Anna McClurg

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...”

Book Review: The Little Book of Thin

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I happened upon this book purely by accident a few weeks ago and was hooked after reading only a short excerpt. It looked exactly like the kind of book I needed to read so I picked it right up and read it straight through in one afternoon! It’s really cute and small enough to fit into a handbag, which I think is very convenient! The illustrations throughout the book are too adorable. I also like that this is not really even a diet plan, so the author doesn’t give you a strict diet you have to follow. It’s more like a lot of healthy tips and tricks on how to stay slim or lose the extra 5-10 pounds you might be having a difficult time losing. And she does NOT advocate calorie counting, which I absolutely LOVE! I also appreciate that the author has a masters degree in nutrition. When I read that she likes eating sprouted grain bread, prefers grass fed beef (I can’t always afford it, but I like eating it when I can), and that she believes fat free milk and soy products (besides fermented soy) are unhealthy, I instantly knew I was going to like her. It’s nice to have an updated health book that is not all about the low fat and processed diet foods. I just don’t see how so many people are still buying into the highly processed, fake fat free food hype! Fat free should be a thing of the past, but unfortunately a lot of people still think fat free foods are good for you. I’m happy to say Lauren Slayton actually discourages highly processed and fat free foods in her book.

There are a lot of great tips throughout the book, and while I don’t agree with all of them, I don’t think the author’s intention is to force me to do everything she says. For instance, she says you should be doing 180 minutes of cardio a week or 100 minutes if you are just starting out. I’m sorry, but even 100 minutes of cardio seems like a little bit much to me! I love going on hikes and walks on a regular basis, don’t get me wrong, but I hate the thought of all that cardio! I also happen to think you can do other types of exercise that take less time and can be more beneficial. Of course I’m no expert, so I could be wrong! My favorite type of exercise (for someone who HATES exercise) is the kettlebell swing, which is an exercise combining both cardio AND weight training! I have only been doing it for a short time, but so far it’s the best kind of exercise I’ve ever done, and I don’t even need to step outside my living room to do it! I am trying to do it 2-3 times a week at about 15-20 minutes per workout (as a beginner). It’s not easy, but it’s a lot more fun than running on a treadmill for an hour! And I feel it makes a bigger difference on my body in a shorter time compared to when I tried doing only cardio workouts. Even if I get in one workout a week, I know it was a really good workout.

Anyway, back to the book! I think one of the main points the author is trying to make is that you need to build lasting habits that you will stick to if you want to stay thin and healthy throughout your life. Crash dieting may work for losing weight in the short term, but you are unlikely to keep it off unless you figure out a habit you can stick with. And she has loads of tips to help you plan it all out. Again, not all of her suggestions fit into my lifestyle, but many of them do. She really stresses the importance of planning your meals ahead of time. You will have much more success if you take a little time each week to plan a menu. I have always done this, but I haven’t always planned out my snacks. I think that is my problem, snacking way too often, even when I’m not really hungry. So if I can plan out what snacks to have in advance, and wait until snack time to have it, I am much more likely to eat the amount that I need and not over indulge.

I really enjoyed this quick read and it’s a refreshing change from your average diet book. It also has some fun and interesting recipes with minimal ingredients. I like her simple salad dressing recipe that is made up of only three ingredients, miso paste being the featured ingredient (new to me, but unique and flavorful). If you are looking to lose a few pounds or worried about staying thin as you age, you might be interesting in checking this out. It’s one of those “diet” books I actually wouldn’t be embarrassed to read in public!


Brand New Blog!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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If you haven’t noticed already, my blog has a new look! And a new name and url address! Please feel free to change your links to However, the old link will redirect to my new address automatically. It took me forever to figure out which name to finally use for this blog, but I was annoyed with my previous name (Wildflowers::Pretty) which doesn’t really make sense. And I was getting sick and tired of “gracefullady” because that name really doesn’t belong anymore. Plus even if I wanted that name, the domain name is already taken. I decided to simply use my name and call it good. I know it’s boring, but I just couldn’t think of a creative name that I liked! I hope it isn’t too confusing, since I already have a website with my maiden name “Allen.” But “” was available so I snapped it up while I could. And now that I have my very own url, I can drop the “blogspot” and hopefully that will make my blog look a little more legit! What do you think?

I have been trying to think of ways to “reinvent” my blog for a long time now and I thought a face-lift and a proper url was just the thing I needed to get started. I have a lot of interests, more than just sewing and I think it would be fun to share these here. I would love to write more beauty posts, maybe some makeup and hair tutorials. Or even some book reviews or product reviews. Maybe even share some of my daily routines with you? What do you guys want to know? Lately I have been reading a cute little diet book (I’m really not one to “diet”!) that I recently discovered called The Little Book of Thin which talks about how to create healthy eating habits to stay slim without getting into a dieting trap. I could write my thoughts on this book if you are curious. I’ve also been working on clearing my skin with a few herbal supplements and would be happy to talk about what I’ve been doing to clear up my hormonal acne (it got really bad from going off bcp recently). I also have some fun curling wand tutorials that I would love to share. I have been getting pretty good at my cat eyeliner flick and I’m always experimenting with fun ways to do 1960’s inspired makeup on myself. Would you be interested in some beauty tutorials like that? And of course I like to update you on what I’ve been working on over at Anna Allen Clothing, from time to time. Including what I’ve been sewing and fashion related topics. I would absolutely LOVE to hear what you are most interested in reading about here on my “new” blog! Feel free to comment here or email me if you have any suggestions!


P.S. I finally figured out a way to reply to individual comments. I don’t know why I hadn’t figured that out before! So now it is much easier for me to reply to questions and comments in the comment section of each post. 

Images from a recent afternoon at Lake Sammamish, Washington. 

New Spring Tops!

Monday, March 17, 2014

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I have to say, I am loving these button-up tops I just made. I know I will be making more to wear over the summer because they are so versatile and they really are flattering. I love that you can pair them with a cardigan or sweater when it's chilly out, so essentially you can wear these tops all year round! The fabrics I used are so lovely and light and the linen is so comfortable. I only have three of these tops up for sale at the moment but I hope to make more soon. They are all located in my shop if you are interested! 

P.S. THANK YOU so much to all who were kind enough to write suggestions for places to visit in and around Seattle! I'm so looking forward to checking all of them out! It sounds like there will be so much to do during our stay. 


What I've been up to lately...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What I've been up to... Won't be ready for some time but I'm finally making some progress! Working on more than one pattern... ♡ #annaallenpatterns Such a nice day for a walk. ♡ #vscocam So pretty today! ♡ #vscocam Happy Valentine's Day!! @jrmcclurg gave me this pretty bunch of roses. ♥ 

It's been awhile since I've been on this space! A lot of goings on have been in progress for the last few months. As you see by the picture, I'm finally starting on those sewing patterns I talked about ages ago! I wanted to make them available before now, but there were several parts that I needed to figure out first. I finally figured out how to digitize the patterns after experimenting with it one day. I'm actually working on two patterns right now and hope to work on more over the spring/summer months. That brings me to another bit of news coming up! Jed and I will be spending the spring and part of the summer in Seattle, which I'm quite excited about! Although this means I won't be able to sew as much since I'll only be able to bring whatever I can fit in our car. I plan to work on my sewing patterns and perhaps get in a little sewing here and there. But I'm not planning on a spring/summer collection this year. I may actually stop doing spring/summer collections all together, as it seems to be a slower time of year. And I never get excited about spring/summer clothing as much as I do the fall/winter season! So I think I will spend my efforts making my sewing patterns available and work on a fall/winter collection. However, I can still make clothing from my past collections and in new fabrics. I am going to try to sew up a few things before we leave, but we shall see if that actually happens! In any case, I'm very much looking forward to spending time in the Pacific Northwest! And I know we will be taking a trip (or several) to Portland during our stay! I would love to find out favorite places to go see while we are there, so if anyone is from the area and would like to suggest a few spots I would be grateful! We have never been to this area before, but I know we are going to love it.

Custom orders welcome!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

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I wanted to let anyone who is interested know that I also make custom orders for any designs in my current or past collections. Custom garments can be made in whatever fabric you wish or similar fabrics as the original design. If you are curious about prices or sizing, don't hesitate to email me!

Happy New Year Sale!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Sale!

I'm having a sale in my shop! Another 14% off on top of the sale price! The sale is going on in my Big Cartel shop only. I hope you all have a wonderful and happy new year!

P.S. This sample linen top is still for sale (price reduced)!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

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Jed and I are celebrating our Christmas a few days early since we are going away for the holidays. I really cherish these moments alone with my love. We always enjoy having our own little celebrations and starting our own traditions. I hope you all have a wonderfully merry and maybe even white Christmas this year!

p.s. One of my favorite Christmas albums!

Linen Top

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

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I am taking custom orders for this top in sizes xs, s, m or l. The cost is $160 (please give me your zip code or the country you live in so I can calculate the cost of shipping). If you prefer a different color, please let me know which color you would like. My email is