Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Funday!

First week back from vacation!  Well, I thought I'd jump right back into my old workout routine or it would only become harder.  I was not feeling so hot for a few days from the long plane ride, and a good sweating session really helped get rid of the bloat!  Although I had to eat out quite a few times this week so for a while there I thought my body was never going to go back to normal!  But I feel much better today (even after going to a BBQ yesterday!), lol only took a whole week.  I will be extra good next week.  =P

It's amazing how fast your muscles get used to not working out from a short 10 day break.  I went back to the gym on Tuesday morning, and did my regular lower body workout.  I used slightly less weight than I did before my trip, and I started feeling fatigued after only a couple exercises!  Needless to say, I was SO sore for the next 3 days, that I was walking funny.  My butt, thighs and quads were all killing me.  I couldn't even do my usual stairs for cardio!

Monday 8/25 - Rest day, I was slightly jeg lagged maybe.  Or just really tired.  I slept for 10 hours!

Tuesday 8/26
What I did:  Lower body weights.

What I wore:  Splits59 Tone Racerback in mint with Lululemon free to be bra in very green under.  Lululemon Run For Fun crop in paisley embossed, and Nike Free Bionics in purple.

Wednesday 8/27
What I did:  Shoulder/tri followed by 30 minutes of cardio - I had to do the 15% incline interval on the treadmill instead of the gauntlet since my legs were so sore!

Thursday 8/28
What I did:  It was supposed to be glute/back/bi day.  But my glutes were still in super bad shape so I skipped it and only did the back/bi part.  Then I did 30 minutes on 15% incline treadmill again.  

What I wore:  In honor of the new Seawheeze race last weekend lol, I wore my retro stripe multi cool racerback from last year's Seawheeze.  With Lululemon Ebb & Flow crop in black, and Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 4 shoes in hyper cobalt/bright mango.  I love that these shoes have most of the colors of last year's Seawheeze!

Friday 8/29
What I did:  Lower body day again - I had recovered barely enough for this workout.  I did take it slightly easy too.

Zobha Biker jacket as to and from:

Saturday 8/30 - Rest day

Sunday 8/31
What I did:  My last workout!  Upper body supersets followed by (legs finally recovered!) 30 minutes of gauntlet!

I think that's a pretty successful first week back!  I don't actually mind being sore, since it makes me feel like my workouts are doing something!  Haha!  I hope you all are having a great long weekend!  I plan to do some shopping tomorrow since most stores have Labor Day sales!  Off to get ready for dinner now.  =)

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Zara Blouse & Sweater

I went to Zara earlier this week when I got bored at work.  It was a very slow week!  I actually wasn't even planning on buying anything because it meant that I'd have to go back to work with a Zara bag lol.  But alas, I bought a blouse and a sweater.  And I went back to work with a Zara bag.  Whatever.

The blouse was bought for work anyways!  It's the Blouse with Contrast Top Stitching.  I could never have enough blouses, especially in a neutral like white/black.  I thought the design was minimalistic and kind of interesting.  I don't like the $69 price tag since it's not a silk shirt.  But the quality looks to be good, and I just got a raise so I talked myself into it.

I got this shirt in size small.  It fits pretty loosely down the body.  But tighter around the chest.  I find that Zara tops and jackets always tend to run smaller around the chest.  They are made for girls with no boobs.  But to be honest, I would not button it all the way to the top anyways so this works for me.  

I like the collar of this shirt.  It's like my favorite Theory Brindan blouse. I like this type of collar because you don't have to worry about how it lays under the jacket.  Here I have it buttoned all the way up under my Theory blazer.  If I change into my suit skirt, I'd look pretty professional!

Here's the close up of the tag:

The sweater I bought is really awesome too.  It is the Cut Work Knit T-Shirt.  It looks like a regular thin black sweater from the front:

But the back has a little extra something!

Oh, you can't see it?  Lol.  It has elbow patches!!!  I am obsessed with elbow patches.

The elbow patch is pretty subtle since it is black on black.  The store also had this sweater in tan and navy/white stripe and those have black elbow patches as well which are way more obvious.  But I just felt like a black one.

This sweater is very soft and the fit is very casual.  It's a size S and that is the smallest size it comes in.  I think it's quite popular because this was the only size S left in the store I went to.  The price is quite amazing at only $19!  I already wore it yesterday.  Super comfy!

Here's how it looks from the side... very relaxed fit:

The shoulder seam is dropped, I think this design is pretty popular nowadays:

The Zara website only has the gray one with black elbow patches.  They didn't have this one in my store (or maybe it was sold out).  It's nice, I might have preferred it over the black.  But I'd actually just get multiple colors in this sweater!

Not bad for a lunch time walk down the street!  It's too convenient.  Next time, I will bring my car keys with me so that after I shop I can drop off the bag in my car before heading back to work!  =P

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Diane von Furstenberg Jeanne 2 Wrap Dress!

I check ebay once in a while in search of a particular DvF dress.  Before I went on my trip, I was searching once again and this particular Jeanne 2 wrap dress in confetti coral caught my eye.  It was like $70 or $80, which is a lot less than the $350ish retail price.  I thought I'd give it a shot without knowing if it was the right size because I'd never tried on this style before.  I was feeling adventurous, I suppose.  So when I got back in town, the dress was here waiting for me!

It's a size 4, which seems to be my normal size in DvF items.  Not that I have a lot.  But the few pieces I have are all size 4.  I think this is the right size for this dress!  Though it shows a lot of cleavage and somehow makes my boobs look bigger than they usually are lol.  Do you always wear a slip under wrap dresses?  I feel like I have to, because if wind blows, my legs/underwear would show completely I think.

I think the pattern is fun!  I have been wanting a versatile red dress and this fits the bill perfectly!

I really like the design of this dress - I guess this is why DvF is known for wrap dresses.  I love that the Jeanne 2 style has collar and long sleeves which you can scrunch up to be 3/4 sleeves.  The material is very nice - it's 100% silk, but it's like a heavy silk jersey, not the thin slippery kind.  It drapes very well and doesn't really wrinkle.  I'm a fan!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

I'm Back! Mini Trip Report :)

Hi everyone!  I am back from my trip!  It feels like I've been gone for a very long time, but really it was only 10 days.  I flew in yesterday around 2:30 in the afternoon, went to bed by 8 pm, and woke up at 6 this morning to go to work lol.  I'm actually not jet lagged at all!  But I still felt like a zombie at work since I somehow forgot everything I did prior to my trip.  I think I try to forget as quickly (and apparently permanently) as possible as soon as I take off!  But for some reason I got a pretty big unexpected raise today.  Too bad they didn't tell me before my trip, or else I would have bought some tax-free presents for myself!!  I actually didn't buy anything!  Partly because time was tight.  Ahh.. next time!

So I went to the Netherlands and Paris.  I had sort of been to Amsterdam before - one time I had a layover there for like 8 hours so I left the airport and walked around the city.  But this was pretty much my first time there.  The weather did NOT cooperate though!  It was cold and rainy the whole time.  It was like 10 degrees colder than LA's winter + rain.  My goodness, that place is sooo wet!  I wish they could share some of that water with us in California.  Our 3 year drought has become a serious problem.  It's actually quite bad here.

I visited some of the countryside and smaller cities in the Netherlands.  It's a very beautiful place!  Of course, I saw lots of windmills.  I even visited one that is still being used today to cut wood.  It's actually very cool!  This windmill in the picture below is not that one.  It was a random one that we drove by.  Somebody lives in it.

I also visited Volendam, which a day trip from Amsterdam.  It's a very charming place, though pretty touristy.  I love the houses there though!  I was also very impressed with how clean the windows are in that country.  I guess the rain cleans them.  It's amazing.

I also tried raw herring!  Pretty good actually.  Salty, but just like sushi otherwise.  I guess normally you hold the fish by the tail and drop it in your mouth lol.  But we were at a restaurant where they cut up the fish like this:

One of the weirdest things I saw there were these little green leaves that cover the canals.  They are so small and so close together, that they make the surface of the water look solid!  I heard that tourists often make this mistake and step into it, then end up soaking wet lol.

Close up of these little leaves...

Amsterdam is a very nice city.  I didn't have too much time, so I basically took the on and off canal tour like a tourist that I was.  Walked around the different locations, and visited the Rijks museum.  

The line for the Anne Frank house was insane.  I didn't feel like waiting so I took a picture of the line and left.  It actually goes back even more around the corner in the back where you can't see on this photo:

My general feeling was that everything is so much cheaper there!  I went to the grocery store and was amazed.  I think LA is seriously overpriced.  I'm spending Euro there, and prices are still much less than LA for everything after the currency conversion!  The same chocolate brands cost 1/3 of their prices in LA.  Food and drinks at restaurants cost less, while portions are larger.  I went to this restaurant called De Kas which I highly recommend.  It's inside of a green house!  It's kind of gimmicky but cute.  They grow their own stuff, and their menu changes weekly.  You cannot actually order anything there, it's just a flat rate (I think 50 euro/pp?) which comes with 3 courses.  You can also add wine pairing for each course for 27 euro.  The food was very very good!

So after a few days, we took the train to Paris.  It was my first time in Paris!  I have friends there so it was free to stay, plus local tour guide!  Lol.  I think I saw a whole lot of Paris in just a couple days.  And I had such a good time!  Apparently August is a great time to go to Paris because most people go visit the beaches at this time, so the city is pretty empty (relatively).  My friend said there is ample parking everywhere on the street during August.  

On our first night, we went to the Arc de Triomphe/ Champs Elysees, I've seen pictures before, but I thought it was pretty impressive in person!

Had a coffee there and was confused - why such a small amount in a big cup?  I filled the rest with milk lol:

The next day we went to Notre Dame cathedral, which was always my favorite church when I studied art history!  I was super excited to go there!  I actually saw it at night as well as during the day - all these amazingly detailed buildings in Paris are truly impressive.  I don't even know if any other city can rival Paris in this aspect.  Maybe Vienna?

The Notre Dame did not disappoint in person... I stared at it forever!  It's amazing how much detail went into it:

This is the back of it... and me lol:

Of course I had to see the Eiffel Tower as well... It's actually smaller/shorter than I thought it would be!  I didn't wait in line to go to the top.  I just don't want to waste time standing in line when I'm on a short trip!

I also thought I'd go to the Louvre museum.  It's cheap to go and the line doesn't take long at all.  Though it would probably take 2 weeks to see all of it.  I was there for 2 hours.

The #1 reason everybody goes there... the Mona Lisa.  I headed straight to it too.  This is what happened lol:

Woah, I might as well just google it.  I actually did get up to the front of this crowd at one point.  But it was still so far away from the actual painting that I could not see any details.  And the bullet proof glass glared.  Most overrated thing ever.  But, now I've seen the Mona Lisa in person, ha!

Oh yeah, most tourist things... I went to the Sacre Coeur and sat on the stairs like everyone else. 

I also squeezed in a trip to the Gallerie Lafayette for some shopping.  But I think I was there at the same time as some Chinese shopping tour group?!?  Either that or it's like that all the time.  All the stores had lines to get in.  I was over it in no time even though every single luxury brand had a store there.  I think one of the advantages of buying stuff in Paris vs at home is to save tax money since you get the VAT tax back at the airport.  But it's really only worth it if the item you are buying costs a lot, which I had no plan to spend.  I was very entertained by these Chinese shoppers though.  We read quite a bit here about how wealthy Chinese people spend crazy amount of money buying luxury goods in Europe.  But this was the first time I've seen it in action lol.  I think literally 95% of people there were Chinese, even the sales associates.

The Gallerie Lafayette has a very cool roof though.  I also like this hot air balloon guy:

Anyway, I had a really great time in Paris and I already can't wait to go back!  Most of my caloric damage done during this trip was in Paris.  Food was just so good there!  I ate lots of quiche and crepes, and other deliciousness.  Like escargot:

...And randomly picked dishes at restaurant without English menu!  Lol.  It was a placed called Jeanne B at the Montmartre near Sacre Coeur.  My friend had to go to his grandfather's birthday so my bf and I were left to fend for ourselves.  We ordered "terrine" which we still aren't sure what was in it.  It is some kind of pate, mixture of different types of meat I think.  We also ordered this rabbit pie in the middle picture, and chicken on the bottom.  We knew enough French to figure out what we were going to get.  Like "lapin" means rabbit, and "poulet" means chicken.  But no idea how they were going to be presented.  Turned out to be a great success!

And lastly, I have to mention that the stairs in the Paris subways are crazy!  I never had to drag around my suitcase so much up and down stairs.  Good thing I workout!  This picture was taken at like 6 am (sans makeup, sorry!) on my way to the train that takes you to the airport.  The escalator was broken.  Argh!  But I conquered it!  =D  

And, 12 hours later, I was home!  I feel bloaty from the plane ride and the not-so-good food options from Paris.  But whatever, I'll get back to the gym and hopefully everything will get back to normal soon!  I hope you all had a great week!

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