Thank you GRACESHIP for featuring me as a woman you love!

http://thegraceship.com/blogs/emilys-blog/11977965-alissa-hicks-from-intern-to-associate

Recently, I was flattered to have been chosen to be featured by the GRACESHIP team as a woman they love. I got the chance to sit down and talk a little bit about my path and how I went from your average college student to working at a women’s magazine. Click the link above to read more!

Thanks again, GRACESHIP, for the opportunity.

[Photos by Melissa Donald]

Alissa Hicks

XXX SSG

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A post (by me!) from Today’s Woman Now: What To Wear To Thanksgiving This Year

Today’s Woman Now: What To Wear To Thanksgiving This Year.

Whether you’re getting dressed up, going casual, caring more about comfort, or simply staying in and owning the sweatpants look, there are so many ways you can go when it comes to holiday dressing. This Thanksgiving, try one of these inspired looks and you’ll be sure to impress whatever family you haven’t seen in a year or simply look super chic without looking like you tried too hard.

First, if you’re going to get dressed up, say with a dress or skirt, be sure to complete the look with a well-tailored and stylish coat. Like the Marc Jacobs one above, it is always safe to go with one that has a belt or that has some length, which gives it a more sophisticated and sleek look. With layering, you can tend to get bulky if you’re not careful. A good coat also makes a great first impression when reuniting with everyone for the holidays.

Next, if you’re going casual but still want to impress, try jeans and a sweater – a fall look you can never go wrong with if worn properly. Try a statement sweater with jeans and a pair of leather boots. Or, go with a simple sweater but add a statement vest, like this J. Crew one in a classic holiday red or even a trendy fur vest.

knit sweater dress mixes both dressy and casual if you’re not sure which way to go. A simple cream-colored one as seen above is a pretty neutral that gives you the opportunity to dress it up with fun accessories or stay casual with leggings and a plaid scarf.

How To Make Comfy Look Chic (A post [by me] from Today’s Woman Now)

Today’s Woman Now.

TWNOCtober13

Now that the weather is getting colder, it can sometimes be hard to stay looking chic while also staying warm. But in an effort to keep both style and warmth going strong this season, one of the best go-to pieces for a wardrobe is a slouchy, cozy sweater. Perfectly paired with a fitted bottom, and the right shoes, you’ll have nailed the look and you’ll be warm all season long. Here’s how to pull the look off the right way.

First, a slouchy sweater can look frumpy if not worn correctly. Working gal? Pair a cozy sweater with a pencil or other fitted, crisp skirt.

Try to mix it up. Add in some patterns or pops of color. A slouchy neutral sweater with a classic black skirt? Add chic leopard pumps or boldly colored accessories. Think wines, plums, forest green and even pastels- yes, pastel pink is everywhere this fall.

Roll ‘em up! If you’re looking a little too blousy or baggy, roll up your sleeves or tuck the sweater in. Rule of thumb for almost everything: balance; a loose top with a fitted bottom or vice versa. Don’t over-do it.

Not on the job? A great weekend look is to pair a slouchy sweater with fitted jeans. Leather is big this season as well- try leather leggings and a trendy pair of booties to create a more casual look.

Want to trim it up some? Add a belt. Leather looks great with soft knits. Try an over-sized ‘grandpa’ sweater with a belt. Pair it over a fitted dress with pumps or a tee and skinny jeans.

Pure Barre Buzz- Why the big deal??

If you don’t know me, I’ll tell you now that I lead a pretty active lifestyle. I am not a marathon runner however but I am no couch potato either. I fall somewhere in between the two, I’d guess. I like to work out a lot and I strive for at least 6-7 days per week for at least an hour per day.

Growing up, I was always active and always involved in some sport so I will admit that I’ve been in pretty good shape my whole life. However, just like everyone else, I sometimes get tired of the same workout routines, I get bored, I hit a plateau, it’s just not working for me, I gain a few unwanted pounds, you name it. I am a normal female who at many of times wishes her body was different or better, tighter, slimmer, whatever, as I am sure many of you can relate to- even you, Candice Swanepoel and Kathryn Webb!

Anyways, I am sure many of you have also heard about the new Pure Barre craze that has become increasingly popular all over the country within recent months. Well, as any girl wanting to better my body, I followed the buzz and jumped on the bandwagon. And am I glad I did! Here’s what it is and why….

First, what is it you may ask? To begin, we can all go ahead and thank the founder, Carrie Rezabek Dorr, dancer and choreographer, who first opened her studio in 2001. Pure Barre is a total body workout that is designed to lift your bum, tone your thighs and burn fat while using a ballet barre to preform isometric movements. Trust me when I say isometric. Watching a class, it would be hard to notice any major movements during most of the workout but the smaller the movement, the bigger the results!

According to their website, http://purebarre.com, which I suggest you take a look at, “The technique protects your joints as it does not involve any bouncing or jumping. Each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretching section in order to create long, lean muscle without bulk. The workout launches a full blown attack on the areas of the body all women struggle with: abs, hips, seat and arms. It defies gravity by tapering everything in and lifting it up.”

I would not really know what to compare this workout to, but it truly does target all of the major areas that 99% of women struggle with. The classes are only an hour long and even though you’re generally not dripping in sweat, you are definitely doing work. You’d be surprised how much you struggle at first with just two pound weights!

You do not need to bring anything with you to class other than yourself. You do not wear shoes but you will need socks. I suggest the super grippy socks that they sell at the studio though- it makes certain moves easier. I would also suggest to wear more form fitting clothes- nothing too blousy or anything that will get in your way. I like to wear long leggings and a tank-style top.

The instructors are all really great and they will help you with any questions you may have, which trust me, you’ll have some to ask! If you don’t know what you’re doing- which is pretty much everyone at first- they come around and help you to insure your form is correct. Also, the instructors throw out and remind you of cues throughout which is very helpful. You’ll begin with a warm up and then move to arms, legs, seat work and then abs. You will also stretch it all out after each targeted area which is great. During the class, you’ll use a ball, weights for arms, a mat and rubber tubing, which is all provided for you at the proper time of class.

Still can’t figure out what the big deal is? Take it from me, who would not be writing this if I did not fully believe this to be true, but I can definitely tell an improvement in my body. At first, you’ll realize just how weak your core is and you’ll find yourself working muscles in places you didn’t even know you had! I’ve been doing Pure Barre now for a few months and I strive to go everyday. They do say that to see improvements you should try to go at least 3-4 times per week and that the majority of the people see results in about 10 classes. I would support this theory. I am not looking to drop an excessive amount of weight but still some, and I would really like to tone everything up and Pure Barre has helped me with that thus far. My legs and abs have more muscle definition than they did when I was a competitive cheerleader. I feel tighter and leaner each day and I just absolutely love it!

Don’t let me fool you though- the classes are not easy and it’s pretty tough at first but you’ll be wanting to go back after just once class. However, the more you do it, the stronger you become and the easier the classes become. You’ll figure out what the hell you’re doing and if you keep at it, you will see big changes. In class, your instructor will tell you to “let it shake, let it burn” and I suggest you go with it, because that is where your muscles are changing (and you WILL be shaking and burning). I would also highly recommend this workout to new moms who want to shed that baby weight and tighten everything back up. I see women of all ages in class at all different levels with all different body types. It is a workout for everyone, including men if they are up for the challenge!

Visit your local studio or go online to find one near you. I go to classes at the Summit location in Louisville, KY which is owned by the very knowledgeable, Annie Locke. Classes are a bit more expensive but check with your location because they do offer different deals and sometimes discounts. I suggest that students be sure to ask because being a student myself, that is one good deal! (However, locations do vary so be sure to check.)

If you still aren’t convinced, check it out for yourself!

http://purebarre.com

Pure Barre Louisville- Summit location

4284 Summit Plaza Drive

Louisville Ky 40223

phone: 502.425.8300

email: summit@purebare.com

Get to shaking and burning, beauties!

xxx SSG

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