Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cute Ivivva Legwarmers!

I ordered the Ivivva Breathe Relax Love legwarmers since they are now on sale for $19.  They arrived today which couldn't have been more perfect!  It's been super cold here this week.  Well, cold for us Southern Californians at least.  In fact, I read that the famous New Year's Day Rose Parade in Pasadena may hit the lowest temperature this year out of its 126 year history!  The coldest so far has been in 1952, when it was 32 degrees.

So, I came home from the cold and rainy day and found the much needed legwarmers!  They are super cute and cozy too, I've been wearing them ever since I took them out of the package!  They are definitely doing the job of keeping my legs warmer hehe.  I got the heathered medium grey color in size M/L, which seems to be sold out online now.  They still have pink and deep zinfandel though - so tempting!  If I lived in a colder place, I'd buy so many legwarmers.

This is how long the M/L size looks on me - They actually go over the knee like they do on the little girl models lol:

I think they look cute scrunched up though:

This is the front close up - after a few hours of wearing, they haven't lost shape and stay in place pretty well:

The back has the braided design.  Oh and I also love that they are the stir-up style so the bottom stays in place!

The Ivivva logo is pretty subtle on these - on the left one only:

I'm pretty happy I got these!  They look super cute with my Manitobah Mukluks over too.  Now I will be nice and toasty for this week.  Then it goes back up to the 80s next week (that's seriously what they are forecasting) and these will sit in my drawer for a year lol.  This delivery timing is impeccable.

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Funday!

What a weird week!  I think my schedule got totally messed up because I had Thursday off work for Christmas, then had to go back on Friday, followed by 2 more days off this weekend.  Next week is going to be the same thing!  You know, working in finance really sucks when it comes to time off.  We work when the market is open... and the market is only closed for like 10 days a year in the US.

As I mentioned in the last post, Nordstrom kind of screwed me on my Christmas present from my bf.  But I've been enjoying the gag gift he got me!  I've been mixing my St Germaine with champagne and fresh lemon juice... yum!  This drink completely replaces mimosas for me.  I don't really drink much nowadays, since I prefer to eat my calories, but this drink is worth it!

I gotta get the cucumber infused vodka next, and mix it with my St Germaine for more beverage creations!  Hehe.

So after I got back from New Orleans, I was surprised that I didn't really gain weight even though I ate so much good food there!  I still gained a little overall from this holiday season though.  So I decided this week to just do a lot of cardio instead of my usual weights program.  I still did some weights, but mostly lighter sets.  So now I've had 2 whole weeks off from my usual weight training!  I will be getting back into it next week, which will coincidentally be the start of my 3rd month on the Get Glutes program.  I'm looking forward to it!  I think I will continue doing more cardio than usual until I get to a comfortable spot, and then focus mainly on weights again.  I'll be like one of those New Year's Resolutionists, and spend the next month working long and hard!

Monday 12/22
What I did:  45 minutes on the gauntlet.  I did moderate intensity interval training the whole time.

What I wore:  Lorna Jane Dantelle tank in ocean with Lorna Jane Lustre bra in sparkly fluro orange under.  Lululemon Mod Moves crop, and Nike Free 3.0 in gray/crimson.

Lululemon Be Present jacket in coco pique as to and from:

Tuesday 12/23
What I did:  I kind of killed myself - I started by running at a moderate speed for 30 minutes on 2% incline, which is harder for me nowadays since I haven't really ran in years.  Then I realized that a 45 min conditioning class was starting so I took that!  It was pretty hard.  I was totally dying by the time it was done.

What I wore:  Lululemon Energy SL in potion purple with Ivivva Rhythmic Crop in houndstooth fairy emboss, and Nike Free 3.0s.  It was the first time I had worn this tank in years I think, mainly because it says "Run" on it so I feel like I can only wear it when I run... lol!

Wednesday 12/24 - I think it was a combination of not getting enough sleep and killing myself with the previous day's workout, but I was SO tired.  I had a Christmas Eve party to go to, so I came home early from work and took a 3 hour nap instead of going to the gym.  I needed that!

Thursday 12/25 
What I did:  I worked out in my apartment gym.  They finally finished remodeling it and it's much nicer now.  Sometimes I just don't feel like driving to the gym.  I ran for 30 minutes, and then did a quick whole body weight circuit.

What I wore:  In the spirit of Christmas, I wore my version of red and green!  Puma mesh gym tank with Lululemon Free To Be bra in very green under.  Lululemon Speed Short in savasana camo fatigue green, and Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 4 shoes in venom/turbo green.

Friday 12/26
What I did:  I did a 45 minute MIIT workout on the gauntlet again.  Then I did 5 or so weight exercises.

As to and from, I wore my Lorna Jane Motivate LS.

Saturday 12/27 - I ended up cleaning the house (really needed to!) then getting drunk haha.  So rest day.

Sunday 12/28
What I did:  I discovered that the new upgraded gym at my building now has Fitness On Demand.  It's basically a touch screen interface that is connected to a big TV in one of the rooms.  This thing has tons of virtual group fitness classes on it!  It's basically like working out along with a DVD, just lots of options to choose from.  The classes range from cardio, to weights, dance, pilates, yoga, and cycling!  It's actually quite awesome.  I chose a spin class, since it had been a long while.  The class was pretty good!  The TV screen showed beautiful scenery as you ride on the virtual road (I chose Colorado, but they had tons of other places) as well as a small picture of a person performing the workout according to the instruction.  It also came with good music, verbal instructions as well as written instructions about the position and how hard/fast you should be going.  I'm really happy about this!  My class was 48 minutes, and in the "advanced" category.  It was a really good workout!  I'm going to be doing this more often.  Not sure how it works when other people are in the same room though.

What I wore:  Splits59 Devon Scoop back tank in twilight with Lululemon Free To Be bra in power purple under.  Splits59 Nova Capri tight and Nike Free 3.0 in gray/crimson.  The bikes in my building are also compatible with spin shoes!  I didn't bring mine since I hadn't planned on doing that.  But I will next time.

So, this week in total I did over 4 hours of cardio!  That's A LOT for me.  Even when I was training super hard with my coach, I still only did 2 hours of cardio a week max.  I just wanted to change it up and sort of shock my body a bit.  I will not not be doing this much cardio next week for sure.  But maybe I'll keep it around 2 hours for a while until I get back to pre-holiday season shape... haha.  Of course I'll need to eat better as well.  I do have to admit though, that I am dreading going to the gym in the beginning of the year!  I may need to camp outside of the gym before they open every morning just to ensure I get my squat rack.  #firstworldproblems

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Friday, December 26, 2014

My Last Express Order... and Belated Christmas Wishes!

I can't believe Christmas has already come and gone!  I feel like it really snuck up on me this year.  I never even really got into the holiday mindset.  I also couldn't really go anywhere since I took last week off work for NOLA, and I had to work today so the only day I had off was yesterday for the actual Christmas day.  Since it was Thursday, I basically had to stay around here.  My bf and I spent Christmas Eve at his CIO's house, which was really fun.  But we didn't really do much yesterday other than watching a True Detective marathon (good show!).  I haven't really  gotten a present yet though.  I realize that I'm a hard person to shop for since I usually just buy myself everything I want.  I felt bad for my bf so I told him to just give me his credit card and let me buy stuff for myself lol.  He was more than happy to oblige of course, cuz he hates shopping anyways.  So I ordered myself some boots from Nordstrom, but apparently the ordered was canceled without notification!  When I contacted them, they said oops the pair was damaged so we couldn't ship them out and now they are all sold out.  Thanks a lot Nordstrom!

So I'm mad at Nordstorm for a while.  My bf did get me a bottle of St. Germain though so I could have something to open lol.  It's kind of funny because I tell him every time we are at a bar or restaurant: order any drink with St. Germain as one of the ingredients in it and it's guaranteed to be a good drink (a trend I've noticed based purely on personal experiences in the past).  It actually works out every time!  But the funny thing is, I never even really knew what St. Germain tasted like on its own.  In fact, it wasn't even that long ago when I first saw what the bottled looked like.  So I thought it was funny/cute to get this bottle as a present.  I took a few sips of it on its own and it actually isn't bad, though a little too sweet.  I have to find some drink recipes I can make with it!  I'm excited!

Next topic... I wanted to write about my latest order from Express because I was excited about it.  But I'm sad that both items I ordered are no good.  I got this Exploded Mesh Inset Midi Dress that Kate Upton wore in one of her Express campaign photos.  It had good reviews and looked great on her as well as the model.  Sadly it didn't work for me!

I usually struggle between ordering size S or XS at Express.  You just never know.  But the reviews for this dress all said to size down.  So I got it in XS.  But I found it to be so tight!  But what really bothered me was how cheap the fabric looked and felt.  It bunched up really badly on the sides starting from the hips down.  The fabric also kept riding up as I took a few steps while wearing the dress around.  I didn't even consider keeping this dress for a minute.

Too bad, the idea was cute... I do like the mesh:

The second item I got was this sweater jacket that is called the Plaited Cropped Back Wool Blend Cover-Up.  It looks like a great piece to wear at work, which can be paired with anything.

I got it in XS as well.  I didn't realize that it was going to be so short on me!  It looks like a half jacket.  I can't imagine a size up would be much longer.  So I'm not even interested in exchanging.

I thought the front was short... the back is even shorter:

Another item that could have been great!  I really like wearing blazers/jackets made out of comfy knit material to work.  It's like cheating.  This one is lightweight, which would have been perfect for the weather here.

Oh well!  Better luck next time I guess.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ivivva Rhythmic Crop Lux - Houndstooth Fairy Emboss

I'm a fan of houndstooth print, and I almost bought the Lululemon wunder under pants in giant houndstooth dip dye last week.  I wasn't too excited about them because they are not crops - I don't really ever wear full length tights to workout in.  And even if I were to alter them into crops, I would have to lose most of the houndstooth print since they are on the bottom.  So as I was contemplating them, I got an email about the Ivivva upload which had the Rhythmic Crop in houndstooth fairy emboss!  That's just perfect, I bought them right away.

I got them so fast that I didn't even read that they were luxtreme!  So that was a surprise when I first took them out of the package.  I really like that too!  I got them in size 12, and they are very stretchy.  Definitely stretchier than my luon space dye versions of these crops.  They are very comfortable on, but I think the luxtreme is also thinner than the luxtreme in Lululemon tights.  So they are actually kind of sheer in a deep squat position.  The sheen in the embossed houndstooth print kind of acts as a distraction though, so it's the kind of sheerness I can live with, especially for $54.

This is the length of them on me - same as the space dye ones:

I had to mess with the exposure a bit to make sure the embossed print shows up on photos.  They are obviously darker in person, like the official web photos:

I actually already wore them for a workout!  I found that they were sliding down in the beginning, but once I started sweating a little, they stayed in place.  I think maybe a size down would stay up better, but that might be real sheer in the back so better safe than sorry.  I start sweating so quick anyways that it's not a real issue for me lol.  I think thinner material is standard for Ivivva crops vs Lululemon crops though, at least the ones I've bought (this is my 5th pair of Ivivva crop).  That's why they cost less, I guess.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Funday - Back from NOLA!

I had such a great time in New Orleans this week!  The food there was as amazing as everyone said!  But I must admit that first impression was not very good, and thought that I'd made the wrong decision going there.  I arrived on Tuesday and stayed at the French Quarter, which seemed filthy dirty and was filled with homeless people and shady characters as soon as I stepped outside of my hotel.  I took a walk on the famed Bourbon St and all the bars and stores reminded me of a deserted college town.  Every single touristy shop sold boas, tu-tus and Mardi Gras beads.  I walked from one end of the French Quarter to another in about 30 minutes, and seriously had doubts of what I was going to do for the next 4 days.

Well, my impression started changing that night when I went to dinner at Acme Oyster.  Then I took a plantation tour the next day with an awesome driver who explained the area and the history really well.  On day 3, I did a self-guided walking tour of the French Quarter which was also fun and educational.  Day 4 was a hurricane Katrina tour - I thought this would have been really depressing... and it was, but it gave me a good idea of which areas were affected and how a lot of those houses are still in ruins 10 years later.  And day 5 was another self-guided tour of the Garden District which is like the Beverly Hills of New Orleans.  This city seriously grew on me!  By the time I had to go to the airport I was sad to leave, and immediately started planning another trip back in my head!

Here are some pictures I took while walking around in the French Quarter (warning: this post is VERY picture intensive lol):

I found that Royal St (one street over and parallel to Bourbon) is the nicest street in the French Quarter, so the following 3 pictures are from there:

Jackson Square, of course:

The Oak Valley Plantation was very beautiful.  I loved all the oak trees there.  It's supposedly haunted too, which makes it all the more exciting lol.  The guide there told me that he wouldn't step foot into one of the bedrooms which used to be a funeral room in the house.  Apparently many staff members won't go into certain areas of the house.  

Isn't this majestic though?  There are 9 oak trees on each side of this road leading up to the house.

And this is what happens when you goof around there, hehe.  Wearing my Lululemon Karmacollected jacket here, which I found to be rather perfect for my trip:

One of the advantages of being a sugar plantation is that they make mint juleps using their own sugar!  I had to have one.  It was super strong so I took a nice little nap on the way back.  =)

Also got the local treat - this is a pecan praline turtle:

So I can honestly say that every bite of food I had there was good.  From cheap po-boys to fancy restaurants, you really can't go wrong there!  I am one of those annoying people who likes to take pictures of food.  I actually forget to about half of the time (mostly because it looks so good so I eat it right away, then I REALLY regret not taking a pic!), so this is a small collection of what I ate... lol!

First is this Muffuletta from Central Grocery.  This is the first thing we got, because my bf's boss told him that we had to get this no matter what, or else just don't come back lol.  So it was the first stop naturally.  I had no idea what a muffuletta was, but apparently it is this sesame crusted bread, with olive spread, and salami and cheese on it.  This huge sandwich was a half order.. lol!  It was only $8.

Second thing we got was obviously the beignet.  This sugar dusted fried dough was from Cafe Du Monde which is known for their beignets and cafe au lait.  They really only had beignets and coffee on the menu and it's cash only.  This order of 3 beignets was $2.5.  I went there more than once during my stay.  

So the first night's dinner was at Acme Oyster House in the French Quarter.  We had no idea how lucky we got, because we went on a Tuesday and didn't have to wait in line to eat.  Later in the week, this place had a line a block long pretty much all throughout the day!

I had oysters there!  Among other things that I didn't photograph.

Apparently chargrilled oysters is a thing.  I had never had it, but it's so good!

The most memorable dinner I had during my time there was definitely on Wednesday night at Commander's Palace.  This restaurant is supposedly the best in New Orleans.  On Yelp, it has about 2000 reviews, almost all 5 stars.  That was our most expensive dinner, but the prices were still much more reasonable than LA.  For 2, it was $250 after tax and tip.  We ordered every appetizer on the menu, entrees, desserts, and cocktails.  Unreal.  I only managed to take pictures of a couple appetizers and dessert because we were super hungry!

Pork belly & fig

Deep fried foie gras with a shot of strawberry bourbon

Creme brulee... notice the regular sized spoon next to it... lol, yep the creme brulee it's on a full sized plate!

Back at the French Quarter, this brunch place knew the way to my heart - Stanley's.  We ordered fried oyster eggs benedict, and cochon (pork) benedict.  Both great.  Again, got lucky eating there on a Thursday and didn't have to wait in line at all!

Dinner on Thursday was at GW Fins.  This place is in the French Quarter as well, and I felt was the most touristy.  Food was still good, but only the dessert really blew me away.

Oh and these freshly baked corn bread things that they walk around and hand out.  We called one of the guy handing them out a crack dealer and he laughed so hard:

Lobster dumplings

Red snapper entree

Sword fish entree, with fried plantains

This is the killer.. salted caramel ice cream cake thing.  :::::Drool:::::

On our last night there, we had dinner at the French Quarter again, at a place called SoBou which was at the W Hotel and apparently ran by the same people behind Commander's Palace.  It's the most modern restaurant of all that I went to, by far.  The food was also the smallest portion.  So the value there was not that great comparatively.  But everything still tasted so good that we didn't mind.

Yellowtail cones and fried pork balls

Crab, 'nuff said

This was the most creative and probably the single best dish we had in all of NOLA!  Sweet Potato Beignet

Lamb skewers

Pork bun

3 chocolate dessert
And at the last place we had brunch before leaving - The Palace.  Back to big portions:

Oyster pan roast appetizers

Crab cheesecake

This is kind of random but I had no idea people ate this stuff... pickled pigs lips, found next to the check out area at Walgreens!

Close up of the lips lol

Can you believe that's not even half of what I ate??  LOL... I feel like such a fat kid.  But there was an amazing gym at my hotel, and I took advantage of it the last 2 days I was there.  I basically started feeling disgusting after 2 days so I had to workout!

I stayed at the Ritz Carlton, which was on one end of the French Quarter.  Everything is within walking distance though so you really can't go wrong there no matter where you stay.  I loved my hotel though, it was beautiful, everyone was super nice and they gave me tons of bottled water.  I know, small things.

Most importantly, THIS was their fitness center!  THREE rooms with high ceilings!  And a resistance pool as well as a jacuzzi.  I didn't use them though.  But the rest made my heart sing.

Cardio room.. I counted 8 treadmills, 7 elliptical machines and 3 bikes.. all in great condition

Weights room... they even had a Smith machine!

This empty room where you can do your conditioning and plyo work, or stretch I guess

Resistance pool


I did manage to take pictures of my workout outfits in the hotel room mirror!  On the first day I wore the Lululemon 105 F Singlet in bruised berry with laceoflage free to be bra under.  And Lululemon Wunder Groove crops, and printed Nike Free 3.0s.  I just ran for 30 minutes on different incline levels and speeds, and then did 5-6 weight exercises. 

And on day 2, I wore Lululemon cool racerback in wee are from space white barely pink, and the new wunder under crop in diamond jacquard flaming tomato.  Same shoes since they were the only ones I brought.  I basically did the same workout - ran for 30 minutes, and then various whole body weights.  I mostly wanted to get some fat burning in for these days, since I was eating all the yummy food!

The Ritz Carlton itself was super festive.  It had lights everywhere for the holiday season.  They also served home made apple cider spiced with bourbon in the afternoons.  Those were SO good!  I even took one with me in my taxi to the airport... lol!  

They had a pretty outdoor garden area, where this huge Christmas tree was:

The room itself was not too special.  But it was roomy enough and the bed was comfortable.  It had all the necessary amenities.

The bathroom was kind of small:

Whatever, it was clean, and we went during the week so it only averaged to about $1100 for 4 nights.  That's not bad for Ritz.

Are you tired of pictures yet?  Lol.

So, I had no idea so many famous people lived in New Orleans.  But my self-guided tours in both the French Quarter and Garden District pointed out quite a few!

The yellow house in the middle is the William Faulkner house where he lived and wrote his first novel

Tennessee Williams House

This house was seen on the way to the Oak Alley Plantation... where the movie Django Unchained was filmed

The movie Benjamin Button house, in the Garden District!  It's 2 houses down from Commander's Palace restaurant.

Me in front of the Benjamin Button house lol

Apparently Eli and Peyton Manning grew up in the Garden District as well and this was the house

Ann Rice house, also in the Garden District

John Goodman's house.  This one was my favorite.

Sandra Bullock's house

What souvenirs did I bring home?  Well, the Starbucks You Are Here mug of course!  I started collecting these mugs last year or so.  So far I have one from the very first Starbucks location at Pike Place in Seattle, LA of course, Tahoe, California, and Amsterdam (supposedly only European city that carries this series).  Now my 6th is Nola!  I kind of plan my trips based on which city mug I like best... lol!  I'm really not joking actually.  Nola has a good one:

And the only other souvenir I got is this mask!  It is a style that is not carried at every single souvenir shop.  I only saw it in the one I got it at!  I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but I love the design and color!  I guess I'll go find some masquerade party to go to lol.

So that was my trip!  I had so much fun and can really see why all those celebrities have houses there.  Surprisingly enough, I also didn't gain much weight from all the good food!  I seriously thought I'd gain at least 5 lbs lol.  But I'm at 2.5 lbs heavier than when I left, which I hope to work off this week!  Then I really need to eat clean for at least a month!  I guess I'll be exactly like one of those New Year's Resolutionists!

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