Posts Tagged ‘review’

Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival

This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Newport Beach Wine and Food Fest at the Newport Beach Civic Center.

IMG_0128There were over 200 wines being poured and lots of bites from local restaurants here in OC. I probably drank double what I ate, but….. no regrets.

Wine and food fests are pretty much my favorite thing ever, because really what’s better than being outside in sunny weather drinking and snacking?

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IMG_0084 IMG_0085Anyone else there as well? It was such a wonderfully done event, although more water coolers would probably have been useful considering the number of people. I’m already excited for next year.

Personal favs of the event? Pasta from Filomena’s (see above), roasted veggies from True Food Kitchen, brut champagne from Louis Roederer, and the wine from a local classic, Hi-Time Wine Cellar. ūüėČ

Thank you to the Newport Beach Food and Wine Fest for having me!

 

Happy Tuesday! xo

 

If you were at the food and wine fest as well, tell me what your favorite part was!

Review: Hillshire Farms Naturals

Hello, hello friends!

Let’s talk about lunch, shall we?¬†IMG_6395

It’s, hands down, my least favorite meal. ¬†If I wasn’t a hangry grump when I’m hungry (and a huge lover of food in general), I would probably avoid¬†it altogether. I mean, it’s just never been an exciting meal to me!

When I worked from an office, I used to LOATHE packing my lunch each night (almost as much as I hate packing my suitcase for a trip….). Since I work from home full-time now that I’ve moved to Orange County (or part-time at my “office,” as I like to refer to Starbucks as), I tend to often eat things like egg sandys or a sweet potato and veggie burger at lunchtime. And I pretty much never take a clear lunch break, because when you work from home you’re kinda always on the clock. Because, um, you work from home, and shouldn’t you have just the easiest schedule….duh? [Sarcasm.]

So ¬†that was a very long-winded way of saying that really, I prefer¬†simple meals at lunch…………And that rings even truer now on Tuesdays and Thursdays, since on those days I have Anatomy,¬†and end up wrapping up my work day a smidge earlier than usual in order to get to class¬†on time.

IMG_6392 And honestly, what’s much simpler than a turkey sandwich?

Um, yeah – exactly.

I’m actually a HUGE fan of deli sandwiches. Maybe its the eternal New Yorker in me, but I think they’re the best. For some reason, though, I rarely make myself a sandwich at home unless it’s a breakfast sandwich or pb + banana…. mainly because I never¬†remember to go wait in line at the deli counter at the supermarket to actually get cold cuts. Cue Hillshire Farm!

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As you probably guessed from the title of this post,  as part of my blogging partnership with Hillshire, I was asked to try their new line of Naturals lunchmeat. To be 100% honest, I usually steer clear of pre-packaged deli meat, after a few questionable experiences with a couple other brands. I was a little hesitant to give this one by Hillshire a shot, but for the sake of not being a close-minded weenie, I used their roasted turkey to make a sandwich recently before class.

First of all, it was tasty, and not at all reminiscent of the gross experiences I’d had in the past with brands I will not name. I was also relieved to see the ingredients list was normal, and not full of strange chemicals or creepy fillers.

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Turkey + ripe tomato + raw spinach + avocado + lots of spicy mustard on two slices of toasted sesame seed Ezekiel bread (<–fav sliced bread!)….. perfect.

I actually finished off¬†a slice on its own while still preparing my sandwich…. the hunger monster has zero patience {insert monkey covering its eye emoji}.

I will admit I like my deli meat to be sliced thinner, but really that’s just my personal preference. Regardless, this stuff is pretty good for a ¬†healthy and protein-filled lunch in a flash! AND – which impresses me –¬†Hillshire Farm will provide a¬†100% refund¬†for every package of meat that a consumer is not satisfied with.

And on that note, I need plenty of easy meals the next couple weeks – I have approximately a million quizzes and tests in the next two weeks. YAY.

Ready for the weekend yet? xo
What’s your fav simple/go-to lunch? What do you pack if you have to eat lunch in the office?

 

 

*I was provided this lunchmeat to try complimentary in¬†return for my¬†blog post, but as always, all thoughts are honest and 100% my own//#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between my¬†site and Hillshire. This could include Hillshire providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Review: ClassPass San Diego

It’s almost Christmas!

I’m traveling back¬†to Las Vegas today to be with my family, and I can’t wait! Although it doesn’t really FEEL like Christmas (sunshine and 70s will do that to you), I’m definitely ready for a break and I’ve been really trying to get into the spirit. I even bought extra decorations for my apartment, just because it seemed like a good idea. And really, when are gold glitter bows a bad idea?

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Exactly.

Anyways, I wanted to share my experience this last month using ClassPass!

I’m always embarrassingly honest with you guys, and so I have to start this review with a disclaimer – I was out of town traveling for a huge chunk of my intro month with ClassPass, which meant I really didn’t get to utilize it for a full 30 days as was intended. That being said, I did use it for what I feel like is really its largest asset and main goal: providing an opportunity for fitness¬†lovers in a given city to explore¬†new studios and ways to get your sweat on.

As a reminder, for a monthly fee, you become a ClassPass member and can take unlimited classes per month at their participating studios (and only 3 classes per studio per month). 

I checked out studios I never even knew existed in San Diego, ranging from cycling to yoga to barre (yes, I cheated on my bff, Pure Barre). The majority of the studios listed on their San Diego map were outside of my neighborhood, and not even on my radar prior to my collaboration with ClassPass… and, quite frankly, studios I’d probably not had motivation to crash had I not had the added incentive of the class being free. ūüėČ Like Bird Rock Yoga in Pacific Beach.

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Um, this studio is so lovely, and so San Diego. Even though I wasn’t in love¬†with my early flow class that I took, I wanted to move in. (Note: nothing against Bird Rock – this was¬†solely because I like my yoga studios to be more heated than this particular class was.)

Anyways, for someone who loves being active, I found it incredibly exciting to see the plethora of workouts at my disposal. ClassPass was an awesome opportunity to break out of my daily exercise routine and spice things up. I now have a list of studios I want to visit (or revisit).

I am not buying a ClassPass membership for myself – at least not right now –¬†but that’s only because I find the $99 per month is a bit too much since I’d want to be able to take more than 3 classes at Pure Barre per month, and I would still have¬†my regular gym membership (particularly for when I travel outside of SD, which is often). BUT, if you want a chance to check out new studios in your city¬†“safely” (i.e.,¬†for a cheaper rate than a full-time membership would be at each of the awesome studios!), or just to keep your workout routine fresh and fun, this is definitely a great option.

Okay, time to pack! (Mmm, smells like procrastination.)

xo

 

Have you tried ClassPass in your city? What’d you think?

Book Review: It Was Me All Along

Last week I finished reading a copy of Andie Mitchell’s new (and first) book, It Was Me All Along.¬†I feel like a ten year old version of myself, wishing the book was not over so I could keep turning pages.

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I was gloriously lucky to have been offered an  advance version of the book, which is set to be released this January. As I turned to the very last page, curled up in the darkness of my bedroom Tuesday night, I felt reluctant to let go; it seemed like saying goodbye to a long lost pal, trying to extract myself from the world painted with a heart wide open within those chapters.

In other words, I loved the book.

I have followed Andie’s blog for years, and consider her – in the most non-creepy way possible – a virtual friend. Her words have a way of lending to that feeling. They wash over you ¬†and you instantly feel like you are walking alongside her, confiding with a dear friend.

I don’t want to spoil¬†the story¬†for you, but here’s a quick synopsis from Amazon:¬†A heartbreakingly honest, endearing memoir of incredible weight loss by a young food blogger who battles body image issues and overcomes food addiction to find self-acceptance.”

I feel like they should have added “…and then some” to the end of that summary, because to me this memoir was far¬†more than someone’s¬†weight loss journey; in fact, that was merely the tip of the iceberg.

For those of you who may also have read Andie’s blog, this book is not merely¬†an extension of it. Rather it is distinct and¬†stands on¬†its own, but with a familiarity that makes the reader nod along. From the first page of the introduction, Andie warmly grasps the reader’s hand and brings you along on her journey. My heart ached for her in many ways, so entrenched in her story and her words that I found myself wishing almost that this had been a fiction novel, and not a memoir. Is that odd? Perhaps, but I was engrossed and couldn’t help feeling¬†connected to the narrator {i.e., Andie}.

Cough – English major alert – cough.

I found myself completely overtaken by Andie’s story, so much so that all of my waking hours were spent trying to squeeze in time to finish reading. I even did something a book hasn’t compelled me to do¬†since I was a little girl: climbing into bed pretending I was going to sleep, but instead staying up way past my bedtime to read just one more page, one more chapter. Andie’s¬†writing is beautifully clean and vivid, from descriptions¬†of¬†stray¬†crumbs dusting¬†greasy muffin¬†liners¬†to unsettling relationship issues. Her words say so much more than what is simply on the page, which is what all writers aspire to in their writing.

This is a book¬†about honesty, toward¬†raw feelings and heartache and joy, even more so than simply relationships with food, family, and herself. I feel privileged to have read it, as if I was allowed a teensy glance at¬†the author’s soul.

Bottom line: I¬†highly recommend reading¬†It Was Me All Along once it’s released, regardless of whether or not you know (or care) about the author, or if you’ve never struggled with body image or weight issues. It’s so much more.

xo

 

**Thank you kindly to Clarkson Potter/Crown Publishing/Random House for the opportunity to read and review  this book. Although this book was provided to me, all opinions are honest and 100% my own. 

 

Fabletics Activewear Review

Hi friends!

I hope your hump day’s off to a good start. First things first! I tried Barre3 yesterday and then RideOn SD {a spinning studio in Pacific Beach} this morning using ClassPass, and it’s been a fun change of pace from my normal workout routine.¬†As for using ClassPass’s system – a breeze so far! I’ll be writing another post dedicated to my opinions on it after my one month trial is over.

Anyways, today I wanted to tell you guys about my recent Fabletics purchase! *


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I’d been seeing the ads everywhere, and since I’d been in the market for new leggings, thought¬†I’d give Fabletics a shot. Their website is sort of weird, but the gist is that¬†you can choose to either shop individual pieces, or buy complete outfits pre-designed¬†by Fabletics stylists. You can also become a VIP member, which means you get to¬†pay slashed prices on items and automatically get outfits delivered every month.

To be honest, I¬†had¬†pretty low expectations due to a poor¬†experience¬†with their customer service reps, and wasn’t sure how great the quality would be. Since they advertise a complete activewear outfit for just $25 when it’s¬†your first purchase, i.e., ¬†leggings + shirt¬†+¬†possibly a sports bra, I figured¬†it was worth the risk.

Here’s what I ordered:

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This was the “Brink” outfit, aka a pair of the Lima capris in mulberry, and the Norwalk tank in white and¬†lime green.

My purchase arrived pretty quickly, and – surprisingly – fit perfectly. I’d read all the reviews on the items I ordered, and tried to choose my sizes accordingly. I’m very petite, though, so I was a little wary. I probably could have sized up one size for the shirt because the bra part was a little tight, but otherwise no issues! Upon first glance, I loved the colors of both pieces, and was instantly impressed with the quality. The leggings felt thick with the right amount of compression, and the shirt seemed like a typical workout shirt I’d buy elsewhere, with an added airy quality due to the partially mesh material.¬†I am a big fan of these types of workout tops in general — with the fitted sports bra and blousey lower half.

I tested out the outfit first in a  cardio barre class, and then on another day for sweaty sprint intervals and a stairmaster workout at the gym.

The entire outfit was perfect for barre, and held up against lots of squatting, leg-lifting, and arm raises. The capris didn’t feel too tight in the waist or end up loosing up (always a legging pet peeve on workouts), and the tight stretch¬†stayed put.

As for the clothes’¬†performance on the second day during a gym workout? ¬†Well, the capris¬†survived again without a hitch, but the shirt sort of stretched out ¬†during my run. It has a cinch tie, which didn’t seem to hold up when running at a fast pace. I will probably reserve it for yoga and barre classes.

These leggings are definitely not see-through¬†(hallelujah), and the color is so vibrant they make me smile just looking at them! One flaw, though:¬†sweat is¬†definitely visible on this particular color leggings…. and by sweat, I mean in spots on your lower half you probably don’t want people staring at while you’re sprinting….or, um, ever. ūüėČ

Bottom line: I was really satisfied with my purchase! The jury’s still out on whether or not I’ll order from Fabletics again, but the clothes were definitely cute and efficient enough to warrant it — especially for the discounted VIP prices.

And now it’s time to get to work! Have a great Wednesday!

 

Anyone else tried Fabletics yet? What’d you think?

 

*FYI, this review is completely my own – I have zero connection to Fabletics other that being a new consumer.

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