11.17.2013

Ipsy Box #1 | November

So, Ipsy is another $10 subscription bag that for some reason I think I need. Ispy is more makeup focused than BirchBox - in the makeup world I am trying to branch out and try new products…let's face it red lip stick and black smokey eyes all the time gets old. So, finally after 2 months of waiting (and almost canceling) I finally was given a subscription.
Instead of being delivered in a cute little box like Birch - Ispy is delivered in a makeup bag…changing depending on the theme every month. So, I am pretty pumped on the baggy…gold snake skin! YES! Note: I already have enough makeup bags around my house to give one to every single person on my block - however - I keep finding myself piling more and more into our house. Strange addiction. This months Ipsy theme was GLAM IT UP (hence the gold snake skin bag and the goodies inside of it). I am  super pumped that everything in the bag was a full size sample, totally worth the $10.

Be a Bombshell - Lip Crayon in Hot Damn, $14.00
 Just wore this out to brunch with my girlfriend Katie. I loved it - it was a good color, it was light and didn't smudge. I do wish it would have lasted longer (then again I was eating…what can you expect?). Really look forward to flaunting this more often.
BH Cosmetics - Galaxy Chic  Baked Eyeshadow in Neptune, $ various
Since I had brown eyes I have always been told to use blues and purples for eye shadow. I completely object to this idea..well..until I got this blue and then I mixed it with a little bit of black and it all the sudden became a shade I will wear. Oh, and if you look close enough in the photo above, you can get 20% off on BH Cosmetics using the code above.  
Pixie -  Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched, $18.00
I dig all bronzers and blush.  I received the Subtly Suntouched which has been a good winter/fall time bronzer. Perfect timing too…I had just accidentally dropped my last bronzer and it is crumbling all over the place making a gigantic mess. The color I received has a very subtle simmer to it, and doesn't make me feel like I belong on the Jersey Shore.

Starlooks - Gem Eye Pencil in Topaz, $14.00
 I am a newbie to the makeup scene I guess…I haven't quiet grasped how I am supposed to use this bad  boy. However, the color is cool…I am sure that I will be able to get fancy with this next time I am gearing up for a night out on the town with the ladies.

EM Michelle Phan - Lash Gallery Dramatic Volume Mascara in Black, $20.00
 Conveniently, I had just ran out of  mascara - this couldn't had arrived at a much better time. This stuff goes on really smoothly - the brush doesn't get a bunch of guck on it. This might sound weird, but, it also smells good? Errrmmmmm… With two layers of this mascara I am ready to go.

Nailtini - Nail Lacquer in Champagne, $13.00
Did you read my previous blog about my November BirchBox? Remember I said I received the same exact color in my Ipsy? See…told you! I used this one when I last painted my nails. Super happy with the results - plus it has lasted without chipping for almost 4 nails (this includes a few rough days on the bike). I hope that I get my Nailtini samples in the future to feed my nail polish addiction…


So, overall thoughts of my first Ipsy? Happy. Looking forward to the next bag to see what other goods come my way and figure out if this subscription is worth it or not…

Sending Love,
Xx

Birchbox # 3 || November

You know what is a bummer? When there is a national holiday and the post office is closed on the day you think your Birchbox is going to arrive. ha! I decided I am going to stop tracking my subscription boxes just so I stop getting let down when I come from from work and don't see it sitting on the table.
So, my November BirchBox finally arrived (on the same day as my Ipsy - that is worthy of a different post). This time I did not immediately rip into the box, I actually went and started to make dinner and then eventually got to opening the box.
This months theme was More Good aka getting ready for holiday season (deep breath, are the holidays already here?!?). This months box contained the following:

Chella - Highlighter Pencil, $18.00
This little highlighter has actually been pretty useful for lighting up the smokey eye - eye shadow that I like to do. I haven't used it for the suggested purposes of blending into brow bones, cheekbones and along lip yet…
Color Club - Cocktail Hour Collection, $8.00
Oddly enough, my Ispy came with the exact same color from a different brand. I really like this color - it is nice and subtle - these days I am into the neutral colored nail polishes rather than the loud/bright ones. What is this world coming to?!?! ha!
Ghiradelli Chocolate Bar - Mint Chocolate Flavor, $N/A
This was an add into the box this month. Let's just say I was STOKED to see some chocolate in there - I love Ghiradelli, I am a sucker for buying the truffles that are merchandised at checkout lines in the store…honestly, who doesn't do that though?
Juicy Couture - Viva La Juicy Noir, $90 for 3.4 oz. 
Not a huge Juicy fan. It reminds me of two things: 1 being 16 year old girls and the other being the Glendale Galleria. Samples like this come in really handy when it comes to keeping a coverup scent in the car (aka, after I go riding and need to mask that). Okay, so I admit I did once own a bottle of Juicy perfume - I was also 18 and a sorority girl.
LA FRESH - Oil Free FAce Cleanser /Scented, $9.99
 I haven't had the chance to use this year. Like all face products I am slightly tentative since it has to do with my face and sensitive skin. There is nothing worse that walking around with a giant something on your face because you switched products - I like to stick to the basics aka Witch Hazel and water. I will admit at I did really enjoy the sample of Egyptian Magic that I received back in my September box.
Tiossan - Body Cream, $38.00
I haven't had a chance to use this yet. It is so darn dry here that my body just sucks up lotion - so I tend to go for more inexpensive stuff (that I can buy in bulk sizes at Target) since I go through so much of it. I absolutely love the packaging of this - and the smell of the cream isn't horrible either. Who knows, maybe I will finally find a cream that I can't live without…

Overall, I am pretty happy with this box - really looking forward to the December box.

Sending Love, Xx

11.13.2013

48-Hours to Live :: 2013 Rapha Gentlemen's Ride, LA Edition

This last weekend was a big weekend for me, on Saturday I participated in the Rapha Gentlemen's Race (Check out #RGR on Instagram). So, I would like to preface this blog with saying it is really hard to put into words the experience that I had during this race/ride - it was literally the BEST DAY EVER. Also, I like to ramble…

To start it off, a big huge props to the handful of women who stepped up to the plate and showed everyone that gentlemen's rides are not just for gentlemen. It was awesome to see a group of badass chicks enduring this course just as well…if not better…than the dudes. It was extremely inspirational to see you out there.  Way to go!!! 

During the first week of October I received an e-mail from a fellow co-work (whom, I must mention is a totally badass), asking if I was interested in doing something called the Gentlemen's ride, I naively answered with a quick YES! I had no clue what it was, but, it had to do with bikes and riding up hill so I was instantly in.

After a weekend out in the desert doing my crazy little mountain biker thing at Rampage, it was time to get serious. It was time to trade in the baggies, for some spandex...Time to start riding my butt off (literally). Every moment I could get out on my road bike, I was out there. Saturdays started to consist of walking up - coffee - carbs - 100 miles - more carbs - stretch - sleep. I will admit, it was pretty rad to jump on my bike and just go; nothing to worry about (with the exception of making it home). Truth be told, I am looking forward to 100 this Saturday - no, I am not just stoping because the ride is over, I want to do more RGR's sooooo badly. It was getting down to the wire, I went out on my last weekend 100 and had a really crumby day on the bike - I felt completely defeated and I am sure my teammates were questioning my skills (this event is comprised of a 6 person team - this six person team happened to be made out of 5 extremely strong and talented male riders and me!) - after a few days off the bike, and a lot of soft pedaling on the days I did ride I was as ready as I could be. T-minus one week to take off, I would walk the halls at work and people would say Are you ready? I would try to confidently answer back YES but that was only a facade; every time the ride was brought  up my heart would flutter with anxiety. Let's just say I was told I was off my rocker more than once while training for this - my response? At least I'm not normal! 

Life just got easier thanks to Blick & the boys at Surf City Cyclery

They say never change anything on your bike the day before a race, well, that is not applicable to me...
One last pre-ride with the boys. 
Earlier in the week we had changed my 9 speed / 23 cassette to a 9 speed / 27 cassette (thank goodness!). By Friday I had a fresh set of rubber, a new chain, more spare tubes & CO2 cartiridges than a bike shop, a box full of Hammer Nutrition products, a box of waffles, a kick ass pair of Oakley Radarlocks, 2 bottles of grape flavored Pedialyte, and a small dose of anxiety mixed with a shot of nerves, and some freshly painted finger nails.

Breakfast of Champions. 
Saturday morning snuck up on me a lot faster than expected. I found myself getting all Rachel Ray in the kitchen at 4:30 in the morning. Fresh coffee, a few waffles, a few eggs…a tamale? While reading the news and listening to jams...Why not! I fashionably rolled out of the door promptly at 6:15 with one of my team members/ bike to work colleagues. After finally succumbing to Siri's directions we made it to Gold Road Brewing aka the primary colors buildings in Glendale, CA. The street was lined with cars and people on bikes flew back and forth down the center of the road - the common meeting spot ended up being the Porta Loos. For some reason I thought that 45 minutes would be ample time for getting ready…well…try riding a small bike frame and trying to fit 3 spare tubes with a saddle pack on there, and food for an 8 hour ride in a two pocket jersey along with a pump. It was like doing a puzzle, too earlier for this! After almost missing my teams start because I had failed to put air in my tires the night before and was busy shoving one last waffle in my mouth...we were off (on time too! I am only a disaster half the time).



We bobbed and weaved throughout Glendale and up towards the mountains. I kept looking up to the terrain that laid ahead thinking, that is where our cue card is taking us... About 4 days before the race I learned that the course would consist of a hefty dirt portion (which I was fine with), 14,000 feet of climbing ( umm were they secretly flying us to the base of a 14er in Colorado?) all over 100ish miles. This was also a self-service ride…yes, that means you carry your own crap (luckily Bike Effect had set up a few support stations just before & after the most grueling section of the race aka the dirt). We hit the Angeles National Forest signs and it only meant one thing: Go Time - legs don't fail me now! As we started to follow the road up I knew that these little legs were going to be just fine, I was jamming and so was the rest of the team. By the time we hit the dirt I was so excited! The morale was high, and we were ready to rally…dirt is my thing. I have also come to the conclusion that my brain was turned off half of the time.

The Gents & I

Have you ever tried to climb some skinny tires up a non-maintained dirt road? Try it sometime…you are in for a good time. Chances are your bike handled skills will become exponentially better. You will quickly learn you can no longer depend on climbing out of your saddle, you don't have dependable knobbies for traction. Chances are you are digging for gears that no longer exist, trying to figure out how to make the strain easier. I would compare some parts of the course like riding your bike on the beach: sand and soft spots everywhere with softball sizes rocks scattered all around - honestly, that was part of the fun. The last communication e-mail we received from Rapha said simply this: The paved section behind the gate is technically paved, but the mountain roads in Peru are in better shape. Now, I haven't ever been to Peru, but, when I read this I had a feeling that there would be potholes larger enough for me to fit in- I was right. Tip: it's easier to go into technical stuff with speed instead of approaching it slow, that is a little mountain bike trick I have - perhaps it is just because I am young and dumb. At one point I told a teammate that I was more comfortable on the dirt than I was riding the white line on the side of the road.
Let's face it, it was only a matter of time before the team started flatting on this type of terrain it was inevitable…good thing we were prepared for this because it did not happen just once, but about 5 times. At one point, I knew my legs couldn't stand still much longer so I left the boys to dabble with their tire/tube issue. Because of our mechanical stops it had almost become a game of cat and mouse with some of the other teams. Like I said, I took off and planned on meeting everyone at the top of the climb...quickly found my pace and started going - Up, Up and Away! I had a few extra boosts of confidence when I would pass/catch up to teams of guys and hear that I was crushing it - honestly, thank you for boosting my ego that day and make me keep charging. I also want to thank the team who offered me a shot of whiskey...tempting...but I am glad I stuck to water. It seemed like around every corner there was another surprise climb, the view was insane, the lack of oxygen was real at 6K feet - hard to actually believe that you were in Los Angeles. I wish I would have been able to get more photos, but, I was nervous my phone might die and I wanted it for safety reasons…let's just say my Instagram (@ereederreadsanereader) feed is lacking.

I found this on the inter web from the ride, I got to take in this view all day. NBD. 

Rolling. 
Aside from riding the dirt the second best part of this ride was the decent. Go try it for yourself sometime…fresh pavement, flowy turns you could layover and not need to touch the brakes. Gosh, I wish I had another 20 lbs on me to shoot me down the road just a tad faster. I will leave it at that, I don't want you to drool on your keyboard…

Coco-cola, generally not in the top things I consume. Actually, I don't think I had touched a coke since I stopped racing a few years ago. Well, the one that I had around mile 70 had never tasted so good. Seriously…

Saturday was a true test of skill, stamina and team dynamic. I am happy to say that our team finished together right before the sun started to set. I am so proud of everyone who took on this challenge. One word: Rockstars! We were welcomed back by a crew sipping on craft beers, which we quickly joined and watched the other teams roll in. Still waiting on the official results, and hopefully a rad little flick and some photos.

Ride Stats

  • 103 miles
  • 13,907 ft
  • 7 hours 43 minutes moving time


High-five!

Sending Love from SoCal. Xx

11.04.2013

2-Wheels

It currently smells like feet in our house, I know for sure that it is not me. No way, no how! Gross.

So, the last few weekends I have taken off from adventuring and really focused on saddle time aka getting my riding legs back underneath me so that I am fully prepared for the race/ride endeavor that I am about to embark on this upcoming weekend (phewwww deep breath). Year to date I have ridden almost 2,900 miles - personally I think that is pretty neat! Last weekend was a really the final weekend that I had to work out any kinks in my riding - well, it was a disaster. I knew within just a few miles that my legs were toast. It was one of the most rotten feelings on earth...my mind wanted to go-go-go but my body was just plain exhausted. Oddly enough, just about 48-hours prior I had a highly respected individual tell me to "take a break!", okay...you win.

Oh, how bout them Red Sox? YESSIR!

It just so happens that the company I work for loves to do outrageous events, that are a huge liability. I pick and chose carefully when deciding to participate. One of my biggest fears in life is knocking my teeth out so if I am going to harm my both & it doesn't have to do with two wheels (aka a bike) I am OUT. This time around it was Big Wheelers, you know - the kind that your rode circa 1992 - but - of course these have been designed to the 9's. Would you expect anything less? Did I also mention it was Halloween that same day? Well it was. You know what that means? BAT SHOES! The one day a year that I can wear my halloween kicks. This is about the most dressed up I have been since college.

Bats. 

Lowrider - literally

Skillz

Little Red. 


Back to Saturday...we had a big plan of doing a bunch of climbing. After about 1/2 way through the ride I had to change my personal agenda and take and easier route home. 108 miles, turned into a measly 88 miles. I really wanted to get in 100, but, my body wouldn't let me. With the temperatures slightly colder in the morning now one of the biggest challenges is properly layering for the ride and being able to pack the layers away while riding. It was a balance of eating food and taking of clothing...weird. Then...put layers back on for descents. I am hoping that I have ample time to prepare exactly how to pack my bike/jersey for the upcoming weekend - food, tubes, layers, water. Today I changed out my cassette and chain, thanks to the help of Blick and the guys at Surf City Cyclery. Tomorrow I need to swap around my tires and start to "pack".

These bad boys didn't want to move on Saturday. 

Soak. 

So, what is the best part of all this riding? The eating...okay, in all honesty I am normally not hungry when I finish big rides - probably from the sugar intake during the rides. Because of my level of tired I decided that it was important to get some grub in my tumtum. A little secret to my SoCal friends...Sprouts has some of the best sandwiches, plus they are like $4. All the simple sammy essentials are on the menu - in the amount of time it takes to pick a dress from the cooler your food is ready. But, why stop there? When a doctor comes home early from his rotation and is hungry what better way to curb that hunger than with Pie Not? This place has become our weekly go-to especially after my long rides. They have a chef's special right now that is like a chicken pot pie that I really want to get my grubby little paws on sooner rather than later. Birthday dinner? Perhaps! Did I mention that they have the best lattes ever? Because they do!



So, to make up for those 12 miles I skipped out on it was decided that we would go and check out a new bar, Pie Society for some moscow mules. Two things: 1) Yum! 2) if you want to sit down...good luck. If you like the speakeasy vibe, and uber hip people this is your place! There is another speakeasy that I just heard about, I am looking forward to checking this place out.

Mules!
Cruiser Tricks. 
Saturday we slept in, and by slept in I mean sleeeeepptttttt in. I completely took advantage of the +1 with daylight savings (which is the silliest thing on earth - right up there with Real Housewives). Then, what else would one do on a Sunday....eat? Ha, how did you know...
We adventured to Huntington to Bruxie. Yum yum and yum. Worth every cent for that extra $1 real Vermont maple syrup (just like being home).

So, as you can tell I am a fat kid that really enjoys breakfast like foods and competitive cooking shows.

A few more days to grab some base miles for the week, then, come Saturday at 8 am I will be riding. What better way to bring in a new year than riding 100 miles with 13K of climbing the day before? See ya 26.
Did I mention that I bought a new pair of shoes? They are legit. 

Monday lunch. Getting in a few more K's of climbing. 
Time for some Zzzz's.

Sending Love.