Zenni

I just got my first pair of glasses online. I’ve always been reluctant to try online eyeglass retailers because I wasn’t sure how they’d look or fit, and the quality/sturdiness of them. I’m happy to report back that they worked out fine.

The silicone eyeglass holders work like a charm.  Where have they been all my life!?!  Gamechangers.
(See the little silicone hooks on the back of the glasses? They are life-altering for me. Plastic frames never stay on my face well. I usually just take my glasses off on the treadmill because they will fall off my face. Where have you been all my life!?)
Quality: So-so. 6/10. They definitely feel not as sturdy as the ones I’ve been getting from Costco – my usual place. In the past, I’d just pick a pair that wasn’t made in China. But they’re probably just assembled with parts made in China. Anyway, Zenni’s glasses are all from China and they work just fine. Not great, but decent. What they lack in the frames department, they make up for in the lenses. They have blue light blocking lenses and I wanted to try them. I don’t know if I feel any difference (aside from a very mild yellow tint) but I feel better having them since I stare at glowing boxes at almost all waking hours. By the way, there is a way to turn down the blue light on your computer monitors and iPhones (and maybe newer Droids). Aside from affecting sleep, the Internet told me blue light may possibly cause retinal damage so I’ve turned it down on all my devices where possible. Even if it does none of those things I’ve found it’s easier on my eyes to not have the glow boxes glow so piercingly bright. It’s probably not good for my skin either, but that’s another issue to solve another time.

Look: 10/10. Well, this is a personal preference thing, but their website does offer different model’s faces to try on the glasses. This worked out fine for me. I got a pair of fierce cat-eyes that turned out to be fun and not too fierce. Mew.

Fit: 1/10. Normally, a brick and mortar would adjust them before you walk out with your new glasses. And while I could still take these into a store, I’ve decided to try eyewear retainer straps and ear hooks first. I got plastic frames, and for me no matter how adjusted plastic frames are, they constantly slide down my face. Plus it’s just a hassle at the gym with loosey goosey glasses – which are all of my glasses!! Hopefully, this fixes the fit issue and the gym issue too.

Verdict: I’d do it again. Price wise – a pair of Costco glasses with their coupon is pretty comparable. My Zenni’s came out to $77 and a pair of Costco’s comes out to around $130.
As far as I’m aware though, Costco doesn’t offer blue light blocking lenses yet. If they did, I could go either way. For the extra cost, it’s nice to have someone measure you and fit your glasses properly. And the quality of the frames are better. That’s probably the biggest factor. You’ll be able to find better quality frames at Costco. I still wear my old glasses (the prescription hasn’t changed that much) from many years ago. I suppose I haven’t owned Zenni’s long enough to say how well they’ll hold up. This is just my initial impression seeing three pairs (a coworker tried them too).

So about that last pair of leggings

My supposedly last-pair-of-leggings arrived last week.  I tried them on and saw right through to my underpants.  Folded them back in the bag, sealed them up and sent them back.

Unfortunately, regardless of the price, reputation of the brand, or country of origin, translucency is a common issue with leggings. I think I’m done with leggings for a while now.

Ok, for real this time. This is the last pair!

Sometime last year I enthusiastically jumped on the leggings activewear bandwagon. And I have been on a shopping rampage ever since. There’s the capri, the full length, ankle length, high-waisted, solid, patterned, nylon, polyester, seamless on and ON!

By now, I have racked up enough pairs that I can’t even go through them all in a week despite my best efforts to exercise on a semi-consistent schedule. I’m gonna stop though. Seriously. After this next pair that’s arriving from Amazon, I’m fer reals gonna stop. This is the last pair! I can’t keep buying leggings! There’s no room for them! I’ve already dedicated an entire dresser drawer to activewear and they only fit in there because I keep 80% of my workout clothes at work. So I’m a bit late in the resolutions game, but hey we’re still in January (this month is draggin’), and if I have a new year’s resolution, it’s to try to reign in my passionate love affair with plastic clothing.

    However! Since I’ve been racking up experience with leggings, here’s my general thoughts and opinions about them.

  1. Nylon (as opposed to polyester) can be riskier with being see-through (a.k.a – not squat-proof, as in every time you squat, your underpants show)
  2. Dark colored leggings aren’t as fun but if you’re self-conscious in a class, they blend into the crowd. Also they won’t show sweat. Also, you can wear the black ones under a nice tunic and they can double as work-wear.
  3. Patterned leggings hide VPL the best. The busier the better.
  4. A crotch gusset is preferred. I think it helps minimize camel-toe.
  5. Light colored leggings, though pretty, are the most unforgiving in terms of showing imperfections, like VPL and being less squat-proof. I’m not brave enough to sport no-pattern light-colored leggings.
  6. High-waisted leggings hold in the belly better. It can handle a burrito baby, no problem! I’m a fan of high-waisted pants. Mom jeans all the way.
  7. Full length leggings are more versatile year-round. They’re good to have in the winter and they are generally breathable enough to be worn in the summer too. So I’ve been leaning towards full- or ankle-lengths. Capris are still easier in the summer though.
  8. US-made leggings aren’t always the highest quality. Unfortunately. For example, I got a pair of US-made leggings (Phat Buddha) and they pilled after the first wash. I still wear them and they’re very comfortable (seamless), but it speaks to the quality of them. I’m seeing a lot of high-end activewear coming out of Vietnam and other Asian countries.
  9. How I Care for my plastic clothes: Wash minimally. I wear my items a number of times before I wash them and when I do, it’s in cold water, gentle cycle. Hang to dry. This makes them last longer.

There’s nothing like putting on a nice workout outfit to get in the mood to exercise. Even if I’m just doing it in my living room.

From My Little Pony to this

I’m just an incurable shopping addict. After swearing off buying crap, I recently started buying crap again. In my addict-addled mind, my rationale is:

  1. I work out so I need activewear. Sigh. Anything is justifiable this way. I write, therefore I need a $200 fountain pen!! I leave the house to join society, therefore I need moar clothes! Shoes to go with them! Wheee!
  2. My gym clothes are old cotton t-shirts and pants that are one squat away from a wardrobe malfunction. Time for replacements! (Truly, they’re fine, I just wanted new cute outfits.)

Really, I had no problems with any of my old gym clothes.  In fact, I purposely avoided skin tight leggings and tops because they showed too much detail! They basically show the entire form of the naked body. I looked for sweatpants and loose fitting items made of cotton. I’m not sure what changed my mind.  Maybe seeing it everywhere desensitized me?  Added to that, I recently stumbled upon an activewear YouTube channel, HopeScope. She reviews leggings, sports tops, and other gear and that was about the time of the Nordstrom Anniversary sale and blammo! I jumped on the wagon.

Since then, I’ve been ordering things left and right. I had a few items to return at Nordstrom Rack a week ago and was shaking from the excitement of being in a Nordstrom Rack. I’m just watching Suits and casually browsing every damn night.

The addiction feeling is real.
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I come home to this crime scene and my heart skips a beat! I get a rush. A high! My brain releases real endorphins of pleasure. It’s releasing them right now as I relive it all.
So what have I purchased? Leggings galore!
What have I learned? I hate sports bras! I nearly dislocated my shoulder trying to get out of one.
Also, working out in sweat-wicking comfortable fabric is nice, but at the end of the day, I can do just as well in my rags. I’m still keeping my old stuff in rotation.  The bottoms at least.  The shirts have been repurposed as hair drying rags. 

Here’s my activewear haul (in order of my preference):

  1. Vimmia Leggings: Made in the U.S. Best pair I own. $20.
  2. Beyond Yoga Sports bra: Made in the U.S. $8. Didn’t I just say how much I hated sports bras? These are different. I accidentally ordered two and decided to keep them both. They are phenomenal quality and not hard to get on and off.
  3. Onzie Leggings: Made in the U.S. $23 bucks.
  4. Onzie Capri Leggings: Made in the U.S. $17.
  5. Nux Leggings: Made in the U.S. $20.
  6. Phat Buddha Leggings: Made in the U.S. $12. I’m a bit worried about these. They’re totally nylon spandex which, isn’t that what women’s stockings are made of? And we all know how easy those things snag or run. Hopefully, these are sturdier, although I already snagged it trying to get the tag off – not a promising sign. On the other hand they are comfortable and are squat- and down dog-proof.
  7. Joe Fresh Tee: China. Boo! $6. Polyester.  It’s a plastic shirt basically.
  8. Abound Tee: India. $6. Super soft synthetic shirt. It’s so nice I’m not sure I’m ready to sully it at the gym.
  9. Chromatic Capri Leggings: Came with a set of resistance bands I got. Made in China. $12 (including the bands). Smelled like a gas station until I left them outside for a few days to off-gas. The bands are nice! The leggings are decent, but I wouldn’t have chosen them separately.

I didn’t start out purposefully looking for U.S.-made leggings, the ones that I ended up liking just happened to be U.S.-made.
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All the leggings that I listed are squat proof.

Also I did check Goodwill but it’s very challenging to find good condition activewear items because they take a beating at the gym. I did get a few gently used tops from my friend though, and they work great. Maybe tops are the most promising items to get second hand.

So there you have it. Moral of the story: Shopping is fun! Also YouTube is one gigantic commercial! I’ve fallen into this trap before, with make-up and bullet journaling. And before YouTube, it was My Little Pony.

Scratching the fountain pen itch

Instead of getting a new pen, I got myself a new bottle of ink. I reached the bottoms of the Diamine Evergreen and Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo bottles to the point where I can’t draw it up with the nib. I’ll have to use a syringe to suck up the last of the inks in those bottles. In the meantime, I wanted to have the convenience of a full bottle for easy refilling, where I can just stick the entire nib in the bottle and suck it up. And even though I still have other fairly full bottles, I didn’t want to take my nicer bottles of inks to work (Pelikan Tourmaline, Montblanc Irish Green). So this is more along the lines of introducing more frivolity into my life this year. And apparently, frivolity translates into buying shit I don’t really need.
Noodler's Ink - Black Swan in Australian Roses
But it’s so pretty and it has a lot of variation in light and dark shading. It’s a dark merlot/wine color that’s easy on the eyes.

Beauty products

Tony Moly Strawberry blackhead removing nose packs. Thumbs down.
Blackhead nose strips
I’m not a fan of these types of products, nose strips, but once in a blue moon, I forget that I hate these things and use them again. Then I don’t use it for a long time again. They probably do more harm than good.  I like this Tony Moly version even less.  They reek of a terrible artificial strawberry scent and the three step process is more gimmicky than effective.  It’s basically Biore, but more annoying and no more effective.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. Thumbs up. 
EcoTools and Real Techniques
I got into a conversation with a coworker a few weeks ago, talking about the one makeup we like to wear the most. You know, the whole, “I feel absolutely naked without … ” For her, it was lipstick. For me, it’s blush. Not that I wear it all the time, but it’s probably my most frequently used product. It makes such a difference on my complexion that I’ve had people ask me if I’m well on days I don’t wear it. I had a couple of them fall apart on me last year – a Sonia Kashuk and an E.L.F.  So I got a Real Techniques brush. It can be used for face powder, blush, bronzer, or powder foundation.  I’ve been loving this brush.  The bristles are dense and short and don’t shed.  It blends beautifully and feels very soft.

I also got the EcoTools brush for powder foundation. It’s incredibly soft but not as dense as the Real Techniques. For powdering the whole face though, it’s exactly what I need. Something big and floofy.

Why I love plants

Along the same lines of my love for calendars, plants are like living calendars to me.  In 2 years time, this grew from a cutting to a 9 ft tall plant.  I got that one in 2005 when I worked with this lady who gave me a cutting.  This one came from a leaf I picked up off the floor.  They’re like diaries.  And watching a plant grow reminds of of how slowly and quickly time passes.  Like watching the clock during the last half hour at work, if you stare at a plant, time seems to stop, the plant doesn’t change.  But if you look back to years past, the plant has grown to a huge weed and I realize how many years I’ve known the people at work.

I have talked myself into and out of growing plumerias many times.  I don’t have ideal light or space.  This isn’t even the right climate.  But I was in Hawaii.  And plumerias were in bloom all around me.  I got these three.

Plumeria cuttings planted

I’m crossing my fingers they thrive.

It doesn’t fit!

As a nod to ringing in the Year of the Cock, I am cleaning out my closet. I’m ridding myself of the most obvious – jeans that no longer fit! These are ones that I’m never going to squeeze myself into ever again without doing major organ damage.
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When I first started working, I measured my work hours in the pairs of jeans I could buy. I was making maybe $10/hour and that was about a pair of jeans on sale. For a really fancy pair, I might have splashed out for a $20 pair. Whether it’s because of my slowed metabolism due to aging, or from the all the squats and Warrior threes, or one too many beers, 6 out of these 8 pairs do not fit me anymore.

Makeup Rampage

2 weekends ago, it snowed! with accumulation! So, having hopped up on Peppa Pig and Frangelico and coffee, I went on a makeup shopping rampage. Well, rampage by my standards anyway.

This time, I tried a brand called Mineral Fusion. They carry it at Mom’s and Whole Foods.

  • 3-in-1 Color Stick in Terra Cotta – for the eyes, cheeks, and lips. 1 product that has 3 uses sounds like it’ll be good for all the traveling that I don’t do.  I only use it for the cheeks though. It feels powdery smooth and is very easy to use.  I just swipe some on my face and use my fingers to spread it around until it looks barely there.  Just a hint of life to my zombie-like complexion.
  • Sheer Moisture Lip Tint in Shimmer.  It doesn’t feel like anything on my lips.  I only put a little on and it looks pretty natural.
    Mineral Fusion 3 in 1 and Lip Tint
    Lip products are mostly a miss for me because I have a bad habit of licking it off. Also, I chucked almost all my lip products a few years ago when I learned they had lead and other heavy metals in them (FDA). So now, I only have 2 lipsticks in my retinue (100% Pure (like) and Pacifica Lip Tint (tolerable, would not re-purchase)).

I’ve been using both of these before work. I just apply both products third thing in the morning, then check back right before leaving to make sure I don’t shock myself.  It’s just enough to look like I’m awake and ready to carpe the diem, not the noctis.

I also have a confession. I was looking for foundation and based on Lisa Eldridge’s recommendation, I ordered Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel. After it was too late, it dawned on me to check if it was cruelty-free and I later learn it is not. I will still use it because damage done, but ugh… oops. This is like the time when I needed some watch bands replaced and as I walked out of the store after they’d already done the work, I realized the straps were all leather! I wish exploitation of animals wasn’t so normative and accepted. I hate having to babysit and monitor and be careful! I won’t even bother to tell you if this product is good or bad because we can just assume no matter how this stuff performs, it’s not worth torturing some poor hapless creature for something as trivial as makeup. And it contains fragrance, so thumbs down on that too.