Floral Flared Pant

Floral Flared Pant

As a quick follow-up to last week’s post, see here, I officially decided what coach to hire. I thought I knew who I wanted to go with, but having spoke with a good friend who’s opinion I respect highly he told me to look into a couple others. I went to the TheFitExpo and met with a coach that I spoken to on the phone the week before and felt comfortable enough to sign up with them! As a rookie, their team offers a one stop shop for people like me who need as much guidance as possible these next 20 weeks. I am super excited but also very nervous of what’s to come these next few months.  It’s by far the hardest challenge I’ve ever committed to. At the end of the day, if you fail the only person you fail is yourself. For 2018, we’re here to win it and commit to ourselves. If it takes baby steps, then take as many as you need to lead you to your goal.

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”2979922″]

 

Flared Pants | Knit Crop Top | Clutch | Heels 

I’m so fortunate to have a roommate who has decided to ride along this journey with me. Not everyone will always support or agree with your decisions, but I find it important to stick with people that do. She has decided to meal prep weekly, eat similar diets-obviously I don’t blame her if she wants a plate of pasta! But, she’s agreed to be a part of this journey and I am already so fortunate to have someone I can lean on and who will assure me the bad days will only get better and get me closer to my goal. Not to say that my family isn’t supportive, they are 100%, but it’s always different when you live with someone who could potentially live a complete opposite lifestyle.

I can’t quite figure out what is happening with our winter this year. Sometimes I wake up and think I can wear my winter clothes but sometimes I wake up and its 80 degrees. Lately, when I shop, I look for clothing that I can wear to more than one occasion, instead of having a wardrobe for going out, work, dinner, and so on. One of my favorite go-tos are these flared pants or culottes that I have been really into lately. I used to be very much so into denim, but have stirred away and drawn closer to pants that I can wear to work and then out with the girls. When I tried this pair on, I just loved how silky (literally) soft it was and the darker shades are perfect for winter but will flow into summer.

Although I tend to shy away from heavy prints, I have been stirring closer to a light pant pattern that I can pair with a neutral top, like this one. I paired this look with some simply strap black heels and a clutch with a little bit of a detail. Nothing too heavy, but not too light-just right in between. I’ve linked some of my favorite floral pants (like this one) and neutral crop top and sweaters to match. I also just found this cute clutch that is currently on sale!

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”2979920″]

 

Photography: Christy Kendall 

Teddy Sweater

Teddy Sweater

Zara Jacket

I wanted to take the time to elaborate a little bit more on this exciting journey that is to come for the first six months of the year-that being the bikini competition. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to make this a part of “Something Dashing” as the blog focuses on fashion and travel but I decided that this show will heavily reflect on a challenge that I have set for myself for 2018, a commitment to myself and choosing a healthy lifestyle which are three things you can apply to yourself in one way or another. It doesn’t have to be committing to a show, like I’ve chosen but it could focusing on getting up a little earlier to take your dog for a longer walk (which I also need to do), or committing to drink at least a liter of water a day. Something big or small. I would say find at least one thing, big or small, that you can find yourself committing to this next year and something you can apply to your daily life.

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”2973499″]

 

 

 

I’ve been thinking about this competition for a little over a year, but I never really had the push to sign-up. About six months ago, a friend of mine suggested it and I thought maybe now is the time but I need more time to prep. As the days went by, I gave it more and more thought and I began to really look into it. I began to search, or shop, for coaches that would fit well for what I was looking for-meaning someone who could help with nutrition, workout plans, posing, and the other details that go along with a show. I am currently down to two coaches and after this weekend’s LA Fit Expo, I will have a better idea of who I decide to go with. I will keep you updated as the process goes.

Currently, I am following a gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free diet. I am doing my best to maintain an all sugar-free diet which includes natural sugars and fruits. I have struggled with IBS for the last 7 years of my life and I have visited many GI doctors who each have suggested different treatments, but none of which have stuck or worked for me. As I began to follow this new diet, I began to feel different in my tummy and I felt more energized all around. So far, this diet has changed the way that I feel for the best. I won’t lie and tell you that the first two weeks, I was craving an orange or something sweet. It was hard. It usually takes about two weeks to break a habit, typically depends on each person. There were a few instances I had to cave and have a slice or two of orange. But the purpose of changing our dieting lifestyles is not to constrict ourselves but to make changes that will lead us to living a better lifestyle. If that means you’re craving a smoothie, I say have it. Due to the lack of sugar in my diet, I find that my struggles with low blood sugar levels are higher, so sometimes I have a serving of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I believe there is about 7g of sugar per serving but they are dairy and gluten free. They’re so good! I don’t know if my coach will allow these but until then I will take full advantage!

Most preps are about 16-20 weeks depending on where your body falls. Despite the coach saying I could do a 16 week prep, I think that I would feel more comfortable knowing that I am doing a 20-week prep and allowing my body to change in a decent amount of time. The first part of the prep is to gain muscle (in other words bulking) and from there coach will help me cut, which means lose fat and lean out. These are all details that I will share when I get more info!

I am really excited to share this journey with you! I will share the good times, the bad times, what works for me and what doesn’t. Make sure you follow me at #thebikiniandi on Twitter and Instagram for updates and recipes regarding the competition. If you have any questions or want to chat, don’t hesitate to comment or email me at melanie@somethingdashing.com

 

 

Photography: Christy Kendall 

Reflection of 2017 & Setting Intentions

Reflection of 2017 & Setting Intentions

2017 was a crazy year! Can you believe it’s over? I can’t say 2017 was my favorite year, rather I cannot wait to say goodbye to 2017. There were so many hurdles and trials that left me exhausted, hopeless at times, frustrated, and desperate for a fresh start more times than not. I don’t know why this year felt harder than others, but I know it wasn’t just me. 2016 was a similar year as 2017 was for me. And, two years of the same hurdles and trials, I was just ready for a new year to start.

Despite the downfalls of 2017, there were plenty of positive things that happened this year.

  1. In terms of my job, I completed my first project that I oversaw from start to finish. It gave me more confidence in the work place and outside of the workplace. It meant that my dad trusted me enough to handle a multi-million dollar project on my own. And, that felt good to me, that he believed I had the basic skills to oversee this project.
  2. It’s been about a year and a half since I got Mia and I don’t know why I would do without her now. She is my best friend and when I have those moments where I feel hopeless at times, I love having this furry animal that cuddles up close to me. I won’t lie and say sometimes I want to pull my hair out because she drives me up a wall. But, she’s truly an incredible companion and so well-behaved. We also recently accomplished our first flight together and I can honestly say she did so well!
  3. I tried to be really present with my family this year. When we spend time together, I want to make a greater effort of being less on my phone, whether it’s texting or on social media, but just putting the phone aside to really be present with my family and spend quality time with them.
  4. I feel fortunate that I was able to travel as much as I did this year. I love being able to go to Europe and exploring new beautiful places. Some of the places I visited this year were Cinque Terre, Zermatt, Prague, Monaco, Carmel among some others.
  5. This year I have learned to stand my ground and be more confident in my decisions. I have learned that people will take advantage of you when it comes to business but you must be able to trust your gut and stand up for yourself. I found this to apply both in my work (blog and real estate career) and my personal life.

My 2018 Intentions


I recently came across this quote, which I will use as my intention for 2018 “Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach”.  Very often, life throws many curve balls at us and it’s up to us to decide how we approach them. 2017 taught me that no matter what curve ball comes my way, to keep pushing forward and doing the best to make the situation better.

  1. I want to make a bigger effort at celebrating small victories. I don’t give myself enough credit for small victories, I just oversee them as something that should have happened. My roommate often reminds me “mel, this is really exciting and you should be proud” but I quickly don’t give them enough credit.
  2. I need to continue to let things go that don’t serve a purpose or that hurt.  I am the type of person that will do one thing or several things to ensure someone’s happiness, but sometimes that leaves me a doormat. I’ve learned that I don’t want to be a doormat, who does? I can’t make everyone happy and some things or people aren’t worth the effort. Life is too short to please everyone and to wonder why you may not be good enough for them. Sometimes letting go is easier than hanging on.
  3. I can conquer anything I put my mine to. I have decided to compete in a bikini competition this year. It is by far the hardest challenge and intention I have set myself up to so far (I think). These next six months will challenge my ability to stay true and honest with myself and my coaches. I am really excited but really nervous all at the same time. I can’t wait to share this journey with you.
  4. Do more things that I love. The more time that I spend doing things that uplift my spirits and alight my soul, the happier I will feel about myself and my life. It will be a great way to people who share common interests, which can open up my social circles and dating life. After all, there is nothing more attractive than a woman who is passionate, strong, independent and in love with her life.
  5. Be open and fearless when it comes to love. I’ve struggled with this one ever since I let go of someone I loved very much. It wasn’t the right time for us at the time. I have given online dating more of a chance than I wished to do so in 2017, but it’s led me to feel more hopeless about relationships and love. This is one I struggle with but will continue to work on in 2018, and will continue to put myself out there and be open.

There are many other intentions that I can think of, but I think it’s important to stick to a fewer more realistic number. Otherwise, it seems as the year goes on, we lose motivation to stick to our intentions or often times we forget our intentions. With that, I will leave you with this. Happy New Year. Cheers.

 

 

NYE Look: Disco Pants

NYE Look: Disco Pants

With the holidays behind us, I have my eye on New Year’s Eve. As I mentioned in my previous post, I don’t know what I am doing yet-and still don’t know! But, I have been leaning towards a couple of pant looks this year. I love the flexibility that pants bring as well as a little warmth.

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”2968345″]

I have spent the last 9 days in the mountains which has made it hard to decide whether I want to do some “big” this year for NYE and go all out and get dressed up or whether I want to do something a little more intimate and watch a few movies by the end of the night. I found that this look with sequin pants and a sweater would be the perfect outfit for a more intimate night at a wine bar, light dancing and then retreat back home for a relaxing night. This outfit is also easily able to get a little more dressed up by changing the top, adding a fur jacket and adding a bit of glam jewelry, like this ring or this necklace. Right after NYE, I transition back into rigorous training for my show, which ultimately means no alcohol, no sugar (of any kind), no dairy and no gluten. As much as it sounds really rough, I am very much so excited for this challenge that i will take on in 2018, one of many of my goals for next year. I will share more on this in another post! 

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”2968355″]

 

Photography: Christy Kendall

 

Star Mesh Dress

Star Mesh Dress

It’s the eve of the Christmas holiday weekend, but we’re also just about a week away from a night of champagne, pretty dresses and lots of dancing. Are you staying in and going all out? Or, are you thinking more of an intimate night in? Or, something cozy that involves hot cocoa with peppermint shnapps and some netlfix? I am not sure what I am doing yet but at the very least I know that I love to dress up and NYE gives that opportunity to be a little or very EXTRA!

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”2963256″]

If there’s any time of the year that you really get to be EXTRA and can get away with a little more skin without looking too scandalous it’s the holiday season moving into NYE. I chose this star maxi dress because I loved the star glitter pattern and really loved the mesh. There was a lot of debate as to whether this dress was over the top and too much to wear out. I brought it out when I got home and my roommate immediately said YES!  I am completely in love with it. I was a bit hesitant to wear this out to shoot, but I got so many compliments on how unusual and unique the dress was that I knew I wanted to share it with you. I paired my dress with simple black heels, a clutch and you could easily add a fur vest for the evening.

 

 

Photography: Christy Kendall 

Holiday Dresses

Holiday Dresses

 

 

Hooray for holiday season! From LBD’s to LRD’s (little red dresses) and satin to lace and to velvet. Tis’ the season to rock a dress that makes you feel confident. From going to a work party to a dinner party with your friends, get creative this year with festive colors and textures.

I am so excited for the holidays this year despite the weather not cooperating, there’s nothing quite like holiday music to get you in the spirit. I decided to pull our fake tree out earlier than usual this year, but it didn’t last more than two days in the house. Fact: I actually celebrate Hanukkah, but love being able to decorate a tree for decorative purposes. Mia decided that the tree would become more of her toy than decor. While I was at work on day 2 of the tree being out, I came home to 4-5 ornaments shattered on the floor. In fact, one of the ornaments-she managed to shove down into the sofa. I checked her paws-all clear, cleaned the mess and assumed that for the next day I could simply remove the remaining ornaments.

I was wrong! She decided on day 3 of me at work, she would go ahead and eat the tree lighting and tree lights. I texted my roommate and said “either we crate Mia or we take the tree down” and the final decision was to remove the tree. To be honest, at this point the tree wouldn’t function with no lights so it was time to bid farewell to the tree. I’d say we’ve kept our decorations to a minimum this year because of Mia’s behavior towards them. Is this something a teenage dog does?

I love that the holidays give us reasons to get dressed up. Not that we need one, but it gives the opportunity to get creative, try something different. Red is hands down my favorite color for the holidays. I also love metallics, so that’s my second favorite. It’s always the first two things that I search when I am shopping online.  The color red is a show-stopped and it is so flattering on everyone, so use the holidays are the perfect excuse to wear that bold red dress-even if that means showing a little skin!

I found this one and was instantly drawn to the sleeves and fit. I found that the dress was so flattering and I loved the idea that I could wear with my OTK boots. I also had my eye on this cut-out midi dress, which is another great option for the holidays. Below are a few more perfect red dresses for the holidays!

 

 

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”2953846″]

Photography: Christy Kendall