Friday, April 11, 2014

Super Liz on a Night out

So, hi there. Yes, I'm still around. (A theme seems to be emerging around here ... hopefully it won't continue.) I almost can't believe that the last time I posted was in late January, but to be fair it's been a busy couple of months. There were lots of birthday parties to attend, including my son's 6th birthday for which we threw two parties (one was just for family), and almost every weekend since the start of February has been taken up. I'm still volunteering at my son's kindergarten class; I've added to my weekly workout schedule -- one hour of yoga, one hour walking, and at least an hour of Zumba; also, and this is big, I'm back to working on my dissertation, yay!

Sure, I've been on the computer and online as per my usual, but the only thing I can think of that happened back in January that may have had something to do with the last two months of radio silence here was the airing of Sherlock's Season 3 on PBS -- after which I became slightly obsessed with the show and the actor who plays Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch. I'd been a fan of the show since I saw the first two seasons on Netflix in late 2012 or early 2013. But then Star Trek into Darkness happened. And, um, this, this, and this. Also, his voice should be illegal, especially when it's speaking poetry or narrating over the purrs of Jaguar engines. But what really clinched it was watching his interviews on YouTube (try 1, 2, 3, 4), and I loved this really long interview that's not on YouTube. I have had crushes on the smartest boys in class since I was a little kid, and that man is intelligent and eloquent as all get out, even in silly interviews. He's also wonderfully humble. Then he tempers the effect with some goofiness here and there so you know he's just a smart, normal guy with nerdy tendencies. Come on, I'm sapiosexual. So maybe you can understand why I've spent whatever time online I have on that? As I can attest, it's the perfect way to procrastinate! :-)

BUT ANYWAY. Hope you're having a happy spring so far! I thought I'd break my radio silence by posting a recent "photo shoot" of me dressed up for a ladies' night out.

Top: Vivace via Amazon | Jeans: Ann Taylor LOFT | Shoes: Fluevog Liz (Kitschy Kitschy Boom Boom family)

I'm trying something new, posing like this. I want to branch out from my usual tilted-head, hand-on-hip, and big-smile poses, which I have to admit works most of the time (and yeah, see below). I thought I'd do something superhero-ish for a bit -- Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Storm, take your pick. The extra two inches from these delicious heels made my legs look a tad more lithe and long, if I do say so myself, and I thought that deserved a superhero pose. Super Liz! Love them.

Comfy and beautiful Liz heels. Great for dancing; I just wish we had better clubs in this town! Or at least clubs where my friends and I didn't feel too old, and grossed out by some of the things people do when they're drunk and, um, libidinous. My friends and I are now determined to have some summer nights of dancing together to our favorite music. E is planning to rent a dance floor for some family parties, so we'll have at least a couple of weekends to make it happen.

On E: Top: DKNY | Jeans: via Sears | Shoes: Fluevog Luxon (Hopeful family)

And here is beautiful E with her princess hair, looking smoking hot in this fun outfit. She continues her quest for health and fitness and is, as you can see, succeeding extraordinarily. :-) Here's to more fun outings. (And I promise to post on them later.)

xo, Gladys

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Still Around, Still Fluevogin'

At the Fluevog L.A. store, trying on some amazing Spring 2014 shoes -- on my feet are the Joys (not yet available online) and the tomato red next to those are the Careys. Top: Pink Owl Apparel via ModCloth | Skinny jeans: LOFT | Shoes: I wore my blue faux snakeskin Fluevog Amies to the store (via Amazon)

Sorry for the radio silence. I haven't forgotten about this blog, but I've recently been over at the For the Love of Vogs site reviewing the first of the new Spring 2014 shoes! Plus there's a crazy CRAZY sale going on right now for last season's shoes. You know I had to at least check it out!

I've also been a little busy with my schoolwork (yay!) and the rest of life, but whaddya know, right when things were settling into a groove and I was finally ready to sit down and blog again, my laptop started going on the fritz. Argh! I'll have to take it in and I really hope it's a simple fix. It makes me jittery to be away from my laptop for long. Addicted much? Yup!

In the meantime, I can still get online, so maybe I'll try to post little things until the laptop issue is settled. 'Til then, enjoy the eye candy!

xo, Gladys

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Year's Healthy Resolution

Happy New Year, everyone!

Like everyone else and their mom, one of my New Year's resolutions this 2014 is to get healthy and fit. Since last summer, I've been doing yoga once a week and Zumba with friends every other week or so. When the swimming season ended, these two activities kept me on track. I also started logging my food and exercise on, which was easy to do with my iPhone (with the bar code scanning). And it all worked: I stopped eating such huge portions, dropped some excess weight, and toned up my arms and especially my legs. Even my waistline shrank a little, though not to 2011 and 2012 levels.

But also like everyone else and their mom, I slacked off around November when the holidays rolled around. I didn't stop doing yoga or Zumba, but I did quit logging my food on MyFitnessPal. I started eating whatever sugary and grain/carb-y thing people offered, and I bought and ate such items for myself even though I knew they would give me gas and bloating later on. (For me, pasta is a huge culprit.) I didn't do any extra workouts to compensate for extra calories coming in. Even worse, I took a couple weeks off from any aerobic activity. My skin started to break out severely from all the cheap chocolate I was stuffing in my face (cheap because they're made up more of sugar and milk than the good stuff, real chocolate). Let's just say I wasn't at my best for most of December.

Thankfully, the week between Christmas and New Year's gave me some time to reflect on how I wanted to get back on track. I've been a fan of the Primal (paleo-ish) living philosophy for years now, but to be honest I've had trouble with the "move more" part. I was always athletic growing up, but it was never about disciplining my body; it was about fun. Moving more as an adult takes a lot more effort and discipline, especially with a child around (strangely enough). If I want to work out, I have to budget the time for myself, something I haven't had a lot of practice doing because I've always preferred my physical activity to be either purposeful or FUN (hence the fact that I don't run or do CrossFit -- those aren't fun to me). When I was in school, it was all decided for me: move intensely during P.E. or track or volleyball or weightlifting practice. In college, I didn't really exercise but I did have to walk up and down hills across a huge campus to get to classes and work. Now I'm a stay-at-home mom trying to finish a huge writing project. All of these factors put together have led me to a mostly-sedentary life. Yoga, while I love it, can only do so much with weight-maintenance, especially if it's just once a week. I need to move more. Period.

The good news: my younger sister splurged on all her siblings for Christmas and bought us cool FitBit fitness trackers that you can wear on your wrist all day (you can take it in the shower and you can sleep with it to track your sleep patterns, too). You can see me wearing my Flex wristband in the photos here. The system displays your daily stats on the computer or smartphone. It's the same idea behind logging your food intake, to make you more aware of how much you're moving around. And if you make your daily goals, your wristband buzzes you and on the stats page you get big green happy faces that say "Hooray!" :-) I know it sounds cheesy but it feels pretty good to see it. Another neat thing is that the app links with MyFitnessPal, so you can tell at any given time how many calories you've taken in versus how many calories you've burned. One consequence of this? I've now done several quick workouts (15-30 minutes long) late at night before the stats turn over to the next day! Haha.

It's early days yet, but so far it's fun and interesting to track all of this info. Even if I don't do it for the whole year, at least I'm getting a good sense of my baseline, and for now I feel good about taking control over my habits. I started a week ago, on New Year's Day, and it was kind of a scary revelation to see just how much food and snacks I had gotten used to eating (I was trying hard not to waste all the leftovers in the fridge) and how little I was moving around to compensate. I knew I was bloated and my pants didn't fit as well as they used to, but I didn't realize how badly I was doing. I really fell off the wagon! So far, though, it's been working. I'm down half a pound already from last week, mostly from losing some of the water my body has been hoarding, and my belly looks and feels a little less puffy.

My best "move more" day was last Saturday, when my little family went hiking so my husband could test out his new GPS tracker. (We like our devices in this house, apparently.) We did a 3.7 mile hike at the famous Vasquez Rocks that included some steep hills. Even the 5-year-old managed it. He got tired midway through, but we took several breaks, drank water regularly, and had snacks. We made it in about two and a half hours, and it felt good. I probably would have preferred moving a little faster and maybe not having to push/carry my kid up and down the hills (it was a little scary a few times), but it was a wonderful experience overall. And it was literally all about taking small steps to get to your goal.

And that leads me to make this corollary to my New Year's resolution of getting more fit: I want to be smarter about how I do it. More mindful. Hiking or just walking with my family would be one way to make that happen. It felt as good as when I meditate during yoga. And so far, an extra 15-30 minutes of Zumba in the evenings (using YouTube videos) has been pretty fun. To be honest, I'm not a diehard fan of doing a full hour of non-stop Zumba the way I do it with my friends (I get exhausted by the 30-minute mark and that's no fun); I just like dancing with friends because of the great company, and sometimes we have brunch together. But our Zumba sessions also aren't as regular as I would like. Hopefully, the quicker version I do at home will be more sustainable on a daily basis and thus do a better job of keeping me on track.

I wanted to end with this photo of one of the huge outcroppings that we saw on our hike. It immediately made me think that a sperm whale or a blue whale had become petrified into rock. Of course not really, but I thought it looked cool. Doesn't that look like a sperm whale's eye to you?

xo, Gladys

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas, Doctor Who Edition 2013

Do our outfits remind you of something, or maybe someone?

That's right! My sisters and I dressed as three different Doctors. From the left, my older sister is dressed as #10 (David Tennant, probably my favorite Doctor), my younger sister is dressed as #11 (Matt Smith, her favorite), and I am dressed as #9 (Christopher Eccleston, the fantastic one-season wonder who is my second favorite).

In contrast to our (sorta) ass-kicking faces above, here we are channeling the goofy and fun aspect of the Doctor:

ON ME: Suede jacket: Ann Taylor LOFT (from many years ago) | Top: GAP | Jeans: Gloria Vanderbilt via Costco (!) | Shoes: Fluevog Qtee via Amazon

It made me happy that we all managed to get into some kind of costume. I think the casualness of our interpretations was perfect for the holidays (it wasn't Halloween or a Comic Con, after all) ... although I wish I'd worn boots rather than my admittedly-gorgeous but still-not-appropriate Mini Qtees, at least for the pic.

Anyway, here are some of my other favorite photos of the day, with lots of kiddos, yummy food, and a last look at our growing family.

Happy New Year's Eve! If you'd like some inspiration on making your New Year's resolutions, here are a few articles and video that I enjoyed:
All thought-provoking. The takeaways? Let's make our resolutions specifically for the New Year in order to harness the power of optimism on this occasion. Instead of roaring out of the gate and being immediate-results-oriented, we should start with small steps to build strong, identity-based habits that will last throughout the year. (We won't burn out so quickly that way.) Finally? Get more sleep!

And with that, I bid farewell to the good and the bad of 2013, and look forward to a wonderful start to 2014! I wish you the same! See you in this space next year. :-)

xo, Gladys

Monday, December 30, 2013

Sewing: Oliver + S Reversible Bucket Hat, Take 2

I didn't want to end the year without one last sewing project, and thankfully this one turned out okay so I can share it with you. Really, though, it's the model who's doing all the work here.

Even if a little blurry, isn't he utterly adorable? Those cheeks say hello!

This is my godson C wearing the reversible bucket hat that I made for him as one of his Christmas presents. If it looks familiar to longtime readers, it's because I have made this hat before -- from a free Oliver + S pattern available here -- and even used the same fabric for one of the sides (his mom picked the fabrics). This time around, however, I confess that I was pretty rusty due to not having sewn anything during the second half of the year. Sorry, C! Well, he doesn't really like the hat (yet), anyway. During the photoshoot, he kept taking it off -- hence the blurriness as I scrambled to take the photos in the waning light. His mom, my older sister, tried to help ... and I just wanted to point out the Doctor Who TARDIS slippers she's wearing in a couple of the photos -- another present from yours truly!

Speaking of which, I'll post some photos of our actual Xmas celebration, which sorta had a Doctor Who theme and made me seriously happy. And then there was the delicious food. And the adorable nephews. And the fun family conversations and music. I was in heaven!

Anyway, if you celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful holiday, too!

xo, Gladys
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