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  1. One of my favorite vintage blogs is Lottie Loves, run by Brit-turned-California super-mom Lottie. One regular feature of her blog is Finishing School, where she alphabetically runs through goals and post challenges for her followers to complete. Since I'm late to the game, I am going to start posting backwards from the latest, starting with O and then try to catch up. She posts them one a month so if I'm on the ball I will catch up in no time!

    Your Challenge:
    Walk or do some form of exercise for 30 minutes a day. This can be as easy as walking the kids to the park or walking to work and back or as intense as swimming 100 lengths, whatever takes your fancy and is dooable.

    I went swimming yesterday! I checked out Lottie's blog to see what my nest post was, and when I saw it was fit I decided to get off my butt and go to the pool. Despite being a former swim teacher and lifeguard, I haven't been swimming in a long time (so long, in fact, that my suit had grown in my absence) so it was a little hard since I was out of shape. I'm also unsure of lane swim etiquette since I would always just go swimming when no one showed up for public swim when I was guarding.

    BUT I had an amazing swim. I was exhausted and wanted to quit halfway through but when I pushed past it I felt  so good. Endorphins! :) I also live really close to the pool, so I want to walk or bike to my swim, as long as it's not too dark to find my way back.

    Like I mentioned above, my current suit (a plain, red Speedo that I lived in for two years) has stretched and is now too big for me, so I'm on the hunt for a new one. There's lots of cute retro-inspired suits out there, but I'm focusing on ones that look like they can actually be worn for intense swimming, not just lounging by the pool (not that there's anything wrong with that!). Keep in mind when looking for bathing suits for chlorine pools to look for ones made with polyester or nylon. Lycra ones will fade and stretch after being in chlorine for too long.

    Enough with the words! Now it's time for pictures.

    These halter swim dresses by Beach Belle  might now be the best for heavy-duty lane swims, but would be perfect for Aquasizes or other water aerobics. At $54 they are also very reasonable for cute swimsuits!

    I love these. Made by Splish, the army style one looks fit for an Andrews Sister but is built for competitive swimming, while the tropical one is perfect for doing a few laps before happy hour. The website also allows you to design your own swimsuit if their varying selection doesn't fit your needs. You can also choose between a poly/spandex blend or a polyester PBT for just $10 more.

    I'm really proud of myself for not buying anything from ModCloth, but these suits might just push me over the edge. They carry a whole line of Esther Willams swimwear, and these are my favorites. The only thing holding me back is the ~$90 price tag. I just can't justify that to replace a suit that was $60.

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