Thursday, January 29, 2015

My Father's Daughter?

Setting up the torture.

The department that I'm in at USC offers a FREE biweekly workout to staff. This workout is led by a woman from the PE Dept. 

I went for the first time on Tuesday. I don't know what I was expecting, but what I got was a crossfit-esque circuit training. Omg. I don't even know what a 'burpee' is. 

Now, let me just preface this by saying, I don't work out. I mean, I'm active. I very rarely sit STILL. I do yoga as much as I can, which lately is about 20 mins a day. I like walking and hiking. I do my daily 2 mile walk on weekdays. But that's kind of it. I only run if someone is chasing me and even then, I'd try to negotiate an alternative. I am NOT a high intensity work out person. I've NEVER done anything even remotely like this.  I don't like feeling like I'm going to puke from doing sit ups. My dad thinks that's a fun time. My dad looks like this:

He's the one in the middle ;)
He's a crazy workout person. Always has been. He even won the Beachbody contest for his age group a few years ago. My dad had his hip replaced and had to give up his beloved running. As a result of this surgery, he started doing beach body and p90x. My dad has always been in good shape, but p90x really put him on another level. Even though he was ALWAYS working out and running, his body didn't always show the fruits of this labor. p90x and a radical change in diet did. In fact, it was because of p90x that my dad met his girlfriend! They met on a dating site and she only talked to him because he had a picture with Tony Horton!  Haha. Yvonne is a workout freak too! :P

Check out this video of my dad from the infomerical :D He donated all his winnings to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. 

ANYWAY, exercising until puking is my dad and Vons idea of a date night. ;) But that's not a fun time to me! I like being active, but I hate working out. 

That said...I've never really been in very good shape. Maybe when I was swimming in high school. Maybe. I'm 34 now and I feel like now is the time to do it! Especially considering (ONLY considering) the idea of having a baby-I'd like to be in the best shape possible beforehand. 

So, with the motivation from some of my coworker's...I'm going to do my best to attend this class the two times a week that it's offered. The class can vary from this kind of stuff to yoga to whatever. Danielle, the instructor, is incredible. Despite the large group size (around 40 people), she really takes the time to go around and correct form and push everyone a little harder. It's like a FREE personal trainer. Who can say no to that?

Today was my second day. My legs are SO sore from Tuesday. As I sit here typing arms are quivering and I can hardly walk. :P No pain no gain, right? 

Happy ALMOST weekend!! 

Monday, January 26, 2015


It's Mondayyyyy!! Blah. :P Last week was SO much better. I'm serious. Work weeks should be 4 days and weekends should be 3. It just makes more sense and is better for everyone, right?? I got a lot done last week. I don't need this extra day!

Anyhow, Mondays seem as good a time as any to recap weekend stuff...and since we actually did stuff this weekend...why not blog about it? ;)

Friday wasn't very exciting, because we are old and it's like any other normal night. I've been waking up around 5:15 for work these I'm pretty much spent by 10 or 11. It's weird for me, because in the past, I've always stayed up relatively late (midnight or 1). I ONLY need 6 hours of more, no less.

Right. I started listening to the 'Serial' podcast on Thursday and was immediately hooked. I've been looking for something to listen to in my car and on my walking commute and this is perfect!! I'm quite intrigued and there's something about the narrator's voice that is just...appealing. I don't know what it is. It's like The Pioneer Woman. Her voice soothes me too (and teaches me how to make delicious, mostly not good for you, foods). 

Well, I convinced Preston to listen to the first episode on Friday evening and then HE was immediately hooked. And since Preston does nothing halfway...he spent the rest of the night with headphones in BYPASSING me in 'Serial'. NO!! Preston is TERRIBLE at keeping secrets or surprises. I don't want him to ruin it for me!! :P

Since we are old and boring ;), we are usually up pretty early (by 7 at the latest) on weekends. Preston went surfing and I caught up on some blogs and worked on my own blogposts about trip clothes<---that was extremely time consuming!

One of my current goals is to get out and hike more!! There's tons of trails around LA and I've been on a few of them, but I still have a lot of ground to cover. Years ago, my friend Gianna and I had a 'secret' hiking club, which really just meant that she and I would go hiking. And not tell anyone else :P My friend Erica has since started a hiking club as well. And I recently found out that my OTHER friend Gianna (who knows 2 Giannas??) is looking to hike every weekend too. Horray!

So, Gianna and I set off for a hike in Malibu mid morning on Saturday. The Santa Ana winds were blowing. These winds are generally warm, desert winds that blow in from the east and off the desert. They are rumored to make everyone a bit crazy. Sometimes, these winds wreak havoc on my allergies (dust and stuff, I guess), but I was ok this weekend and not any more sniffly or crazy than usual. ;) I LOVE these winds. They are HOT and DRY. Humidity was at like 10% and it's WARM. I could just bathe in it.

Smoggy Smog
The hike we chose was 'Los Leones Canyon'. It was a beautiful and relatively easy hike. We walked for about half a mile across a flat meadow and then started our climb up through the dust covered, shrub lined hills. 

The reward at the top was well worth it. We had incredible views from downtown LA out to the ocean. It really was an awesome hike and Gianna and I have so much in common that I feel we could talk endlessly. Gianna has an amazing food blog that you can check out here

It was so windy I thought I might blow off this cliff!

We hiked 5 miles round trip and then headed back to Santa Monica for some quick shopping at a cool store behind my house and a lunch at Vegan Thai. It was yummy!!

Saturday night, Preston and I joined my friend Meredith for her birthday celebrations at The Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach. We got there early to secure seats for our group and ordered dinner and drinks to satisfy the '2 item minimum' clause within our tickets. 

Ten comics performed and they were all REALLY funny. Preston was stoked because Arsenio Hall performed! Preston has loved him since the classic film, "Coming to America". Hehe. 

There were lots of Whole Foods jokes, which I quite enjoyed as an avid Whole Foods lover.

All in all, it was a great night. Happy Birthday Meredith!!

On Sunday, the warm winds continued to blow. I did yoga and cleaned around the apartment a bit. Then we decided to walk down to the beach. Soooo, as we are crossing the street, Preston says, "There's your boy". And I was like, "um what?" I looked around for what the heck he was talking about. There was a guy and a girl in a fancy BMW and a whole group of teenage boys in an SUV. What 'boy'? So, we step on the curb and I turn to him and said, "What boy? What are you talking about??" and he said, "Ryan Gosling was in that car. Didn't you see him?"

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. oh. my. GOD!! no!! I mean, I DID see him, but I didn't pay ATTENTION to him. I didn't throw myself on the hood of his fancy BMW and declare my love for him in front of my husband!! OF COURSE I DIDN'T SEE HIM!! 

Just kidding. I wouldn't have done any of those things, but I would have at least taken a good LONG look. And I didn't!! Because I was so confused!! I was just scanning around for who on Earth 'my boy' could be. Ugh!! Preston!! He said he was trying to play it 'cool'. Oh geez!! The people in the cars couldn't hear us anyway!! In the future...say, "Kelly...LOOK. there is RYAN GOSLING!!" and KEEP saying it until I LOOK and CONFIRM. 

Anyway :( Blast. I'm just going to pretend it wasn't him. It couldn't have been. I would have KNOWN and felt him through the cosmos. Ryan Gosling?! That would be THE. BEST. celebrity sighting. EVER. EVER!!

Ugh. Swoon. It COULDN'T have been him

At the beach, we laid in the sun until the chilly incoming cloud cover drove us home. I made a delicious sweet potato and lentil shepherd's pie for dinner and some chocolate pudding a la Pioneer Woman. Weekends are lovely.

How did everyone else fare on the weekend? Staying warm East Coast?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Recapping Packing: What I Wore Part III

Anybody still with me? 

Clothes clothes clothes!!

What I've covered so far:

Black Fleece Jacket
Black Rain Jacket
Jean Jacket
Black Blazer
Gray Zip Sweatshirt
White Wrap (can double as beach cover up)
Black Long Sleeved (wool blend)
Brown Long Sleeved
Teal Hoodie
Periwinkle Long Sleeve
Yellow Long Sleeve
Black T-shirt
Gray T-shirt
Purple/Blue (ish) T-shirt
Mango T-shirt
White T-shirt

To continue: 
Black Camisole
Gray Camisole
Mango Camisole
White Camisole: I love camisoles! Mostly because bras are not my favorite ;) I wear them all the time in everyday life and on the trip. I layer them or wear them alone. I think all of these are from Costco. My parents do a lot of Christmas shopping at Costco. I love it. #styleicon ;) 

Yellow Tank: This is something else I wore a lot to the beach, so the pictures don't really show how often I wore this top. :D

Teal Tank: Admittedly, I wore this a few times, but I probably could have just gone with the yellow tank and left this one home. Nonetheless, it gave me another option if the yellow tank was less than fresh ;)

Purple/Blue (ish) Tank: The lace on this made it 'fancy' and I sometimes used it for a nicer night out :D

Jeans: Obviously, these are a staple and I wore them A LOT. And they got really really on my thighs. Ugh, cheese. I can't quit you.

Gray Zip off pants: These pants were also great and also from REI. They were your typical 'Hi I'm an American Tourist and I want to dress like I'm going on an adventure' pants. But there's a reason that American travelers love these pants!! They are awesome. For one, they dry SUPER quickly and you can spill almost anything on them and they don't get dirty. Two, mine zipped off to be both capris AND shorts, so handy for multiple outfit options. However, I got these on sale in the 'petite' section of REI. They were HUGELY discounted. And they fit great when I left. Well...then I gained about 20lbs (See jeans above) and while I could still wear these...they became majorly uncomfortable since the zippers for the shorts part left imprints on my ever expanding thighs. :P blast!

Black Yoga Pants: I mean, these are just a staple for every girl, right? They were great for travel days, for sleeping, for hiking, for just for wearing around. Do not leave home without black yoga pants.

Black Leggings: AWESOME SAUCE. Also from Costco. :D I love leggings in general, but these were terrific. Technically, they are 'base layer' wool leggings and maybe not entirely appropriate to wear as pants, but whatever. That's the debate for all leggings. I just always do my best to cover my bum, which doesn't always happen. I wore them ALL the time. They also dried very quickly and were super comfortable. Unfortunately, they became quite worn and pilled...but I couldn't have done without these. 

Gray Half Pants: I had these for a long time before the trip and always found them comfortable. By the end of the trip, they were literally threadbare. I love these pants and they were a good alternative to the black leggings. Also, they were good for not too hot/not too cold days.

Sweatshorts (for sleeping): I didn't take a single picture of these, because I ONLY wore them for sleeping. But I wore them most nights, unless it was cold and I wore the black leggings or yoga pants. I'm glad I brought these, because they were comfy and cozy.

Jean Shorts: These were a total fail. I have no idea why I packed these shorts. They were the first to alert me to my noticeable weight gain. While I could always get them on and was a lot like wearing a corset around my hips. Sorry Jean Shorts. You were a mistake.

Khaki Shorts: I'm very glad I packed these shorts. They are from Banana Republic (love that store!) and were very versatile. I felt like they were casual and somewhat dressy.  

Mango Shorts: These were terrific for the first part of our trip, because they were comfy and very fast drying. I loved them in the hot weather and for the beach.

1 Black Convertible Dress: Ok. Now this dress was really cool. My mother in law also got this for me as a birthday present. It's from American Apparel and can be worn like 20 different ways or something. In was ok. It's still a pretty neat dress, but many of the styles were just impractical or uncomfortable. That said, I still think it was a good purchase and perfect for a trip like this. Despite my lackluster review, I would recommend it.

1 Black Skirt: I probably didn't need this skirt, since the dress also worked as a skirt, but this skirt is oh so comfortable, impossible to wrinkle, and easy to wash/dry.

1 Gray Long Tank for the beach: I wore this quite a bit the beach, so not as many pictures to show that I actually wore it. I tried wearing it once as like an outfit in Turkey, but I look that was a fail ;) I wore it as a dress to dinner in Bali. I wish I'd worn it more as a tank top too with a skirt, but it was almost always sweaty and covered in sunscreen. :P

1 Gray/Black Scarf: I wore this scarf almost exclusively with my gray t-shirt. It was a perfect match and I'm matchy matchy. Have I mentioned that?? ;)

1 Teal Scarf: This scarf was part of my go-to 'dress up' outfit...which was tieks (that have teal soles), jeans, white tshirt, blazer, and this scarf. I wore it a lot both with that outfit and with other things. It is a nice, warm scarf. 

Brown Hiking Boots: The ever fashionable hiking boots!! These were sorta heavy and took up a lot of room, but maaaan am I glad I had these. They are super comfortable (unless hiking downhill off a volcano for 9 that point I thought that they might be a tad small), 100% essential for all those 'easy' NZ hikes, and waterproof. This last fact means that I had to wear them nearly every day in Paris. In. Paris. That's right...the land of wispy skirts, and fashionable shoes, of leggings with high heels...I was clod hopping around in my hikin' boots. AW yeahhh.

Gray Sneakers: I mean, duh. You can't go away for 6 months without sneakers. You just, can't. The ones I got were really light air! They were New Balances and they now look like they've been through a war. This was only the second pair (see: hiking boots) of shoes that I could REALLY walk in. I mean, we walked miles and miles around cities. Like 8 or 10 miles some days. A shoe has to be MEANT for this kind of walking. So, again, fashion was not my strong suit :P We went to a club and danced the night away that night in Paris...and the best 'club' outfit I had to wear black leggings, the blue/purple lacy tank top, my teal scarf, and my sneakers. I could've gone with the tieks, but I don't know if I could have stood comfortably in those for hours and hours. Anyway, when I asked her if my outfit worked for the club, Mara rightfully exclaimed, "I mean, I guess so. You kind of look like a yoga instructor". hehehehe. Yes.

Brown Toms: I was SO excited to get some Toms. I actually wore the wedge ones in my wedding, but hadn't owned a traditional pair. My mom offered to get me some as a present for the trip! I went back and forth on which color to get, but decided on brown to round out my color wheel for packing. Blah. I'm kind of disappointed in these shoes. They fell apart REALLY quickly. Like, within a two (heavy) wears. You cannot walk in these shoes for very long. They make your feet hurt and work weird muscles in your legs. I wore these in Paris one day-having no idea we would walk as much as we did-and had a foot problem for the next 3 months. Fail Toms. Fail. I hope that kid in Africa who got a pair of shoes b/c my mom bought these Toms is faring better.

Black Ballet Flats (Tieks!!): In my hours of scouring the Internet's 'what to wear' posts...I kept coming across female travel bloggers and their Tieks. What the heck are Tieks?? They are like the holy grail of travel shoes, apparently. They are comfy, they are casual, they are dress up, they come in a gazillion colors, they are made from a single, perfectly stretched piece of leather, they have a re-enforced sole, and extra heel cushioning, they fold in half and come with a little travel bag to boot. I. needed. these. shoes. I went to the website. My mouth fell open. These. shoes. cost. $200. TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS. Now, I've already explained that I am not all that I don't typically buy $200 pairs of shoes (I mean, fashion just seems expensive, right? Not always, but it can be...for sure). But, I really wanted them. They are the BEST shoes ever. EVER!! So, I did it. I bought them. I can justify it!! I swear. I never do this kind of thing. Can't I have ONE nice thing?!  Thinking that I had a pretty good argument from myself to myself, I handed over $200 and got my Tieks!! They came in the mail in this adorable purple box with a ribbon and a flower. They came with a HAND WRITTEN note telling me thank you and to enjoy my new shoes. Laaaa. I think Angels were singing as I slipped them onto my feet and...OH MY GOD. They were AWFUL :( They were the most uncomfortable shoes I've EVER put on my foot. I felt like something was biting me every time I took a step. I don't think I've ever been more disappointed. In. My. Life. And then I walked into the kitchen and I stepped on a piece of potato. And I stained the GD sole of this $200 shoe. And I knew I couldn't return them to the cloud in heaven from whence they came. And I thought about crying. But, a few nights friends were over and the two of them wear a size bigger than me in shoes. And they both wore these godforsaken things around for me...for hours. They traded off and winced through their pain. Oh my gosh...they are such good friends. And, lo and behold...those darn shoes fit! And they feel good!! And they are comfortable!! And, ya know what? I love them. Are they worth $200. Nope! Do I wear them all the time? Nope! But, they are still a good, well-made shoe and they were great for this trip. I walked around in them all day in Venice and got lost and took wrong turns...and never felt uncomfortable. If I stood for a long time...they would be sort of irritating, because the soles were sort of hard, but I'll give them a B+. If you're filthy rich or really into shoes or just a sucker for a great sales pitch (cough cough) and need something for a trip like this...go for it! And I just wrote an essay on a pair of shoes.

To get sold on some pretty terrific marketing that makes you want. need. must have. these shoes: go here

Black Flip Flops: Years ago I bought some black Reef flip flops. They were $30 and expensive for flips flops, but these shoes are totally worth it. They are the most comfortable flip flops I've ever worn. They really support your foot and you can wear them for a long walk (maybe not 10 miles) practically anywhere. I got brand new ones for the trip and they are already well worn. I wear these shoes all the time. 

White Flip Flops (for showers): Since my black flip flops have cloth straps, which make them comfortable for walking, but are not quick drying, I brought along cheaper white flip flops. I used these for beaches and for showering in hostels. It was a good idea to have this pair, though I guess I could have gotten along only with soggy black ones all the time. :D

Haha. I think this is the only pic I have of these flops and a rare one of me in a bathing suit.

5 Pairs of Underwear
2 Bras (one black, one nude)
1 Sports Bra 
1 Bandeau Bra
4 Bathing Suit Tops
2 Bathing Suit Bottoms
5 Pairs of Socks: No one needs to see any of this, but I assure was ALL matching to my clothes and color scheme ;)

Along the way I picked up:

A handful of scarves and sweaters and a muff thing from Mara, which saved me in Iceland!! 

Liz lent me her light brown sweatshirt on the snowy hike in Italy and then later said I could keep it :D :D I wore it quite a bit!

I bought myself this warm, gray hat in Iceland. It was great because it was SO warm and it covered my ears. It's one of the few things we bought anywhere.

David gave me this t-shirt, which I wore a lot sleeping and around sometimes. 

Rather than getting rid of stuff (stupid!!), I added some things from a bag I had sent to Chicago.  It was a mistake not to trade some things out. :P

The brown t-shirt was a nice change of pace and I was grateful for the black workout capris when the weather was hot :)
If you're still with me...thanks!! Any excuse to go back over and review and reflect upon our trip is a good excuse to me!! Happy Sunday Evening :D

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Recapping Packing: What I Wore Part II

I've been talking clothes. Clothes from my trip. I had this idea that returning from our trip that I'd suddenly have this epiphany that I had far too many clothes (I do) and that I'd want to seriously downsize (I don't) and live a more simple life with a capsule-type (all the rage) wardrobe. 

Yeah, not so much. ha!! I have come back DELIGHTED with all the clothing options that I have. That said-I still do seem to find myself wearing the clothes from the trip more often than not. I guess I'm comfortable in what I know? Plus, 2/3 of my clothing is still locked in a storage shed in Long Beach. :P

Back to the topic at hand. Without further, ado...what I wore!!

Just to refresh (again):

Black Fleece Jacket
Black Rain Jacket
Jean Jacket
Black Blazer
Gray Zip Sweatshirt
White Wrap (can double as beach cover up)
Black Long Sleeved (wool blend)
Brown Long Sleeved
Teal Hoodie
Periwinkle Long Sleeve
Yellow Long Sleeve
Black T-shirt
Gray T-shirt
Purple/Blue (ish) T-shirt
Mango T-shirt
White T-shirt
Black Camisole
Gray Camisole
Mango Camisole
White Camisole
Yellow Tank
Teal Tank
Purple/Blue (ish) Tank
Gray Zip off pants
Black Yoga Pants
Black Leggings
Gray Half Pants
Sweatshorts (for sleeping)
Jean Shorts
Khaki Shorts
Mango Shorts
1 Black Convertible Dress
1 Black Skirt
1 Gray Long Tank for the beach :D
1 Gray/Black Scarf
1 Teal Scarf
Brown Hiking Boots
Gray Sneakers
Brown Toms
Black Ballet Flats (Tieks!!)
Black Flip Flops
White Flip Flops (for showers)
5 Pairs of Underwear
2 Bras (one black, one nude)
1 Sports Bra 
1 Bandeau Bra
4 Bathing Suit Tops
2 Bathing Suit Bottoms
5 Pairs of Socks

Black Fleece Jacket:  I didn't actually wear this very much until we got to Europe. It just hadn't been cold enough for it in the Southern Hemisphere. However, once in Europe, I was SO glad to have this jacket. It's from Patagonia and it's warm and perfect. 

Black Rain Jacket: This was obviously an essential and I was grateful to have it when I needed it. It was pretty warm and had large pockets. I got it on sale at REI. 

Jean Jacket: I love a good jean jacket. I got this one years ago at a Salvation Army store. It was great on the trip. I used it for layering or when I needed a lighter jacket.

Black Blazer: I've had this jacket for like ten years. I got it at Old Navy. It's casual, but dressy enough that if you throw it on over a t-shirt with some jewelry, it can pass at a nicer dinner (not that we went to a lot of those!).

Gray Zip Sweatshirt: This was also great. I used it a lot in layering once the weather was colder. I slept in it when I was chilly too. It was also great for when it wasn't freezing, but chilly.

White Wrap (can double as beach cover up): This I wore a lot more than the pictures show. I often wore it when we were at the beach, but I didn't take so many pictures of us in bathing suits...especially as the trip went on and weight was gained :P

Black Long Sleeved (wool blend): My mother in law bought me this top from REI. It wasn't cheap, but for good reason. It's awesome. The wool was warm, easy to wash, dried quickly, and has held up. It still looks brand new. I wore it all. the. time.  On its own, under things, to sleep. I love this shirt.

Brown Long Sleeved: This shirt was light weight and perfect for layering or wearing on its own.

Teal Hoodie: I also got this shirt at REI. It has those holes for thumbs, which I love. It was great for hiking. It fit snugly, so it was very warm. 

Purple/Blue (ish)Long Sleeve: This shirt was casual and comfortable. I am still wearing this quite a bit...even back home. It's from Gap Fit.

Yellow Long Sleeve: Another comfy shirt. This one I got at H&M just before we left. Something annoying was that a snap was missing from the front-a detail I didn't notice until NZ. Ha.

Black T-shirt: This is probably something I could have done without. It seems a simple thing, but I didn't wear it all that often. I got this shirt years ago from REI (have I mentioned my love for REI?? It was one of the places we registered for our wedding. haha!) for a trip to Belize. I think if it was a bit longer...I'd have worn it more.

Gray T-shirt: I was wearing this shirt when I met Preston. :D I wore it almost exclusively with my black scarf. Haha. The gray matches the stars on the scarf!! I'm very VERY matchy-matchy. 

Purple/Blue (ish) T-shirt: I didn't wear this all that often either, but it is a good shirt. It's a quick dry shirt and I think from Costco. I've had it as a workout shirt for years. Most of the things I brought were quick dry, which did come in handy. I didn't do as much laundry in bathtubs or sinks as I thought I might...but I definitely did that sometimes and it was nice when things would dry relatively fast.

Mango T-shirt: This was just a regular old t-shirt from H&M. It was lightweight and good to wear when it was hot. It also has open arm pits, which can be handy when you're drenched in sweat because Barcelona is like a sauna. 

White T-shirt: I love this shirt! I've also had it for years. It's a t-shirt, but has a bit more of a dress up ability. It also has open arm pits, which is nice. My name is Kelly and I have sweaty arm pits. I have really great teeth though. It's only fair that I'm not perfect. ;)

Stay Tuned for Part III :D