Friday, January 31, 2014

Monthlies: January '14

j a n u a r y 2 0 1 4

In January:
-Working out & eating healthy.
-(Trying) to form new procrastination-cutting habits.
-Making time to read.
-Did an awful lot of outfit posts.
-Baked lots of muffins.
-Set a date for testing Intermediate Moves! February 11, woot!

Goals for February:
-Write more letters.
-Pass Intermediate Moves! :)
-Finish Biology & French 1.
-Make time to hang out with friends.
-Land an axel.

Books read this month:
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence, and several short stories for lit class.

Reading goals for February:
Switch from the audio book of Pride and Prejudice to the 'real' book and finish it, finish Conditioning for Figure Skating by Carl Poe, and read My Bonny Light Horseman: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, in Love and War (Bloody Jack No. 6) by L.A. Meyer (so excited!!).

Recent Favorites:
How To Dress Like John Watson.
All the outfits at Polka Polish. Sorta blog stalking, over here....
What Your Favorite Disney Prince Says About You. You're welcome, ladies. :)
"Here's to the crazy ones" and "It's like in the great stories..."; both pins that set my fandom-heart aflutter. Is it weird to tear up while on Pinterest? 'Cause I'm pretty sure I just did.
These Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies from Sally's Baking Addiction. Definitely recommend them!
This post from Flashback Summer. Not only does it show her cute Save-The-Date video (they just got engaged, donchaknow?), but also a super cute story of vintage Air Force uniforms and how good God is. So much to love.

On the blog:
Inspiration...Ravenclaw Madness is still my most popular post (don't ask me why), but We're the Heroines is probably my favorite post I've written this month. :)

Thanks for reading! How was your January? How are those 2014 goals coming? Don't forget to check back in this weekend for another post!

Have you answered my Question Call & Blog Survey? Can't wait to hear from you!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

TYG: Skating Goals.

print matching polka dots pencil skirt outfit ll Young Yankee Lady

I've talked about Disney on Ice before, but lately I've been going through another phase of feeling confused. The thing about skating, is it produces really young athletes. And with that in mind, I sometimes feel like I'm a bit of a late-bloomer skating wise.

I always feel like I'm on such a time-crunch. The goal of skating with Disney on Ice is a rather time-sensitive one: it has to happen between high school and college. Because it seems like there's such a limited 'window', I get scared. What if I don't get it? What then? What will I possibly do with myself, if it doesn't include skating for Disney?

print matching polka dots pencil skirt outfit ll Young Yankee Lady

But yesterday, I had a really good talk with my coach. I just laid it on the table and told her what's been bothering me. And she definitely put some things in perspective for me.

Getting into Disney would be absolutely amazing. Definitely one of the best things that will ever happen to me. The experience will be amazing, the traveling, the skating...but, it's not the only way skating can be in my adult life. Like my coach said, skating doesn't end when I turn 18. Even if I don't get into Disney, skating isn't over. There's collegiate competing, NY Theater on Ice, Royal Caribbean Cruise. There's a million outlets for me to have the time to skate, and enjoy, and keep improving.

print matching polka dots pencil skirt outfit ll Young Yankee Lady

In a way, I feel really at peace and rejuvenated. I know the butterflies will come back, that I'll still worry, but frankly, that's okay. I would be more worried if I wasn't a little nervous, because that would mean I didn't really want it. But this afternoon, I just feel content. Everything works out in the end, after all.

Skating will always be a part of my life; an ever growing part. Each year has led me to work harder, do more, improve, and mentally re-commit. When I started taking private lessons 'way back' when I was 13, I thought I was so dedicated. Looking back, though, I laugh because I was still only skating 2-3 times a week, tops. Now, I stretch multiple times day, skate five days a week for two hour sessions, have more lessons with my coach, do off-ice training, and eat better. While I still know I have a long way to go, this afternoon, I'm just really proud of how far I've come.

What am I proudest of, though? The fact that I'm ready. I'm ready to practice harder, talk with my coach more, off-ice train. I'm ready to stop procrastinating on school so that I have time for skating, ready to sacrifice for my sport. And yes, I know it won't be easy, or all roses. But it's what I want and I know I can trust myself to do everything in my power to get there.

print matching polka dots pencil skirt outfit ll Young Yankee Lady

Half of the reason I love Pinterest is my quotes board. Every time I need a boost, I scroll through some of those pins and feel all inspired. Lately, I've been loving this one by Steve Jobs:

"People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things."

So true, right? I'm at a point in my life where nothing (NOTHING) means as much to me as skating. Focusing on it means saying no to distractions. Or how about this one from F. Scott Fitgerald:

"For what it's worth, it's never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you find that you aren't, I hope you have the strength to start over."

Or this one, from none other than Albert Einstein:

"Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts."

And last but never least, words from the amazing Coco Channel:

"In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different."

I can't wait for Monday. To start a new week, and this time, to really rock it. I feel like I'm on the right path, and now I'm trusting myself to take the chances to keep me moving forward. I've been talking skating, but what do you want to accomplish? What dream are chasing down?

print matching polka dots pencil skirt outfit ll Young Yankee Lady

Outfit Details: scarf / / gift, top / / old navy, belt / / came with another dress, pencil skirt / / thrifted, nylons / / probably walmart, heels / / thrifted.

Stalk these pieces: pencil skirt: #1, heels: #1, belt: #1, #2, #3, #4.

PS: Linking up to Watch What I'm Wearing.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

15 Winter Wardrobe Rants

Interview outfit lace blazer high-waisted pencil skirt black heels via Young Yankee Lady

Alright, ladies. I think we need a pep talk.

The line between dressing comfortably and looking absolutely frumpy has been blurred. Call me judgmental, but I'm really tired of seeing people dress themselves in the most unflattering way possible. So many people are genuinely pretty, but then they dress in a way that takes all the focus away from that.

So here's the hard truth: dressing tackily makes it look like you don't care about yourself, the people you're with, or the situation. Now, we all know that's not true. You respect yourself, love the people you're with, and care about what's going on around you. So, let's start dressing like that.

Interview outfit lace blazer high-waisted pencil skirt black heels via Young Yankee Lady

The following list isn't rules, because the whole idea of 'fashion rules' is flawed. They are, however, things that have been bugging me lately about how people dress. Now, most people don't obsess over clothes like I do, and therefore will think that this whole post is silly. BUT. The way people dress is always influenced by what they think. Can't we show the world that we're classy, caring individuals?

1.) Yoga pants aren't pants. I love yoga pants. I get home from skating and immediately pull them on. However, they are not pants. They're glorified sweats. As such, they shouldn't be worn outside of the house, or as part of an 'outfit', unless you're actually working out in them.

2.) Flats shouldn't be worn with socks. I know it's tempting, and honestly, this is my worst style habit. Flats are meant to be worn with either tights, nylons, or those adorable little 'flat socks' that are shaped like the shoe and therefore hidden. And if it's too cold to not have socks? Then you should probably be wearing boots, anyways.

3.) Wear nylons. Just wear them. They aren't as bad as you think they are, I promise.

4.) Dress for the weather. The other day it was snowing, and I saw a girl wearing high heeled sandals. Seriously? You have to dress for the weather. If you're cold, wear layers, if you're hot, wear something breezy. Wear shoes that can withstand rain, or snow, or mud, or whatever you'll be walking in.

5.) Be aware of your clothing. As in, realize how you should be sitting in relation to what you're wearing. And be aware if clothing has the tendency to move. The reason should be obvious.

6.) Don't let the hems of your pants drag on the ground. Some pants are worn with flats, and some are worn with heels. Realize that, hem pants appropriately, and enjoy unstained, perfectly dry pants.

7.) Stop. Wearing. Uggs. *duck as Uggs fly towards my head* They look funny. Pardon me, but no one's foot looks like two ovals stalked on top of each other. Plus, they're really mainstream. Style does not come from the mainstream. The fact is, they're are tons of warm, cozy, comfy winter boots out there that offer more style than Uggs.

8.) Stop with the sneakers. Wearing sneakers in the snow is just insane to me. Won't they get your feet wet?

9.) Understand what you're dressing for. Interviews are not the time for fluffy skirts. Sweatshirts should not be worn to church, or to see a play, or, well, anywhere other than lounging and working out. Dress appropriately for the situation.

10.) Avoid raccoon eyes. Makeup's supposed to accentuate your pretty complexion, or eyes, or lips...not make you look even more tired by having really black eyes. Take your makeup off completely at night, and adjust it during the day if it has a habit of smudging.

11.) Don't wear a fleece jacket over your gorgeous outfit. Seriously. Stop wearing something really cute,  only to top it off with an old fleece jacket that you never take off. You might as well have worn a sweatshirt, because we can't see your outfit, anyways. Why can't we simply make our outfit warm enough to avoid the fleece?

12.) Stop hating on heels. There are three types of people: people who love heels, people love the idea of heels, and people who despise heels. For the two last groups, just know this: there ARE comfortable heels out there, you just haven't found them yet. Someday a surprising comfortably, totally beautiful heel will make its way into your life and change how you think. Just keep trying. PS-comments like "how do you possibly walk in those?" or "I just like to be comfortable." are really annoying to those of us who love heels. Please, just humor us.

13.) Get a nice coat. Nothing irks me more than people showing up with thoughtfully put together outfits, topped off with ugly puffer coats. No. Stop. Get a nice coat, and wear it. Puffer coats are for skiing.

14.) Carry your bag like a pro. Like number 2, this one's especially difficult for me. We shouldn't 'schlub' our bags. We should carry them comfortably over the shoulder, in the crook of our arm, or elegantly clutched. Schlubbing doesn't look classy.

15.) Grab a scarf. Now that you've completed number 13, you need to wear a scarf. Why? Well, scarves are incredibly warm. Also, anyone who takes the trouble to match a cute scarf to their coat look instantly more put together. Scarves can match, contrast, or do whatever they need to...but you can make your coat look like an outfit when you add a scarf. And that's pretty cool.

So there you have it, 15 Winter Wardrobe Rants in one rather long blog posts. Thanks so much to everyone who made it to the end, and for those of you who didn't, well, you're not reading this, anyway. Have a great day, everyone! Stay classy, my friends.

Interview outfit lace blazer high-waisted pencil skirt black heels via Young Yankee Lady

Outfit Details: blazer / / jc penny's, top / / jc penny's & professionally altered, belt / / came with another dress, pencil skirt / / thrifted, nylons / / walmart, heels / / thrifted, jewelry / / gifts & heirloom.

Stalk These Pieces: belt: #1, #2, #3.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

We're The Heroines

A lot of bad stuff happens to us, doesn't it?

We get beaten down, stomped on, and then ignored. Either people don't care, or they simply don't listen. We're not given the opportunities we deserve, we aren't recognized, we aren't encouraged.

Or at least, that's what we're led to think.

We're led to think we're oppressed.



We're led to think we're victims.

If our lives were a novel, almost all of us would choose to be the Lizzy Bennets. At the end of our lives, we want to look back and know that we had it together. We had friends, romance, priorities. We worked hard for what we wanted. We want to know we were intelligent, caring, healthy and witty, even more than we want to know we were pretty. And we want to know we did it all ourselves.

I want to be the heroine, and there's nothing wrong with that. Being the heroine's the best part. Even the ones that don't get the happy ending are loved and admired, because they still did everything right.

We make being the heroine our goal. But day to day, we don't really emulate her, do we?

I know most days, I emulate the victim. What about you?

Being the victim is the easiest role. Victims can be selfish. They can be lazy and then complain they don't have what they want. They can be silly, fake, and just plain stupid. Even with all of that, though, some still get the happy ending. But they aren't loved. They aren't admired, or emulated. They don't have fans. But perhaps most importantly, they aren't happy people. They're the Caroline Bingley's, the Miss de Bourgh's, and sometimes even the Kitty's.

But we aren't victims. It's all a lie. I don't care if you HAVE been oppressed, laughed at, not given opportunities, or not listened to, you are NOT a victim. Life is hard. Bad things happen. But we need to make the most of it.

There are people in the world suffering. Many are in terrible situations. My heart goes out to them. I still, however, refuse to let anyone play the victim. No matter how bad things get, we still have the ability to hold our head up and be ourselves, if only in the smallest way possible. Maybe I'm idealistic and romantic, but I don't believe there's ever a good enough reason to 100% give up on yourself.

Being the heroine doesn't mean being perfect. You know the saying, 'the strongest people fight battles we never know about'? For me, being the heroine is being like that. We know we're not perfect, and perfect isn't our goal. Instead, we want to be the strong one. The one who coped when things went wrong, who got back up, and proved she wasn't beaten. A victim will complain. A heroine will quietly carry on.

I positively love this pin on 'Being an Austen Heroine'. I probably should have just given you the link, because it expresses what I'm thinking better than all these paragraphs. It's too long to post the whole thing here, so you better click through. Here, though, are some of my favorites:

-Treasure the people who believe in you.
-When the right thing hurts, do it anyway.
-Be prepared to laugh at yourself (and let others laugh with you).
-Be the right woman.
-Don't worry about your standards being too high.
-Know that friends can become family.
-Greet the world with energy.

Heroine's know that there's only one thing they can control: themselves. When all else is wrong, we can choose where we go from here. Our lives, our dreams, are OURS. I don't want to waste mine playing victim.

Thanks for reading! If you haven't already, could you pop over and answer my blog survey/question call? Much obliged!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

On Smoothies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie Off-Ice Training via Young Yankee Lady

Guess what, guys!

I'm eating (drinking?) a smoothie!

Well, actually, I'm not. You see, I wrote that before I dumped it in the trash.

Now I'm actually waiting for some soup to warm up, so I can eat that instead.

You see, I've been trying to eat well lately. Like every woman in America, I've decided that 2014 is the year I get fit. And while that probably seems pretty superficial, and well, predictable, I'd like to aquatint you with the real reason I'm doing this: skating.

That's right. 2014 is going to be my year. I have grand plans of improving, working harder, and really making progress on the ice. I want to land an axel, and hopefully doubles. I want to spin faster, have cleaner footwork, and present my programs better. I want to compete and pass tests. And I want to off-ice train.

You see, for awhile I've ignored the fact that being fit off the ice is directly related to being good on the ice. So I've started doing off-ice training, and really looking at what I eat. I've decided to eat smaller meals more often, but also make the meals more about protein and energy. I've been trying to steer clear of too much bread, pasta, and other simple sugars.

Awww, now I have my soup. :)

So you see, I got a blender for my birthday. A strange gift, yes, but I'd been dying to make smoothies and shakes and all matter of delicious healthy stuff. I tried it out for the first time today, and, well, loved it. The smoothie, not the blender (but that's nice, too). But then I, um, didn't.

My smoothie was made with 1 frozen banana, 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt, 1 tbsp. cocoa, 1 tbsp. peanut butter, and a splash of milk. It was roughly 285 calories, but don't quote me. My inspiration came from this pin.

The problem was, the more I drank, the more it tasted like mushy, frozen banana. Banana isn't really my favorite flavor anyway, and mushy banana certainly isn't. I kept trying to eat it, telling myself THIS IS SO GOOD. AND SOOO HEALTHY! JUST LOOK AT ME, BEING HEALTHY! LOOK! HEALTHY! And then I dumped it in the trash.

Next time, I'm going to do 1/2 of a NOT FROZEN banana and more peanut butter. And we'll see how that goes. Because I'd really, really like to be able to eat smoothies. But in the meantime, I have my soup. And now I'm hungry...

Got any (yummy, not mushy frozen banana) smoothie recipes? Thanks for sharing! :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Question Call & Blog Survey

Hello everyone! With 2014 already under way, I thought it would be a great time to really her from YOU! Yes, you lovely readers, right now!

I promise I won't take up much of your time, but could you be a doll and comment with some of your thoughts? I love hearing from you guys, every comment and email makes my day! I love chatting with you guys all through the year, but I thought I'd take the month of January to really ask some questions about what you think of Young Yankee Lady. At the end of the month, I'll do a post or two with some of your questions, and perhaps even a big post if it's a time-consuming answer!

And here's a bit of incentive...for every question I answer, I'll shout out to you and link to your blog, if you have one. So keep the comments coming!

Do you have a minute?

1. Describe Young Yankee Lady in three words?

2. Why did you start following (and why do you keep following) Young Yankee Lady?

3. What post is YOUR favorite? (I might be coming up with a 'best of' page, so this is important!). 

4. Got any tips for me and my baby blog?

5. Do you have any burning questions to ask me?

I can't wait to hear your responses! You can comment below or email me, whichever you like! Again, I'll be shouting out to questioners (and probably stalking their blogs in the process, too, because who doesn't stalk blogs?). Thank you so much in advance for your feedback! It really means a lot to me. Happy January!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

TYG: Being Intentional

Casual pencil skirt outfit, boots, scarf ll Young Yankee Lady

There are people out there who are all *laugh laugh* "I'm not really into New Years Resolutions."

And honestly, I'm pretty sure they're lying. We all have something we want more (or less) of in 2014. In 2014, we will be perfect. Or at least really, really good. We'll make time for things. We'll read more, walk more, love more. We'll fight less, pin less, eat less. We'll finally check off that dream goal. 2014 is fraught with possibility.

Casual pencil skirt outfit, boots, scarf ll Young Yankee Lady

I love dreaming about the new year. Right now, it seems like 52 weeks is plenty of time to accomplish everything I want to. But looking back at 2013, I know 365 days really isn't all that long. I feel like there's so much I've left undone, or never even started.

2013 was good. I feel like I grew up a lot, and for the first time, understood myself and trusted myself. I feel like I've hit the right stride between working towards goals and realizing that things will change and I have to accept that I'll never really know what is going to happen. My values have become clearer in my head, from Christianity to what it means to be successful. I know what really matters to me.

Casual pencil skirt outfit, boots, scarf ll Young Yankee Lady

I have lots of goals and plans for 2014. They all boil down to one thing, though: being intentional.

Sometimes I feel like I'm not helping myself. I'm chronically lazy, way too good at procrastinating, and usually lack motivation. While I'm really good at planning on paper and 'resolving' throughout the year to do better, I do a really bad job actually putting that into practice.

2014, though, is going to be my year.

I'm going to skate harder and push myself both on and off the ice. I want to leave my comfort zone and know I've put every ounce of myself into a practice.

When I say I'm going to eat healthy, I'm going to. While I have no shame in eating cookie dough and downing pans of fudge by myself, it's not good for me (duh). It's not doing me any favors.

I'm going to just get school done, and stop procrastinating on the inevitable. I want to study harder and accomplish more.

I want to get off of Pinterest and read a book. I'm in danger of getting an internet addiction and I really don't want to. Plus I feel sorry for all the books languishing on my TBR list.

This is what I want from myself in 2014. I want to leave the year knowing that I've been 100% myself and worked my hardest. I want to be totally immersed in living. And I want to kick my lazy habit.

Cardigan and scarf outfit selfie ll Young Yankee Lady

Best of luck to you in 2014! What do you want to accomplish?

Outfit Details: scarf / / gift, cardigan / / jc penny's, pencil skirt / / thrifted, tights / / george via walmart, boots / / hand-me-down, hair bow / / no idea.

Stalk these pieces: cardigan: #1#2. skirt: #1#2, #3. boots: #1.