Sunday, January 29, 2017

Embroidered Jeans with Faux Leather Jacket, Farmers Market in Campbell, and Burnt Rice in San Jose

Campbell Farmers Market 

We used to go to the Campbell Farmers Market every week, but we haven’t been in many weeks for various reasons. But last weekend, we made it.

Farmers Market 3

I really wanted to wear my embroidered jeans with my faux leather jacket, but in retrospect, it was a bit too cold for the outfit… 

Farmers Market 1

Since the jeans are a bit “loud,” I kept the rest of the outfit neutral.

Farmers Market 2

Our trip was pretty short, but we picked up some raw cheddar cheese, several heads of romanesco (which we love but is only available for a short period of time), lemons, and bread. 

The kid also picked out the best blood oranges.  

Farmers Market 4

And I picked out some super sweet and delicious grapes. Okay, I got lucky…  

Farmers Market 5

Burnt Rice in San Jose

And then we went to check out a new-to-us restaurant, Burnt Rice on Curtner Avenue in San Jose. Burnt Rice is a Korean restaurant that serves traditional Korean dishes as well as fusion dishes. Andy wasn’t really up for experimenting with fusion dishes, such as their Oppa Gangnam fries - cajun seasoned fries topped with nacho cheese sauce, fresh kimchi, green onions, an egg your way, and a choice of beef, bulgogi, pork belly, spicy or sweet koriake chicken or pork. Other dishes on the fusion menu include tacos and burritos.

Burnt Rice 1

We started by sharing an appetizer, the pork belly musubi, which was excellent. 

Burnt Rice 2

The boys got a bunch of meats - L.A. Style Kal Bi and spicy pork. Both meats were very good. They were served with rice, soup and Korean side dishes. Our only, minor, complaint would be that there were only four side dishes - many Korean restaurants provide more. The side dishes were also pretty small and weren’t refilled, which is customary in many Korean restaurants (but we also didn’t ask for refills).

Burnt Rice 3
Burnt Rice 4 
I ordered lettuce wraps (from the appetizer menu) and loved them. The lettuce was nice and fresh, and I loved filling it with the grilled meat. They also come with rice, but I skipped it.

Burnt Rice 5

Questions: Have you ever had Korean food? If so, did you like it? What was your favorite dish? What piece of clothing in your closet are you looking forward to wearing once it gets a bit warmer (or colder, if it's summer right now where you live)?

Be well,

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom Book Review

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the publisher of a new book, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom,* and asked if I was interested in reviewing the book. I have been practicing yoga on and off for many years and have attended a few Ayurvedic workshops so naturally I was interested in the book. I was sent a prerelease copy of the book, which is being released on February 1, 2017.


The author of the book is Acharya Shunya, who studied Ayurveda with her grandfather as her teacher and guru. She is the founder of a spiritual foundation, Vedika Global, and the president of the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine.

On of the key points of Ayurveda is the belief that our body can heal itself. In the book, Shunya outlines the principles of an Ayurvedic lifestyle and gives many examples of people who have been able to heal themselves. She covers daily self care rituals, self massage, skin care, food, food and lifestyle routines by time of day and the seasons, and more. I think the book is a great read for someone who is completely new to Ayurveda as it provides an engaging and comprehensive discussion of the subject. And it’s also a great book for those who want to delve deeper as it is filled with a plethora of detailed information.

Personally, I also like that readers are able to pick out a few simple lifestyles changes that can bring about positive changes in their lives if they don’t feel like embarking on making all the changes. For example, right at the beginning of the book, there is a simple list of 5 things everyone can do that can bring a positive change (from p. 2 of the prerelease copy):
  1. Wake up early each morning at a set time. 
  2. Have an altar in your room and put fresh flowers on it every day. 
  3. Every morning meditate to your healing for fifteen minutes. 
  4. Stop eating (or minimize your consumption of) harmful foods - which foods are harmful, and which foods are best eaten at certain times of the day and the year are discussed throughout the book 
  5. Eat beneficial foods - there is a big section toward the end of the book that discusses food and includes recipes. 

One interesting topic that is discussed is oral hygiene. Ayurveda has a complex oral hygiene system. Tongue scraping and oil pulling are part of it. My dad has been an avid believer in oil pulling for more than twenty years, but I could never bring myself to consistently do it, but after reading the book, I’ll give it another try. The oral hygiene steps that are recommended (each is described in great detail on pp. 115 - 125 of the prerelease copy) are as follows:
  1. Toothbrushing (with botanicals)
  2. Tongue scraping (with specialized scrapers)
  3. Gargling (with rejuvenating and protective substances) in one of two ways: (a) oil pulling: swishing a small amount of liquid in the oral cavity; or (b) oil pooling: holding to full capacity a large amount of fluid in the oral cavity. 
The book also covers self massage and beauty regimens. Shunya offers detailed descriptions of self massage and its benefits. This is an area I want to get more consistent about. There is a detailed discussion of what effect different massage oils have. Since I’m very interested in putting fewer chemicals on my skin, I’m going to try many of the natural beauty treatments in the book. The list of face and body packs and scrubs is quite extensive.

Food is a topic that is discussed throughout the book. In Ayurveda, food choices are based on the seasons. For example, while in late winter heavy foods can safely be included in one’s diet, in spring it is advisable to eat lightly. Toward the end of the book there are lists of foods that are best consumed in each season.

According to Ayurveda, the taste of a food indicates which effect it will have on your body. For example, sweet tastes promote growth and bitter tastes improve digestion. The author describes the six flavors - sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent - in detail, including their benefits and possible problems that may arise. She also points out very useful information such as which foods are sleep inducing (for example warmed cow’s milk) and which could disrupt sleep (for example chips and salsa). Again, I love the plethora of information in the book and that one can pick up countless helpful pieces of information that can have an effect on one’s life. I know I won’t be eating chips and salsa close to bedtime again!

I really enjoyed the Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom.* The stories make it interesting and really illustrate the author’s points. Plus, the stories about her grandfather, teacher and guru transport you back into a different world and a different time.

Questions: What do you know about Ayurveda? Are you interested in the Ayurvedic lifestyle? If so, do you practice any or all of it? Are you interested in learning more about the Ayurvedic lifestyle? 

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.

Be well,

*Disclosure: I was provided a free prerelease copy of the book. All opinions are my own. Links in this post are affiliate links, and will benefit from actions taken on the links.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

White Sweater Jacket and Walking Shoes

On Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Day I was still quite sick, but we ventured out to Shoreline Park and went for a short walk. I decided to keep my outfit simple and comfortable. I wore a new white sweater jacket that I received as a Christmas gift from a dear friend, a black turtleneck, jeans, and the most comfortable walking shoes - Skechers with memory foam. Since we were walking I decided to skip a necklace, which is rare as I almost always wear a necklace or a scarf.

White Shearling Sweater 1

White Shearling Sweater 2

I like the black turtleneck with the white sweater jacket. Black and white/off white is always such a nice color combo.  

White Shearling Sweater 3
White Shearling Sweater 4

How Often Should You Replace Your Walking Shoes?

I decided to buy a second pair of Skechers with memory* foam after loving the blue pair I received from Chadwicks of Boston so much. They are truly the most comfortable pair of walking shoes I’ve ever owned. I have to admit that I was really bad last year about switching out my walking shoes and have worn the same pair way too long (you should replace walking shoes every 300 to 500 miles.)

The “walking shoes” I was wearing last year had no cushion or support. In fact, I seriously messed up my big toes (the bruises underneath the nails are still partially there) when we went on a 6-hour, very hilly hike in Lake Tahoe in the summer. I had forgotten to pack my hiking shoes and wore my worn out, too small “fashion athletic shoes” instead.

One might think I would have bought some better shoes right after that experience, but apparently I need to learn lessons the hard way… Regardless, I’m very glad that I found Sketchers and that I ordered a second pair. And I’m determined to keep better track of the mileage I put on them and replace them in a more timely manner… 

Skechers with Memory Foam

Questions: Are you vigilant about switching out your walking shoes every 300 to 500 miles? What are your favorite walking shoes? 

Be well,

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and benefits from actions taken on the links.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Chunky Knit Scarf

I’ve been fighting a terrible cold. Unfortunately, I’m unable to sleep at night, which doesn’t help matters.

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day, and I decided that I was going to try to go on a short walk. I made it for only about 1/2 a mile until I had to turn around, but it still felt good to get out for a little while. Nevertheless, I was very glad when I was back home in bed...

Monochromatic Outfit with Chunky Knit Scarf

I decided to wear a monochromatic outfit. I added a chunky knit scarf that I had recently “found” in our coat closet, shoved all the way in the back. Our coat closet is so small, I’m not sure how it was possible to “lose" it. I remember buying the scarf when the kid was little, and I’m very glad I found it again as it kept me warm, and I love the look of a chunky knit.

Chunky Scarf 1
Chunky Scarf 2
Chunky Scarf 3
Chunky Scarf 4
Chunky Scarf 5

Here are some chunky knit scarves that have caught my eye*:

Questions: Do you own a chunky knit scarf? Or a chunky knit sweater or cardigan? 

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.

Be well,

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and benefits from actions taken on the links.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Orange Coat

It’s been raining a lot in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is a good thing as we are in a severe drought. Last Thursday, the rain took a short break, and it was not too cold (it got really cold on Friday by Bay Area standards, and there was frost everywhere in the morning, something we are not used to…). Andy and I were lucky to be able to sneak out on Thursday for a quick lunch.

I wore my hand-me-down orange coat, a black and white dress, and leggings. I’ve owned the coat for several years now, and it has been much loved by its previous owner. I always like adding a pop of color to my outfit in the middle in winter. The coat also looks great with white pants, and I think I’ll wear it with my white pants soon.

Orange Coat 1 
Orange Coat 2

We walked around a bit after lunch and came across this fun artwork. Naturally we had to take a photo...

Orange Coat 3

Questions: Do you have a colorful statement coat? If so, what color is it? Do you have any hand-me-down clothes that you love? 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Exercise Motivation with Pretty Clearance Workout Clothes

It’s a bit of a cliche, but a new year is always a reminder to take a good look at what I put into my body and how much I move. While I try to make consistently good choices most of the time throughout the year, I have to admit that I have made some not-so-good choices in the last few months.

But I’m determined to make myself a priority and clean up my eating and increase how much I move.

Chadwicks of Boston Workout Outfit 7

The other day I took inventory of my workout clothes, and I noticed that they were in pretty sad shape. Most items are many years old and have been washed over and over. Some are faded, some don’t fit quite right, others have pilling and feel “rough.” I also realized I needed new shoes as I had been walking way too many miles in the ones I was wearing.

Wearing items that don’t make you feel your best can be a way of self-sabotage as you can feel like never going out and exercising. On the other hand, when you feel good in your clothes, you think you can do anything, and you can! I was therefore very happy when Chadwicks of Boston offered to provide me with some workout clothes from their clearance section*.

Chadwicks Workout Outfit 1
I picked a thin Cowl Neck Pullover in a pretty shade of blue, printed leggings, and Lightweight Slip-Ons by Skechers. The entire outfit is currently on sale for under $100. Plus, my readers can get an additional 20% off with Code CH64087 (good until 1/15/17).

Chadwicks Workout Outift 2

I love my new workout outfit. The leggings have a nice amount of stretch as well as a tummy control panel that really holds you in, yet they are comfortable. The pullover is lightweight and feels very nice on the skin. Finally, the Slip-Ons by Skechers are the most comfortable walking shoes I’ve ever owned. They have memory foam that feels like you are walking on clouds. The first day I wore them, I walked over 10,000 steps and was raving at the end of the day how great my feet felt. My son commented that he had previously owned shoes by Skechers with memory foam, and that he really missed them and the memory foam. I can see why!

Skechers Slip Ons

During our family workout at a local park, it felt good to move, and I felt good in my skin and my clothes.

Chadwicks Workout Outfit3

I also wore the outfit when we went hiking at some nearby trails and felt put together enough to quickly stop by the grocery store on our way home.

Chadwicks Workout Outift 5

Chadwicks Workout Outfit 6 

Chadwicks of Boston Clearance Sale & Additional Discount

Chadwicks of Boston has currently a wide range of beautiful clothes on clearance at very low prices. It’s a great opportunity to replace items in your closet that are past their prime, or to add something you’ve been wanting to get. And again, my readers can save an additional 20% with Code CH64087 (the code is good until January 15, 2017). 

Questions: Has the new year motived you to eat better and move a bit more? Are you happy with your workout clothes? What items in your wardrobe are just a bit too worn and should be replaced? Are there any items you’ve been thinking of adding to your closet? I’m thinking of adding the following basics from the clearance section, which I know I’ll own and enjoy for years, to my wardrobe: boyfriend cardigan, ribbed turtleneck, and a lightweight houndstooth scarf.

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I'm linking up with

Be Well,

* Disclosure: I am participating in a compensated campaign with this brand. The styling and the written words are my own. #ad

Sunday, January 1, 2017

California Beaches in Winter

Wishing you all a Healthy and Happy 2017!

In the last few weeks we were fortunate enough to spend some time at the beach. We live close to the beach (45 minutes without traffic), yet we only make it there a few times a year, which I’m hoping to change.

Winter is a great time to visit the beaches in Northern California and on the Central Coast as there isn’t a lot of fog in the mornings, and it’s often quite mild. Some of our favorite beach memories are from visits in the winter.

We often spend time around Christmas at the beaches on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, and we did so again this year. I made sure we got a family photo taken while we were there. We have so few photos with all of us.

Christmas 2016

On Christmas Day, I wore my new Karina dress that I won via a giveaway from Jess at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish. I love the movement of the dress and that it doesn’t wrinkle. I know I’ll wear it a lot!   

Karina Dress 1
It was quite cold while we were on the Central Coast, but walking near the water always feels so good! 

Avila Dec 2016
I love hiking near the coast and having a view of the ocean for part of the hike.

Avila Beach

Every year we try to take a trip at the very end of the year to a beach either near Santa Cruz or Half Moon Bay. On Wednesday, we made it to Soquel near Santa Cruz. Time at the beach is always relaxing and rejuvenating.

Soquel 1
Soquel 2
Soquel 3
Outfit Details: Coat (I like this one), grey corduroys, pink turtleneck, Coach satchel (I like this one), 

Questions: What are some of your favorite activities from the past few weeks? What are your plans for 2017? We are going to start the year with a Conscious Cleanse* (read more about the Conscious Cleanse here in case you are interested; my readers can get $25 off with CODE AND25).

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.

Be well,

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and benefits from actions taken on the links.