Monday, January 31, 2011

Wedding Venue Booked!

I found and booked the perfect wedding venue!  Well, by "I", I mean my fiance did!  The credit goes 100% to him as I sat on my ass and didn't do a thing.  When we first got engaged we had talked somewhat jokingly about having a little destination wedding in Lake Tahoe, but after thinking everything through, it really sounded like the best idea!  So we just went with it.  What we really wanted was to get a nice beach front home for the weekend where we can stay and party with our friends and family, as well as have the wedding there on one of the nights.

It was looking gloom for a while because I guess private estate weddings are a bit tough to pull off, with insurance and noise ordinances, permits, etc. that you have to deal with.  But he actually found the perfect house in South Lake Tahoe, right on the California/Nevada border.  It's right in the middle of everything, all the casinos, and steps from the famous Heavenly ski resort.  The house is actually a part of the Edgewood golf course that holds lots of celebrity tournaments.  It's got a cute name - The Beach House @ Edgewood Tahoe.  The house is about 3500 sq ft, sleeps 8 people, has an indoor swimming pool and hot tub, and has a private beach attached to it!  It's basically everything we wanted, and the price is really good as well.  We got it for 3 nights, including the wedding there and taxes, cleaning fees, etc. it came out to be about $5000.  Some places charge more than that for just a couple hours usage!  Tahoe is still hurting, that is one good thing about the bad economy I guess.  The pictures of the place look great.  I wish we could have gone and looked at it in person, but we just don't have the time, and since the wedding is in September, we figured it would be best to get the place secured as soon as possible.

September will be a nice time in Tahoe too.  The average temperature is in the 70s.  I think this house will be perfect.  We don't want a traditional wedding at all - I'm thinking of more of a classy cocktail party type.  So I want to rent some little high cocktail tables and chairs vs. tons of big round tables and chairs.  The wedding will be small at around 60 people tops, though it's proving hard to do as our initial list is already around 100.  The ceremony will be a quickie and will most likely be in the backyard / on the beach.  We will get caterers to provide hors d'oeuvres, I'm thinking indoor and outdoor bars, and lots of partying and socializing.  The place is so beautiful that it doesn't need much flowers or decorations, save some table top decors.  And maybe we will string some cool looking lights around the trees for when it gets dark.  Since we have the place for the whole weekend, and plan to have the wedding on Saturday afternoon / night, people can stay as late as they want.  The night before, instead of the traditional rehearsal dinner, we can just invite everyone over to the house for a BBQ cookout.  

Basically I want it to be hassle free and FUN!  I don't want to stress about any details of the wedding itself.  I'm not a planner, and I don't need everything to be perfect.  I just want everyone to have fun!  That is another reason for choosing Tahoe.  Neither of us is from there, but most of our family would be coming from out of town anyway even if we had the wedding in LA.  LA is so spread out and congested, if we had the wedding here we probably wouldn't be able to see many people for more than just one night.  Tahoe is the opposite, there's so many little hotels next to each other, all very good rates.  September is kind of the in between season so I'm sure we can get people lake front suites for very reasonable prices.  Everyone could have a mini-vacation there together and we can actually see people the whole weekend.  Plus I think the pictures will turn out to be beautiful with the lake and mountain back drop. 

I guess this is the hardest part which is over!  I now need to find a good beach wedding dress and some hot shoes!  I don't know which should come first.  I keep wanting to get shoes (but I always want to get shoes) so I can try on dresses with the right shoes, and I'm thinking it's either a satin royal blue color, or a more muted champagne color.  But I don't want to get shoes first without knowing the style of the dress.  Hahaha.  I guess this is the fun part of the planning. 

The next big things are probably to lock down a good caterer and photographer.  I don't want to spend too much money on the wedding, as I think a lot of times people go overboard and it turns out to be a waste.  And I'm going to avoid the word "wedding" when talking to vendors.  People jack up the price when that word is being thrown around!  Plus I feel bad having my parents shell out lots of hard earned cash for just one night.  But I will splurge a little on a good photographer - good photos will last forever.  And then the other little wedding details will hopefully just come together.  I guess what I really meant is, hopefully my fiance will take care of the rest!  Hehehe.  I'm such a bad bride that I don't want to plan anything other than trying on dresses!  So yeah, if anyone has any tips about wedding planning, he would really appreciate it...  =)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hot Yoga! (And My Breakfast)

I have been doing yoga for years but I'm not a serious "yogi" by any means.  I love it when I go, but if I don't make it then I don't make it.  I try to do it about once a week, but sometimes I don't get around to it.  I like it for the physical benefits of building strength and flexibility, but I'm really not into chanting, singing and worshiping the earth in class.  So I know a lot of hippie yoga studios are not for me.  I mostly did yoga at Equinox, and have had great experience with awesome teachers there, among people who were just there to sweat.  However I have finally decided to cancel my membership since I don't live around the corner from one anymore.  So so sad.  But I know I was throwing away my money by paying the membership that I only used 3-4 times a month.  So I wanted to find a yoga studio close to me that I don't have to sit in traffic to get to.

Oh yeah, I also needed a yoga mat, since I've been using the Equinox mats.  I briefly considered getting the Lululemon Align Ultra mats, but remembered that they were pretty slippery when I've used them to do in store yoga on Sundays.  I read the reviews on them which confirmed my suspicion.  I was told that The Mat was pretty good, but I didn't feel like spending $70+ on a mat.  So I went to Target and got a cute Gaiam "Butterfly Meadow" mat for $19.  Perfect.

I love the pretty print!

Ok so after I got the mat matter settled, I found one of the flyers I took from the Lulu store with a free week of yoga at CorePower yoga, which just opened a few months ago down the street from me.  I didn't know it was all hot yoga.  But it's perfect because I've always wanted to do hot yoga.  I tried it at Equinox a few times before but it wasn't quite as hot.  I still remember how nice it was once I got used to the heat.  Since my body was so warm, I was a lot more flexible, and could get into much deeper poses and stretches.  

The hot yoga classes at CorePower yoga range from 80-95 degrees, depending on the level of the class.  The studio is very modern and clean.  They have a really nice locker room and showers with all the amenities, even tampons lol.  It feels more like a fancy spa actually.  The only thing they don't give out for free is towels - you can only rent them or bring your own which is kind of lame.  The yoga rooms are large with hardwood floors.  It's very different from the Bikram studios I've heard about which are hotter, and have carpeted floors that retain the sweat and smell.  Yuck, gross.  The actual studios at CorePower yoga also have steam coming out from a vent on top of the heat, like a steam room.  The humidity makes you SUPER wet.  I came out drenched from head to toe.  My aruba No Limit Tank was perfect for that though.  I'm glad I wore it!  I also matched my new yoga mat!  The mat wasn't slippery at all either but next time I'm definitely bringing 2 huge towels vs. my little hand towel.  I can't believe I didn't think of that before I went there today.

So after trying it out the studio today, I really liked it and will totally keep going back.  I'm very glad to have found a nice yoga studio close to me that I can see myself going to regularly.  During my free week next week I will try out all the different types of classes they offer.  They have a class where it combines yoga and free weights, body bars, etc. in the hot room.  I really want to try that one.  It's funny though that you don't really know how hard you are working in such a hot room, because you are sweating so much just by sitting there in the heat.  I do feel a little sore though so I must have worked hard!  And my heart rate stayed higher than usual so I burned more calories!  Woohoo!  The classes are only an hour long there which is great - I'm a busy girl and an hour is plenty especially in that heat.  It also leaves no time for chanting!  Hehe.  They lock the door right when class starts.  No late comers are allowed in.  They are pretty strict about that.  It's nice that you don't have to worry about people coming in late and interrupting.

I remember seeing CorePower yoga all over Denver when I went there last year.  I guess it's based out of there.  But now they are opening more locations in California too.  I can see them doing really well here, because it really is a very nice studio.  They also have on demand membership where you can watch/do yoga classes at home for like $10 a month.  Not a bad idea, but I rather go to the real thing.

Ok so after I got back from yoga and washed off my sweat, feeling all rejuvenated and detoxed, I made this yummy breakfast with pretty much all Trader Joe's ingredients.

It's got 2 eggs, 1/2 cup liquid egg whites, about 4 tbsp of the amazing Trader Joe's fresh bruschetta sauce, chives, mushrooms, cucumbers, and one link of mango chicken sausage.  There's olive oil in the bruschetta sauce, so I didn't even need to use additional oil to cook it.

I could've made an omelet out of it, but I suck at flipping so I scrambled everything together and topped it off with some fresh avocado.  Sooo good!  And pretty healthy too.

It was the perfect amount for 2, and my fiance ate it with the tomato basil hand made tortilla from Trader's, as shown above.  I just ate it by itself.  I count the total calories to be about 300 for my portion without the tortilla.

So yum!  What a perfect way to start a Sunday!  Makes me feel a little better about going back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Missing the Not So Deep V

This morning I went out for a run after I woke up, and I decided to wear my Not So Deep V bra in caribe and my teal zeal Inspire pullover.

I normally like to wear contrasting colored bra and top for a pop of color, so I never thought of wearing these two together.  But this morning I felt I really needed a high support bra, so this was the first time I ever wore them together.  The bra actually works pretty well under the pullover!  The prettiest part of the bra shows through if I let the pullover zip all the way down.

P.S. - I don't mean to show my cleavage, but the Not So Deep V really brings it out!

P.P.S. - Why is this bra called "Not So Deep V" when the V is actually pretty deep??  LOL!

And I also couldn't help noticing how similar the old caribe was to the static teal zeal.

Anyway, that's beside the point.  What I rememebered when I was running today was how awesome this bra really is!  It had been a while since I wore this bra.  I normally grab my Flow Y bras nowadays.  So this one was tucked in the back bottom of the drawer.  But it's a really flattering, super high support bra that looks good and performs well.  I love the mesh layered look in the front.  I'm so sad that I sold my other one!  What was I thinking?  I then also started to miss my Athletic Deep V tanks.  I used to have 5 or 6 of those in different colors but have sold them all as well.  Maybe because they pushed my boobs out so well, but I felt that they made me look too cougarish.  Like if I was a 30-40 year old house wife in Beverly Hills, they would probably be perfect for me.  Hahaha.  How silly of me.  I should have kept one or two!  It was a really flattering tank, and one of a few that was short enough to show the waist band of my pants.   

So here's to hoping that both the bra and the tank will make a come back soon!

Friday, January 28, 2011

OPI for Sephora - Already Famous

I love OPI nail polish, as this is normally the only brand of nail polish I buy.  I just find the quality of this brand a lot better than any I've used before.  The colors always go on nice and even, with pretty much no streaks.  And they dry super fast too.  OPI has a whole line for Sephora with tons of nice colors.  I had been wanting to get the Already Famous color for the longest time ever since it came out in fall 2010, but it was always sold out every time I checked at the Sephora closest to me.  So finally I went to a different Sephora a couple weeks ago, and they had it in stock.  I really like this color.

I stole this picture on google image from another person's blog - my nails are not nearly nice enough to take close up pics right now!  And I think this picture shows the real life color pretty well.  It's a rather sheer nail polish if you only apply one coat.  The picture looks like it has at least 2 or 3 coats.  I've been wearing this color for about a week now and I put on 2 coats.  That way it's not sheer at all, and the color becomes more metallic.  The description of this color says that there's silver glitters in it.  But I don't really see any silver at all when I have it on.  It just looks like a very nice champagne color with sheen.  I now have it on my finger nails and my toes.  I think it works well on either.  So this is my current obsession.  I must go back to Sephora soon and find more colors!  I can never have enough...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Passed My CFA Level 1 Test!!!

Because I know you all are dying to know - the scores just came out for the CFA level 1 test I took back in December that I studied months for, and I knocked it out the ball park!  The pass rate this time was only 36%, and I passed with flying colors!  It's very unclear how they grade the tests - the pass rate is different every time, graded on a curve, and they don't tell you exactly what your score was.  They give you an overview of how well you did for each topic area by putting you in the "above 70%" category, "51-70%" category, or "below 50%" category.  There's like 10 topic areas or whatever, and I got above 70% for all but two areas, which I got between 51%-70%.  Not too shabby! 

Need to have this ASAP

I was surprised though that the pass rate was so low this time.  The level 1 exam is offered twice a year, in June and December.  The June 2010 pass rate was 42%.  The December pass rate was 6% lower - that's quite a bit.  I'm really happy to have passed it of course, but it means having to study for level 2 real soon and I'm not looking forward to having no life again!  I think this coming weekend will be my last weekend of freedom until June.  Level 2 and level 3 exams are only offered once a year in June.  So I gotta get on it pretty soon.  Level 2 is supposed to be a beast.  If you fail, and many many people do, you have to wait a year before you can re-take it.  So I really don't want to have to do that. 

My work pays for these exams including study material, but only if you pass.  So I will be getting reimbursed soon!  The test was a little over $1000 and the study material was around the same so it will be nice to get $2000 back.  But I already registered and paid for the level 2 stuff, so it will only be staying for a short visit in my bank account and then going right back out.  Oh well, at least I'm able to recycle the money and not have to pay another 2 grand out my own pocket. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Food and Workouts Lately

My nutritionist told me like a year ago that I should be adding some red meat to my diet.  But I never did it because I thought eating chicken and fish would keep me more healthy and lean.  But no matter how strict I was with my food, I noticed that I still had this layer of fat over my muscles so I couldn't get that really lean and toned look.  There is a big difference between losing weight and losing body fat.  I had a feeling that by restricting my food so much, my body was actually losing muscles which are the fat burners.  No wonder I wasn't losing any body fat!  My nutritionist is also a body builder, so I figured she would know better than anyone how to lose body fat.  Clearly something was not working with my food - I work out a lot and I refuse to believe that my body just won't get to that level.  It might be genetically easier for some, but I'll make up for my lack of good genes by hard work!

Well, I can't find my nutritionist anymore.  It's very weird, because she was a referral I got from someone from my gym, and she worked out of her own home so it's not like there's an office I can stop by.  Last I heard from her, she went on vacation to Costa Rica and was supposed to be back in a few weeks.  But months went by and she hasn't returned any of my numerous voicemails or emails so I guess I give up. 

In the meantime, my fiance got me Jillian Michael's Making The Cut book, cuz he knows I want to look like her!  It's targeted for people who want to lose the last 10 pounds or whatever.  So I read it and find her exercises at the end of the book pretty good but there's no way I can do her diet part - she requires that you not deviate from it at all for 30 days and a lot of her food require tons of preparation, and you'd have to go to the store like everyday and spend $$$ buying stuff like sword fish.  I just don't have that kind of time, and we have a full kitchen staff making food for us at work everyday.

Though in the beginning of her book, she talks about food and there is a metabolic test.  I've heard of metabolic tests before and have taken them - you can google it and find one easily.  But her book made me think more about it.  Basically they break people down into 3 categories - the protein types, carb types, or a mixed type.  Every test I take, I am undoubtedly a protein type, which means I need to eat more often throughout the day, and need more protein in my meals and snacks in proportion to the other two macro-nutrients (carb and fat).  I guess the ideal proportion is to have about 30% of the calories come from fat, 30-40% protein and 30-40% carb.  The best protein choices for me are actually the type of protein with more fat in them such as red meat or dark chicken meat, nuts, and regular cheese, milk, etc.  Basically no "non-fat" anything.  This really goes against anything I normally hear, but then again a lot of what we hear is propaganda from food manufacturers.  The best carb choices for me are very low GI type of carb.  Protein metabolic types really need to keep the blood sugar level from spiking in order to lose or maintain weight - more so than carb types or mixed types.  This will exclude a lot of tropical fruits from my diet which happen to be my favorites, such as mango, papaya, banana, peach, etc.  I should be eating a lot of legumes, beans, potatoes, and brown rice or pasta.

Bye bye tropical fruits...

I decided to give this thing a try and eat based on my metabolic type for a couple weeks just to see what happens.  At the same time, keep up my workouts, especially interval training where I mix cardio and weights like Jillian suggests.  I've been doing it for about 2 weeks now.  It's so different from what I've been eating the past few years.  The first couple days of doing this, I think I really threw my body a curve ball.  I felt bloated and I almost completely stopped it.  But after the 3rd day (that always seems to be the magic number for me), I really started to feel a difference.  I feel more satisfied after each meal so I don't even get any cravings for sweets or junk food.  I have 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, same as before.  My food choices have opened up a lot so it makes me happy mentally, like I don't have to watch my food as closely.  All I have to worry about each meal is to get a combination of protein, carb and fat in the correct proportion.  Of course I'm still eating within my calorie allowance, which is really anywhere from 1200-1400 a day.  I got back to using my Livestrong / Dailyplate food tracker which is a great website and they also have an iPhone app.  I like that they show you the macro-nutrient breakdowns.  This is what mine looks like one day last week - apparently I should have eaten more protein and carbs and less fat - those nuts really get me on their fat %.

I also noticed that I've started to feel more hungry right around the time for my next meal, and I knew that my metabolism had started kicking up.  I don't feel bloated at all anymore.  I have also noticed that my stomach and arms look more defined already.  I'm a natural apple shape, any time I gain weight, it shows around my middle first.  So I know it is also the last place to go.  To be able to see a difference when I'm doing crunches is the best!  I now can get my belly much flatter without the unsightly rolls!

Bye bye belly rolls!  (Weird picture I know, but it was one of the first on google when you search "belly rolls")

Also since I've changed up my food, I have noticed a HUGE difference in my endurance when I work out!  It's really quite shocking actually because it's only been 2 weeks!  It is true what they say that food and exercise go hand in hand.  Last weekend I went out to the park around my house and ran about 5 miles super easily.  After I was done, I felt like I had only ran a mile to warm up!  I could have gone on forever.  That was only a week after doing the new eating thing.  When I did my interval training during the week last week, I was sprinting at 10 mph speed and holding for a minute or so, which is a definite improvement from my 8.5 - 9 mph sprint speed before.  I even did 15% incline on the treadmill and sprinted at 7 mph.

Yesterday I did an interval training and then ran about 3.5 miles on the beach.  It was so nice, gotta love southern California for this.  I finished the run in about a little over 20 minutes and was not even phased.  That includes time waiting at the intersections for lights to turn.  I'm actually starting to scare myself a little!  My new food combined with much interval training and hills training makes it much easier now for me to go fast.  I've never been one to care too much about my speed before.  In fact, a few years ago I was running with the Nike run group and was happy being in the 10 min per mile group.  Sometimes even 11 or 12!  I always thought that since I wasn't one of those people who could naturally run fast, that I shouldn't even care to try.  Well what a big difference it is now.  I'm not training towards anything in particular, but I have so much more energy and it's very encouraging knowing that I can change my body and push myself to do better and better!

My fiance took an action shot of me!  He made me jump like 10 times before he got a good shot... Those things look higher in real life  =)

Aside from running and other interval training, I'm still doing yoga and barre workouts!  Just got done with a barre class this morning actually.  They help me build different muscles and work on my balance.  My goal is to be able to jump onto one of these balls with my feet instead of just balancing on my knees!  Saw a trainer at Equinox do it, and I want to do it too!

P.S. I'm wearing my Run: Energy SL that Lululemon gave to me.  And the Run Fast Shorts.  I love these, and hope they both make a come back!

Friday, January 21, 2011

White No Limit Tank - Size 4 and 6 Comparison

Ok I got my size 6 white No Limit Tank that I ordered online yesterday.  I've been trying it on back and forth with my size 4 and comparing the difference.  I think the bra straps are a tiny bit looser in the 6, but not much difference from the 4.  Most of the difference in sizing is in the width of the bra.  Size 6 is looser and not as supportive as the 4.  But the major difference in the two sizes is the bottom band.  The size 6 is a lot looser than the size 4.  Also the size 6 is longer, therefore there's a little bit more excess material on the bottom.  But not bad.  It actually looks similar to the aruba No Limit tank, so that one must run larger.

I took some pictures but I had to use the front facing camera (not as high pixel as the back camera) on my iphone while trying to position it, so they didn't turn out so great!  You get the idea though...

Size 4

Size 6
Aruba size 4

So yeah, since the difference in the straps aren't that much, I'm inclined to keep my size 4 for more support.  But what I'm gonna do is wear it around the house for like 2 hours with the tag on.  And if I feel ok then I can keep it. 

Oh Yeah... I Got Another Lululemon Run: Ambition Pullover in Snorkel Blue!

I totally forgot to post this, but when I went to the Lulu store on Monday to get the aruba No Limit Tank, I also got the Run: Ambition Pullover in snorkel blue, from a different store.  Oh yeah, I hit up 2 stores in one day.  Kind of pathetic.

I didn't really look at this color in person before, as I thought it was too similar to my Spirit Pullover.  However, in person it's a deeper, more ocean-y blue rather than a sky blue.  So I can justify it.  =)  I'm totally blowing my new year's resolution of buying less clothes.  Why would I ever make such a silly resolution??

I was surprised to find that they still had this pullover in both stores in all sizes and colors because it's been a while since it came out, and it also sold out online pretty fast.  I guess it's not that good of a seller here in So Cal!  The 70-80 degree weather we've been having lately probably doesn't help.  But I really like this pullover so more for me!  I also really like that the front pully thingies are a different color in the blue one, not the same color like the others.  Dang... I wonder if this pullover will be on sale soon!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More Express Shirred V-Neck Long Sleeve Shirt

I got the Shirred V-Neck Long Sleeve shirt from Express a few months ago and actually really really like it.  Like I've said many times, it's always hard to tell if something I buy from that store will end up being a winner or not.  This shirt is only $24, and I think it's a really good seller because it gets sold out very fast every time it comes out.  I really like the violet one I bought as it's a gorgeous color, and it works great as a "from work to a night out" top.  So I figured I'd get 2 more in neutral colors - black and white, and they were having a buy one get one 50% off, so I got both for a little over $30.  Can't beat that!

I really like the neckline, it makes the this top just a little more interesting than a plain long sleeve shirt, so that it's not boring looking, while keeping it simple at the same time.  I also think the fit is very flattering.  It gives you nice curves.  The material is a thicker cottony feel with stretch, but still lightweight enough for most days.  The length is perfect.  It's really the perfect top for work and will look great with pants or skirts.  Can't say enough good things about it!  If it comes out in more colors I like, I will definitely buy a few more.  Around Christmas time they had a nice red one, among many other colors.  I really regret not getting that one.  So I hope it wasn't a holiday season color only.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Got My Lululemon No Limit Tank in White/Light Gray Pique Today...

I got a tip from a reader this morning that the No Limit Tank in white with light gray pique is now available at the store (thanks!).  So like a psycho addict that I am, I called a store to check if they had any in size 4 - and they had one left!  Yay!  So I placed it on hold and sent my fiance there to pick it up for me as I was working in downtown (nowhere near a store), and he works really close to one (not fair).

I was so excited, because I missed out on the white No Limit last time when it came out with heathered coal wee stripe bra.  I was happy to find that the new white with light gray pique is very similar!

..........But when I put it on, I found the bra straps very tight!  Definitely not as stretchy as the aruba one I just got.  They kind of dig in a little and feels kind of uncomfortable.  Everything else fits the same as my other one.  I wonder if I got a weird one or the gray pique straps are just not as stretchy as a solid colored one?  Now I'm sad!  I want to keep it but not if it's uncomfortable.  I ended up selling all my Scoop Neck tanks because I find the neck strap too tight to wear comfortably for more than an hour.  And then it starts giving me a headache.  I had like 5 of them and never wore any very much because of that reason.  So one day I just decided to get rid of them all!  I need to try it one size up and see if it's better next time cuz I still think it's a cute tank.

So I guess if the white No Limit shows up online tomorrow, then I will get a size 6 and compare with my 4.  Hopefully the fit of the body will be similar to the 4 and the straps will be perfect.  Still kind of inconvenient the inconsistency in sizing between different colors!!  I'm annoyed and hope that I won't have to end up returning both, because I really do love the white!

Monday, January 17, 2011

No Limit Tank - Aruba!

I went to Lululemon today and got my first No Limit Tank!  I've tried this tank on in store before, but didn't like the outer shell color being black or coal - I'm a colorful girl.  The only time I'd really wanted it was when it came out in white and heathered coal wee stripe bra.  But I swear the minute it hit the store, it was sold out.  I could not find my size anywhere.  But today I went to the store as they were unpacking from their new shipment.  And I found this tank in beautiful aruba color!  I'm glad aruba is back because I loved this color from a few seasons ago, and have Astro Crops in aruba.

I think the aruba color looks brighter in pic than it does in real life

This is such a comfortable tank.  It's got a built in Flow Y bra on the inside, and circle mesh on the outside.  It's very flowy and lightweight.  I do look kind of prego from the side view, but it's so comfortable I will let that go.  From the front I think it's a flattering look.  Plus the roominess in the tummy area will hide any and all flaws and I won't feel self-conscious during awkward twists in yoga.  Great for bloated days!

One thing I noticed is that the band of the Flow Y seems thicker than my other ones.  I haven't bought a Flow Y in quite some time, so maybe this was updated before without my knowledge.  But it seems a wee bit thicker to me.  As a result, I don't show quite as much skin on the side below the armpits in this tank as I remember from trying it on before.  I can't confirm this yet so maybe I'm completely making this up.  But the Flow Y is also lined with circle mesh on the inside - great!  I forgot to ask for cup cookies though.  Oops.

I kind of had my doubts about wearing this tank while running, but I now think it would be great for running during hot days.  I normally run in a Flow Y anyway, so this is no different.  The outer layer will keep me really cool.  It will almost be like running in just a bra!  I can see that it would be great for spin too, and of course yoga and pilates.  Maybe I will be able to wear it as street wear as well.  Today was a great day for this tank to hit the store, as it was in the high 80s - 90s today!  I think this tank will go really fast - for the short 10 minutes I was in the store, they already sold like 3, and lots of other people were showing interest in it.  The girls told me it would probably be gone by the end of day today.  I don't know if that will be the case but think it will be at least in my size anyway.  I got my regular size - 4.  It's always the first size to go here in La La Land.  So I'm glad I went in at the right time and snatched one!

They also told me that another white one will be coming later!  Dang.. I wish it was there today because I would have got both.  But I guess I can just be patient too!  They also had an all black one, and a coal body/purple grape (?) bra.  It was a similar color to the very violet color that was out a while ago, but a little more muted.  It was very cute too with contrasting colors, but I just thought aruba was more unique so that's the one I came home with!

New Idea for Blog - Please Respond!

The new year always brings new ideas.  I actually started this blog a few days after the new year last year, and I've really enjoyed writing and "meeting" some of the readers throughout the year.  Sometimes I can't believe people actually read my silly little ramblings!  But I love the community feeling that a blog can create and bring people together from everywhere.  I guess technology is really amazing!

As I've written in the "About Me" section up there, aside from my shopping addiction, I actually used to be an avid traveler and have caught the travel bug forever.  While I love writing about the different stuff I buy, I'm disappointed that I have not been able to travel to many places now that I have a regular job and mortgage, and about to have my wedding in September this year.  While I'm happy with my life, and I realize that I have been blessed with so much compared to many many others who may be struggling just to live, I do sometimes wish that I could have a more adventurous life and wasn't so "cookie-cutter".

I see some of my friends on facebook who have kind of become nomads.  They used to do the whole 9-5 thing, but have decided to give it all up and travel and live abroad.  Some of them have kind of been "forced" to do this because they lost their jobs during this economic downturn, but they all say that it was a blessing in disguise.  They now seem so full of life and energy - I know the feeling of being so free to roam anywhere in the world, and experience all that life has to offer.  I'm jealous of all the beautiful pictures I see of amazing places they have been all over the world!

For example, one of my best college friends became a realtor in San Francisco after graduation, and was on her way to becoming more and more successful.  When the real estate market went down hill in 08/09, she could not afford to live in the city anymore and it was very hard to find a job in California with the high unemployment rate (still is).  So she took a leap of faith and got a job as an English teacher in Thailand.  She lived and traveled in Southeast Asia and then actually became a tour guide through fellow travelers she met.  So she gets paid to do what she loves now.  It also inspired her to start her own travel company.  How interesting that life could change so fast in such a short amount of time.

Another one of my friends, actually someone who worked at my company before, was doing the same thing as me and trying to climb the corporate ladder.  She got burnt out one day and quit her job to go travel, to Southeast Asia too coincidentally - I think that must be a popular destination for people wanting a drastic change or something.  She traveled for months, then made her way over to Australia.  She settled down in Sydney, got a 6 months work visa, and is now working at one of the Lululemon stores there.  I actually found out by seeing a picture of her in my feed that the store tagged her in.  How random!  She told me that she is now pretty much living it up, working out everyday, sharing a house with 6 roommates, all while sporting cute Lululemon outfits!  I guess this suits her much better than the finance world - she was always a pole dancing instructor while working at my company.  When management found out about it, let's just say they were not thrilled!

Anyway, I digress horribly.  But let me bring the point home.  So I was thinking that since I don't get to travel nearly as much as I would like to anymore, the best I can do is to live vicariously through others.  I've heard from many readers who seem to share the same interests as me to see more of the world.  I've always loved hearing stories about different travel destinations, so I would love love love it, if you all could email me details about some of the places you've been to, or even the city that you live/lived in.  It could be anything - things to do, places to see.  From little boutique shop, restaurant, activities, sights, to.. well, anything else!  I then will post about them for everyone to see.  It would be a great way to get to know all these interesting places in the world from a first hand perspective.  This would be a place to compile it all, and maybe give insight to someone who might be interested in going there.  For example, I'm planning to go to Florida in April, which I've never been to, and would love to hear from someone who has been there or lives there!  I think it would also help me plan my honeymoon (way more important than the wedding)!  So far I've got no concrete plans.  But I think I've narrowed it down to either Eastern Europe, Africa, Japan, or somewhere in the Mediterranean.

So don't be shy!  Please share your stories with me!  It doesn't have to be long, and can be any number of things.  Pictures are always welcome too of course!  Let's get the ball rolling and see how interesting it can get!  I figure it doesn't hurt to try something new, and learn more about all you lovely people!  What's the worst thing that can happen?  Well I guess that's if nobody emails me.  =(

I will also share my own stories in different posts.  Honestly, even though the name of this blog is "My Superficial Endeavors", I really believe that what truly matters in life is not what you have.  Trends will come and go and we probably all have way more clothes than we really need.  As cheesy as it sounds, it's true that at the end of the day, what I remember most are my great memories of amazing places I've been to and the life-long friends I've made.  I'll never stop shopping, but my experiences shape me to become who I am.  So I hope to hear from you all soon!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Yesterday's Shopping Trip(s)

Man... I pulled a 12 hour shopping trip yesterday.  Well that's including this bride expo I went to at the LA Convention Center.  It was pretty overwhelming to have all these vendors yelling at you trying to sell you stuff!  After like the 5th photographer, I was already getting everything jumbled!  But I guess it was at least kind of interesting to get ideas and shop prices.  I also got a lot of discount cards, including a bouquet toss I won for $200 off with a DJ service.  Good to know I'm a good bouquet tosser!  Hehe.  I also tried on some wedding dresses just for fun.  This was my first time trying anything on that remotely resembled a wedding dress.  Wow, super overwhelming.  How am I supposed to pick only one dress??  Now I don't even want to think about that anymore!

I didn't buy any wedding related things at the expo.  But they did have a vendor selling 1500 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheet sets for like $35!  I didn't know the brand but figured that any sheet set for $35 is a pretty good deal, even if this brand wasn't top notch.  I got them in a nice charcoal color, and washed them and slept in them last night.  It was divine!  I have many different sheets from department stores that are around 600 thread counts which cost me something like $100 - $200 a set.  But these new sheets are so soft they beat all my other ones out the water!  So the expo was a defnite success!

I was with a couple friends, and one of them was my gay best friend who loves to shop!  So he dragged me to 3rd street in Santa Monica after the expo.  Maybe it was because of the nice weather, but it was probably the most crowded I had ever seen that place!  It was packed and parking was impossible.  Took an hour just to get into a parking lot.  But hey, we did some damage since every store was having a great sale, probably to clean out the inventory from year end and make room for new stuff.  I got so many things for like $20-30 a piece, from places like Diesel, Armani Exchange, Nordstrom, etc.  Pretty great.  I love year end sales.  I guess all the traffic and crowd was all worth it at the end!

I was able to replenish my beloved Kiehl's Creme de Corps.

Only the best lotion ever made.  Once you put it on your skin, you immediately feel the difference.  It's like it just sinks into your skin and moisturizes from within.  It doesn't give the sticky or oily feeling that some lotions do.  It's thick but doesn't clog the pores.  The 16.9 oz bottle will last forever because you only need to use a little bit each time.  This lotion makes my after shower regime more fun!  I don't think I've ever gotten so excited about any lotion as I have with this one every single time!

Friday, January 14, 2011

More Ole Henriksen Love - Walnut Complexion Scrub!

Since I love the Ole Henriksen On The Go cleanser so much, I decided that I must try more of their products.  I went to Sephora with a friend who is very into this line and swore to me that the Walnut Complexion Scrub is the best scrub she's ever used.  It's very reasonably priced too, at $24.  So I decided that I had to try it out and see for myself.

And..... it's a winner!!!  Wow, I can't believe how much better this scrub is than all the other ones I've tried - from Chanel to Clinique, I've tried many.  I like to use a facial scrub about once or twice a week in the shower.  Otherwise I feel like I have too much dead skin chilling on my face.  It's probably all mental.  But since I wear foundation everyday, it doesn't hurt to clean my face as much as possible.  The Walnut Complexion Scrub is definitely not a gentle scrub.  It's pretty dense and massages the skin in a nice way.  After using it, my face is as soft as a baby's bottom.  No joke!  It feels younger, smoother, cleaner, and rejuvenated.  Here's the description from their website:

Every so often, your complexion needs a little extra attention to enhance the skin’s natural renewal cycle. Nothing does this better than a densely textured, smooth gliding and terrifically energizing facial scrub. Activated with water, the finely ground walnut powder foams up and slips over the skin effortlessly to awaken beautiful glowing skin.

I guess the Ole Henriksen line is just amazing!  So far I've found 2 long term keeper products.  Next I definitely will try the Sheer Transformation facial creme.  It comes highly recommended, I just have too much lotion right now that I need to finish before buying another. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Didn't Buy This But...

I'm sure I am a late comer to this, but I was just browsing the Lululemon website tonight and saw this Happy Heat Tank in black and white...

It looks suspiciously like this Halloween costume I had a few years ago... They both even got the whole front pucker thing going on.  The only thing missing from the Happy Heat tank is the little tie!

Hehehe... I just thought that was funny.   

(Oh and when I had that costume, was when I thought the purpose of dressing up for Halloween was to be a hooch... UCSB thinking ingrained in me....)

Abercrombie Benni Sweater

For some reason the purchases I made online before the new year keep showing up this week.  =)  I got the Benni sweater from Abercrombie as they were still doing their 40% off everything deal.  I think this might be the last purchase I make from Abercrombie for a while.  I just feel that a lot of their stuff look pretty much identical to each other, and after getting a couple items I just don't get excited anymore. 

The color I got as shown above is cream, but it also comes in heather gray and navy which are both nice.  I like this sweater but it's not as soft as I thought it would be, judging from the other stuff Abercrombie makes.  The yarn used to knit this is thicker, which is fine, but it doesn't stay its shape as well in the front due to the heaviness.  But I did wear it to work over a cute cami underneath, and it was a nice outfit.  I just love sweaters for work.  I figure if I have to sit in front a computer and 4 monitors with an AC vent directly above me blowing cold air all day, I might as well be as comfortable as I can be.  I used to wear button downs to work because they looked more professional and put together, but now I'm just like whatever!  That's the side of my closet I don't go to anymore.  I do think your image at work has something to do with the success of your career.  But I don't think anyone is going to think less of me because I wear sweaters instead of button down shirts.  At least I hope!  They all say it's a sign of old age when you start choosing comfort over beauty.  So be it I guess!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lululemon Run: Inspire Jacket - Finally Got One!

I've been eying the Lululemon Run: Inspire Jacket since it first came out in September.  I tried it on in the store and loved the look, the fit, and everything about it!  But at the price of $158 here in SoCal, I just knew I wasn't going to get enough use out of it to make it worth it.  I read that people were having fit issues with this jacket particularly the tightness in the shoulder/chest area.  I do not have this issue and find the fit to be perfect and I am able to do running motions without problems - I think it's because I have like no boobs lol.  So I thought that it might hit the sales rack but they just disappeared!  Where did they all go??  However, I was still thinking about it for months after - that is usually a sign that I REALLY want something.  Well, thanks to reader Nancy, I was able to get one finally! I can't believe she was willing to give this beauty up!  =)

And it's senorita pink!  I love it... because I have tons of blues and purples, so this will really stand out!  And I think that the senorita pink in this material is not as blinding as it is in others.  It looks a little bit darker to me, and gorge!

I never get excited about Lululemon's running jackets, mostly because I think they look kind of shapeless and boring.  And windbreakers are overkill for the weather here.  But this one really caught my eye.  The fit is very flattering - it hugs the waist and falls in an A line shape.  I love the asymmetrical zipper that gives the jacket a unique look.  It's got great details too such as the hood that's stow-able inside the collar - one of the greatest things about the comeback of the 80's!  I love the soft running luon cuffs that poke out from under the outer layer.  It also has a slit on the left cuff for the watch to poke through!  I always always wear a watch, so I'm really excited about this.  Usually when I wear a running pullover, I have to wear the watch outside of the sleeves because I can't be bothered to lift up the sleeve to see the time or my heart rate.  This is a great feature for lazy ol' me!  The material of the jacket is called glyde and it's pretty light weight, and I think it's water resistant.  The jacket's also got venting, tons of pockets, and reflector stripes.  I'm so excited about it!  I wish it would rain again so I can go out in style!  

I will also consider running in it.  I just don't want to die from overheating.  It's still fairly chilly out at 50-60 degrees these days, so maybe I'll give it a try if I go out in the early morning or late evening.  

I also think this jacket will be great for those few times a year that I make it up to the mountains to go snowboarding.  I always wear Lululemon under my snowboarding clothes, such as wunder unders, bra, tank, and usually a running pullover under the snowboarding jacket.  I have a really awesome snowboarding jacket that I love, but maybe I can switch it out for the Inspire jacket when it's not as cold and snowy out there!

Yay for the new (old) jacket!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Kitson Skinny Jean

My other order that I placed on Hautelook before the new year arrived.  I got some Kitson black skinny jeans for $10! 

I usually like my jeans more straight leg or boot cut style.  But I really like these ones.  I like that they are longer and can be scrounged up a little on the bottom.  I guess they are almost like skinny straight leg style.  They look pretty cute with heels or flats, or with boots over.  I usually hem my jeans a few inches longer so that they would fall perfectly to the ground with heels on.  But that makes them drag on the ground if I wear flatter shoes.  I wear flat shoes pretty rarely, but it does happen from time to time, and it's nice to have pants other than sweats and yoga pants to wear with flats.  

I also have been wanting to get black jeans for a while.  I have many many pairs of jeans - more than I would ever need - in washes from very light to very dark denim.  But I didn't have any black ones until now!  Black just looks a little bit more dressed up.  And it goes with navy tops better.  

I normally wear a size 26 in jeans, but I got these in 27 because I figured since they are skinny jeans, I didn't want them to be too tight.  And I didn't know how Kitson sizes run.  But I guess they probably would fit better if they were in my normal size.  These are a little loose around the waist.  But I guess I can just wear a belt or something.  The back pocket placement actually look really good on too.  For $10, I am pretty happy with them!

I also got some shorts to wear around the house for $7. 

They turned out to be kind of tight and really like hot booty shorts, rather than relax fit sweat shorts!  The model must have sized up one or two sizes to fit so loosely like that.  Oh well.  They'll just be worn at home.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

DEPT Long Sleeve Knit Top

My purchase from Hautelook that I made before the new year has finally arrived! The DEPT Long Sleeve Knit Top.  I've bought this brand from Hautelook before, and they do have cute stuff that fit really well.  However, I don't believe their quality is top notch, as one of the buttons on the sweater dress I bought already fell off after one wear.  Lol.  Oh and another dress has been hanging in my closet, I've never worn it, but somehow the sleeve tore a little hole.  Like really?  It's a very thin and fragile material but still.  Good news is, I fixed it with clear nail polish!  Not sure what will happen if I ever wear it and need to wash it though...

I thought I was done with this brand, but when I saw this top I thought it was really cute and interesting... and only $20 (original price $81).. so I thought I'd take a gamble at it and bought it.

I can say that I don't have anything that looks like this top.  It's kind of hippie, kind of tribal.  I was happy to find when it arrived that it looks pretty much exactly like the pictures show.  The color was exactly what I expected, and the fit on me was very similar to the fit on the model.  This one's material seems better too.  It's a thicker fabric.  I like the fit, as it's somewhat looser around the tummy and very comfortable.  You can adjust the opening of the neck line because it's got the drawstring all the way across and you can cinch it at the position you like. Like this...

So you can wear it off the shoulder, or not.  It's cool.  I think this would be a good top to throw on after yoga class or something.  And also be cute to go out to lunch, or shopping, or whatever...

The smocked hem and sleeve details are interesting.

So all in all, I'm happy with this top.  It's just a fun top to look at.  I don't think I'll be wearing this a lot, but I like to have different options to choose from.  I just hope nothing mysterious happens to it while it's hanging up in my closet!  So far I don't see any buttons or fragile material that can be lost or ripped so we're good there. 

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