Thursday, April 30, 2009
Anyway, getting down to business. Sorry I have been gone for so long. I hope you don't mind me telling a little story about my past couple years.
Over the past year and a half, I have been working to get healthier, fit, and lose weight. In that time, I lost 30 lbs (yay!) and I am so thankful that I have seen how important taking care of myself is. Would you believe it--diet and exercise works. Who knew?
It all started because I had really let myself get unhealthy. I was working at home in a new city and the phrase "I don't get out much" was a gross (literally) understatement. I really was eating whatever I wanted and never exercised except for occasional walks. Its easy to see looking back, but at the time I really didn't realize how big and unhappy I had gotten.
In the fall of 2007, my sister suggested a family Biggest Loser competition, the winner being the person to lose the greatest percentage of weight between Halloween and Christmas. I truly have sibling rivalry to thank for getting my life back on track--I mean, is there any more powerful force? My dad eventually joined the battle and the three of us weighed in Christmas morning. After 8 weeks of working out at least 5 times a week and changing almost everything about the way I ate, I actually WON!
A year later last fall, I agreed to run a 5K in February this year, the first running race I had ever attempted, which would require, um running on a fairly regular basis. I hadn't run AT ALL since high school rowing training. My workouts had been built around the Elliptical trainer, long intense walks, and uphill brisk walking on the treadmill. To actually run?! It really sounded impossible to me. But little by little I started doing it, and I ran my race in February...now I can regularly run more than 3 miles on the treadmill, I can barely believe this.
I tell you all this because now I find myself sort of at a plateau and a bit of a rut. I know a 5K isn't a huge deal. I am really intimidated by signing up for a Half Marathon, but I really need to find a new inspiration or challenge to keep going. I know I will never be able to stop working out and focusing on being a healthier person. Its something I am going to have to struggle with for the rest of my life. I know I am not nor never will be "skinny" or "thin" or "jacked" or anything of that sort. I just want to be healthy for my future kids and family. Oh, and wear cute clothes of course.
So I look to you for some inspiration. Please chime in! What is your workout routine? What is your favorite form of exercise? Do you have a weight loss success story? Have you run running races or climbed mountains or swam the English Channel? Give me your input!
PS--One thing I am already doing dutifully for inspiration is watching the Biggest Loser. That show makes me cry every week. I just want to hug and squeeze that kid Mike.
February after 5K race.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Honestly, none of the new arrivals moved me. Even with my red card, I didn't see anything worth bringing home except for a fun Fedora (more on that later) and another Boyfriend Tee (are these the best shirts ever?).
Here's a brief rundown of what I saw and thoughts. No pics because there was nothing I loved that wasn't covered:
Georgia Cardigan: Sadly Limp. Looked like it would hang and snag :(
Soft Tee Cardigan: Too thin for me, wouldn't hold shape enough.
Tuxedo-front Cami: Wasn't for me, I have so many like this and didn't love this one.
Classic Ruffle Cotton Tunic: Will go on sale. Thin fabric, could find something similar elsewhere.
Poplin Cargo Jacket: Another one that fits huge, and with the hood, I feel like it would be harder to wear as an "outfit" piece, more of a jacket but hard to wear. I prefer the boyfriend military jacket.
Harbor Capri: Intriguing but I don't love the flap pockets on the back or the cuffs. The 8 (which I wear in the cocktail capri) as a bit tight so I would need to try the 10.
Monterey skirt: Saw the bistro orange and it was so "distressed" it looked like a skirt I had as a kid that was up in the attic for years. I was very confused by this one.
Sorry to sound so negative, readers! Just as well to know what you do and don't like. One thing I did like was the new color of the Bow Skirt, Bronzed Twig (I think). The other colors of the skirt are very bright, and with the bow they are just a bit too whimsical for me. The more muted color with the bow is a bit better balance, I think. What do you think?
I didn't buy this, but I like seeing this color in person, I may look into the double serge pencil skirt in the same color.
What do you think of the new arrivals? Any favorites? Comments? What do you think of Bronzed Twig?
Playing For Change | Song Around The World "Stand By Me" from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.
Truly Inspiring and made me smile and tear up today.
From Gizmodo's article about it:
This cover of Stand By Me was recorded by completely unknown artists in a street virtual studio all around the world. It all started with a base track—vocals and guitar—recorded on the streets of Santa Monica, California, by a street musician called Roger Ridley. The base track was then taken to New Orleans, Louisiana, where Grandpa Elliott—a blind singer from the French Quarter—added vocals and harmonica while listening to Ridley's base track on headphones. In the same city, Washboard Chaz's added some metal percussion to it.
And from there, it just gets rock 'n' rolling bananas: The producers took the resulting mix all through Europe, Africa, and South America, adding new tracks with multiple instruments and vocals that were assembled in the final version you are seeing in this video. All done with a simple laptop and some microphones.
Friday, April 24, 2009
At last! I have found Boyfriend jeans I like! Let me back up...I had wanted to find a pair of these "roughed up" jeans for a while. Its a style I have never worn before, but the JCrew ones weren't quite right for me. For one, I like a bit darker jean, also they were too $$$$.
I saw these jeans in the Gap a while ago and didn't pull the trigger. If I remember correctly, I was sort of in between sizes at the time--the 10s I tried on felt slightly loose but I wasn't ready for the size 8s. Those jeans have been in the back of my mind for a couple months, as they were also much more reasonably priced--$59.50.
I finally went back to the Gap last week only to find out they are almost sold out. They are called the Roslyn Boyfriend jean, Retail only, and tough to find. For some reason, this always makes me want to find them more, I can't help it. I called around to some local stores to no avail. Also, if you are interested in these--beware, there is a Straight leg ripped jean that is narrower and stiffer, make sure you know the one you want.
Anyway, using 1-800-GapStyle I finally found a store that had some, and placed a charge send and they arrived last night! Wahoo, I really love these. They are soft, fit great, comfortable, and I can wear them rolled or straight down. I also am wearing the size 8s now, which is both exciting and also better as I think they will stretch out.
Sorry for this sort of thigh-intense photo, wanted to show the rips...they are more of roughed-up scuffs than they are "holes". There are about 4 roughed parts on the jeans, about 1.5 inches each (not huge gashes).
This is me excitedly trying them on, but today I wore:
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Lately I feel like a dealhunter...always looking for things on sale, using my JCrew Red Card, not paying full price. Its saving me money as well as making me really excited about certain purchases.
A few weeks ago I saw the Lovely Links bracelet at my Jcrew, and sadly heard it was $78. No can do. I was really smitten with the rosy pink link in it. I'm not sure if any of you have gone thru this, but I feel like I NEVER wear pink anymore, whereas 4 years ago pink was like my signature color. I think I simply OD'ed on it and now I scale much more towards to blue, green tones with forays into orange and yellow.
Anyway, something about that pinky link was like a beacon from my Rosy Days, and I really.wanted.that bracelet. Last week I discovered it was on sale for supposedly $39.99...I called many stores but everyone sadly said "sold out!". I was visiting a store this weekend, one that I had called, and there it was! For $29.99 + 25% off! Wahoo!
I decided to wear it today with the Persimmon Merino cardi--I love pink and coral together. Here are the outfit elements:
Tee: Puff sleeve slub tee in Natural
Jeans: JCrew High Heeled Flares
Cardi: Merino Glass Button in Persimmon (Fall 08)
Trench: BR Trench on Sale
Shoe: BR Selma Stripe Gray Flat shown here (polyvore has a substitute)
I know I really am a Polyvore amateur, but I wanted to show how I built an (albeit basic) outfit around the Lovely Links.
Do any of you have this bracelet, or the coordinating necklace?
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I had heard recently that Athleta was recently acquired by the Gap, and then today I received this email that Athleta is now a part of the Gap family. This means that you can now shop Athleta as part of the integrated Gap shopping bag, which I love--everything can be paid for and shipped together--Banana Republic, Gap, Piperlime (sort of) and Old Navy. Check out the new Athleta tab here.
I have received the Athleta catalog (pre-Gap) for a couple of years and have always been intrigued by their merchandise. I would describe it as a little more earth-crunchy version of a Lululemon or Lucy--maybe its a sprinkling of Patagonia in there mixed with some "girl power".
I am particularly interested in their bathing suits, which look well made, sturdy, and are even offered in D-Cup versions. Looks like the suits are easy to browse.
Have you ever tried Athleta? Are you glad to see Gap expanding into the Activewear/Swimwear market? Will you use the combination with Gap as an advantage to try this new stuff?
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sorry I have been away so long! In learning to appreciate the little things I have and love, I snapped this pic as a part of a little apartment "Favorite Thing" scavenger hunt.
I have loved Fiestaware since I first saw it way back over 10 years ago. When I got my first apartment and later registered for my wedding, Fiestaware was always at the top of the list. I love the vibrant colors, the way the pieces mix and match in their sturdy cheerfulness. They make every meal fun, bright and happy for me.
The original Fiestaware was manufactured from 1936 to 1973, then it was rereleased in 1985. Today there are more than 25 colors in production, and you can buy pieces individually, in placesettings, and specific pieces like pitchers, vases, etc. I have mostly basic casual dining ware, but also a few platters, pitchers, and vases that are sprinkled around my home.
You can find Fiestaware on amazon.com for great prices. I have various pieces in the Sunflower, Shamrock, Cobalt, Turquoise colors and I am hoping to collect more. I find having this collection is a great thing when it comes to giftgicing--and my wonderful mom is always on the lookout for true antique Fiestaware in her adventures! I have one vintage white pitcher from the 1950s (not a rerelease) that I really treasure.
Do you have a favorite china/dishware or item in your kitchen that makes you really happy? Any recommendations, loves?
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Now for some of my favorite tidbits from the all-wonderful Doc Jensen!
"if you recall, last season we had that business about an Oceanic 815 cover-up, with a plane loaded with corpses found at the bottom of the ocean. In ''Meet Kevin Johnson,'' Mr. Friendly showed Michael all sorts of stuff — including photos of an exhumed cemetery — that he claimed was proof that Charles Widmore was behind the hoax wreckage. So: Did Big Tom kill Felix and swipe his stuff? Or is it possible that Charles Widmore wasn't behind Oceanic 815 cover-up at all, that it was actually Ben who was behind it, and that Felix was killed to prevent him from reporting the scheme to Widmore?"
"Miles was abducted en medias fish taco by goons led by a guy named Bram, the same gung-ho creep who was seen assisting Ilana's Hydra Station take-over last episode." ( I KNEW it!!!)
"Last season, when Ghost Charlie visited Hurley at the mental hospital, he was sporting a cool T-shirt with a scary-looking fish on it. Did you catch the image on Miles' flashback T-shirt? A shark. Interesting that the episode would go out of its way to make a distinction between Miles and Hurley — and then include a detail that links Miles and Charlie. Now, assuming the Miles/Hurley thing wasn't just pure comedy (which it probably was) and that the Miles/Charlie thing wasn't just a coincidence (which it probably was), then what exactly was Lost trying to imply? Could it be that one of Talks-To-Dead-People guys can do what they do because one of them is actually (gulp) dead himself? If this was The Sixth Sense, then which one was Bruce Willis and which one was Haley Joel Osment?" (NOT sure about this one.....)
What did you think about last night's episode? Are you sad there is no new episode next week? Can you believe there are only 3 episodes left in the season? Sound off here!!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I chose to try on the blue which is more of a tealy blue than a straight turquoise. It has a lot of green in it--moreso than the pics indicate. I tried the skirt in a size 10...I don't think I would go smaller in the skirt. I liked the fabric, but it does have a wrinkle effect.
For me the skirt was cute but a little too "precious" for me, made the bow look like a bow on a present (not the look I am going for). Also, at over $100, it would be too pricey to add to my wardrobe.
Scary back view....
What do you think of this skirt? Have you tried it on? Look forward to your opinion on this skirt in general!
Good news: We got to see the Sox Live last night.
Bad News: They got beat bad. Lester got roughed up.
Good News: Towards the End of the 8th Inning, lots of people had left so we tried to move down along the rail to take a picture. Got really close, no one stopped us, game was about over and people moving around everywhere... Snapped a pic. Saw Youkilis getting ready to bat in the 9th.
Bad News: Youkilis hit a foul ball into the section we were taking the pic in. It rolled to the front where we were taking the picture and hit Hubs in the foot. Hubs picked it up and handed it to me. Guest Services there in five seconds as people start to boo us and kicked us out and people yelled obscenities ("Go Home Red Sox B*tch!!") at me as we left the area.
Good News: I kept the ball. Fluke foul ball from Youkilis who is hitting over .500 while the team is still dozing? Here’s hoping its a good luck charm.
I really felt bad--I should have handed the ball to a kid but we had been down there for literally 1 minute and I had no time to react or look around when the Guest Services lady asked us what we were doing there (she didn't care til the ball rolled into us!). I am going to have to repay Oakland and the baseball gods somehow.
In the meantime, I am choosing to embrace the amazing luck that we happened to be taking a pic right where the ball stopped rolling at the exact right moment for Youkilis' foul to make it into my hands. With the team having a slow start--I am hoping this is a sign. Honestly I have to tell myself this in order to push away the sting of being taunted :( For over six years living here, Hubs and I always find ourselves as "Away" fans everywhere we go--football, baseball, etc--and there are many moments that make me miss New England but this was another one--being amongst your fellow fans.
I hope the team can pick it up and I hope I am forgiven haha. I know its silly but the taunting bothered me.
Now ball--bring some good luck! Go Sox!
Just wanted to post these couple of pics of the Perfect Fit Corsage Tee from the dressing room a few days ago. I liked this tee but I wouldn't say I adored it as I originally thought I would. I think that the reason there was no adoration was that I didn't have a standout favorite of the colors I tried on. The ivory color was really more of a Natural/Putty than I thought it would be--had a more antiquey feel than the crispness I was looking for.
I also was in between sizes on this tee--the medium, which I tried on, fit pretty well but I would have to never put it in the dryer and be careful with how I layered it. The Large was a bit loose but I would probably be able to dry and be a bit more comfortable in it. I ended up picking up the Beechwood color seen here on my way out--I will take pics of this one and post.
The Breeze blue was pretty but I wasn't in love with the color.
I brought home the Large in the Beechwood and the Medium in the Natural (slated for my sister) to try on again at home once more this week. Have you tried on this shirt? What do you think?
Monday, April 13, 2009
I wanted to quickly post about the San Francisco shopping event at JCrew that Ms. Mer is planning for this Saturday. Visit her blog here for complete details, but here is the rundown:
This should be a BLAST and I wish I could go on this inaugural shopping trip, but I am sure there will be many more to come. Sis and I are heading up to ski on Saturday/Sunday so won't be in the area.
I encourage all of you guys to go and I can't wait to hear about the event and the great deals found! Perfect time to go with the Red Card.
Are you in the Bay Area? Have you had a JCrew meetup in another location? Looking for anything in particular in stores?
Friday, April 10, 2009
A week from today my sister arrives for a weekend of fun here in the Bay Area. I can't wait! 3 days of shopping, eating popcorn, playing Rockband, skiing, apres-skiing, earring-searching, reservoir-working, reality-touring, and blog-reading definitely counts as one of my Favorite Things!
She is also an avid-blog reader and even reads mine occasionally :) ...here is her attempt at the famous dressing room shots, modeling the Meringue top in Navy. She spent weeks making fun of my head cocking and funny smile, but then realized that it is impossible to take a picture of yourself looking in the mirror that is normal.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
When my parents visited a while ago, I mentioned to my mom (another JCrew addict) that I loved the metallic hobo and hoped to ask for it for my birthday. My um, birthday in June. Well she had a coupon to use and so she said I could pick it up now so she wouldn't have to ship it 3000 miles.
I have debated keeping such a nice bag in the current times ( I am not sure I really NEED it) but I also love knowing that a great gift is something I wouldn't buy for myself, and my mom has often given me some of my favorite bags over the years (Coach legacy cognac shoulder bag, sigh).
I thought I would provide some pics and my thoughts on this bag. Above is a shot of the inside, fully lined with a couple little pockets (zipper one too). Item number is 13334, price is $325 full price. The bag is nice and deep (15 inches) but the light color inside shouldn't be too deep for the Rummage Factor (patented term from my sister).
Closeup of the Hardware and the Vachetta handle (so pretty!). Hardware isn't too shiny.
A note on the color. I would really compare this Pale Gold color to the color of the Metallic Lulu's in that it is a very neutral gold, almost silver--its almost like a pearl in its creamyness. It really doesn't have much yellow to it at all--a very "Putty" sparkle, and the metallic isn't too glittery. I don't have a metallic bag and I hope the neutral look of this one works with many things and for a while.
"Fit" info: This fits GREAT over my shoulder and under my arm, which is how I will carry it. It has a nice pillowy feel under my arm and I feel like it will loosen up slightly with the general wear of the bag.
I really love this and can't wait to start rocking it--I am waiting til it wars up a bit and closer to the birthday so I don't feel like I am "cheating" on my gift. I think it will be great with neutrals, jeans, and spring-summer wear!
What do you think? Have you seen this bag? Do you like it? Think I should keep it?
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
OH YEAH. I cannot express how excited I am that baseball season is back. Its funny but 10 years ago I thought baseball was the most boring sport in the world and now since 2002 I am completely hooked on it. I love the way it takes me through the best seasons of the year--Spring to Summer to Fall and almost EVERY night there is something great to watch and hope for.
Also, MLB.TV (an online way to watch games) was completely my savior when I worked from home for almost a year. Every afternoon around 4:30 I could turn on the audio of the game and the dulcet tones of Remy and Don Orsillo would let me know that work was almost done for the day and the evening was approaching. Today MLB.TV has to be a bit more stealth in the office (hehe) but I just love listening to games on the radio. Seeing the baseball hats around town, hearing the Baseball Tonight theme music--Opening Day is here!!
Love that Dirty Water....do you have a favorite baseball team?
Monday, April 6, 2009
Perhaps I should explain. When I was a young elementary school kid, I was not the most...athletic. I was a summer swimmer, but otherwise found myself afraid of the ball, stopping to tie my shoes during the mile run, and hopefully unable to climb the Tarzan rope. Living in New England in my early years, I had the added element of winter-weather sporty activities such as skiing and skating. Our elementary school had an after-school ski program, where every Monday we would ride a hurtling bus up to the local mountain for an afternoon or lessons, watery hot chocolate, and terror inducing runs down the hill.
If I close my eyes and picture my 9 year old self, the vision is mostly taken up by a very large and very puffy pink red coat that my friends nicknamed the Tomato. The Tomato did not allow for much agility on an already un-agile body. It was in the Tomato that I had two near-death ski lift incidents at a young age...one involving the POMA T-Bar lift, and a second involving a regular chair lift. With the POMA lift, the Tomato got tangled in the TBar and at the "peak" of the Bunny hill I began to soar up into the trees instead of alighting on the hill's crest. The stoner POMA operator had to respond to my shouts in order to untangle me from the tree and the lift respectively. The next year I had an unfortunate tumble from the chairlift landing "runway" into the cargo emergency net below, where my ski snapped and then I had to walk down the mountain on foot after a 20 minute extrication, trudging in the Tomato with my mangled skis under my arm.
Needless to say, I gave up skiing shortly after these incidents. This year, many miles and the Tomato behind me, Hubs and I decided to try out skiing (he had never done it before). And would you believe, when you have 20 years of balance, a more streamlined jacket, and a positive outlook--skiing is a blast! We just got back from our second ski weekend of 2009 and spent the day on Saturday trying to improve and gasping at the gorgeous vistas. Where else can you get a view like this?
It is so beautiful to be outside, under the blue sky, getting exercise and fresh air, and feel like you are rediscovering a great hobby. Don't get me wrong--I know I am JUST relearning and JUST getting started...but Skiing 20 years later--who knew?
Have you discovered any new hobbies later in life? Anyone else like skiing? Any ideas on how to keep up with new hobbies?
Friday, April 3, 2009
Quick post to ask for suggestions. I actually own two Bria camis, the Champagne and the Pink. They are so pretty and I really love the stiffer silk. I think these will look really pretty in the summer, but I am struggling with how to layer them in chillier weather.
The neck ruffle is gorgeous, but the line of it kinda makes it difficult to wear with a cardigan. Do you think I should pair with a crewneck cardi? A VNeck cardi like the Michelle? (I have tried this and took it off cause it didn't look right to me) What colors with these? Should I try a shrunken blazer instead? Or even a pullover sweater?
What are your ideas? Am I out of luck til summer?