't have a treadmill, I suggest replacing the sprints with 50 jumping jacks or jogging in place with high knees.
Look for Week 1, Day 2 tomorrow! We'll actually do the exercises on Tuesday, but you'll have it a day ahead to plan!

I just finished my workout in time to watch Iron Man 2

The First Sunburn of 2013

Dad, mom, the puppies, and I are all snuggling in for the evening... yes, at 6:30 p.m. on a Saturday! It's been a wonderful, fun-filled day.

The day began with mom and I heading to Lowe's and Sears to pick out appliances for the new house. After two hours, the appliances have been chosen!

Next, we headed to Belk and mom and I snagged these cute items:

Madison Lace Skirt
click for details
Madison Sleeveless Tiered Tank

Both are much brighter (more neon) than the image portrays and they look so cute together.

I broke my clean eating for today and just had to have my favorite restaurant for lunch: Monterrey! Who would've thought the BEST Mexican restaurant is in Southwest Va? We've traveled a lot and this restaurant is still number one! Mom also swayed from her Weight Watchers program today to indulge in our favorite dish.

We ate everything on our plates.

The rest of the evening was spent on the farm. 

Look at those cute paw prints! 

Esme wasn't too willing to be photographed today. But, I finally got this one...

Resting and enjoying the view with her mommy.

And, guess what else happened today? I got sunburnt! Can you believe it? This makes me just that much more anxious for the coming seasons!

Like my skin, dad's truck didn't handle the warmth and sun rays well today... It overheated. Like us all this evening, it's resting well though! 


Friday Fun Day: Family Time

Barking, prancing, whining, and circling... That's all Esme and her "brother" and "sister" have done since reuniting today. I think I will be taking Esme to her bed soon, which I'm sure will spark more whining on her part.

It's all worth it though! In January, Esme became very ill and the prognosis was unclear. After three weeks, she finally improved and is doing great now! She hadn't traveled to see her "mamsy" and "popsy" since Christmas. She's so happy we're back "home."

But, let me go back to the beginning of today... I was greeted with my sweet husband's arms extended and a soft "good morning, princess" as I stirred from my much needed, restful night of sleep. I also slept until 8 a.m.! Then, my hubby woke up early to take me to lunch. While we only had one hour available, we hadn't seen each other since Monday, so this little time together was a blessing!

After packing for today's trip home, I headed to teach my only class of the day. On the way home, Travis called to tell me that Esme was more than ready to hit the road. She was whining, pacing, and staring at the door.

The evening back home has been great! Dinner with the parents, followed by a visit to the farm. The house is coming along (paint on the walls) and we enjoyed the view as the sun set (which included cows and deer grazing the land).

We're headed back to the land tomorrow (puppies in tow) to enjoy the day!

Look for tomorrow's post: a timeline in photos!


Keeping it in Perspective

Today's post reflects the purpose of my blog. It's so easy to get caught-up in the daily grind of life: deadlines, meetings, emails, phone calls, and so on. And, that's just work life, not considering the family, personal, and relationship commitments.

It's nice to be reminded of what matters the most- to me anyway. Put all those commitments in perspective. My desire for teaching at the college level stems from the students. I enjoy interacting with students, seeing them develop/solidify their identity, watching their confidence build, and being a part of their academic and professional pursuits. Point blank- I care about the students. Sometimes I need a reminder of that. Today, that came along...

Feeling a headache coming on from hours of staring at the computer screen and reading, I decided to take a break, walk down the hallway, and get a water (remember my water challenge?). It was here I got my first reminder of my purpose in higher education and they just kept coming.

Today, I heard and witnessed a number of students thanking me for my help, reaching out to me for help, having those "aha" moments, and building confidence. One student commented today that I eased her anxiety about college; she is confident in her abilities. I am not bragging on myself, though many of you take it that way. It's just nice to remember that I can make a difference, and that those students are making differences in the classroom, society, and industry. And more, they teach me everyday! They are an inspiration to me and drive me to be my best.

Life is hectic. Life is unpredictable.

But, life is a blessing! Let's breathe and remember our goals and passions. Let's embrace what we face each day. Keep it in perspective.

A New Indulgence & Start To Clean Eating

Peanut butter, peanut butter fudge, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter cheesecake... Doesn't it all make your mouth water? It does mine, especially the cheesecake! Every time we travel and there's a Cheesecake Factory in the area, my husband HAS to order the Adam's Peanut Butter Cheesecake. His love for peanut butter is hard to beat; he puts peanut butter in/on almost everything! It's crazy, but the protein value is hard to beat... (that's his excuse)

I don't get to indulge in peanut butter; i'm allergic. Sad, right? The temptation is hard to control sometimes, but it just got a lot easier! I've been eating healthier and lighter portions. So, in my search of possible food options, nutritionists suggest almond butter. I've heard it mentioned occassionally, but never thought to try it, until now. I am so thankful I did!

And, so is my husband. But, after three spoonfulls, I hid it from him. He would've had eaten it in no time!

Can you believe I have talked about a food product this much? When you've been deprived and find an alternative (it may even be better than PB), it's a big deal! Nutella is good too, but the nutritional value isn't that great. I can't wait to make almond butter cookies!

If you live in Northeast Tennessee, I suggest you try Jade's Market. It's delicious, reasonably priced, and more importantly, the food has no added MSG or pesticides.

Here's a challenge: DRINK MORE WATER. Here are my goals:

Today: 3 glasses (at least)
Tomorrow: 4 glasses (at least)
And, each day keep increasing the intake by one glass until I meet the recommended consumption of 9 glasses.

I used to drink a bottle each hour of an 8-hour workday. It's time to get back into that routine!


The Gold Coin

Last week, as we all know, was Valentine's Day. My husband and I celebrated the day before (in an attempt to avoid crowds) and had a very lovely holiday. No extravagant gifts needed. Our schedules are rarely the same so we value time together. One of our favorite activities to do is dine out. Yes, we could spend time together at home, but it usually results in us falling asleep very early. We enjoy great food, but more so, we enjoy each other's company.

So to celebrate the holiday of love, we headed to our favorite, family-owned Italian restaurant. We enjoyed salad, bread, and shared pasta (the sharing factor made us feel more "romantic"). Our gifts were not typical (his was a blender).

You may be wondering where the gold coin comes into play. A few days before Valentine's Day, Travis and I headed 45 minutes down the road to claim a prize from a local car dealership. Now, we knew we would be awarded something, but that something could be a grill, cruise, $10,000, or a $1 gold coin. Knowing we would probably walk away with the coin, we decided to try our luck anyway.

That evening was more important to us than Valentine's Day, and even $10,000. And, I am being honest! We spent the entire travel time to and from laughing, sharing thoughts, reminiscing, and forecasting our future. When individuals in a partnership rarely see each other and often fall asleep or become engulfed in television shows, movies, or other forms of entertainment, that day was much needed!

That got me thinking... Growing up my father took the family on Sunday drives. He enjoys the outoors and we were always exploring new parks, mountainous views, and backroads. I always enjoyed this (while others may have not), but I understand his reasoning for these adventures even more so now. There's something about being in a vehicle that brings about great conversation and family bonds.

We didn't win the cash or other "expensive" award from the contest. We may have driven off the car lot with a $1 gold coin, but the value is worth so much more!


Friday Fun Day: at the doctor?

My first message to you all today, "THANK GOODNESS IT'S FRIDAY!"

For some reason, this has felt like such a long week. So, I'm looking forward to sleeping later tomorrow, enjoying the expected warmer weather, and brightening up the house! The house is decorated for fall/winter, and even though the warmer seasons are still a ways off, I just can't help but to want brighter colors! So, I'm bringing spring to the Fannons!

Now, you may be wondering about the title of today's post... My husband had a doctor's appointment today and it was actually not painful (for me anyway). A few days ago, a cyst popped up on my husband's head and the doctor removed it today. Amazingly, we were in and out of the office in less than 40 minutes. I don't know about your medical appointments, but I usually end up waiting at least 30 minutes to even be called back! After the appointment I needed some retail therapy!

The fun for the day meant a great lunch and a little shopping... I know... My typical enjoyments. My husband and I headed to an organic Thai restaurant. We enjoyed drunken noodles, pineapple fried rice, soup, and spring rolls. Travis was starting to feel a little tired and his head was hurting so he headed home and I headed to the mall.

Here are my fabulous purchases from today
Jessica Simpson. This picture does NOT do this dress justice. It's a gorgeous turquois blue with lace inset at the top and a v in the back.
Pure Sugar. Again, picture does not do it justice. Beautiful orange with flattering seaming.
Spense. I prefer it untied. Great coral and pink color.
Harper and Gray. Great to wear under the orange blazer. And, I will wear with the turquois bubble necklace.
As soon as I have a backdrop, I will start posting pictures of me in my outfits...
The best part- I got all tops on sale with an extra 20% off, and I had a couple Belk bucks. I can't wait until my closet becomes a sea of color!
The evening is coming to a close snuggled on the couch with my baby girl and eating butter pecan ice cream.
I am headed to visit my parents this weekend and cannot wait! We get to enjoy the sun, play on the farm, and make some more design decisions on their new house!
Enjoy your weekend!

Meet your "match"

In  2011, I began a new chapter in life. I was dressed in long pants, a loose t-shirt, hair in a ponytail, and was nervous to the core!

But before I go into the details of that day, here's some background.

I've always felt confident in the gym. I remember in my high school weightlifting course being complimented from the instructor with "you have the best form of anyone in this gym." That was all credit to my father being committed to fitness and sharing it with his children. And, to the fact that I was an athlete. Not a runner, basketball player, etc. I was a dancer and a gymnast.

But, once starting college, I simply let myself go... I knew how to exercise, but just couldn't get in a routine.

Fast forward... I finally had enough. I didn't just desire to look better, as many might think... I needed to feel better! I used to have visible muscles, abs, and energy like no other! So on a cold day in February I met with a trainer for the first time.

There I stood waiting in the gym. A young 26 year old, nervous, and dressed as conservatively as possible. I was low on energy, weak, and my confidence level was almost nonexistent.

Covered in tattoos that all referenced the military, muscular, and bald, I had met my match. From the first day of training I knew he understood me, my goals, what I was capable of, and would push me to the max. Of course, all while listening to my "girl" talk and ensuring my safety.

In a few short weeks, my body began to change. In two months (approximately) I dropped from a size 10-12 to a solid size 6, which was my goal. At that point, I knew I had this. I wanted to continue training but my trainer couldn't commit to the role full time. He had a family, two careers (which I will address), was opening a gym, and had a personal life. So, I continued exercising, without him, but he sent me workouts often.

Me and my husband in St. Augustine.
In celebration of our 5th anniversary, we renewed our vows.
This is also after I was whipped back into shape.
Photo copyright Jessica Leigh Hood Photography

I know this is going to get gushy... But, he truly impacted my life more than he'll know. I'm confident, feel strong, capable, and empowered. Beyond that, I gained a friend and encourager. As a writer and journalist (to an extent), I became intrigued with the stories behind his tattoos. Stories from his career as a U.S. Marine.

There is nothing more I can say than that I RESPECT this man!

He is my "match." Not only do his looks scream fitness junkie, so do his credentials. He is a mixed martial arts fighter- a good one at that! So good, meaning PRO! And, he is a certified fitness trainer.

So who is this match in training heaven?

Meet Adam Mays:

Copyright @2012 Janet Wohler

Here's a brief bio of Adam:
30 yrs old
Competed in MMA since 2005
Marine for 4 yrs, 2 tours in Iraq
Certified Fitness trainer since 2010
Started wrestling and weight training at age 15

On another note, he's an amazing artist.

Just search "Adam Mays MMA" on Google for more information.

Adam will contribute workouts weekly or every 2 weeks! He will keep you in mind! 30 minute routines ideal for the working woman, or individual!

Set goals now! 

Friday Fun Day - Spring is on the horizon

This first day of February sure has been a cold one! High only in the low 20's PLUS strong winds.
I typically reserve Fridays for running errands. I only teach one course and keep the roads hot-and-heavy in the afternoon. Knowing it's not good for me to procrastinate, I braved the cold, heading to Target and Belk. It was Belk where my hopes for warmer weather translated into purchases.
Feeling anxious for warmer weather, I left MAC with blush in peaches and lipstick in crosswires. I love MAC products, especially the lipstick. The brand offers different sheens and they all feel great on. And for the cheek color, peaches are SO pretty! I love all things coral, peach and gold. I also picked up my favorite mascara, Estee Lauder sumptuous extreme. While I wish I had fuller lips and more defined cheekbones, I am blessed with great lashes and this mascara makes them look their best!
Even though my next spring love wasn't purchased today, it deserves attention- my first bubble necklace. Now, I am not a fan of necklaces. But, after seeing how cute these are on others, wanting to have the complete look, and LOVING the color of this one, I decided it's time to invest. I picked this one up at my favorite boutique, Serendipity. Don't you wish you lived in JC? Those that do, head there soon! You don't want to miss out on the many different colors available. Earrings are included!

In other "fun" news, I designed the logo you see on the blog today. I plan on fine-tuning this, but I'm liking it so far. What do you think?
So despite today showing no signs of spring, it was a fun day!