Posts Tagged ‘shoes’

Tax free weekend scores

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

For the first three days of August this year, Virginia stores had tax free promos for school supplies and clothing. It’s an official August Sales Tax Holiday every year in the state, apparently. Panda and I thought it would be a great opportunity for us to go try to find some of the shoes and clothes I’ve been trying to get more of. While initially the plan was to go to Dulles Town Center, we decided to go check out the Leesburg Outlet. That turned out to be a great decision and I found so much stuff that we had no need to shop further after browsing those stores. For the first time ever, I actually enjoyed shopping (and Panda didn’t! It’s like we reversed roles). I guess it was because I went with a purpose: I needed some new flats and jackets.

What a fruitful day! Check out some pics:

girl stretching hands out towards giant hibiscus flower larger than both hands

Wow, I want my own!

charlotte russe black and gold tiger sandals

I was tempted, but they’re not ones I’d get around to wearing much.

shopping bags lined up after trip to outlet

Charlotte Russe, American Eagle, IZOD, J.Crew, and Bass & Co bags lined up. I used the little red Target bag as a purse.

j.crew marley ballet flats in cabernet and black

First stop was J.Crew, where I found these super comfy ballet flats! I’d never bought from this store before and I almost got black patent leather wedges too – also very comfortable. I hope I don’t regret not getting them.

g.h. bass & co shoes elizabeth in fuchsia and sophia in yellow

Next up was a store I was not familiar with – Bass & Co. They had these fun shoes on clearance and I decided to spring for more playful shoes for cheap!

cat sticking face into new shoes enjoying the smell

“Mmmmmm new shoe smell.” (as she stuffs her face in there)

izod jackets mixed media in teal and diamond check fleece in black

As we passed by IZOD, a jacket on the rack outside caught my attention. The teal color is fun and the thermal sleeves are different! I then came across the other style and almost got the blue before trying the black. Who knew golf gear would provide the perfect jackets for me?

american eagle outfitters loose knit sweater jackets

A peek inside AE led to two discoveries of nice, loose sweater jackets.

charlotte russe palmer embossed round toe two strap flats in cam, lace pointy toe ballet flats in black, and blazers in neon orange, purple, and blue

And finally, I spent a good hour in Charlotte Russe trying on jackets and shoes. I had a gift card from a previous return that I needed to use and I found a ton of things I wanted! I now have wonderful black and tan flats to choose from, as well as an assortment of cool blazers.

I’m pretty much set with what I want now, so I’ll only need to buy things that really catch my eye. That’s the stage I’m at with dresses too. It feels great to finally have some of the items I’ve been searching stores for, so I no longer have to think about shopping. Today was an anomaly and I actually wasn’t too tired/grumpy from shopping, PLUS I found a bunch of stuff. Usually I get bored an hour in and never even find something I want. I’m so happy to have gotten this all out of the way in one day!


laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , ,

I hate wearing socks and I generally try to avoid wearing shoes as well. This doesn’t seem to be commonly done though, since I often get comments from people when they see me not wearing socks. Is it such an unusual thing to do?

bare feet crossed at ankles sitting atop blanketFor a long time, it wasn’t anything that came up since for the most part of the past decade I’ve been living in climates that don’t get very cold. With flip flops and flats as the common footwear, it’s normal to not see people wearing socks. But now that I’m back in a place with a true winter (and quite a snowy one at that!), people seem to really notice when I take off my uggs and have no socks on. They also seem to notice that I walk around barefoot indoors, which I guess is not something you do in the winter? I’m surprised people have actually commented on it, which I presume means it’s something odd enough for them to say something rather than notice it and wonder to themselves. Well, all you wonderers, I do indeed leave the socks at home and off my feet unless absolutely needed.

In fact, the only time I do wear socks is with sneakers. What about you?

365great Day 312: boots

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , ,

365great day 312: bootsWhat better footwear for winter are there than boots? They keep your feet snug and warm and even manage to protect your ankles and sometimes your calves or knees, depending on their length. They may not be the most flexible and you certainly don’t want to run in them, but for trudging around in the cold, they’re a wonderful solution. I rarely used to wear them, but now I can’t be without them in the winter. I think back to my childhood wearing normal shoes in winter and wonder if that’s why I always felt freezing. I mean, your toes are bound to get numb after awhile if you don’t protect your feet enough. When I wear boots, I don’t have to worry about wind or snow making my feet icy cold. They’re great for protecting against that!

October Favorites 2013

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

collage of october 2013 favorites including free food, neal's yard remedies, geek squad, haircut, nike sneakers, condo walkthrough, heated car seats, cooking, and paper facial masks

1. free food – This month brought some wonderful opportunities for free food from Whole Foods (community event during the furlough) and Carrabbas (First Tastes event). It’s been awhile since Panda and I have gone out to get free food so it was nice to experience again. Back in college we’d get free Sprinkles cupcakes all the time and occasional other deals that various establishments were offering.

2. NYR Organics – It was a pleasant surprise to come across NYR Organics, the US version of Neal’s Yard Remedies. I’ve been enjoying the simple pleasure of misting my face with their products. The sales rep was even kind enough to send me an empty spray bottle so I could use it for the witch hazel water I had without a spray top. She totally understood that it’s much better when you can apply it that way. I love how mild and gentle these products are, which makes them oh so soothing.

3. Geek Squad – An all too-familiar scene. I think I visited Geek Squad a dozen times in the period of 3 weeks as I tried to get exactly what I wanted. I did exchanges and returns and hardware swaps and software changes with them. All throughout, they remained helpful and patient until I was finally able to get the laptop I’d been seeking, complete with SSD, touchscreen, backlit keyboard, and so much more. While I’m glad they were able to help me through it all, I sure do hope I don’t need to go see them again.

4. haircut – My hair had started to get mousy and I was growing bored of plain black so I decided to go searching for a hairdresser. I had a girl out in Manhattan Beach who I liked to go to, but that’s not very practical anymore. Luckily, the one I decided to try had a sweet lady who was sociable but not too chatty and did a great job. I plan on sticking with her so long as it doesn’t become an inconvenience once we move a bit further from that salon’s location. I’m not super picky with my hair, but it’s nice knowing what to expect. Now my hair is lighter and feels much smoother than before!

5. Nike sneakers – I’ve been wearing these to work almost every day and I love it! All I wanted was super comfy shoes with amazing support and that’s exactly what I found. It’s a nice bonus that I happen to have them in my alma mater’s colors, making them all the more beautiful. I went with Nike because a good friend from college works for them and I love supporting my friends, even if it’s something small. I seriously can’t get enough of those memory foam cushions soothing my feet like never before.

6. condo walkthrough – I really enjoy watching things in progress, so I’ve been keeping an eye on our condo. We were there when it was just a plot of land and now we’re already at the walkthrough stage! I appreciate the pre-drywall walkthrough that we got so we could see the interior of our future home before it fully takes shape. I feel a lot more involved in the process being able to see it at this point and I can’t wait to go through it again when the interior is all pretty (one more month!).

7. heated car seats – I don’t know what I’d be doing without my heated car seat and steering wheel. Every day I’m so glad I was able to get a car with those features because they have made my commute more than comfortable. The heated seat came in especially useful when I hurt my back and needed that sort of warmth to help ease the tension. I’m totally addicted to that feature now and I don’t think I could ever get another car without at least heated seats. Life is so much better when you aren’t freezing.

8. cooking – Between Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, Panda and I are getting a fair share of cooking experience! I love having a box to cook through once a month or so. It’s an activity for us to look forward to doing together and there’s a tasty reward at the end. Plus, we’re building useful skills for the future! Of course, I’m also getting spoiled by it and now I don’t want to have to go grocery shopping or to figure out what to cook. 😛

9. paper facial masks – I’ve always enjoyed masks, but I usually don’t get around to using them because of the whole routine. I inevitably get some in my hair and it takes quite some time to apply and wash them off. When I discovered paper masks where it was a serum formulation that you just let absorb into your skin, I found my holy grail. It’s much easier to get them on and then I can just peel them off whenever and not worry about washing my face. They’re also just more fun to me and I need to stock up on these!

So what are your favorites from October? Anything you found you were using/doing a lot?

365great Day 195: memory foam

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

365great challenge day 195: memory foamOmfreakin’g. I think my feet have found their personal heaven. These memory foam footbeds in my sneakers are fabulous. I’ve often had foot pain due to the lack of padding in my flats, flip flops, and other footwear so this time around I went shopping with just one purpose: comfy shoes that I can stand in for hours. When I started browsing, I happened upon the Nike In Season model of shoe and I knew right away I could get nothing less. I looked for the comfort footbed in other ones, but of the items at the outlet, they were the only ones I could find. Luckily, I liked the colors of this pair, so I got them when I went back. Today I wore them for the first time as a test run throughout the day and never have my feet felt so fabulous. It’s been years since I’ve worn sneakers and now I’m considering wearing nothing but! Or I suppose I could remove the insoles and put them in other shoes. I may not have liked the heavy feeling my head got from a memory foam pillow, but for my feet, it’s a dream come true. Amazingly great!

July Favorites 2013

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Let’s do a recap of the things I enjoyed in July!

collage of july 2013 favorites including julep products, alo drinks, mossimo flip flops, juice beauty skin clearing kit, mossimo bikini, pocket planes, closetmaid cubeicals, dr. scholl's for her insoles, and minnie mouse tank top

1. Julep products – Ok, so this is actually a picture of the trade in which I got a bunch of my most recent Julep products. I’ve actually yet to purchase any Julep products since I’ve gotten much of what I want through trades. Still, if they start selling the green tea blotting papers on their site, I might have to spring for it. I’ve yet to find someone willing to trade! At least I’ve gotten to try their gel top coat, multiples shades of polish, and the cool nail polish dispenser shown here. I’ll definitely continue to try to acquire their products and one of these days I might just subscribe.

2. ALO drinks – I first tried these when they came in my March Goodies box. I really enjoy the bits of aloe floating around, as well as the light fruity flavor of the drink. So when I saw them at Whole Foods, I was pretty happy. I waited until they went on sale and took advantage of the cheaper price, plus the box discount that Whole Foods offers, buying a dozen. I got a total of 5 different flavors to determine which ones I like the most. I’ve now narrowed it down to the original watermelon+peach I got from Goodies and the pomelo lemon+pink grapefruit. Depending on if I want a sweeter or more tart taste, I alternate between the two.

3. Mossimo flip flops – I eyed these at Target for just about two weeks before they went on sale! Of course I had to jump on that the moment Panda told me. The gold tips of these flip flops are so nice and the overall look is casual yet fancy. I love simple things that make you look good but don’t require upkeep – that’s why dressed up flip flops, tinted lip balms, and summer dresses are my friend. Each makes you look like you put in a lot more effort, but they’re pretty effortless. 🙂

4. Juice Beauty skin clearing system – I get emails from Juice Beauty since they’re a brand I wanted to try. When I saw an offer for a 30-day skin clearing kit, I couldn’t resist. I mean, my skin needs help, I’ve been wanting to try this brand (especially the green apple peel), and they have a money back guarantee! Might as well try it, right? I’ve got to admit that the bamboo face towel was a big draw too. I can’t get enough of cute little super soft towels! I got the box on the 10th and have been dutifully using the products as directed. I’ll be sharing my experience in another post.

5. Mossimo bikini – The last time I bought a bikini was in Thailand about four years ago and that set was quite worn! I finally decided to get a new set this summer so I could enjoy the pool without oddly droopy swimwear. I had hoped to use our Disney gift cards in Orlando to find a cute Minnie Mouse bikini, but apparently Disney’s adult swimwear consists of boring black and white pieces best fit for older generations. So, where else would I turn but Target? They had a ton of styles to choose from and I’m most picky about the shape of the bottom, so once I picked that out I just found a top that matched. This one was super cute with the little twist in the front. I also got a reversible triangle top that I can pair with the bottoms, since this top is better for lounging and not too much movement.

6. Pocket Planes – Many years ago, I started playing Pocket Frogs, where you grow and breed frogs in an effort to “collect them all.” Every now and then I get back into it and the last time this happened, they showed me an ad for another game from the same company. I decided to give it a try and now I’ve been playing Pocket Planes consistently. I’m not sure what the draw is, but I sure do want to conquer the world and build airplanes at every available location. As you can see I’ve done pretty well in North America, but have yet to venture far from that. And so the flying continues.

7. ClosetMaid Cubeicals organizer – When I “moved” out here to live with Panda last month, it was the first time I knew I’d be staying for a long time. I finally started to feel like I could make this place home, so my first order of business was to get a piece of furniture I’d wanted. I then found this perfect cube shelving solution that I can use to store my stuff and as a pseudo desk when I’m sitting on the bed. We moved it out to the living area when Panda’s dad came to visit and I’ve yet to decide where it will go in our new place, but no matter what it makes my clutter a little less crazy.

8. Dr. Scholl’s For Her – I got not only the high heel insoles pictured, but massaging gel insoles as well! Both were free – the high heel insoles came in my Sunkissed VoxBox from Influenster and the massaging gel insoles came from BzzAgent. I’ve enjoyed trying these out in my shoes and I found the high heel ones particularly helpful in my recent interview, when I wore those shoes. Not only did they make it less painful to walk in the heels, they helped my feet fill them in better. Without the insoles, my feet would have slipped in and out of the shoes as I walked since they’re more spacious than my feet require.

9. Minnie tank top – I found myself wearing this shirt quite a lot in July! It’s the perfect summer shirt – loose, light, soft. I also love the design that is cute without being too over-the-top. It was the very first item I knew I was going to buy with the Disney gift cards we had. As soon as we were down in Orlando, I made sure to track down my size in a store and claim it. I may not be a huge Disney fan, but I do enjoy my sweet tank!

Alright, that wraps up July for me. Have you tried any of these products? What would you have highlighted in your July favorites?

365great Day 133: flip flops

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , ,

Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 133: flip flopsMy favorite form of footwear has to be flip flops. They let me feet be as free as possible, I get to enjoy any nail polish I may decide to decorate my toes with, and they’re so easy to slip on and off as needed. I don’t like the dry heels that seem to come with, but there are scrubs and lotions for that! I didn’t really start wearing them until I moved to California. Who doesn’t flip flop it in sunny SoCal? It’s the perfect environment to do so since your feet rarely get too cold. It also absolutely fits the laidback vibe. Flip flops are no fuss and you can go anywhere from casual to dressy with different styles. I do wonder how anyone ever came up with the concept – just two straps to hold that flat thing on your feet? Seriously, would you have been an early adopter? I’m glad that they were invented and so widely adopted though (at least in the US), because I think they’re great.

Yuzen Summer 2013 edition (May – July)

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ok, changing it up a bit this time. All my previous posts have been way after the fact so in an effort to be more timely, I will first post up what came in the box and then update as I try the items. The summer box had the most items yet and was just as fantastic as you could imagine.

Yuzen is $26 per quarter (with boxes sent Feb, May, Aug, and Nov) and comes with around 7 or 8 eco-friendly beauty, skincare, food/snacks, and home products. Boxes are sent quarterly with no option to skip, but you can get one-time gift boxes too. Sometimes there’s a waitlist to get the subscription. They do not offer a referral program.

*Disclosure: As a super fan, I was invited to be the Yuzen Ambassador to help them spread the word about their brand. Starting with the October box, I began to receive them for free. I was not compensated otherwise and all opinions are my own, irregardless of my relation to Yuzen. I just happen to think they’re awesome (as does everyone else I’ve heard from). :)

collage of unwrapping of summer 2013 may through july yuzen box

Click on the pictures for the full sizes so you can enjoy all the details of each product!  You can even zoom in to read all the messaging.

collage of sukicolor mineral cream makeup included in the summer 2013 yuzen boxSukiColorLuscious Lips Berry Cream Trio Fresh Finish Mineral Cream Makeup: What a cute little palette! I’ve never had this kind of cream that you brush on your lips and cheeks so I’m pretty excited to try it. Might I add that there’s a nice citrus sort of scent coming from at least one of them (I can’t tell if it’s just one or all). I kind of want to lick them! Is that weird? Well, I’ll probably end up doing that once they’re on my lips anyway. 😉

collage of cocomels sea salt caramels included in the summer 2013 yuzen boxJJ’s Sweets Cocomels – Sea Salt Coconut Milk Caramels: Yum! I love caramels and the concept of making them with coconut milk is pretty cool. I didn’t use to like coconut much but it’s definitely growing on me and these are quite the tasty treat. My taste buds didn’t know what to do with the sweet coconut flavor with a hint of saltiness. So unique!

image of phyt's lait hydro nettoyant included in the summer 2013 yuzen boxPHYT’S – Lait Hydro Nettoyant: Wow, this must have come straight from France – they didn’t even translate the product name into English. I actually took French in middle & high school and I know lait is milk and nettoyant is cleanser/washer. So I could tell this would be a face wash. It cleans off makeup too! It looks super soothing and gentle. I have a lot of face washes/cleansers at the moment so I don’t want to open it just yet. I imagine it to be creamy, maybe even silky and either clear or white-ish. We’ll see if I’m right!

collage of level shower bombs included in the summer 2013 yuzen boxLevel Naturals – Shower Bombs: I got these in a different box awhile back and I actually decided to sell them at that time, but this time around I’m going to try them out! The smell is so invigorating and clears up my sinuses in a snap so I’m sure it’ll be very refreshing in the shower. I might have to keep one intact just to sniff because it is super effective at invigorating and soothing me at the same time. When I get back into the workforce I could definitely use these to help wake me up in the mornings since I am not a morning person. In fact, I often doze off a little while showering and getting ready for work (oops).

collage of acure marula oil and argan oil included in the summer 2013 yuzen boxAcure – Marula Oil & Moroccan Argan Oil: I’ve never heard of marula oil, so I’m totally curious about it. It’s supposed to be good for scars, redness, fine lines, and dry skin and if it lives up to all that I will be very impressed. I scar easily so anything to help prevent that would be amazing. I’m familiar with argan oil for your hair but I’ve never tried it on my face or cuticles so I’m going to use this bottle towards that.

collage of sparitual nail polish and top coat included in the summer 2013 yuzen boxSpaRitual – Emerald City Lacquer & Multitasker Base & Topcoat: Love this brand! We got a bold red in the December Yuzen box and now it’s a beautiful green for the summer. I love that they rolled the base coat and top coat into one so you don’t have to get both separately. These are super cute and I like smaller sizes since I never use much nail polish and I’d rather have small ones of a ton of colors so I can change it up all the time. They also apply really well/easily!

image of pritte moisturizing body lotion included in the summer 2013 yuzen boxPritte – Moisturizing Body Lotion: I like the slender tube and push dispenser they use. It makes their brand seem classier than most and it reminds me of some high-end product lines. I tried a bit and it’s a wonderful citrus sort of scent that I enjoy. It absorbs well and hydrates very effectively. I’m going to have to use this on my feet since they tend to get the worst beating. Got a chance to check out more of their products online and I am really loving their packaging! Maybe it’s the use of gold on the labels? I just want to try more of their products, haha.

collage of action wipes large full body wet wipes included in the summer 2013 yuzen boxAction Wipes – Full-Body Wet Wipes: I can see myself using these after a workout or after being outside in the sun. They seem very refreshing and a great way to rejuvenate your body without having to take a shower. I mean, sometimes it’s just not convenient to have to wash up so I’d totally wipe down instead! I can’t wait to try these out. I’d use them on myself and my yoga mat after a class and I’m sure Panda could make good use of these after his workouts. I’ve been trying to get him to cut down on his water usage and if he can save a rinse with these I think that’d be pretty great.

image of juil discount code card included in the summer 2013 yuzen boxJuil – $40 off discount code: Ok, I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of their style of shoes but I love the concept! I had the same problem with Crocs until they started making more designs so I bet the same would happen with Juil. These shoes are pretty pricey so a $40 discount helps out a lot! (Most of the women’s shoes are $85 and the men’s are $95.) I’d be really curious to try these so I can see what grounding shoes feel like but at the moment this sort of thing is not within my budget.

What a fabulous box! Everything is very fitting for the summer months, helping you soothe, relax, refresh, cool down, calm down, and so much more. There is so much to try and I can’t wait to field test everything!

What do you think of the Summer Yuzen box? Did you receive it too? If this looks like something you (or someone you know) would love, but sure to sign up for the fall box! Currently there’s a waitlist so don’t delay any longer! Also, you can get in line for the summer favorites box, which will include items from previous boxes. Gift it to someone special or claim it for yourself, especially if you missed out on previous boxes.

Dr. Scholl’s custom fitting

laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

This is what we learned about the way we stand:

dr scholls orthotic center machine showing high pressure on heels

You can see I hold most of my weight on my heels and tend to put a little more pressure on the right.

dr scholls orthotic center0 machine showing more pressure on left foot

Meanwhile, Panda puts a lot more pressure on his left foot.

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