Getting Fit

We've been talking about setting goals for ourselves on HerKentucky and I know that most everyone has made a resolution to be healthy and get fit. I know I did! While we are up in the gym working on our fitness, our transformations may take a little longer than two weeks so I wanted to share some style slimming secrets to get us through this transition.

1. Fit - Every southern girl knows that fit is the most important rule in looking slim and trim. When dressing, your goal is to create fluid lines that suggest a slender appearance...muffin tops are not included in this. So it's obvious that we had too much holiday fun or one too many bourbon balls, so what? It is easily fixed by purchasing a pair of pants the next size up to banish our muffin tops. Focus on the fit of your pants, not the size, and you will look slimmer in minutes!

2. Accentuate your thinnest point - Beautiful women come in all shapes and sizes and with that, we all have different areas that we should highlight. If you have awesome legs, wear that short skirt! If you have an hourglass figure, wear a dress that accentuates your tiny waist. By highlighting your thinnest points, you are drawing the attention away from your trouble areas and thus creating the illusion of a slimmer you.

3. Wear the correct undergarments - This one is a must. The correct underpinnings will make a world of difference!

4. Accessorize - The art of accessorizing has been my best friend for a long time. Adding a little sparkle to your wrist, rocking a statement necklace or donning some killer heels are all ways to draw the attention away from unwanted areas. And if you think about it, your wrist is really your thinnest point! Everyone go buy a bracelet!

5. Belt it - Baggy tops and dresses do not aid in making you look slim and trim, in fact, they do exactly the opposite. Don't hide that waist under an ill fitting blouse, let it shine and you'll look slim in no time! If you do not have a natural waist, you can create the illusion of an hour glass figure by cinching your waist with a belt. I have been in love with these monogrammed belts from C. Wonder, they have southern girl written all over them!

Happy New Year to everyone and good luck on your goals for 2014!!

The Year of the Goal

I have decided that 2014 is The Year of The Goal.

Several of my blogger friends -- including HerKentucky's own Sarah and Lydia -- participate in the One Little Word project by Ali Edwards. It's pretty self-explanatory: you choose a word to serve as your guide for the year -- a word that embodies the things you hope to accomplish, or how you want your life to look in the upcoming year. (You can read about Sarah's word here and Lydia's word here.)

As I think of the year ahead, I am filled with so many ideas that I don't know where to start. I recently moved to a new home  in a city that, while familiar, has changed enough since I left to seem new and exciting. My beau and I have greeted some wonderful new opportunities, both personally and professionally. To be honest, I'm so bombarded with ideas for "what's next" that I'm a little overwhelmed. I can't do it all. 

Jessie Spano, y'all.
Maybe I can't do it all, but I can do most of it with some careful planning and even more carefully set goals.  That's why 2014 will be, at least for me, the Year of the Goal. Resolutions are easy to make. Dreams are easy to conceive. But goals? Goals are something that you plan to accomplish. Goals require action and accountability. Goals mean that you're going to get something done.

So, as 2014 came around, I asked myself "What do you want to accomplish this year?" I took those ideas and turned them into something concrete, with plenty of room to reassess, revise, and reestablish goals. I'm looking for long-term happiness and success, not crossing something off a to-do list just because I said I would.

I started January with three ideas. I want to publish my writing in more outlets, I want to exercise more frequently, and I want to start knitting again. I turned each idea into a goal: "I will publish in forums x, y, and z by the end of the year"; "I will complete another half-marathon this spring"; and "I will knit a scarf in January." See how my aspirations were turned to declarations? Goals are something you will accomplish. 

Knitting was an easy skill to re-learn. Today is January 8th, and I'm nearly finished with a dark grey wool scarf for my beau. That one was almost too easy. 

Country Music 1/2 Marathon, 2008

As for the 1/2 Marathon, I don't know if it's the right goal. Of course, I'd need to start a training program right about now to get myself up to 13 miles in the spring. But, I've been fighting a back injury for several months, and I worry that this isn't the most attainable goal. Getting fit might be a better goal for my long-term health and fitness. I'm consulting with a doctor and logging my mileage. I'm not giving up just yet, though. There are exactly 100 days until the Derby Mini. A lot can be accomplished by then.

Promising Prose.
And then there's writing. I've devoted a lot of time to brainstorming ways to make various articles and essays better fit their intended audience. I've studied the submission guidelines for the publications in which I want to be published. But, I don't know any surgeons or lawyers or any other professionals who got to be great just by brainstorming and studying. They succeeded by practicing their trade. So, in 2014, I will reach my publication goals by writing more. It's easy to call oneself a writer. But, as Holly Golightly famously asked her neighbor Paul, "Do you write every day? Did you write today?" I hope to write something every day in 2014, even if it's just a character sketch or a well-planned Facebook status. I nearly allowed this goal to be derailed because our new computer, ordered just before last year's end, was delayed in shipping. If you think about it, though, the list of great works that were not composed using OS Maverick is infinitely longer than its cutting-edge counterpart. Writing simply takes an idea and a means for recording. A goal shouldn't be abandoned due to a mere technicality.

Limping to the finish line. I didn't run it all, but I did finish the thing!!

I figure I'll add goals as I mark others as complete. But, I want to embrace this year as the year I get things done.

2014 is The Year of the Goal.  (Click to Tweet.) What are your goals for 2014?

Happy New Year from HerKentucky!

2013 was a huge year for the HerKentucky team.

Our writers were everywhere.  Megan's dream of writing fiction became a fantastic reality. Shannon's fiction was featured in not one, but two literary magazines. Two of Sarah's essays -- about gender disappointment and rising tuition costs -- were featured on the Huffington Post. Emily's inspiring story of body image and weight struggles was featured in Ladies' Home Journal. Erin's essay was featured in the anthology This I Believe: Kentucky.

We had a lot going on personally as well. Glenda was a fierce warrior for her daughter's health. Erin and her family moved to a new church and a new part of the country. I moved to Louisville and realized that everything isn't quite where I left it. Liz said goodbye to her beloved NYC as Dr. Hotpants took the next steps in his surgical career. Sarah and her husband renewed their wedding vows on their 10th wedding anniversary.

As we reflect on all the changes of the past year, we're excited to share new stories with HerKentucky's readers in 2014. We look forward to telling you of our newest goals and dreams. We want to share the stories of Kentucky women who have followed their dreams both professionally and personally. We're excited to spend another year bringing you the best of Kentucky life.

Happy 2014 from HerKentucky!

What are your goals for the New Year?

New Year, New Reason to Make a List!

I'm a mighty big fan of lists. I love making them. They make me feel so organized and ready for whatever it is I'm making the list for. 

Of course, usually once the list is actually made, I feel a weird sense of accomplishment just for making the list and then I lose interest. It's a problem.

One of my most favorite authors, Victoria Schwab (who has an amazing book The Archived coming out in January which is beside the point but I can't help but tell you because amazing), posted a link on Twitter yesterday to her own list of "101 Things to do in 1001 days."  The list comes from, a goal-setting website that's free to use. That gives me a little less than three years to accomplish the things I choose to put on the list.

And being the addict that I am, of course I'm all over this. 

As it turns out, coming up with 101 things to do is pretty daunting. I'm trying to think in terms of life goals, rather than my usual "Empty the laundry basket"- and "Pick up some Cherry Coke Zero"- type goals.

As I start to create my list, I'm focusing on two main things: writing and traveling. I thought this might interest you because a lot of my travel goals are Kentucky-related. I'd like my 6-year-old daughter to get to know some of the cool things to be found in the state that she lives in, just like I did when I was a kid. So obviously, a few easy Kentucky attractions are on my "Must Do" list, such as visit Mammoth Cave, go see The Stephen Foster Story, and go watch UK play in a Final Four game (because we all know that'll happen again in the next three years anyway). Aside from the normal Kentucky activities, I'm using a book, Kentucky Curiosities, to help me find other lesser-known places to check out.

My list isn't complete yet, but I'll be adding to it over the next few days. Feel free to take a look, and if you decide to make one, please link it in the comments. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for my list!