Fashion, Fitness, Life

Blogversary #2…Stilettos & Sweatpants Style

Happy Blogversary XOXO!  I can’t promise blogversary is a real word…but in the bloggy world it indeed is. XOXOJulzChez has been on tap for 2 full years (plus a few weeks but who’s really keeping track …besides maybe my Dad).  Typically when a blogger’s Blogversary rolls around, girlfriend jumps on the opportunity to break out an extravagant outfit, grabs jumbo balloons as a prop, and rocks out a super special photo shoot. Last year I shamelessly had my XOXO balloons ordered weeks in advance prepping for the big day.  This year I decided to keep it real and do what I like to think I do best…stylish activewear cute enough to also call streetwear. This first outfit is from a new San Francisco based company called KORE collective, where every piece is hand selected by style and fitness expert Kelly Sterling.  There are sooo many options for activewear out there, a site offering select fantastic pieces picked out by a pro makes shopping easy AND successful!  I love everything currently offered on their website, and the models provide awesome styling inspiration.  Janessa Leone hat, Tamara Mellon heels.

In honor of the big blogversary, I have to give a shout out to my fabulous (unpaid) “staff.”  Behind every blogger is a team of lucky folks who that blogger drives insane, but for whatever reason they roll with it.  In no specific order…thank you to my fantastic team:

~Blackie Eugene Chez~ my perfectly overweight cat, who always keeps me company by laying his large body across my lap and my computer while I blog. I couldn’t do it without you Chunky!

~Olivia Szwarc– my great gal pal, and the official XOXO photographer.  She is expecting a baby boy this November, and continues to happily snap ridiculous photos of me AND lets me strip down and change outfits in her car.  Talk about a stellar friend!

~My Mommy– a selfless woman who fills her days by helping others..she will stop whatever she’s doing when I text her, “new post alert Ma!”….and will quickly email me her suggested edits. Sometimes I get weirded out reading blogs with grammatical errors and then I remind myself…not everyone is so lucky to have an Editor Mommy.

~My Hubs~ my man is my number one fan.  He’s been known to shamelessly take my picture in the street on Saturday mornings when I’m dolled up for an event, and he’s still in his robe.  He’s also been known to not only drive me to a bloggy event early on a Saturday morning, but also to pick up multiple blogger buddies of mine, wearing a chauffeur’s hat, AND get out to open the door for the ladies…again, wearing his robe.  What a man what a man what a man what a man what a mighty good man.

Moving along to one more Sporty Spice style look.  Fashion girls are rocking the heck out of old school track pants lately, and I had to give it a whirl. They are surprisingly versatile and fun to style.  Worn with a sleek black turtleneck and booties makes a great pulled together Fall look.  Here I am going casual with a loose-fitted crop top and retro heels.  Akira pants, KORE collective top, Levi jean jacket, Urban Outfitters shades, Stella McCartney bag, and Topshop heels.  My wonderful adopted Chicago Grandma is not one to sugar coat what she’s feeling…she’s been super supportive of my blog from day one, but recently let me know she is OVER my go-to pop the leg up pose.  Fair enough Grandma, I switched it up here just for you.

All photos taken by my girl Olivia Szwarc

Closing thoughts on this blogversary memoir.  Blogging continues to be great creative fun, I adore the inspiring ladies I have met along the way, and I still royally suck at all things “techy.” Goals! Thanks to anyone and everyone who has ever taken the time to read a post or like a pic…I appreciate you all more than you know.

“If you got it flaunt it. And if you don’t got it? Flaunt it. Cause what are we even doing here if we’re not flaunting it?”~ Mindy Kaling

XOXO,

Julz Chez

 

Life, Love

California Girls

Hi y’all!  Anyone that knows me knows I am a big mush when it comes to love. I love love, and the magic of finding someone you don’t know how you ever lived without.  My wedding day will forever be the best day of my life…but I have to make a confession.  My bachelorette party is right up there! I am a girls girl, and am blessed with an amazing group of loyal, long-time besties. We all met in college when we joined the same sorority, and have been a tight team ever since. When my adventurous girlfriend Erin announced Cuba as her bachelorette destination, the whole team was on board.  Hurricane Irma unfortunately was not on board, and the leaders of the planning team pulled together a long weekend in Palm Springs in just a few days. We rented a gorgeous air b&b with a groovy retro vibe, a secluded pool and hot tub, and stunning views.  This post would be painfully lengthy if I shared all the deets, so here’s a peak at some highlights!

Myself and the Bride-to-be happily drinking bubbles at the airport before 8am. California bound!

The fabulous house! We preordered loads of groceries so we could all enjoy hanging out under one roof like the good ol’ days.

Our main party planner, Katie, has a passion for the arts, so exploring a city’s art scene is always at the top of her list when traveling.  She gathered a group of us to head to a quirky town called Slab City to explore Salvation Mountain. It was incredible and unlike anywhere I had ever been. From there we cruised through a crazy outdoor art land known as East Jesus. So much beauty and endless cool stuff to look at!

After an adventure the gang was always on the same page. Straight home to pool party!

A group of us drug ourselves out of bed bright and early one morning to enjoy the sunrise at Joshua Tree National Park.  Nature’s art at its finest, it was absolutely beautiful!

We finished strong with a Temecula wine tour.  This was my first visit to a winery and it exceeded my expectations!

As the great Carrie Bradshaw once said~ “Dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.”

XOXO,

Julz Chez

Beauty, Fashion, Fitness

Another Cute Exercise Outfit + A Product that will make your Feet silky soft

Hi friends!  Today I am sharing a cute workout outfit…groundbreaking I know.  BUT I am following that cute outfit up with a unique product recommendation I am excited to share.  I raved about the line NUXactivewear in my last post, Workout Clothes Cute enough to wear to brunch.  When a gal finds something she loves, she sticks with it.  Below I am sporting the Alana Capri .  I love the crotchet cut-out aesthetic, and they come in a variety of fun colors. True to size comfortable fit, I am wearing a small.  Nux carries a variety of great tops with built in support for workouts, as well as fashionable outerwear to add a little flavor to a sporty look.  I styled this look with my favorite Nike wedges. I’m a firm believer that every gal deserves a pair of heeled sneakers.  Leg lengthening heels meet the comfort of sneakers…genius.  I also love this nude version and this black and silver version.

All photos taken by Olivia Szwarc

Moving onto a couple of (not so glamorous) products I recently discovered.  I decided I need to step up as a blogger, and include product recommendations for those random health and beauty issues we would rather not discuss with our girlfriends at happy hour. I took my first stab at this goal in my last post when I recommended a probiotic and even used the words “lady parts.” So here’s take two. I don’t know if it’s from all the yoga I practice in bare feet, but the bottoms of my feet are nasty. Calloused, rough, and unfortunate.  And trust me I am a girl that keeps up with her beloved pedicures. I’ve tried many products…Ped Egg, masks, creams, that stuff that makes your feet flake off for days, etc etc. Nothing worked. On an ordering attack during the Nordstrom anniversary sale, I tossed a couple of products in my cart on a whim, and they changed my nasty feet’s life in no time. I hesitated to include a photo of these products that you may find in a 90+ persons bathroom, but decided to heck with it. My new old lady ritual is to file my feet with the Gehwol Biosana Swiss foot file before getting in the shower 3-4 nights a week. Before bed I rub Gehwol Gehwolmed Salve on my feet, and then put on cozy socks. After doing this for one week my gnarly feet were transformed into silky soft soles. If anyone else out there is quietly suffering from icky feet syndrome….I can’t recommend these products enough:)

What should my next uncomfortable beauty subject be? Requests are welcome:)

 

“I figure if I’m gonna be a mess I might as well be a hot mess”~ Mindy Kaling

XOXO,

Julz Chez

Beauty, Fashion, Fitness

Workout clothes cute enough to wear to brunch+ my go-to protein smoothie recipe!

Hey y’all! I hope you are all great! I am checking in to share yet another adorable workout outfit (one can never have enough) and my delicious and nutritious protein smoothie recipe.  I know my mom and husband are chuckling that I used the words MY and RECIPE in the same sentence:) But first…the clothes!  I have shared my love for NUX activewear in a previous post Fashionable Fitness Apparel.  I have a history of getting on a kick with a few staple workout outfits, only to quickly bore of them and move on (friendly reminder that teaching fitness is my “real job” so I’m always in exercise gear:) I have been wearing NUX regularly now for months and can confidently say it is my new favorite! NUX delivers the perfect balance of fashion and function in styles cute enough to go brunching in post Saturday morning spin.  As much as I value a cute aesthetic, when it comes to workout clothes comfort is the top priority.  I have sampled a wide variety of NUX styles and the commonality is quality fabrics that are breathable and comfortable.  Below I am sporting the Alana Capri in pink.  I love the crotchet cut-out detail and the microfiber fabric is crazy comfortable.  On top I’m wearing the Distance Jacket which I wear at least twice a week. For sizing reference, I am in my regular size small bottom, and I size up to a medium in the sports bras and tops. Chloe shades and Nike sneakers.

All photos taken by my main photo snapping squeeze Olivia Szwarc

And now for my healthy gal smoothie concoction!  If you are into health and fitness, chances are you have experimented with protein shakes at some point. Its also quite likely you got bored (or grossed out) and gave it up.  With the millions of products and theories out there I can’t say I blame you.  Despite working in gyms for nearly 15 years…only recently have I become a dedicated shake drinker.  Like my mom I would rather chew calories than drink them…besides wine of course.  Here’s the mixture I created that has made me change my mind and join the protein shake club!

The 3 key ingredients: 

~2 Scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Whey

A protein supplement can help curb your appetite and cravings, and assist in building lean muscle.  This collagen whey formula aids in joint health, boosts energy, and aids in post workout recovery.  I am a fan of this specific brand for their grass-fed quality ingredients, and the yummy taste!

~One serving of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Collagen is the vital building block of our bodies.  Benefits from taking collagen daily are glowing skin, joint health, tendon and bone strength, improved digestion, and deeper sleep.  I was personally sold at glowing skin!

~One teaspoon of MoonJuice Probiotics

Probiotics ease digestion and support your feminine health/lady parts:)

Every day (correction every day I’m being healthy), I add these three powders, ice, and almond milk into my blender for breakfast.  If I am off to teach a workout class and need extra energy, I add a serving of yogurt and a dash of instant coffee.  I have been able to keep up this ritual because the shake actually tastes good, keeps me satisfied for hours, and I have seen positive results.  I could ramble on and on with this topic so I am going to stop myself here. Don’t be shy to reach out with any questions!

“Practice yoga, drink collagen smoothies, and be nice to people!”

XOXO,

Julz Chez

 

Fashion

Good Times and Tan Lines….the perfect Baywatch style suit for 22 dollars

Hi friends!  I am checking in today to share my favorite “Party Girl” swimsuit of the year that is on sale for a whooping 22 dollars.  True to size fit…comfortable and flattering.  Comes in a variety of fun styles and makes a great gal pal gift.  I have rocked this suit at a beach bachelorette party AND the groovey blogger pool party featured below and it was wildly well received each time. The ode to the classic Baywatch jam has been sizzling hot this season…go on and get it girl!

I have been blessed with meeting many inspiring new friends through blogging in Chicago.  The suit I am showcasing today is designed by my very first blogger friend, Jennifer Shih-Worman, the beauty behind the blog Red Soles and Red Wine.  She and her sister Tiffany created the trendy and affordable line T&J Designs.   Jen is a fabulously successful blogger and loving mother of two adorable boys. The epitome of a “girl boss.”  Last Friday I had the good fortune of being a guest at her party at the W Chicago.  

Meet Marlena, the beauty behind the blog Style Your Passion.

We kinda like each other 🙂

All party photos taken by Brooke Montes at Glimpses by BrookeBrooke is super sweet and does amazing work specializing in family and children shoots.

Here’s a couple last shots taken back at my home with my main photo snapping squeeze Olivia Szwarc.  Lace duster by Foray collective and Chloe shades.

Before we know it summer will have collapsed into fall…so soak in that sweet sunshine y’all!  If the activity requires a bikini…or fabulous one piece…just say yes!

XOXO,

Julz Chez

 

Fashion

Stripes on Sale Part 2!

Hello darlings!  When I find a top I love enough to purchase it in multiple colors, I believe it to be a top worth sharing!  This Style Mafia slim-cut shirt from Shopbop is perfection.  The jersey material is super soft, the simple silhouette classic, and the flounced cuffs give a pop of pizzaz. When I saw the top was 50 percent off I decided to order the black version as well…because I’m just crazy like that;)  I am wearing an XS in the red and it fits perfectly. The XS was sold out in black so I ordered a small, and it fits great as well.  If you are in between sizes I recommend sizing up.  I love an easy top like this that looks great with casual denim and sneakers, but also can be dressed up with heels and a bright lip. For a dinner date in the neighborhood I styled the top with my favorite Chloe shades, denim shorts, white loubs, and mini Stella Mccartney bag.  My current favorite red lip;  Stila lip stain in shade Beso pulled it all together.  Feminine and fun while staying true to the casual Chicago aesthetic.

I styled the black number with a couple of my favorite accessories of the moment. My sunglasses are by Freyers, a great line of trendy and well made shades at great price points. I am super picky about earrings because my ears are super sensitive. I actually gave up on earrings and stopped wearing them entirely for a couple years…shame on me.  Thankfully I have wised up and realized I can happily wear earrings…quality earrings.  There are bundles of trendy and inexpensive pairs out there…but how cute can your giant hoops look if your ears are beat red? EW! I recommend investing in a few pair of classic earrings that will also keep your ears healthy and happy.  I am crazy about this pair by Jenny Bird.  The classic style is also unique and I receive compliments every time I rock them! Great quality, super light weight, and comfortable to wear.  Akira shorts are comfortable and crazy cute….AND a whooping 20 big ones. Chloe mini Marcie bag and rockstud heels by Valentino.

All photos taken by my girl Olivia Szwarc:)

Little silly fact about me…I hate scary movies.  Shortest horror story ever: SOLD OUT! Get this baby before she’s gone y’all!

XOXO,

Julz Chez