Monday, May 4, 2015

NPC Bikini Contest Prep | 11 Week Out Recap & New Short Hair

Thank you so much for your supportive comments on my Bikini Contest Prep | Here We Go Again post.  I'm excited that you want to follow along and read my updates here.  It encourages me hearing about your journeys and knowing that we are getting in shape together.  I'll be doing a weekly recap and since I'm currently 10 weeks out from my NPC bikini contest, I'll be recapping the previous two weeks.  

But first, can I show you my new chopped hair?! I've been growing out a bad cut where the front was about shoulder length and the back was seven inches longer and the two couldn't really be blended in a stylish way so I figured, let's just cut it all off.  Kinda drastic I know, but I was hardly ever styling my hair each day because I never liked how it looked anyway.  If you look at most of my pics from our girls' weekend, you'll see I had my hair up in a high ponytail most of the time.  My hairdresser did a slight angle so the front is a couple inches longer than the back and added in some layers for volume.  My front bangs are still shorter than the length, so she angled those around my face.

short hair-long bob-women summer hairstyle

It's only been a couple days, but already I feel like my hairstyling life is so much easier!  I love long hair and mine grows fast, so we'll see how long I keep it short.  Throughout the summer for sure!  But, I warn you, a cut this length only makes a short little low ponytail.  I'm definitely not used to that when top knots were a former staple for me.  

Oh, and as for the color, my hairdresser does partial foil highlights, but this time she did my whole head.  We alternate adding in light and dark blonde to keep it multidimensional. 

fun colorful Nike workout clothes
sports bra (I'm 34D and wear size medium in Nike sports bras- they give me enough support to workout and run in) | Pro Dri-Fit tank | Pro Dri-Fit capris  

fun colorful Nike workout clothes
Pro Dri-Fit capris  | training shoes (these shoes are for weight lifting or runners who like a barefoot feel; you might not like them if you prefer a very cushioned runner)

These bright pink, yellow and black capris are my current fave.  I don't know why, but I used to always wear blue or black to workout in, but now that I'm finding all these bright colors, I'm digging them!  If you're going to be in workout clothes all the time, you might as well wear ones you look and feel good in.  

I find with Nike though, that one size up from what I normally wear works best.  For example, I'm usually an XS in tanks and capris, but I'm wearing the small in both of these.  The tank is not my absolute favorite style of Nike tank- something about the material makes me a little self conscious, but that's why I got one size up.  But, the hot pink and yellow swish goes so perfectly with these pants, I couldn't resist.  Plus, I keep telling myself, in a few weeks, you'll really like how you look in this tank.  I really like the Nike Pro Hypercool 2.0 dri-fit tank for fit and feel.  

fun colorful Nike workout clothes


At 12 weeks out, I was about 23% body fat with a goal to get down 1% a week until the competition.   Ideally, I'd compete at 10%, but I'm not sure I can get there in time.  My trainer will measure my body fat every week with a 9-point caliper test and I'll do the In-Body Analyzer body fat test once a month.  The In-Body is the most accurate, but it costs $40 at my gym, so I'm only doing that one monthly.  Here are my results so far:

April 17, 2015 (In-Body Analyzer) = 107.1 pounds & 22.5% body fat
April 22, 2015 (Caliper Test) = 108.6 pounds & 23.5% body fat 
I'm 5'1.

I have last year's competition to compare my results against, and last year at 10 weeks out, my trainer measured me at 21% body fat.  This shows I'm close to where I was last year, but we're tweaking a few things to make this contest prep better.  

Week 11 (this last week) was harder since my grandma was visiting and so I didn't workout 6 days and my food wasn't as consistent as it needs to be.  (I'll share my bikini contest meal plan tomorrow.)  I remember that it takes a couple weeks to get into a good groove with the food, and I'm nervous that I haven't lost body fat in the last couple weeks because my diet hasn't been on point.  It's really hard to consistently lose body fat while maintaining (or building) muscle, but it can be done if your diet and workouts are perfect.  

Bikini Contest Prep- 12 Weeks Out
sports bra (this color sold out, available in grey) and this style) | (old shorts)  

Bikini Contest Prep- 11 Weeks Out


I'll be training with my trainer three days a week, but this week he went out of town for a competition his client was in, so we only did 2 and he wrote out the third workout for me (which I will do on Monday since I didn't get to it this week). Then, he wants me doing 6 days of cardio, 40 minutes each.  On the days we train together, I do 10-15 minutes of cardio before we train, then 25-30 minutes right after.  On the three other days, I do my cardio right after I drop my son off at school.  I should have one day to rest, usually Sundays.  

Monday:  Train Legs + 40 minutes cardio on treadmill 

Tuesday:  Train Shoulders & Arms + 40 minutes cardio on treadmill

Wednesday:  0 (Grandma in town)

Thursday:   0 (Grandma in town)

Friday:  Cardio (run 3 miles at park) 30 minutes

Saturday: Cardio (run neighborhood) 45 minutes

Sunday:   Cardio (run neighborhood) 25 minutes

Like I mentioned above, I didn't do 100% on my food this week.  Twice I had Starbucks (iced tall two-pump mocha), went to Zoe's kitchen once (shrimp kabobs), ate fajita beef from El Tiempo, hummus, and put sun-dried tomato pesto (with canola oil) from Sprouts on my chicken several times.  

I can rationalize how I wanted to take my Grandma to those restaurants and stopping into Starbuck's was a fun treat while we were out, but while on bikini prep, those kinds of things will only keep you from reaching your goal.  You have to be super strict with your food to see the results in 12 weeks. 


I have last year's competition to compare my results against, and last year at 10 weeks out my trainer measured me at 21% body fat.  This shows I'm close to where I was last year, but we're tweaking a few things to make this contest prep better.  

cardio | training

Last Year : I didn't up my cardio until about 6 weeks out, and then I was doing it 4-5 days a week, 45 minutes each.  

This Year:  I'm doing cardio 6 days a week, 40 minutes each starting 12 weeks out.  We are changing this because last year, at 6 weeks out, I was still at 19% body fat and I needed to lose more and I had only lost .75% from Week 7 to Week 6 due to my "cheats". 

Last Year:  Two of the things that kept me from placing higher last year were: 1) I needed to be leaner (less body fat) and 2) my booty needed to be more muscular and tighter.

This Year:  We've been doing a ton of glute training to focus on that area. 


Last Year:  I was eating cheerios at night for a few weeks and not drinking my protein shake for my last meal.  I also don't think I drank enough water. 

This Year:  I don't even keep cereal in the house, and I love my Chocolate Muscle Egg (chocolate egg whites) that tastes just like a cup of chocolate milk, so I have no trouble drinking that as my last meal before bed.  I still need to ask my trainer exactly how much water a day I should be drinking. I think it's a gallon.  I easily drink 48 ounces during my workout/cardio session.  


Last Year:  I learned quickly last year that if I didn't get a good night's sleep (7-8 hours), I was a mess at the gym the next day.  I would be fatigued and the workouts were killer.  

This Year:   I aim to get in bed about 9:30 - 10 p.m., since I wake up at 5 or 6 a.m. most mornings.  I don't drink coffee after 2 p.m. since it will keep me awake at night, even if I'm exhausted.  


I'm already nervous because I feel like I looked more toned in the 12 week photo than I do in this 10 week photo from yesterday (May 3, 2015).  But, I'm determined to stick to my meals this week and get my workouts in since I get my body fat measured again on Thursday (May 7, 2015). I'll report back on my 10 Weeks Out update next week.  

Bikini Contest Prep- 10 Weeks Out

Bikini Contest Prep- 10 Weeks Out

I realized I never showed many back progress shots last prep, so here's one.  Just barely starting to see some definition.  Hair is cute though;) 

Bikini Contest Prep- 10 Weeks Out
sports bra | Elastika Dri-fit tank (super lightweight and great for sweaty workouts) (similar to this twist back tank) | dri-fit capri pants | shoes 

Check back tomorrow if you're interested in my bikini prep meal plan! 

Or go here to see my recap of favorite Nike shoes for running and training.  

You can also check out some of my favorite running workout clothes here and here and workout clothes that you can wear beyond the gym

tanks | sports bras 

                                            shorts | capris



keep in touch! 

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affiliate links used 
Thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post and helping us look cute while getting in shape. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Weekend Steals & Deals | Spring is in the Air

SPRING is officially underway and in the air as all of this week's Weekend Steals & Deals are super Spring friendly.  I'm loving all the dresses and skirts with feminine details like lace and eyelet.  Of course, my HWH Everyday Favorite white jeans are on heavy rotation day & night.  They were on sale for $114.80 when I got them, but have gone back up:(  

In the comments on my White Jeans Day & Night post, Cassie said she likes the Old Navy Rockstar (low rise- ordered one size up) on sale for $24! Will definitely be trying those- can't beat the price! (Speaking of Old Navy, their entire store is up to 50% off this weekend.  I'm going to stock up on some summer things for my son.  He's just now going from size 4 to 5, so he needs some new shorts.) 

Carrie in San Jose (hey, I used to live there!) said her favorite jeans are are GAP 'Real Straight', but I didn't see any in white currently.  Michele likes the Nordstrom DL1961 jeans for being super comfy and holding their shape and Stormie said Banana jeans are her go-to.

Now onto this week's Weekend Steals & Deals . . . . 

dresses | skirts

Spring/Summer style short dress
I'm digging the simplicity of this style and can see wearing it with a long beaded tassel necklace and flat sandals.  This Lucky Brand sandal is 50% off ($29.50) and this one with the fringe is cute ($39.95)! Two gold Steve Maddens are price-matched at Nordstrom for $44.96 & $52.46.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

HWH Loves Bloggers | Claire Brody Designs

I hope one of the things you think about when you read Honey We're Home or of the person behind the blog is that you know, above all, I like to share the love.  I try to be kind and supportive to everyone and I always truly appreciate the thoughtfulness shown toward me.  I remember starting my blog almost 5 years ago and feeling so excited to see that people were reading my blog and taking time to leave a sweet comment.  I still feel that way!  I know people are busy, have lots of choices for how they choose to spend their time, and that anyone makes a point of stopping here is not taken for granted.

I also know that bloggers benefit from being featured and promoted on other blogs (myself included!) and I like being part of that sharing community.  I'd love to feature other home bloggers who have great content, beautiful photos and a genuine voice.  If you fit that description and want to be featured on Honey We're Home, tag an instagram picture #HWHlovesbloggers and I'll be checking in and choosing some to feature each THURSDAY on my blog and instagram (@honeywerehome). For next week, since I just finished our neutral master bedroom refresh, I'm looking for your BEDROOM photos!  It doesn't matter to me if you've been blogging for 6 months or 6 years, I'd be happy to showcase your talent here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wardrobe Wednesday | White Jeans Day & Night

Happy happy day friends!  My Grandma is visiting from California and we are beyond thrilled to have her here.  We are super close and she is one special lady.  At 88, she's still running circles around most people and uses the internet (love that she reads my blog everyday!) and even Facebook.  She's the kind of person who never stops learning, challenges herself, has friends all over the world she helps, and has taught me most that we have to accept situations we cannot change.  So thankful for this woman in my life.

And speaking of thankful, I so appreciate your supportive comments on my bikini contest prep post.  Some of you like Caroline and Ann didn't realize I had a second blog (my fault for not promoting it more), and other people like Nicole, House Bound In Marin, Lisa B, and Katie said they loved following that blog and my posts about my first bikini contest.  But overall, everyone commented that they'd like me to combine the Honey We're Healthy & Honey We're Home blogs into one place here and/or get health/fitness/recipe content here on Honey We're Home. 

That's really good for me to know because the main reason I started a second blog was so that people who weren't interested in that content wouldn't be turned off by me posting it here.  But what I realize now by reading your comments, is that that most of us want to be healthy and to look and feel good so reading about that here would be a welcome change.  I'm looking into adding a 'Fitness' tab at the top of Honey We're Home so you can easily access those posts when you visit here and I will be doing weekly bikini contest prep updates also.  Hope you enjoy them and they are helpful to you, even if you're not training for a contest! (But if you are, please let me know in the comments so we can encourage each other!) 

white jeans day & night

Ever since I bought my new favorite white jeans, I've been wearing them non-stop and they've become a go-to piece in my wardrobe.  I'm dubbing them a "HWH Everyday Favorite" item and will share more of those with you throughout the post.  They are originally pricey ($164), but were just on sale for $114. The only drawback (which is also the plus) is that they're white, so I try to be careful not to spill on them while I'm eating or drinking since I do a lot of eating and drinking in the car and am always making a mess.  

What makes this pair so special is the thicker fabric and cut.  I tried on so many pair of white jeans and most of them were too thin and too much like jeggings/leggings and made my legs look bumpy and terrible.  The material on these AG Prima Cigarette Jeans is thicker and more like a jean (still with some stretch- 98% cotton, 2% elastane).  Also, they are a mid-rise, so your waistband isn't in your crotch!  At 5'1 and 107 pounds, I got the size 25 and then had the length taken up and nipped in the waist just a tad.  

I'll share some less expensive white jean options at the bottom of the post, but I wanted to show you today how I wear white jeans day and night, just by dressing them up with a heel and some fancier jewelry (for night) or pair them with wedges or flats and more casual tops (for day).  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Bikini Contest Prep | Here We Go Again!

Happy Monday friends!  I may not be operating at full speed today, having spent the last 4 days in Dallas with my blogging girlfriends (see what I packed to wear here), staying up too late, and indulging in all things girly and fun. I felt like I was a kid again having an all-girls sleepover for 3 nights, complete with getting ready together and pillow talk. But, you know how it is when you go away for even a few days, it seems like when you get back there's so much to do from unpacking to laundry to grocery shopping, etc.  

My boys survived and enjoyed their guy weekend, and I'm sure it was good for them both. Sometimes my son just needs alone-time with Dad.  I can't say the same thing about our poor plants.   Do men really just not notice that the previously healthy and perky plants are wilting away and near death?!?!  Or is it just mine?? I tended to them when I got home, so hopefully, they'll come back to life.

And speaking of coming back to life, if you follow Honey We're Healthy, you know that I trained for and competed in my first fitness bikini contest last July.  It was a long-time bucket list item for me and I finally built up the courage to go for it last year.  Exercise has always been a way for me to blow off steam, release stress and feel good about myself.  While I was going through my Dad's illness, I would work off all the anger, frustration and stress at the gym and it also helped me feel better about myself.  Of course, I want to be healthy and look good too.  I don't feel embarrassed or ashamed about that, even when people don't understand my motives.


For my first contest, I started working out seriously and eating healthy in January 2014.  Then, to help get me ready for the contest, I hired a trainer in March, and after 14 weeks of training together, I competed on July 3, 2014.  I was in the best shape of my life and felt really good, even weeks before the contest date.  

It was a lot of work to get to that point, but in retrospect, it was just a matter of doing what I knew needed to be done day in and day out.  I actually didn't have too much trouble sticking to the diet because I liked my food (and there was plenty of it) but the training!!  Oh, the training was always physically demanding, even as I got in better shape and we pushed harder.  Plus, I was doing 45 minutes of cardio about 4 days a week on top of the 3-4 days of weight training.  So, the time commitment was significant too.

At the show, I placed 4th in my age group (over 35) and was humbly proud of my accomplishment.  When I look at the picture below, it's actually hard to imagine that's me. I'm definitely not looking like that now. 

bikin contest prep NPC

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Girls' Weekend | Packing Edition

You hear bloggers say all the time that one of the best benefits of blogging are the close friendships and connections that are made along the way.  And it's true! Two of my closest girlfriends are bloggers I met over the internet several years ago (I think it's going on 5 years now since I always remember I started my blog when James was just 4 months old and he's 5!) and I talk to them in some form or fashion nearly every day. Whether it's a quick text or phone chat, we've gotten so close, but unfortunately, we are scattered in different cities so we're long-distance friends.  Today, I'm super excited to be meeting up with both Courtney (A Thoughtful Place) and Cassie (Hi Sugarplum) in person in Dallas at a fashion blog conference.  And the icing on the cake is that, since the conference is in Cassie's town, I get to pop into her new home!  I've been dying to see it in person!  Have you been following along on all the fun decor stuff happening over there?!  

I've learned from experience attending several blog conferences over the years that it's mostly just a chance to get together with friends and have a girls' weekend.  I hope the boys are okay at home, I know bedtimes are nearly nonexistent when mom's not around and video games are surely on repeat. As long as teeth are brushed and everyone stays safe, I'm sure they can manage without me for a couple days. ;)  

Since I'm gone tomorrow, in lieu of my regular 'Weekend Steals & Deals' post, I'll share with you what I'm bringing to Dallas (which includes lots of sale items!).  I'm typically a terrible packer  and procrastinate till the last minute because I hate having to choose several days worth of outfits in advance without options.  Last year at the conference, I was in a hurry one morning and burned a hole right through my top while ironing it.  Luckily, I happened to have brought one extra outfit just in case.  I did my best to plan out all the outfits I'd need for the trip this year, so here goes!

travel to dallas 

I'm in Houston, so I decided to skip the air fare and drive myself to Dallas this time.  It should take me about 4 hours to get there so it's not too bad of a drive.  Our weather (and Dallas) has been rainy and stormy lately, so I hope it doesn't cause any issues on the roads.  For a day of driving and arriving at the conference, I'm going super casual with my ripped jeans (they go in and out of stock so you might have to check back), favorite u-neck tank ($18) I've told you about before (also in black and grey), and my super comfy everyday sandals (on sale). This striped bag is new and perfect for holding lots of stuff (but it's not huge), including my iPad and it's cool because you can hold it by the top handles or wear it like a cross body bag.  The cross body straps are removable too.   I always like to bring a scarf just to keep the chill off and it doesn't hurt when it's as pretty as this ombre tassel one!    (It's on sale too). 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wardrobe Wednesday | Men's Swimwear

Ever since James and I got a taste of the pool last week, I've been craving more swimming days!  We've been getting tons and tons of rain, and last Monday, when we walked outside from his doctor appointment, we were surprised to see gorgeous blue sunshiney skies!  The appointment ended at 2p.m., too late to head back to school, so we took a quick detour home to grab swimsuits and sunscreen and headed to the pool.  Even just a little over an hour at the pool was so fun! Now, I'm keeping swimsuits in the car- you never know when the opportunity will strike! ;)

I've already shown you my women's swimwear picks (including my new bikini) and those for the kids, and today I teamed up with Nordstrom to share swimwear for the guys!  Does your guy like a colorful swim trunk or prefer something more traditional like solid black?  I like the stripes!  

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 

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