Saturday, March 31, 2012

Some Very Cute Express Stuff

I bought a few more things online last week from Express for work mostly.  They are having their semi-annual clearance right now so there are some pretty good deals.  I received my package today and I've got to say, I love every single one of them!  This is a surprise because I wasn't too sure about most of them when I made my purchase.  I expected to return at least half of them, but I'm definitely keeping them all!

My #1 surprise was this Oversized Drape Neck Pullover Sweater.  

I only bought it because it is on sale for $19.99, with additional 30% off at check out.  I think it ended up being $13.  So I figured I'd give it a try, even though I don't know about this baggy style.  I feel like this style is usually hit or miss.  But it's so cute!  It doesn't add bulk at all because it's cut in a very flattering way.  It's actually very slimming.  The sweater knit has sheen to it so it's very pretty.  I bought it in the above color which they call "ivory" but really it looks white/silver.  I bought it in size XS and it fits nicely but looks a couple inches shorter on me than it does on the model.  The drape neck goes very low so you definitely need to wear a tank under.  I think it will go with pretty much any color underneath.  I love it!  I am thinking of getting the black one also.  It's such a good deal!  And it will work for many different occasions.

I also bought another pair of Wide Waistband Editor pants, in a gray "Spring Tweed".

These pants are so pretty!  They kind of have a little sheen to them too, but they are pretty much just gray.  I love the fit of these pants.  Basically Express Wide Waistband Editor pants are all I wear to work.  And when I first started buying them from Express when they first came out a few years ago, they made them soooo big.  I had to buy them in size 00.  Then later on they made them smaller and I became in between size 0 and size 2.  The last 2 pairs I bought were in size 2 and they are a little loose so I wear them if I feel bloated.  I bought these new ones in size 2 as well, but they fit really well!  The waist fits perfectly and the butt and thighs are definitely tighter than my other size 2s.  Express is very inconsistent.  Oh well.  You win some and you lose some.  They are also on sale for $55, and I had a discount card from them so I ended up paying about $35 for these.  Pretty cool.

Next I bought the Mesh Wedge Pullover in purple.

This sweater actually also has some silver in the thread... lol.  I love it.  I really like wearing dolman style sweaters to work, so I know I will wear this one a lot too.  The color combo is nice.  And it is also on sale for $29.99 with additional 30% off.  So ended up being $20.  It was a deal I couldn't pass on.  I think it will go with all my black and gray bottoms.  I bought it in size XS but I think S could also work because it is a little bit on the short side.  It's still a loose fit though.

Lastly, I bought this Stripe Cotton Boyfriend Cardigan.

I bought this cardigan in size XS as well but it still fits big.  They must have pinned back the back of it on the model because no way it would fit her tight around the waist like that.  I think it's supposed to fit loosely because of the boyfriend style.  I can literally put it on pullover style without having to unbutton it.  Good for lazy ol' me.  It's also very soft and light weight.  I can see many different occasions for this as well.  Oh yeah, this one is on sale too for $29.  

Hmm I must search more on the Express website and see if there's anything else I want while the sale still lasts!  I love that I spent $100 after taxes and shipping for 4 items!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lululemon Post Run Pullover

I finally got a Post Run Pullover on ebay!  I remember very clearly that when this pullover was uploaded, I was in Portland for some work thing and by the time I was able to get online, it was completely sold out!  I don't think it ever made its way over to SoCal... at least I missed it completely.  It looks so darn cute!  So I was very glad to finally see one on ebay a couple weeks ago.  Now I am a proud owner of the one in very violet.

Hehe Whiskey was bothering me when I was taking this photo.  Maybe this one is better... or not...

Anyway, I love this color in this pullover.  But I didn't expect it to fit as tight as it does.  I kind of expected it to fit similar to the Apres Run pullover which is a bit roomier and/or longer, if I remember correctly.  I ended up returning that pullover because I wasn't too crazy about black after all.  

I also thought the neckline of the Post Run would be looser as well because I really liked the more plunging neckline on the Apres Run.  So maybe a size up in this one would work better for me.  Oh well, I still like it though, and it's pretty soft and warm!  I think it will be a nice thing to put on real fast to go walk the dog or run errands.  It was just one of those things that I really regretted missing out on, and had to have!  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Obol, the Never-Soggy Cereal Bowl

Ok, I know this is very silly but I have this issue with eating cereal where I never really want it to touch the milk for too long.  I just hate soggy cereal!  So a while ago I was at Brookstone and saw the Obal Never-Soggy Cereal Bowl, and thought that my prayers had been answered!  It's so simple, yet awesome.

Tadaaaa!!!  Amazing.  Now I can eat my cereal in peace and not have to wolf it all down before it gets soggy like I used to do.

I actually put this bowl on my wedding registry, but nobody got it for me.  WTH?  Actually not that many people got us presents anyway, we got mostly cash.  So much cash, in fact, that we made a couple grand from our wedding... LOL!  So I guess I really can't complain that people would rather write me a $200 check than buy me a $20 bowl.  Come to think of it actually, why didn't I just buy it myself?  It's only $20... I've surely spent way more money than that in a blink of an eye...

But my awesome husband ended up buying it for me as a surprise!  I was so excited, I don't know what's wrong with me.  But seriously, how awesome is this bowl!  I don't like too much milk anyway, so I just do a spoonful of cereal, and then dip it in milk, then eat and take my sweet time.  All my problems are solved.

At the time my husband bought it, they only had green and orange colors.  But the blue one below is mighty pretty.  I love the idea of putting milk and oreo cookies in the same bowl too without the cookies getting soggy!  Oh the endless possibilities...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Funday!

This week was a good workout week for me.  I finally went back to my weight training program after taking 3 weeks off to baby my back.  I can't believe how sore I got afterwards!  I mean it's not like I haven't worked out at all for the past 3 weeks, but lifting heavy weights is just totally different.  I really love it and am so glad to be back doing it.

Ok, here we go with the outfits this week!

Tuesday 3/20
What I did:  I picked off where I left off with stage 3, workout B of my program.

What I wore:  It's kind of ironic, but I wore the same tank that I was wearing when I fell and hurt my back!  I didn't even realize it until afterwards.  I wore the Lululemon Power Y tank in discover stripe, with power purple groove pants and my Nike Free shoes.

I also have a work outfit from Tuesday.  I wore this older Express cowl neck sweater I've had for a while, with the Tahari Sara Skirt and Michael Kors Fleur Tall Boot.  I'm actually wearing my Lululemon Wunder Unders as tights under my boots, because it was so cold!

Wednesday 3/21
What I did:  Workout A of my training program.

I wore my Lift Your Spirits jacket as to/from.

Thursday 3/22 & Friday 3/23:  I did not workout these days since I was so sore from my weigh lifting sessions!  I figured I'd get back slowly so I needed the rest!

But I do have one work outfit though, from Thursday.  Here I am wearing this sapphire blue tank from Victoria's Secret, with an Armani Exchange wrap sweater over.  And Express Wide Waistband Editor pants in charcoal.  Complete with my black peep toe pumps with gold trim.  

Oh yeah, Whiskey found a new toy this week, which is this stuffed animal dog that my hubby won for me at some carnival thing a couple years ago.  He's been obsessed with his dog!  Carrying it with him everywhere, tossing him in the air and catching him, it's so cute.

Hehe.  So cute!

Saturday 3/24
What I did:  Boxing!  I hadn't done boxing in quite a while, and I think my boxing teacher became crazy during my time off.  He literally had us do all kinds of box jumps for the first 20 minutes as "warm up", and then a hard boxing session, and then end with more legs and treadmill runs at the end.  Death.  My back, shoulders and legs are all sore today!

What I wore:  Lululemon cool racerback tank in little boy blue, and bright blue Flow Y bra under.  With matchy matchy bright blue Passion Crop and Nike Frees.  Yep, a lot of blue.

As to/from, I wore my Flashback jacket in dark classic sport gray/angel blue, and white Dance Studio pants.  It was really cold!

I also have a going out on the town outfit as well from last night.  It was a friend's birthday and we went to Hollywood.  Though me and my husband just hung out with them for the bar part, not the clubbing part afterwards.  We are seriously too old for clubbing.  

I wore my Tiziana Cervasio color block sweater dress, which I was going to return but never got around to doing so.  I'm actually glad I kept it because I kind of like it now.  It is still a little scratchy when I first put it on but I didn't feel it during the evening.  It's also rather short, but I think it's not bad with tights under...?!  At least it covers up on top... lol.

When I was in Europe I saw lots of girls wear short sweater dresses with boots and a leather jacket.  They all looked very cute, so here's my attempt to copy that look!  LOL!  I wore my Express jacket, and my Ash Orchid boots which I am really glad I bought because I can wear them to work or night out and they are super comfortable too!

I think Whiskey looks so funny in this picture.  Kind of grumpy... like he knew we were going to leave him soon!  Hehe.

Sunday 3/25
What I did:  A lot of weight circuit stations and treadmill sprints.  All while being still so sore from yesterday's boxing session!  It was a killer.

What I wore:  Lululemon Cross My Heart tank silver spoon, and matching Wunder Groove crop in whatever quilt waistband, and also my Adidas adizero adios 2 shoes.

I wonder if more colors will come out in the Cross My Heart tank.  I wouldn't mind another one!  I find this tank to be super flattering around the boobs.  It really lifts them up instead of smashing them down like most tanks/bras.

I usually hem my Lulu crops, but never got around to hemming these Wunder Grooves.  So this is how long they look on me... almost pants lol.

It is raining cats and dogs here today, and super cold!  So I wore my Turn Around LS and my senorita pink Inspire Jacket, with my Bear Paw boots!

I love this jacket on a rainy gray day because it's so bright and cheerful!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Few Sunscreen Reviews

About a month ago, I bought a few different facial sunscreens from Sephora in order to use up my 2011 FSA balance.  In case you didn't know, FSA is a flexible spending account that the government allows you to contribute money from your paychecks to pre-tax and get reimbursed on qualified expenses you made during the year.  The qualified expenses are usually medical expenses, and used to include over the counter medicine.  But due to the healthcare package that was passed, you now have to have a prescription even for OTC drugs in order to get FSA reimbursement.  Well of course I did not know that, so when I tried to spend my money from my 2011 balance I was told that I could not just go buy a bunch of Advil.  I way over estimated how much money to contribute last year, and ended up with about $250 left over.  Since it's use it or lose it, I had to find some stuff to spend money on.  My employer allows a catch up period so I could still spend my 2011 money this year during the first couple months.  I did some research and found out that sunscreens that are over SPF 30 (that does not include SPF 30) are eligible!  Oh, and so are condoms.  But not OTC drugs.  How silly!

Oh well, so it was time to get busy shopping on  $250 sounds like a lot of money to spend on sunscreen, but really it's not, if you are shopping at Sephora.  I decided to try a few different brands.  I'll start with my favorite.

Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Lotion - SPF 38:

This was the first time I had tried the Shiseido brand.  I was really pleasantly surprised by how nice this sunscreen is!  It goes on super smooth, gets absorbed quickly, does not leave any residue, and smells great (not like sunscreen at all)!  It feels so light on, you would never know that this was sunscreen.  I like the high SPF as well.  It works great under makeup, and does not make your face shiny at all even after wearing it all day.  I really love it!  This bottle is 3.3 oz, and it costs $34.  It's a little bit runny consistency, but you do not need to use a lot each time and I think it will last a long time.  It also comes in higher protection, like SPF 60.

Shiseido Sun Protection Eye Cream 32 SPF:

Another winner from Shiseido.  This eye cream is amazing.  I only wish the protection was higher, like 50 SPF??  It feels similar to the facial lotion, but it does not sting your eyes at all if it accidentally gets in.  My eyes are super sensitive to sunscreen, and if any gets in my eye I will be tearing for hours.  I've done sweaty workout sessions after putting this on and have not felt any discomfort whatsoever.  The lotion above though, does sting my eyes.  I found out the hard way while doing hot yoga and could not keep my eyes open half way through class.  

I put this eye cream on both my upper eyelid as well as the areas beneath my eyes and around the corner of my eyes.  The tube is quite small, at only 0.507 oz for $32.50, but you really only need a tiny bit each time so I think this one will last a while too.  I put it on under my makeup every morning after I apply eye cream.  So I guess each morning I have 5 layers on my eye area... a serum, a moisturizing eye cream, this sun protection eye cream, my BB cream, and a little bit of powder to finish off.  LOL... it's a process.

This is a very nice sunscreen.  It's very similar to the Shiseido one, and I think I may like it even slightly better than the Shiseido.  But it just comes down to cost.  This one is only 1 oz for $45, compared to Shiseido's 3.3 oz for $34.  SPF 40 and SPF 38 are pretty much the same, so you do the math.  I like it ever so slightly better, that it does not justify the big difference in price.  What I like better about it is that it makes my skin super silky feeling after putting it on.  And it may control shine a little bit better throughout the day.  Otherwise it feels very similar to Shiseido.  The consistency even looks exactly the same.  

Ok just for the record, this was not FSA reimbursable since it is not a pure lotion.  FSA doesn't allow reimbursement for foundations or powders with SPF built in.  Only strict sunscreen lotions.  Plus this one is only SPF 30, FSA will reimburse only if it's at least SPF 31.  Haha.

I was actually mainly curious what this BB cream was like compared to my Nanoce.  It costs quite a bit more, at $37.  I think all of Sephora's BB creams are over priced actually.  I ended up returning this after using it a couple times.  The color was not right for me to begin with.  I got the lightest color since the other one was out of stock.  And it is too light for me.  It's very white, almost ghostly.  But you can spread it out and it looks better.  This BB cream is extremely dry, which from what I heard about BB cream is kind of an oxymoron.  BB creams are supposed to make your skin look supple and moist.  This Clinique BB cream feels just like any liquid foundation.  The coverage is not bad though.  I actually liked the color when I put it around my eye area.  But it's not worth it to keep around just for my eyes.

I love my On the Go Cleanser and Walnut Complexion Scrub from Ole Henriksen, so I had high hopes for this sunscreen.  But it is just ok.  This is the only sunscreen out of everything I bought that actually smells like sunscreen.  It's also a lot drier than the Shiseido and Laura Mercier ones.  So it feels a little bit heavy to wear under makeup.  It's not bad, and if I didn't have the other 2 to compare, I would probably like it fine.  But it's just a little underwhelming, nothing to write home about.  At $35 for 1.7 oz, it's not really worth it.  Once again, the Shiseido one is a much better value and nicer product.

And that's all!  I actually just noticed that Shiseido now has another product - the Urban Enviornment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42.  I love the fact that it's oil-free and am intrigued by it.  It does cost a lot more than the one I have, at $30 for 1 oz.  I wonder if it's an even more amazing product!  Might give it a try a little later, since I do have 2012 FSA balance as well... LOL!  So I guess every year from now on I will just contribute a couple hundred bucks into my FSA account and buy lots of sunscreens with it.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lululemon Hot Class Tank in Chirp!

I'm so happy with my latest eBay score - the Hot Class tank in chirp!  I love these tanks, in fact I don't know what I was thinking when I returned the one in violaceous.  I must've been on crack.

I'm not normally a fan of yellow, but I really liked chirp because it's such a soft yellow.  I had bought the Cool Racerback in it, but then returned it for the Scoop Neck.  Another decision I regret.  I so wish I had kept the cool racerback!  I have since sold the Scoop Neck as well, because one day I decided to sell all 6 of my Scoop Neck tanks - I find the neck too tight and hurts after a while of wearing.  So I didn't have any tank in chirp anymore, until now!

In the pic I am wearing it with very matchy matchy Team Spirit crop in coal/chirp.  I wear these crops all the time.  You can't really see well in this photo, but in person you can kind of see the waistband of the crops even with the tank over it.  It's a little bit see through I think, since the color is so light.  But whatevs, it doesn't bother me.  Just happy to add another one to my collection now!  I am such a hoarder with tanks I love!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Funday!

Well it's this time of the week again!  I began to finally feel like my old self with my back pain going away.  Not completely yet, but definitely better.  I went to see my doctor about it on Monday, he pretty much said it will just take time since it's a muscle injury, not bone.  There's not even a point in taking x-ray.  He told me to just stretch and put mild heat on it.  So after the doc appointment, I figured hey, what better way to get stretch and heat in at the same time than hot yoga???  I haven't been to hot yoga forever! Not any kind of yoga actually.  And I miss it.  So I went back to CorePower and promptly bought myself a new package so it will motivate me to go back more often.

Monday 3/12
What I did:  Hot yoga, duh.

What I wore:  Lululemon Practice Freely tank in lavender dusk, with my gray Ebb & Flow crops.  I was a little afraid that the light color of the crops would show sweat stain as well as my butt while doing hot yoga, but it was ok.  I did sweat a lot, but the crops did not show sweat at all.  I actually really really liked them for hot yoga because they are so stretchy and absorbed sweat well.  As to mooning everyone behind me, well no one said anything to me!  Hehe.  I guess when you are in downward dog, the people behind you would actually be looking the opposite direction anyways.

This picture was actually taken right after the class.  Both crops and tank did not show any sweat.  But trust me I was dripping wet!

I also have a work outfit for Monday.  It was actually the only day I took a work outfit photo.  I guess I kind of just forgot to do it the rest of the week.  =(

I wore my DEPT knit dress and my Ash Orchid boot:

Tuesday - Thursday:  I took all 3 days off!  I was pretty sore after the yoga class.  It's so weird how that happens, since I do lift weights and workout quite often.  You wouldn't think I'd be that sore.  But yoga just gets me in different areas!  I also found out how inflexible I am now compared to when I did yoga regularly.  

Friday 3/16:
What I did:  I did a hard heavy weight training class, with treadmill sprints in between weight sets.  It was a killer.

What I wore:  Lululemon No Limit tank in white, and my new CW-X Pro Crop and Adidas adizero adios 2 shoes.  It was awesome.

It was a cold day, so I put on my coal Dance Studio Pants over.  And wore my Lift Your Spirits Jacket which I love.

Saturday 3/17
What I did:  Whole body weight training as well as 30 minutes of running.

What I wore:  I totally forgot to wear green!!!  I wore my pink Tri Y tank with black Ebb & Flow crops and New Balance Minimus Road shoes.

It was really cold so I wore my white Swiftly LS over the tank, thinking that I'd wear it through the whole workout, but I got hot after running for like 10 minutes and took it off.

It was raining, so I put my senorita pink Inspire Jacket on as to/from.  I heart this jacket so much.

Sunday 3/18
What I did:  Circuit training class with different cardio and weights stations.  Basically a whole body weight training class with 1 minute sprints in between.

What I wore:  Lululemon cool racerback in wish blue, and Empower crop in coal/passion, with my Adidas shoes again.

As to and from, I put on my bold blue Run Brisk pullover.  Why are bold blue and wish blue 2 different colors?  They are so similar!  I love this pullover though.  It's one of a few Lululemon items I own that I will not sell for any price.  Most of the other things I own I can be persuaded into parting with for the right price... hahaha.

So you may be wondering why Whiskey did not follow me around and sit on my foot while I took most of these pictures.  Well, he's been such a lazy puppy!  He doesn't even give his full effort when playing tug of war.  And forget about playing fetch, he just looks at it and lays down.  When we take him out to pee, he pees and immediately drags us back in.  I tried going running with him on like Thursday and he literally dragged me back inside.  What the heck?  And what is he doing right now as I'm typing this?  Sleeping!  And snoring!  

This is what he looked like all week, I think he was sleeping more than he was awake:

What a good life.

After seeing this collage, my husband said "wow, what are you gonna do when you have a kid?".  Whatever, Whiskey is so cute!  

Oh this one was kind of funny, he was chewing his bone and decided to use my husband's baseball cap as his bone holder... LOL!

Ok enough about the lazy puppy.  I do have a couple more outfits to share from readers that sent in pictures.  First one is from the same person as the layered swiftly outfit.  This one is the same short sleeve white/ultraviolet swiftly paired with violaceous Groovy Run shorts, which is pretty much identical to ultraviolet.  She also wore her swiftly arm warmer and ultraviolet running cuff.  She says she runs with her dog and uses the cuff to "store a couple of  poop bags, my key and a bit of money. I store dog treats in the two front pockets of my running shorts, and my ipod in the back zipper pocket. And with that I'm fully loaded!"  That's a pretty good amount of stuff to store and I can't even see any of it!  I love getting ideas of where to store things when running with dogs.  I may need to buy the cuffs too.  And then get my lazy puppy up and running!

Here are 2 other OOTD photos from another reader.  First one is the Run Distance pullover in pigment blue, with gray wunder under crops.  I actually tried on these crops in store and almost bought them.  I remember how soft they were!

And the second picture, she is wearing the gray Fireside jacket with bold blue/wish blue (?) Wunder Under crops.  Basically reverse the colors of photo #1.  Super cute!  I like colorful bottoms but I haven't collected enough courage to own any lol.

Thanks for sharing the photos!  

Friday, March 16, 2012

CW-X 3/4 Pro Tight

I finally decided to order some CW-X tights after hearing great things about them from different people.  So I went on Zappos and ordered the 3/4 Pro Tight since they appear to be the shortest (16 inch inseam, whereas other crops are 18 inch inseam), and they are all black.  CW-X makes some crazy looking tights with colorful lines all over!  A little too much for me.  I just wanted good old black as my first pair.

Logo on both legs... a little weird

I love Zappos, they have free one day shipping, and free return!  So these were $85, with free shipping, and no taxes!  That's actually cheaper than most Lululemon tights that are $88 + 10% tax.  But I must say the quality is definitely superior to Lululemon.

The available sizes for these were XS - L.  I first ordered a size S which is what I normally wear.  But they were very tight!  The material is thicker and not very stretchy at all, so different from Lululemon's luxtreme that I'm used to.  So they were very hard to put on.  I was able to eventually put them on, but I thought they were just way too much compression for me, and cut in around the waist and leg opening.  So I sent them back and ordered a size M.  A day later, I received them.  They definitely fit better than S.  But they are still not as easy to put on as my Lulu tights.  You kind of have to wear them like stockings, pull up little by little and adjust the fit.

I think these tights look pretty cool and make your legs look slimmer.  I love that they have the bands all over the tights that mimic sports tape.  I immediately felt the support that the bands offer when I put them on the first time.  I did some test squads and things like that and I could definitely tell a difference.  Today I wore them during my workout and they were awesome!  I ran and did weights.  They support the knees and quads really well, I can see why people say that their knee problems go away when they wear CW-X tights.  I felt lighter with them on, like I could go faster and longer.  They kept everything in place and my squads and lunges also felt a lot more stable.  Can you believe tights can make your balance better?  Lol.  Must be all the criss cross taping around the knees.  I also got lots of compliments at the gym from different people wanting to know where they were from.

Here are some detailed shots from Zappos where you can see the bands better:

So the logo is on both legs - on the front of the right leg and back of the left as well as back of the waist, to ensure that people can see what brand you are wearing from all directions.  Lol.

The waist goes all the way up to my natural waist.  This is the only thing I am not 100% happy with - I wish they had a wide waistband!  The little thin waistband digs in very easily.  I think you can see it on this closer up picture even though I have a tank over it.  So if you are feeling bloaty one day, you better wear a loose tank with it!  Haha.

And here's the picture of the almost non-existent waistband from Zappos:

There is a very very long tie on the waistband.  Why?  I don't know.  These are tight enough that you won't need to tie it some more to keep them in place.  So I took mine out and chucked it, it was a little ridiculous to try tucking them in.  And the tights didn't move at all during my entire workout today.

There is also a little key pocket inside the waistband.  But it is not built in like Lululemon pants.  It's just a little pocket that hangs out there.  So after you put on them on, you have to go in and tuck the pocket so it lays flat.  But it's nice to have it in case you go running outside and need a pocket to store keys.

Overall I really like these tights!  Like I said, they are much thicker than Lululemon's luxtreme.  So I wonder if they will be hot to wear in the summer.  It's pretty cold here today, so they didn't make me hot at all.  They also wicked sweat pretty well and dried fast.  I think they will become my new go-to tights for running or other high impact activities from now on.
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