An evening with 9W, InStyle, & Cusp by Neiman Marcus

Last Thursday (3/20) I had the opportunity to attend two fashion events at the Houston Galleria. The first event I attended was at Nine West to celebrate their first editor-designed partnership with InStyle magazine. The limited edition collection ranges from handbags and jewelry to shoes that represent the style of editors at InStyle and accessory experts from Nine West. Look below to see some photos from the event as well as some product displays of the super cute Spring collection!

 Yesenia and I with Catherine from Nine West Corporate!

Yesenia and I with Catherine from Nine West Corporate!

 Cute goodies and treats!

Cute goodies and treats!

Luckily, I was able to go to the event with a good girlfriend of mine, Yesenia. She's also a local Houston blogger and has been my go-to mentor with my blogging journey! Check out her one-of-a-kind blog here. 

The best part of the night was getting the opportunity to meet the iconic Leah Karp, InStyle Magazine's Accessories Editor. Upon introduction, she was immediately so down-to-earth, I just loved her! She was able to offer Yesenia and I some advice on being career-driven women and told us a little bit about her own journey to InStyle. It was such an honor to meet a woman who is making strides for other women in the working world - she is a creative power house and I just love what she has done with Nine West. I am so excited to continue following her in the media world. Leah was able to spend a few minutes giving us some very wise advice. She said that following your dream job is all about who you know, the effort you put into building relationships and how important it is to be a woman of integrity in a world where honesty is so hard to come by. 

 Leah Karp & I

Leah Karp & I

After we left the 9W InStyle event, we wandered down to Neiman Marcus for the Cusp Event.  Unfortunately, we were a little late and missed the actual fashion show but the ladies working the Napoleon Perdis counter were kind enough to give us quick makeovers and provided us with adorable gift bags. I received a precious Joie t-shirt and a perfume sample and Yesenia received a Vince. t-shirt along with an Alice + Olivia phone case and a perfume sample! During the make over, I absolutely fell in love with the Boudoir Mist Spray Foundation. It left my skin feeling very refreshed and light and it looked flawless! I am really looking forward to purchasing this product very soon for our beach wedding in May!

 Serious  selfie  here -- apologies for the close up but the colors were so gorgeous! 

Serious selfie here -- apologies for the close up but the colors were so gorgeous! 

The Big Weight Loss Journey

In 2009 I had spine surgery for scoliosis. Recovery was a long, drawn out process that lasted for almost a year. At age 21, I was used to being able to eat whatever I wanted without worrying about my weight. I was petite and thin and was more concerned with my plans for the night or weekend than worrying about my health. As I probably should have expected with the lack of physical activity, I gained nearly 40 lbs. like it was nothing. 

Becoming overweight is not as noticeable as one would think. I didn't realize how big I had gotten until my weight was too far gone. It was as if I had gone to sleep at 125 lbs. and woke up at 165. 

Throughout this time, I was going through a lot of life changes: graduating from college, balancing 3 jobs at a time, a minor mid-life crisis about not being a student anymore and trying to be a level-headed adult all at the same time. Somehow, all the stress in my life had spiraled into an unhealthy rut and I felt very defeated by pretty much everything in my life. Just being overweight turned into being obese and depressed -- I felt so hopeless but I was too lazy to make any changes because I was working almost 70 hours per week! 

Before I knew it, Chris and I had picked up and moved to Houston for work and the next thing I knew, I was 172 lbs. with no goal in sight and no need for one because I had no drive.

In November 2012, Chris proposed and asked me to be his wife despite my girth. I was so happy to officially be spending my entire life with him, but I still found myself unhappy deep down because of all the weight I was carrying with me. Chris had also gained some weight with the new job and our move, which helped me to make excuses for myself. Finally, after Christmas we decided we needed to make some serious changes. Being married would mean starting this life together and we wanted it to begin on a healthier, brighter note. 

73817_4065709687431_2074168495_n.jpg

Limiting ourselves began with giving up meat for Lent. We began eating more veggies and eventually decided to do a cleanse that consisted of fruits, veggies, and protein. That 7 day cleanse was nearly impossible and I HATED the meal replacement protein shake portion so much that I almost gave up...until I realized that in 7 days I had lost about 7 lbs! This tiny victory kicked us into high gear. We began taking spin classes and ran on the days we weren't cycling. Ultimately, this led to Pilates classes, which eventually led to me to decide we were going to do the Weight Watchers program. 

Chris and I followed WW from May 2013 all the way until November of 2013. We both lost about 30 lbs each and started to become former shadows of ourselves. There is no greater feeling than your clothes and shoes being too big. As irritating as it is to purchase a new wardrobe, every time I would put on something too big I would feel SO proud. 

Finally, about 3 months ago, we decided to take on the Insanity program from Beach Body. We have transformed our bodies and I have never had more confidence in my capabilities as I do right now. I am currently weighing in at around 134 lbs. Together, we have lost the body weight of an entire person!

I have never displayed these photos online, but I am finally ready to display them for the world to see. We both still have our own fitness goals moving forward and plan to start Insanity over again next week. By the end of April, I hope to be back down to 125 lbs. I just hope our journey can help inspire others to believe enough in themselves like Chris and I have begun to over the last few months. Fitness and health are so important, I am so grateful we realized that before it was too late. 

 Photo 1: June 2012. Photo 2: Start of Insanity February 2014. Photo 3: 1/2 way done with Insanity, end of February. Photo 4: End of Insanity, March 2014.

Photo 1: June 2012. Photo 2: Start of Insanity February 2014. Photo 3: 1/2 way done with Insanity, end of February. Photo 4: End of Insanity, March 2014.