Friday, February 26, 2010


My boyfriend got me some expensive ass chocolate from France on (so sweet of him!).  15 pieces for like $100... lol.  I normally don't believe in spending tons of money on chocolate, but I think this one is definitely more interesting than say Godiva, or something.  

So apparently, they are all hand made chocolates by Pascal Caffet - a world champion chocolatier.  According to the description, they are chocolate of the puriest form - low in sugar, with no preservatives, no artificial coloring, no alcohol and 100% pure coca butter.  Ok this is a big selling point for me, because I love chocolate and hate all the chemicals and sugar that come with it.  People now believe chocolate is good for you - yes they are, but in the pure cocoa bean form, not the processed form that adds tons of sugar and who knows what else.  So if I can enjoy my guilty pleasure with minimal consequences to my waistline, then I'm all for it!!!  I guess that's where the premium price comes in, however.

I asked my boyfriend why he spent so much money buying me such a little box of chocolate.  He said they seemed bigger on the website.  Lol... that is true, they do look much bigger.  In person, my box of 15 is a 4 inch by 2 inch little box.  Each chocolate is about half an inch in length and width.  I guess good things come in small packages.  LOL!  I just noticed on their site though, that you can buy refills for your box.  So I guess if I want to order more from now on, I can get a refill for a pack of 15 for $30.  Much more acceptable though still expensive. has a very nice website.  It's very fancy with all the flash stuff, and shows off all their collections.  Looks like their chocolate comes in packages of 4 pc, 9 pc, 15 pc, 30 pc, 45 pc, 60 pc, etc. etc.  Price ranges from $30 something to $500ish.  The $500 one comes in a huge wooden box with multiple tiers.  Nice!!!  It looks like all their collections come in very nice wooden crafted boxes, or some other nice packaging.  Definitely the old school luxurious feel.  They also include a very nice card with your personalized message printed on.  Each chocolate is numbered.  I got the 15 piece so they have the numbers from Z to 15.  I guess Z is their trademark chocolate.  It's a soft, sweet and salty caramel and a crunchy praline made from Piedmont hazelnuts.  Yum.

I've been eating these very slowly, because I feel like I should savor them since they are special.  But I just read on the booklet thingy that came with it that they are meant to be consumed within 2 weeks.  I've already had them for a week, plus took them a few days to ship here (they shipped internationally super fast - took 2 days to get to LA from France!!!).  Oops.  I guess the whole no preservative thing... I need to finish them all in the next few days, definitely don't want these to go to waste!  Also, it says no refrigerator.  Hmm... I usually refrigerate my chocolate because I feel like they taste better cold.  But I haven't thrown these in the fridge yet.  I'm glad I didn't!  Apparently that is not the proper way to store nice chocolate lol.

Ok so I have eaten #Z, # 4, #7 and #12.  I must say that each one had a flavor very very unique from anything I've had before and different from each other.  For example, #4 is toasted sesame seeds in a Valencia almond praline made of finely ground caramelized almonds and white chocolate.  YUM!  OMG that was soooo good.  It was white chocolate shell with that sesame almond praline filling.  Amazing.  #7 was hazzelnut praline infused with coffee ganache with dark chocolate, and #12 was coriander praline in milk chocolate.  The other interesting ones include lemon ganache, pistachio praline, and Venezuelan dark chocolate ganache, to name a few.

Can't wait to try the rest!  While pricey, these are definitely enjoyable to eat!  I guess you can have your choice of only ordering your favorite flavors too.  Great!  Ok maybe I will go eat one more now.  I'm thinking the pistachio flavor.....


Ok just ate it.  OMG SOOOO GOOD!!!  I love this flavor!  So different and delicious!  I'm officially in chocolate heaven...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Burton USA Olympic Team Snowboard Pants


I've been watching the Vancouver Winter Olympics and I really love the USA snowboard pants made by Burton!  They look exactly like denim, in fact that is what I thought they were at first glance.  But then of course I figured out Burton wouldn't give the team actual JEANS for the Olympics!!  Then I read that these pants are actually made of waterproof whatever snowboard pants material.  How cool!  Love how they made them look faded with the distressed look.  I think they made the USA team look very hip and cool!  Definitely fits with the laid back snowboard culture.  

I didn't like how many people from the men's team sagged them so low though.  I mean, seriously?!  Sagging pants is just so junior high to begin with.  When you are at the Olympics and everyone in the world is watching you, maybe you should pull up your pants so we are not staring at your boxers!!!  I don't know, that just really annoyed me.

Anyway, back to the pants, I read that Burton is not going to sell them to the public.  =(  Bad decision Burton!  I think lots of people would buy these.  I used to snowboard quite a bit (but still suck at it), but only went once last year and have not gone at all this year.  Ugh.  Of course I do think I need another pair of snowboard pants!  I wish I could buy these...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ziva from NCIS

I love the show NCIS on CBS.  I don't normally like crime shows, but it's very well written and has a great cast.  Each character has a uniqueness that immediately captures your attention.  

So I was grabbing a quick bite last night at Coral Tree Cafe, and in walks Cote de Pablo, the actress that plays Ziva David on the show. 


She's so pretty!  I like her character on NCIS a lot, and I think she is a good actress.  She's pretty without trying to be.  It looks like she barely wears any makeup, so I guess she's a natural beauty!  She looked exactly the same in person.  Even the clothes she wore was very similar to her character's wardrobe from the show, since Coral Tree is a very casual place.  We made eye contact as soon as she sat down lol.  I was excited.  I was also looking around to see if anyone else recognized her.  Didn't look like it.  I guess you wouldn't know her face if you have never watched the show.  Even though it's supposedly the #1 show on television!  

This is my second NCIS actor sighting in a month!  I saw Mark Harmon who plays Agent Gibbs on the show at SugarFish about a month ago, which is pretty much diagonally across the street from Coral Tree.  So I guess they both live in Brentwood or nearby!  Love Brentwood for the numerous celebrity sightings.  My coworker saw Arnold Schwarzenegger at Coral Tree once, how exciting!  I would have loved to see him... hehe.

I also would love to see the rest of the NCIS crew too!  Like Tony, and Mcgee, and Abby!  Come on, keep up the once a month record!  

Express Sleeveless Shift Dress


Ok so the Express Sleeveless Shift Dress is like the cutest dress ever!  I tried it on over the weekend thinking that it was going to be a somewhat cute but boring work dress.  But was so surprised to find that the fit is SO flattering!  I couldn't believe my eyes.  I never would have expected Express could have something this cute!  I mean I shop there a lot for work stuff, but I never have super high expectations for them since the quality of their stuff is not too great... I've bought pants that came with one leg unhemmed or seams diagonally across instead of straight up and down.  But this dress was perfect!  It made my waist look tiny and curves out nicely around the hips - the perfect hourglass figure!  The material of this dress is thick (kind of like thick sweat pant material) but soft and stretchy.  So it hides all the imperfections, stays its shape very well (which probably contributes to the perfect hourglass figure) and at the same time very very comfortable.  I had to buy it, even though I don't normally buy things at full price there.  It's priced at $69.5 which isn't bad.  I also had a 50% off coupon, so it turned out to be cheap for me anyways.

It came in the nice dark gray color as shown above, which I bought, and also in black.  I tried on size XS and XXS.  I find that I usually fluctuate between these 2 sizes at Express.  Well, the dress is pretty stretchy, so both sizes fit.  The XXS is very fitted and shows everything.  So I got the XS, which is still fitted, but not as skin tight.  I think it's a better fit and looks more classy especially if I want to wear it to work.

I actually think I could wear this dress outside of work as well, like to a cocktail party or out to dinner.  It might just be one of the most flattering dresses I own!  I like the modest length - falls right above my knees.  I also like how the back is covered, since all my other dresses have open backs.  This gives me a more conservative option.  The chest area fits very well without showing too much cleavage.  The shoulders have very thin padding so they stay in place well and make the shoulders look straighter.  I read the product reviews on about this item and some people have said that the shoulder paddings tend to make the shoulders of the dress stand up on their own away from their shoulders, sometimes 1-2 inches higher.  I did not have this problem though. 

Anyway, I wore it all day today and loved it.  At the end of the day, it was a little wrinkly across the hips, since I was sitting a lot.  But not bad.  I'm now considering going back to Express and getting the same dress in black.  Then it will be the perfect little black dress!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Express Editor Wide Waistband Pants


I went to Express again this weekend to get some work clothes.  I LOVE their Editor Wide Waistband pants.  Not the Original Editor pants, only the Wide Waistband.  I love them because they fit so well, the material is nice and thicker than the original Editor pants, and they never wrinkle!  I own at least 6 pairs of these pants in different colors.  When they first came out, which I believe was middle/fall of last year, they only had the basic colors - black, black pinstripe, charcoal, medium grey.  I bought them all.  Then they came out with brown, and slowly more and more fun colors and patterns, like tan, white, light gray, different checkered, plaid, etc. etc.  So I bought a few more pairs.  

These pants are priced pretty well at $49 - 59 depending on the pattern/material.  The original Editor pants which are made with thinner material and sell for at least $69-89.  So these are a great deal comparatively. The main difference between the two other than material is obviously the waistband.  I like the wide waistband because they feel more comfortable and hold the tummy in place better.  And I think they make you look slimmer.  

I love the length of these pants too because the regular length is 33 inch inseam, which is absolutely perfect for me to go to work and wear heels with.  I never have to hem them.  They tend to run a little big.  I have size 0 and size 00.  The size 0s I bought were my earlier purchases.  They were fitted in the beginning, but over time have bagged out a little.  So I started buying size 00.  They fit well from the beginning too, and I can't tell whether they have bagged out or not after wear, but even if they did, I believe they still fit fine.  I don't want super tight pants for work anyways.  I just hate having too much excess material around the thighs because it reminds me of junior high when baggy pants were in style.  Eww.

The latest ones I bought are black weave, which is very similar to the picture above, but instead of brown being the main color, the ones I bought are black/dark charcoal.  I really like the pattern and color combination.  I am guilty of having pretty much only dark colored pants, but I just feel like they work well with all colored tops, and go with my black jacket.  I didn't notice when I bought them though, that they are made of cotton sateen material.  I have one pair of original Editor pants in this material, and it wrinkles pretty easily, which I found to be the case with these as well.  But the dark color hides the wrinkles fairly well.  And I made the mistake of washing my other cotton sateen pants (even though the instruction says machine wash cold), they came out looking super worn looking and wrinkly that I have not worn them since.  I even ironed as much as I could and still didn't help much.  I need to take them to a dry cleaner and see if they can salvage them by putting some starch in.  Who knows.  But I won't make the same mistake with my new ones.  To the dry cleaner they will go!  Very annoying.  I hate taking stuff to the dry cleaner.  Such a waste.  A few trips to the dry cleaners adds up to the price of the item so might as well buy a new one! 

I did notice a slight difference between my newest Editor Wide Waistband pants and my earlier ones.  There are 3 front clap closures on my older ones but only 2 on the new ones.  Also, the new ones have belt loops while the old ones do not.  I think it's nice to have belt loops even though I never need to wear a belt with them.  Sometimes if I wear a dress shirt and tuck it into my pants, it's nice to put a belt around just to complete the look.  One of my coworkers always tucks her shirt into pants but never wears a belt and it bugs me.  A lot.  Lol.  So I'm glad that they added belt loops for weirdos like me!  Pretty sure these pants are just perfect now!  Will definitely keep looking for new colors to add to my collection.  I find that with work stuff, it's best to stick with something that I know works.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Laura Mercier Waterproof Mascara

I went to Sephora yesterday to get a new mascara because I'm tired of mine.  I'm extremely indecisive, and after comparing many products, I decided on the Laura Mercier Waterproof Mascara

I had never used any Laura Mercier mascara before, but I've used other Laura Mercier products.  Such as Silk Crème Foundation which I've been using for years.  So I know that this is a nice brand that makes nice products.  

I was mainly deciding between the NARS Larger Than Life mascara and the Christian Dior Black Out mascara.  I had never used NARS mascara, but I've used their eye shadows which are amazing.  But their mascaras are not waterproof, and even though they are supposed to be smudge free, I just really would prefer a waterproof mascara.  I've used a few different Dior mascaras before.  They are pretty good in the beginning, the go on thick and give the dramatic eye opening look.  But they tend to dry out super fast.  So after maybe 2 weeks or so, the brush becomes clumpy and dry, and very hard to apply.  For $25-30 or whatever, it's not really a good product.  NARS mascara is about the same price.  Laura Mercier is priced lowest at $20.  So I figured I would give it a try.

I used it today and was pretty happy with it.  It went on super smooth and easy.  I only had to apply one coat and I could notice a big difference.  Definitely a time saver!  It was smooth all the way from the root to the end, no clumps whatsoever!  And I think it did make my lashes look longer even though it's not a lengthening mascara.  The tip of the brush is skinnier so it made it easy to apply to the lower lashes and the lashes in the corner of the eye.  Of course since it's waterproof, there were no smudges.  Taking it off was easy enough, but I think you would definitely need a good eye makeup remover.  I use the Shu Uemura Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/O and it's an amazing product for removing facial as well as eye makeup.  But I had to rub a little bit for it to come off completely, especially from the lower lashes.  So if you didn't have a good product, I would imagine it would be very hard to take off completely.  Well, let's hope this mascara won't clump up in 2 weeks!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Venezuelan Arepas & Crumbs Bake Shop

Venezuelan Arepas

I had Venezuelan arepas for the first time when I visited New York late last year and went to this restaurant called Caracas Arepa Bar.  It was amazing!  They are like mini corn meal sandwiches made in the size of an English muffin.  Basically think of an English muffin cut in half with the insides scooped out and replaced with yummy fillings.  The outside is golden and crispy, combined with the filling of your choice and sauce, sooo good!

So ever since I got back to LA, I started searching for arepa places.  Sadly, they are very hard to find here!  I almost thought about buying my own arepa maker and corn meal!  I only was able to find 2 cafes around my area that serve it.

One of them is Cafe Bolivar in Santa Monica.  It's a little cafe, and they only have 5 or 6 different kinds of arepas.  The price is extremely cheap though, around $3 each.  My favorite one there is the Reina Pepiada, which is a pretty popular arepas filling.  Basically chicken salad mixed with avocado.  Their tuna salad one is also good, and so is the one with mango, avocado and cheese filling.

The other one that I had been wanting to try but didn't have a chance to until yesterday was Coupa Cafe in Beverly Hills.  From their site I knew that they had tons more fillings for the arepas, and they even have breakfast arepas with eggs, bacon, cheese, etc.  Sounded good.  The cafe was pretty cute too, in the heart of Beverly Hills, 2 blocks away from Rodeo Drive.  The price definitely reflected the location.  Each arepa was $8, almost 3 times the cost at Cafe Bolivar!  But whatever, I was ok with that and ordered 2.  I got the Reina Pepiada again, and another one called Cami, which had some white cheese, avocado, and fried plantain.  They were both pretty good, but not good enough to cost 3 times more than Cafe Bolivar.  Plus, the service was SO slow.  I mean we waited at least 30 minutes for the food to come out.  My boyfriend got a beef and beans arepas, and a shark meat arepas which he said were ok, and my friend only got a salad.  Soooo doubt I will ever go back to that place again. 

Crumbs Bake Shop

The original Crumbs location is half a block away from Coupa Cafe on Little Santa Monica Blvd, so naturally I had to stop by there.  It was my 2 year anniversary with my boyfriend so we felt like it was ok to splurge a little calorie on Crumbs' yumminess!  


Mmmmm so delicious!  I love Crumbs cupcakes!  I don't know why anyone would go to Sprinkles when Crumbs is right there on the same street.  Their cupcakes are 3-4 times bigger than Sprinkles, and cheaper!  Or about the same price?  I can't remember.  I think Sprinkles charges over $4 for a little cupcake and Crumbs charges $3.75 for a gigantic one!  They are also prettier too hehe.  

I've tried many different flavors from Crumbs in the past, and they are all good!  Sweet of course, and probably contain a million calories (I'm not even going to look that up), but totally worth it to satisfy the sweet tooth.  

This time though, I got 2 flavors I never tried before - the "White Hot Chocolate" and the "Coffee Toffee".  White Hot Chocolate was VERY sweet.  It had all white chocolate icing, and white chocolate chips all around the side, with a few marshmellows on top.  The Coffee Toffee was less sweet, with a little bit of mocha flavor in the icing, but definitely not overpowering.  In fact, if I didn't know it was coffee flavored, I would not have guessed.  The sides are covered with bits of toffee.  So good!  I think it may be my favorite.  I'm so glad I tried it instead of going with my usual Cookie & Cream.  After this weekend I'm going have to hit the treadmill hard!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lululemon Astro Pant

I had lunch with a friend in Beverly Hills today and naturally stopped by the Lululemon store there.  They had 2 guys in the window display, one doing yoga, the other running on a treadmill.  I guess they stole the idea from the SoHo store in NYC!

I tried on the newest Astro Pant (stole this picture from one of the Lululemon Facebook pages).

This was the best picture I could find online, though it doesn't show the pants very well.  I like the waistband, it's pretty much exactly like the Astro Crop from last year.  I really like my Astro Crop, but I didn't like the pants so much.  

I tried on my regular size 4.  The waist and hips fit perfectly.  But the thigh area was too loose.  Definitely looser than the fit of the Groove Pants.  To me, the Groove Pants fit very snug all the way from the waist to the knee, then it bells out.  But the Astro Pant was a straight leg fit all the way down.  I much prefer the fit of the Groove Pants, and think the Astro Pants looked sloppy.  I'm just not a fan of loose fitting pants, especially work out pieces.  If the Astro Pants were the same fit as the Grooves, I would have bought them in a heart beat.

Maybe this picture would prove my point better: notice how there's just a little too much excess material at the knees that make her look bigger and sloppier than she really is.

They only come in one length - 35 inch inseam.  I'm 5'5 and the regular length Grooves at Lululemon fit me perfectly, so these were definitely too long.  I know Lululemon does free hemming, but it's just a nuisance to buy them and have to wait a few days for the hemming to be complete to go back and pick them up.  I wonder if I would have liked the fit better if I didn't have to stand on my tippy toes.
I wasn't very crazy about the color combination of the waistbands either.  They had all black, pink and green combo, blue and white combo, the picture above, and grey and orange combo.  If I had to pick I would have chosen the grey and orange.  None of them captured my attention the same way that the Astro Crops did though!

Oh yeah, they also had the Principle Jacket in my size so I tried it on.  My second verdict is: so cute I want it!!!


It fit much much better in my size than the size 6 I tried on a few weeks ago.  It's such a cute and flattering fit, as I mentioned in my post about it before.  I didn't realize though, that you can roll the sleeves up a little bit and there's also blue on the inside.  Looks very cute that way.  Still I couldn't bring myself to pay $108 for it though!  I want it to go on sale, but I'm afraid that if/when it does, they will be out of size 4.  I guess I will have to be patient and wait!  Maybe keep my eyes open on ebay too...

Lululemon Cool Racerback Tank - Chirp


So one of my favorite pieces from Lululemon is the Cool Racerback tank.   I have it in a bunch of different colors.  They come out with new colors in this tank relatively often since it's one of the stable pieces Lululemon carries.  I noticed yesterday that they uploaded the new chirp color online so I had to get it.  I posted a couple days ago about my new scoop neck tank in chirp.  Now I have a picture of the actual color.  

I was wary about having 2 pieces of baby yellow colored tanks.  But I really like the color, so whatever!  It's a very soft pastel yellow.  Very pretty and feminine.  Plus I wear the cool racerback tank a lot, so I'm sure I will get use out of it.  They are just simple pieces that work so well with everything.  They don't have a built in bra, but I have so many bras from Lululemon, and I welcome any opportunity to wear them.  The cool racerback tank is made of luon light, which is thinner than regular luon.  So they are good for, hmm, pretty much everything!  I've worn the cool racerback to spin class, boot camp class, boxing, yoga, running, etc. etc.  Also, the tummy area of this tank fits a bit looser, so they are good to wear for those days that I feel rather bloated.  It also has a bit more coverage than most of the other Lululemon tanks.  If I pull it all the way down, it would completely cover my butt. 

I'm always on the look out for new colors of the cool racerback!  I honestly think that if someone doesn't have a lot of money to buy different tanks from Lululemon, they should just stick with this one.  If you already have a sports bra to wear under it, you will just have to spend $39 for the cool racerback.  Sometimes cheaper if a color goes on sale. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lululemon Biker Groove Short


After patiently waiting for so long, Lululemon finally came out with spin shorts again!  They did carry spin shorts a few years ago but I missed the boat on that one and I had been waiting to get a pair for a long time, constantly keeping my eye out on ebay as well.  But nothing!  So I was ecstatic when I saw the Biker Groove Short come online on yesterday.  It's a completely new product that are not in stores (yet?).  I had to grab a pair because I knew they were going to sell out fast.  Sure enough, a few hours later they only had big sizes left.  I think they are completely gone now. 

I really liked the look of them because they are a long length short - almost the length of some of my crops.  They came in both the color above (static charcoal / dark sport gray color), which I bought, and all black.  I have too many black crops/pants, so I went with this one.  

They are priced pretty well in my opinion at $48.  Considering the little run line booty shorts and skirts Lulu sells are around $52-54.  This one obviously has way more material.  I've paid for crops that are maybe 2 inches longer at double the price!  Well these are not as technical as the run line I suppose that's where the price difference comes from.  

Anyway, they arrived today (one of the advantages of living in LA is that all my Lulu online orders arrive the next day since their warehouse is located in LA).  I really like the way they feel.  They are so silky, soft and light.  Feels thinner than regular black luon.  In fact, they feel more like the luxtreme material from the Lulu running line.  They fit is true to size.  The top fits exactly the same as my groove pants, which is what I expected since they are called biker groove short.  What you can't see from the model picture is that the opening of the legs (the rather wide band at the bottom) actually comes in pretty tight.  Presumably to keep the hems from riding up since these shorts don't come with slipless grip like some spin shorts do.  I did some running man test wearing them and they definitely stayed in place pretty well.  But they kind of pinch my skin a bit.  Not uncomfortably so, but I wish they were just a little bit looser.  

Oh yeah, they don't come with butt padding so they are not "real" bike shorts.  I only spin at the gym, and my classes are intense and require getting out of the saddle a lot.  So this is not a problem for me.  Plus I think I've trained my butt well over the years and I never get sore anymore!  But if you are looking for real technical bike shorts, these ain't it.

The length of these shorts fall on me pretty much at the exact same spot as they do on the model picture, which is a rather awkward place - it ends kind of in the middle of the knee cap.  Since they are tight at the bottom, it feels a bit weird, like my knees are being squished a little.  Hmm... so obviously when you are biking or even just walking around, they would slip up from the knee cap and end up probably right above the knee.  I don't know, I think I would prefer if they made the length either an inch longer or an inch shorter.  I could deal with it though, it doesn't bug me enough to return them or anything.  I will try them out in spin class, I have a feeling I will like them.  In the summer I can also wear them out running or to the gym.  I do like the color since I don't have any other pants in this color, and like I said before, the feel of the fabric is amazing!

These are not reversible, but since all Lululemon pants are flat seamed, I guess you could reverse them.  They just wouldn't have a logo on the inside since they are not meant to be reversible.  I wouldn't reverse the color I got, because the waistband is black on the inside.  But I believe the black ones are reversible and have logo on the waistband on both sides.  They also come with hidden pocket on the waistband like all Lulu bottoms.  

I also got another Run:Swiftly Tech SS in the new lagoon color that only hit online and not in stores yet. 


My post last week about the free Swiftly Tech I received from the Lulu run club in senorita pink has grown to be one of my favorite pieces from Lululemon.  In a week I have worn it to run, spin, and box, and loved it every single time!  Funny because I never would have bought the shirt since I thought their look was nothing special and for a few bucks more I could get the long sleeve version.  But after receiving my freebie, I had a chance to try it on and realize how great it really is!  So lightweight and comfortable - like nothing is there!  Not to mention the great wicking ability and extremely quick dry.  And very flattering fit.  So Lululemon is smart!  They gave me one free shirt and here I am buying another one a week later, and most likely more in the future.  

I love this color.  It will go nicely with all my dark bottoms.  I can't wait until more of this top comes out in all the fun colors!  I gotta be careful though - $58 each shirt will definitely add up fast!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lululemon Scoop Neck Tank - Chirp / White

Finally Lululemon came out with some new tank colors!  I went to the store on Monday and they had just gotten a new shipment in.  I saw Scoop Neck tanks in the new lagoon color (as shown in the pics below) with white trim collar, as well as chirp with white collar.


I tried both the new colors on to see which one looked better.  Well they are very different and I liked both.  But I already have tanks from last season's caribe color - very similar to the lagoon color.  So I decided to go with chirp.  It is a very soft baby yellow color.  I don't have any other tanks close to this color, so I decided to get it.  Plus it would go nicely with all my dark colored bottoms.  Very cute look for the spring!  The girl that works at the Lulu store said it would be really cute to wear on Easter.  lol... hmmm... so it looks like an Easter egg?  That almost made me rethink getting it.

I'm glad that I can pull this color off with my tan (I went tanning this weekend :), otherwise it would look washed out with pale skin.  I also hope the white trim color does not get dirty too easily.  Or worse - turn yellow after a while!  A lot of whites tend to do that.  Especially since it's right around the neck, chest and armpits where we sweat the most.  Also, I always ask for bra cup inserts with my tank purchases at Lulu, but since this tank has a wide white band around the collar, some of the cup insert shows through the lower portion of the white band.  So I always have to readjust the placement of the inserts and basically push them down and towards the sides in order to hide them out of sight completely.  Very annoying.  This is a big disadvantage of having white around the collar instead of a darker color that would hide the cup inserts. 

Anyway, there are not that many Lululemon tanks that I would spend full price on.  I always tend to buy them on sale, or on ebay.  I mostly buy their run line at full price because they are definitely worth the money and sell out super fast, especially in my size so I have no choice really.  I have also bought all my Scoop Neck tanks at full price because it is a very popular style that never goes on sale either, especially in my size.  I seriously think my size sells out the fastest.  I always see so many things I want in bigger sizes on sale but almost nothing ever shows up in mine!  

The cut of the Scoop Neck tank somehow flatters pretty much all body shapes.  I feel like it probably fits smaller chested ladies better though, since the chest portion is rather tight.  I still stay with my normal Lululemon size, but it feels tighter than other style tanks in the same size.  Though the cut along the waist makes the tank fall very nicely in the tummy area to give a slimming look.  The length is medium - shorter than the Cool Racerbacks or the Power Y tanks.  A little longer than the Athletic Deep V tanks.  I quite like the length, and I don't ever have to keep pulling down the tank when I'm exercising because it doesn't ride up like some of the longer tanks do.  It is one of my favorite tanks at Lululemon.  I've only heard good things from others about it as well.  In my opinion it is one of the must haves for someone just starting to build up a Lululemon wardrobe!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Marilyn Brush

Ugh I lost another brush at the gym.  It's like at least the 4th brush I've lost in the past year or so at the gym.  I don't know why but I guess I just forget to grab my brush when I'm done drying my hair!  It's very annoying because I don't normally notice it until the next time I'm at the gym that my brush is not in my gym bag.  That's usually when I need it the most.  I really need to just have a back up brush at all times.  I'm going to work on that.

Well anyway, since I lost my last brush, I had to get another one.  I've been using Marilyn brushes exclusively for a few years now.  I guess they are supposed to be some of the best on the market.  They are all made of boar bristles and they have different types that are supposed to be best at doing different things.  You can pretty much find them in all beauty stores, and they used to run about $40 each.  But nowadays since the economy is so bad, you can usually find them for around $25 or so, depending on the size.

Since I lose my brush so often, each time when I go to replace it, I try a new Marilyn brush.  My latest is the Jeli Ceramica brush.


This ceramic in this brush is designed to withstand high heat for long period of time, and the bristles are a little shorter, so that the hair drys faster.  I used it this morning for the first time and it worked pretty well.  I really like how the bristles are softer than my previous Marilyn brushes.  And the handle is made of foam so it's very light.  Therefore does not tire my wrist out.  I always get the 2 1/2 inch size, and this one was no exception.  I find this size perfect for my hair.  I have lots of hair, but pretty easily manageable since it's very straight.  I basically use the brush to dry and smooth it out, while at the same time adding a little bit of volume.  But I by no means spend tons of time on my hair.  So my needs are pretty basic.  No crazy hair styles for me!  This brush pretty much satisfies my needs perfectly.

Some of the Marilyn brushes I've used previously are:

Tuxedo Pro:


I think this is the most popular model they have.  Very classic Marilyn style.  It was also my first Marilyn brush ever.  This brush was very good at making my hair ultra smooth.  I remember petting my hair like it was a puppy!  But it's a lot heavier than other Marilyn brush models, so I feel like extended use of this one would give you carpal tunnel.  How sad to get carpal tunnel from drying your hair everyday!  No thanks.  Also, the boar bristles are not heat reinforced like some other Marilyn models.  Within the first few times I used this brush, some of the bristles started frying from the heat of my blow dryer!  It smelled awful and the burnt bristles were never the same since.  They pulled on my hair and hurt like hell since the heat hardened them.  So I wasn't all that upset when I lost it at the gym.  And I was definitely on the market for a different model.
I gave Marilyn another try and got the Flatten Me Too brush:


This one was definitely very different from the Tuxedo Pro.  First of all, it's hard to tell from the picture, but the brush head is not round.  It's oval.  That way, it's much easier to get the brush closer to the root.  Obviously from the name of the brush one would infer that this brush is specially designed to straighten hair.  So I guess the closer you can get from the root to start pulling and straightening, the better!  Even though my hair is very straight naturally, I found this brush pretty nice still.  It's got boar bristles mixed with plastic bristles.  And the plastic bristles were a little longer, and thinner, so I was able to get them deeper into my hair and grab onto more each stroke.  Then the boar bristles held onto the streaks of hair and smoothed and shined.  

The bristles are not heat reinforced, however, so some of the boar bristles did burn a little.  Not nearly as bad as the Tuxedo Pro though.  But still, I wish they would heat reinforce them!

The brush is very light as it's made of ceramic.  A big big change from the Tuxedo Pro that I welcomed with open arms.  

It was a pretty awesome brush overall though.  I was sad to lose it.  I seriously considered getting the exact same one again.  But then I talked myself out of it since it's always good to try new things!  

So next I got the Thermal Red:


This picture shows a smaller size, but I got it in my regular 2.5 inch size.  I got it because it advertised shorter hair drying time.  We all know that time in the morning is precious.  So the less time spent drying my hair the better.  This brush has heat reinforced bristles which actually work!  I had this brush for about a year (amazing that I didn't lose it for that long!  Definitely a record for me) and never once did any of the bristles burn under intense heat.  The bristles are supposed to be anti-bacterial too.  Whatever that means.  I did notice a slightly less drying time due to the shorter bristles.  But nothing significant.  I guess I was expecting magic, like cut the drying time in half or something.  It definitely was not THAT magical. 

This brush is pretty light too.  Maybe not quite as light as the Flatten Me Too though.  But definitely a weight that I can handle comfortably.  

I liked this brush a lot too.  But I'm looking forward to trying out the Jeli Ceramica more and seeing what the differences are.  So far it seems rather similar to the Thermal Red.  Maybe a wee bit lighter.  And softer bristles as I stated already.  But not a significant difference.  

There are still other Marilyn brushes that I have not tried.  Some I will never try, such as the ones made for coarse hair, or the ones made for lots of different styling.  There is another one I might try, the Overall Pro.  It seems like a do-it-all type of brush.  The only thing I'm concerned about is the non-heat reinforced bristles.  Now that I know most Marilyn brushes burn when they aren't heat reinforced.  So maybe not.  What I really want is to not forget my brush at the gym again!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Isopure Whey Protein & Power Crunch Bar

Isopure Whey Protein

I take whey protein everyday, and as such, I order from Vitaminshoppe's website about once a month.  According to my nutritionist, there are only two acceptable whey protein brands - Designer Whey, and Isopure.  I guess the reason is that many protein brands out there add chemicals to their products, like chemicals an average person can't even pronounce, which translates to very high sugar content or fat content.  As a result, she says that these two are the ONLY ones that contain good ingredients.  So I take her word for it.  After all, that is what I pay her for!

She likes natural and nutritious foods, but unfortunately protein supplements are necessary because it's just hard to get enough protein naturally.  In fact, most people do not get enough protein in their diet.  Protein is so good for you though, and is such a big part of weight loss and management.  It takes the body more energy to burn off protein than anything else.  So if you are doing everything else the same and just by consuming more protein, your body will work hard (burn off more calories) and you will lose weight.  Not to mention protein aids in muscle building, which also helps burn off fat.  The reason we want to take whey protein is because whey is actually from animals instead of plants, which is a better form of protein and easier for the body to digest.

A good measure of how much protein you need is how much you weigh - for someone that works out, aim for 1 gram of protein for every pound of you weight, and that's how much protein you should have a day.  For weight lifters and body builders, 1.5 grams or even 2 grams of protein for every pound.  I weigh about 125 pounds and I have about 100 grams of protein a day (including supplements).  I could technically have more, but it's hard to get more protein while keeping the total calorie intake within range.  I think my nutritionist did the best she could for me!  And it's definitely worked great at burning off my fat and giving me more energy!

I used to take Designer Whey protein.

Many people may know the name from the Biggest Loser show on NBC since they sponsor the show.  It comes in vanilla and chocolate flavors, as well as other berry flavors.  It's pretty easy to find this brand.  I've seen it being sold at Ralphs, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, aside from the specialty shops like GNC or VitaminShoppe.  For the 12.7 oz can of it, it's about $11-15 depending on where you go.

It mixes pretty well, and tastes good.  I like the chocolate flavor the best.  For one scoop, it contains 100 calories and 18 grams of protein.

But my nutritionist Allyson says that for whey protein, you really get what you pay for.  And when she's competing (she's also a body builder), she would always use Isopure.

So even though I'm not even close to a body builder, I figure that I might as well put the best shit in my body!  So I switched over to Isopure as well.


It's definitely a bit pricey.  The retail price for the 2 pound tub is $65ish.  But has the best price and I usually get it about $34.  It lasts me about a month using one scoop daily.  So it's not bad at all.  

I can definitely tell that this protein is much finer than Designer Whey.  The mixture is very very smooth and mixes extremely well.  You don't even need a shaker cup to mix this one.  You can just scoop it into some water and use a spoon to stir.  It mixes so well that there's never any clumps!  I was very impressed with that when I first switched over.  The taste is really good too.  I've tried the strawberry flavor and the caramel cookies cream flavor before.  But now I just stick with the chocolate.  The other 2 weren't bad though.  Strawberry was a wee bit salty upon first taste, which could be weird, but after that it actually becomes pretty good.  The caramel cookie cream one sounds better than it actually tastes.  For some reason I feel like it tastes more peanut butter.  Chocolate is always simple and good.  

For one scoop of Isopure, you get 100 calories which is same as Designer Whey, but you get 25 grams of protein vs. 18 grams. 

Power Crunch Bar

Aside from the Isopure Whey Protein, I also have stocks of Power Crunch bars for when I'm on the run and not able to mix a protein drink.  There are hundreds or thousands of different brands of protein bars out there.  Power Crunch is not technically a protein bar.  But it has 13 grams of protein in each one.  It's the best balanced bar (according to my nutritionist again).  It's got way less fat (especially saturated fat) and sugar than other bars I've checked.  It's amazing how much fat they pack into protein bars when you actually pay attention!  Some have more than 10 grams of saturated fat in one bar!  And upwards of 25 grams of sugar!  Unbelievable.  Sad that many people don't know better and they think they are eating something healthy!

The Power Crunch bars taste AMAZING.  I seriously could eat them everyday.  But of course they still do contain 5 grams of sugar in each bar which I just don't need.  I have one once a week at the most.  I really only have it say if I know I'll be needing a snack on a long flight, or I'm running from meeting to meeting or something like that.  I always carry one in my purse for "emergencies".  

I've tried vanilla, triple chocolate, and cookie & cream.  They all taste really really great.  I often can't make up my mind which one to buy.  The peanut butter one sounds good, but Allyson says they taste pretty bad so I've never tried one.  The Power Crunch bars have very recently changed their packaging, as shown on the picture above.  There might still be lots of bars out there with the old packaging as well. 

I buy these in boxes of 12 from too.  But they are also sold at 7-eleven, smart & final, GNC, and places like that.  The juice bar at my gym also sells them in singles.  They are about $1 each.  Vitaminshoppe seems to be the cheapest once again, at $13.  I think smart & final sells them for about $15, and GNC sells them for like $25 (which is why I never go there!). 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

VDay Roses & Baja Fresh

Well today is Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year.  I went to the San Gabriel Valley to have lunch with a friend - where the real "China town" of LA is at.  It's about 10 miles east of Downtown LA.  So after getting really full from some yummy Chinese food, I went to a florist there that does Hong Kong style wrapping for flowers.


I normally hate Valentine's Day because I feel like it's just a made up holiday for Hallmark and florists to make money.  My boyfriend and I never celebrate it.  Especially since our anniversary is exactly a week after VDay, so we rather celebrate that instead of going out and fight with the crowd on VDay.  But this year I have seen some really good deals on flowers and chocolates from different vendors.  I guess it's because of the economy.  

I've always really liked the Hong Kong style wrapping for flowers, they are just so pretty!  They use like at least 5 layers of different wrapping paper, which gives a fuller and more exquisite look to the flowers.  Each rose is wrapped with this lacy fishnet material to keep it in place.   The top of the rose is dipped in glitter, which almost makes the rose look fake, but it's real of course.  The way they do that is they hairspray the rose, then dip the top of the rose in glitter.  So the hairspray acts like a glue for the glitter, and supposedly also makes the rose last longer. 

Since I was in the Chinese hood, of course there were tons of florists that specialize in this technique, so I decided to get one for my boyfriend!  I knew that he would not be expecting that since we never do anything for VDay.  Sometimes I like the surprise more than the present itself.  

For a single rose, it was priced fairly, at $10.  Except the red one is $12.  I opted for the $10 one to save two bucks lol.  Of course $10 is kind of a lot for one rose, but it is VDay, and with all the wrapping and bow, I was totally fine with it.  The other bouquets they had that were half a dozen or a dozen were very very pretty.  They had pre-arranged bouquets, and you can also choose different colored roses to make your own bouquet.  When I was in the store, lots of guys came in to buy big bouquets.  I think they were like $60 or so for half a dozen and $120 for a dozen.  

I think the way they wrapped these roses would make them very pretty dried roses as well.  The wrapping would ensure that the rose stays up right, and probably don't even have to hang it upside down.  I do realize that all the wrapping and bow make it look extremely girly, but my boyfriend liked it.  =)

I don't think there is any florists in West LA that does the Hong Kong style flower wrapping (note to self to look it up), which is too bad.  Because San Gabriel Valley is all the way on the other side of town!  With traffic (there's always traffic), it takes at least an hour to get there.  Not worth a 2 hour round trip drive just to get some flowers.  Otherwise I would totally require that all my flowers be wrapped in that style and send my boyfriend over there every time! lol...

Baja Fresh

Well since we don't care for VDay all that much, we just picked up Baja Fresh for dinner again.  It's less than a minute walk from where I live, and it is always the fall back choice for dinner when I'm tired of making fish for dinner everyday.  I LOVE the Baja Burrito with shrimp and get it every time I go there. 


It tastes very good, and is nutritionally pretty balanced.  It's got cheese, guacamole, fresh salsa, shrimp (or any other meat of your choice), and of course the tortilla.  So basically, you get your carb from the tortilla (no rice in it so carb content is not too high), healthy fat from guacamole (of course cheese has fat too but there's not too much cheese in it), fresh salsa which is very low in calories, and a protein of choice.  So the only thing that you gotta watch out for is the sodium content.  I never looked up how much sodium is in it, but I always get very thirsty after eating it, so I'm guessing there's A LOT and I probably wouldn't want to know the exact amount.  I also think that the calorie content is probably too high for the whole burrito and I am much better off eating just half of it and save the other half for later.  But I always end up eating it all.  Oh, I also eat the chips that they give me on the side.  I guess I'm not that good at disciplining myself when it's right in front of my face!  Oh well, it's normally my "cheat meal" so whatever.  It's yummy and one of a few "fast food" restaurants that I like!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lululemon Wunder Groove Crop - Black / Generation Electric Manifesto


I ordered the Wunder Groove Crop in Black / Generation Electric Manifesto from the Lululemon Guest Education Center (GEC) earlier this week.   It's basically their phone sales center.  If you really want something and it's not in stock at the store (or don't live near a store), you can call them and they can do a stock check for all the stores in the country and ship the item to you for free if they are somewhere out there.  It's pretty great.  I had tried on these at the store but didn't buy them because I thought they were a bit too long, and even though there is free hemming, the logo on the side of the lower left leg would be hemmed off in order to get to the length I wanted.  But then I regretted not getting them, since I really do like the Generation Electric Manifesto.  By the time I went back to the store though, they were gone.  Well luckily another store about 40 minutes away had them, and the GEC was able to make my order there to ship to me.  They arrived 2 days later, which was great.

I tested these out yesterday in my yoga close and I love these!  I don't know why I hesitated before.  I have the Wunder Under Crop in denim which I love, but since it's denim luon, it is a bit thicker and heavier.  While I love the look of them (more unique and dressed up looking than regular black), they are definitely not as stretchy and comfortable as the Wunder Groove Crops.   In fact, I get prints from the hems on my calves after wearing them for a few hours.


The difference between the Wunder Groove Crops and the Wunder Under Crops is the waist.  The Wunder Grooves have the same waist and rise as the Groove Pants/Crops, which is slightly higher than the Wunder Under Crops.  I don't really find that much difference in the rise, the main reason I went for the Wunder Grooves is because they come in different colored waist bands, while the Wunder Unders only come in solid colors throughout.  Also, the Wunder Grooves are reversible, which reverses to all black - exactly like the Wunder Unders.  The Wunder Unders are not reversible.  The price difference is about $10 more for the Wunder Grooves.  So I figured why not pay $10 more for basically 2 pairs of pants?

Anyway, the Wunder Grooves are super comfortable, like a million times more comfortable than my denim Wunder Unders!  Very stretchy and lightweight.  But at the same time, they weren't as tight fitting.  So I wonder if I should have sized down in these?  I like my work out pants tight so that my muscles are more supported.  I feel I might not want to run in the Wunder Grooves because of that.  But who knows, I will have to try them out next week.

I'm still going to hem the bottom off a bit.  I really hate how long they are right now.  They hit me around the same point on my calves as the model in the pics above.  I like my crops about 3-4 inches shorter - right below the knee.  I just find that length more flattering.  At first I thought that would completely hem off the logo on the side, but I think I can manage to salvage the logo and still be fine with the length.  It would just be about an inch longer than I originally wanted, but with movement, they will go up a bit anyway and be perfect.  Or, I will have to call the GEC to inquire about hemming off the logo then ironing another one on.  I read on the Lululemon facebook page that that was possible.  But I went to 2 different stores around here and they both told me they couldn't do that.  That would be ideal.  I just really like how the logo is placed on the lower left leg on one side, and is on the back of the waist on the reversible all black side.  I feel like that's a trademark of Lululemon pants and I don't want to lose it.  

I think I now have all the pants and crops I want from Lululemon, in all the colors I want, unless they come out with some other tight running crops that I can't resist.  But I'm pretty happy with my bottoms selection right now.  I just love having all these technical and functional pieces to work out in while looking great!  I know it's silly but it definitely motivates me to wake up at 5:30 am everyday and head to the gym knowing that I have such cute clothes to wear.  =)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lululemon Move It Messenger Bag - Sidewalk


I had to get the Lululemon Move It Messenger in Sidewalk (gray) the other day.   This came out about two weeks ago in stores, and I didn't think I needed a messenger bag then so I didn't get it right away.  Then it came out online about a week ago, and the gray one sold out super fast.  So by the time I decided that I wanted to get it, they only had black and pink left. Then a couple days later, all the colors were sold out.  I had to call multiple stores to ask if they still had the gray one, and Santa Monica had just one left that was on their mannequin.  So they put it on hold for me and I went to get it about an hour later.  They told me that someone already tried to steal it!  But they held it for me of course.  I guess everyone wants this bag for some reason and they flew off the shelves like crazy!  So I'm glad I got the last one available in the color I wanted!

I like the gray one the best because it has the pink zipper.  Plus it's a nice classic color anyway.  I think the pink zipper is a nice pop of color though, and that makes the bag unique.  Black is a little boring for me.  It would be cool if they put a teal zipper in or something, then I would definitely get it.  I wouldn't mind the pink bag, but I wish the zipper was a contrasting color too.  Besides, I think gray is a little more versatile, especially for those days that I don't feel like being so perky with a bright pink bag!

I got the Move It Messenger because it looks very cute as a gym bag or an everyday bag, or a travel bag.  It looks very slick.  And it is VERY large.  In fact, I feel like it almost buries my frame when I carry it haha.  Since my work is moving, I won't be able to come home after the gym in the mornings and drop off my gym bag before going to work.  So I figured I would use the Move It Messenger as a gym bag for a while.  That way I can have a big space to store my gym gear and still be stylish and not have to lug a gym bag or duffle bag around.

I really like how the Move It Messenger is one large bag from the flap to the bottom of the bag.  Basically the zipper on the flap is the only way to access the bag.  So you lift up the flap, unzip it, and that's how you access the main compartment of the bag.  When the flap is folded down and zipped up, there is no way anything would fall out of the bag.  Nor would anyone be able to steal anything unless they cut the bag open.  My stuff will be very secure that way.  There are also 2 big additional pouches on the front with pockets for phone and ipod, and whatever else you would like to store.  That's easy to access, you just lift up the flap a little and you would be able to reach those pockets.  The back of the bag is also a big zipper pocket, and it's supposed to be able to fit a 15 inch lap top.  Though I think a 17 inch might fit too!  Like I said, it's a really big bag.  

I used it for the first time today, and I put in a pair of high heel sandals, jeans, whole gym outfit, makeup, wallet, and other misc. little things and it still wasn't even half full.  Wow.  But since the inside compartment is one gigantic pocket, everything is stored altogether.  I think stuff could get lost in there pretty easily and would require lots of searching around. 

The bag also has no shape of its own, so it collapses when there's nothing in it.  But I think it still looks decent even when it's almost empty, it still looks like a messenger bag, so that doesn't bother me with this bag.  The shoulder strap also has room for cell phone.  That is very convenient, except it's just a little bit tight for my iphone.  I would have to shove it in.  And it doesn't fit all the way in, so I highly doubt I will use this feature unless I don't mind losing my phone.  The shoulder strap is not padded at all, and that makes the bag quite uncomfortable on the shoulder when it's heavy.  I don't like that.  What's the point of having a bag that could fit literally everything when it hurts your shoulder to carry it?  I wish they would have put a little padding on it like on their gym bags.  I wonder if I should get one of those car seat belt padding thingies and use on this bag!  LOL!  Definitely would be comfortable...

I normally carry a purse for my day to day activities.  Of course I have Lululemon gym bags that I use for the gym.  But lately I've been unhappy with my gym bags which is why I wanted another bag also.  I have the Essential Gym Bag in aruba / manifesto.  

It's a nice bag that comes with all the marked pockets, removable pouches for dirty shoes and sweaty cothes, lap top holder, yoga mat strap, etc. etc.  But I got tired of the color.  I feel too much like a middle school girl when I carry this bag.  Plus it is on the small side.  Though it's wide, and can hold my sneakers as well as spin shoes and a change of clothes all at the same time.   I just would like a little more room for extras.  I wish I had got the black one instead.  I actually got the black for my mom and she uses it to travel, she loves it!

The material of the black one is a very nice and soft leather feel, versus the fabric material on mine.  It's much nicer.  Plus the inside has purple manifesto swirl which is super cute!
I think I will put my Essential Gym Bag on ebay soon.   I don't think I will use it again, not even as a travel bag, since it's too small for that unless I plan to be gone only one night or something.  

I got the Get Set Go Duffle when it went on sale a couple months ago and I have been using it as a gym bag ever since.  I actually used it to travel first, which was VERY nice.  It is much bigger than the Essential Gym Bag, and it fits even more in it than you would think possible.  I can definitely use this bag for a weekend trip and would have no problem fitting everything.


I got the Coal/Antidote color.  The antidote accent lines look yellow in the picture, but they are actually more green in real life.  It's pretty bright, and the coal portion really looks black.  It is very very dark.  I don't mind this color combo.  It gives the dark coal color more pop.  And overall it's more muted than my Essential Gym Bag since it is mostly coal still, so I can definitely use it more.  The only problem I have with this bag is that it doesn't have any shape to it.  So when it's not filled to the top with stuff, it can basically bend into any shape, which are not very attractive looking usually.  Sometimes it just looks like an odd shaped ball of fabric when I use the shoulder strap.  So I would have to use the handles instead and wear it more like a purse.  It retains its shape much better that way, since the handles pull from front and back of the bag, and the shoulder strap pulls from the sides.  But I think this bag is better as a travel duffle than a gym bag.  So I will see how the Move It Messenger works for a while, but I have a feeling I will buy another gym bag.  Just because the messenger style bag may not be the best to use as a gym bag.  Who knows, we'll see.  No hurry though, I'm going to wait until an absolutely perfect one comes along and decide!

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