Rose: Fashion Forward

Fashionable, I am not. Ask anyone. I have trouble matching colors. I get very stressed when trying to decorate a room. And I’m only just now figuring out what looks good with my figure. On top of that, I haven’t had money for clothes for the past three years. But now I’m trying to branch out a little.

I keep raving about Zulily, but this site is amazing. While it markets itself as a “Deals for Moms, Babies, and Kids,” you don’t need to be any of those things to shop here. I am not a mom, nor am I kid. And I still find good stuff. So far, I’ve bought a few sports bras for myself along with some dresses. I’ve also purchased tutus for my nieces and beautiful winter gowns. I can’t wait until they arrive!

One of my recent purchases included these two dresses, bought from the same company:

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I really took a chance when buying these. I wasn’t sure if I’d dig on the cowl neckline, but I do. It gives this ordinary dress such a flair. Because it’s so short, I pair it with yoga pants underneath. Tights would be too sheer. The yoga pants make me feel covered, along with a nice pair of boots.

As for the dress on the right, this one was interesting. It is a little snug on me; I have bigger hips than what will fit a medium dress. And there are pockets, which I’m constantly adjusting so that I don’t look weird. But I make it work somehow. And pairing it with this sweater seemed to make the dress pop even more. I was actually trying to imitate my boss’s style with this one – she has some lovely dresses with bold patterns on front.

Both of these dresses cost me $20 each. A steal, really, when you think about how much items cost in the store. But the one Zulily downfall is that items take FOREVER to ship. These didn’t arrive until a good 4-5 weeks later. So buy stuff early!

More to come on the Fashion Forward series. I plan on transforming my wardrobe piece by piece in the coming months.

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Rose: Clarisonic Review

In my fitness life, I am all about putting your best face forward. Being confident in your skin goes a long way. And so, about three weeks ago, I decided to take that statement more literally. After eyeing up Clarisonics for months and reading a slew of reviews, I decided to purchase the Deep Pore Cleansing Kit and take care of my often-blemished skin.

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I’ve always suffered with oily and irritated skin as well as some seriously clogged pores. I chock this up to wearing bad makeup and exercising a lot. I’ve been really hard on my face. Over the past couple of years, I started using Bare Minerals makeup. This has been a lot better for my skin than the liquid junk I used to put on my face in high school and college. Still, the results of such bad treatment have left scars, uneven skin, and blemishes.

I got to a point recently where the Bare Minerals make-up wasn’t covering my redness very well. I’m not sure if the formula changed, or if it was my face. Enter: the Clarisonic. This bugger, ticketed at around $150, had been on my wish list for quite some time. My brother’s girlfriend has raved about it. A lot of the reviews call it, “An electric toothbrush for your face.” And I was curious. I thought: maybe this will bring my skin back to a more stable place.

For the past three weeks, I have been using the Deep Pore Cleanser on my face every morning and night. I use the Detoxifying Mask about once a week, on average. Sometimes twice if I remember. Below see my review about how this has been working for me.

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My Experience

No Dryness. Unlike other users of this product, I haven’t experienced dryness from using this twice a day. A lot of reviewers noted they could only use this a couple times a week or once a day. I think it’s all based on your skin type. I have mixed skin: parts are oily while parts are dry. Instead of dryness, I’ve actually experienced slightly oiler skin, which I cover with new make-up.

Breakouts. I know. This is the opposite of what you want, but this happens in the first couple of weeks. Imagine all the gunk and grime that is hiding under the surface. Now you’re using a product that is lifting this from your skin. So you’re bound to get a few breakouts, but, for me, they weren’t that serious. Just a few bumps here and there.

Glowing, smooth skin. I’m now on Week 3 of using the product, and the breakouts have diminished. My skin is now much smoother to the touch and even seems to “glow.” It’s much more radiant than before.

Reduced pore size. Unfortunately, I still have clogged pores :/ But they aren’t nearly as bad as they were when I started using this product. They are noticeably smaller and even seem to be disappearing in some areas. Though I wish they were all gone.

About a month or two from now I’ll write another review. But these are my experiences thus far. I’m not at a stage in my life where I’m ready to post pictures of my bare face on the internet, so, if you want to see my skin, just shoot me an email.

Jenna: Jennapproved

Hope you’re having a great week so far! I am lucky enough to work with some great folks that I also consider to be some of my closest friends. I was talking with my friend Michael through chat the other day and he sent me this note:

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There are a few things I love about this. One, I love that the healthy choice made him think of me AND I always love a good play on words catch phrase (i.e. my Instagram and Twitter handles: lifeinjenneral). I think I’m very funny.

This note made me laugh enough that I started thinking of other Jennapproved things. Here are a few:

shakeologyShakeology WHILE walking to work. Talk about multitasking.

beauxcouchBoston Terriers

greenjuice

Kale, Apple, Cucumber, Lemon Juice

agnogrill

Delicious Mediterranean Platters from Agno Grill

highcalorieburn

heart rate monitors!

Each of these things make me super happy and I’ll most likely go on and on about them if you let me. They certainly receive the Jennapproved stamp.

What’s on your list?

Rose & Jenna Run an 8K

Jenna and I recently raced in the Rothman Institute 8K. Below are our separate reactions, post-race!

Q: What was the best part of the race?

Jenna: There were so many great things! I was so happy that Rose was able to come and run with me. We made a mini weekend out of it, and I had an amazing time. It was also really easy to get to! I hate when races require a painful trip to the start. Another “best part” was when I came around the corner and saw “47:32” on the clock. My goal was to finish between 50 and 55 minutes, so I was very pleasantly surprised that I was able to push myself that hard for 5 miles. Official time: 47:01.

Rose: Being with Jenna, duh. But seriously, that was a key factor in me being successful at the race. It was fun to team up together and tackle a healthy challenge. We ran together for about five minutes before I started lagging behind (right on schedule). But I appreciated that fast start, and I ended up with a time of 51:44, which is great for me (10:24/mile). The race also was organized really well, and the course was easy to follow. After running a few half-marathons, I was pleasantly surprised at how quick the race ended. And all the runners had a lot of energy!

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Q: What was the worst (or most difficult) part of the race:

Jenna: Well, considering I beat my goal by quite a bit, there were many parts of the race that were really hard because I was tired. Walking entered my head a few times. I also wasn’t feeling that great when I woke up (had cramps and some stomach issues. good times.) so some stabbing pains occurred while I was running. Honestly, I think this also helped my time because “just get it over with” definitely entered my mind a few times.

Rose: Well, let’s be honest. I didn’t train a whole lot going into this. So my legs got a bit cramped after mile 3. Anddddd the course got a little boring toward the out (I hate out-and-backs), but I pushed through. There was a little hill at the end, but nothing like those Pittsburgh mountains. So all in all, I’d say the last mile was my hardest battle.

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Q: How do you feel now that it’s completed?

 Jenna: Ah-mazing. I know its wasn’t the half marathon, but it was the longest organized race I’ve done to date! I was really happy with my time, and just had such an amazing time. Between getting to run and catch up with Rose, AND us completing something so great together (I mean, we ran 5 miles by 8:30am!), it really was an awesome weekend. I can’t wait for us to run more together. I’m thinking some 5ks, 10ks, and maybe even a half in our future 🙂

Rose: Really, really good. I mean, I can barely move my legs, and I’m still sore two days later, but really good. I kid. It wasn’t that bad (though I am still sore). I’m just happy that 1. I followed through on a race longer than a 5K and shorter than a half marathon and that 2. I did it with my cousin. It makes this whole living-on-the-east-coast thing a whole lot sweeter. Tell me you don’t feel the love (and I agree with Jenna – many more races in the future!)

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Rose: Asian Quinoa Salad

I made this fantastic quinoa salad last night that’s perfect for some clean eating. Because I can’t eat avocado, and I didn’t have cabbage on hand, I adapted this recipe ever-so-slightly. I also felt the need for a little bit more protein, so I baked tofu using my go-to recipe (see below, but it’s sesame oil + honey + garlic dust … for long-time readers: Gliding Calm’s Ultimate Tofu Recipe!).

You should really try this. Seriously. It’s amazing.

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(Adapted from Damn Delicious: http://damndelicious.net/2013/10/29/asian-quinoa-salad/)

INGREDIENTS
1 package extra firm tofu
1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 cup edamame
1/4 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup corn kernels
1 green onion, thinly sliced

FOR THE SESAME VINAIGRETTE:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Natural Rice Vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated ginger

FOR TOFU:
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
a pinch or two of garlic dust

INSTRUCTIONS

First bake the tofu. I use a simple recipe of sesame oil, honey, and garlic dust. Whisk and brush onto cubes of tofu. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. (Make sure your tofu has been pressed first).

In a medium saucepan, cook quinoa according to package instructions.

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together rice wine vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, sugar, ginger and soy sauce in a small bowl; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, edamame, carrots, corn, and green onion. Stir in sesame vinaigrette.