Sunday, February 26, 2017

Cobalt Blue Sweater and Pants

I had forgotten about my cobalt blue sweater and pants for a while and recently “found” them again. Since I hadn’t worn them for a while, I decided to wear them together.

Blue Outfit 1 
It was a dry and not-too-cold day, and I added my black vest to break up the blue a bit.

Blue Outfit 2
The blue sweater is cashmere, and I picked it up a few seasons ago at Costco. I don’t regularly buy clothes at Costco, but I’m really happy with the quality as it’s been washed numerous times and is still holding up very well. Many years ago I bought a pink cashmere sweater also at Costco, and I wore it for many years. I was so sad when I had to finally throw it away… A new cashmere sweater is on my wish list for next year. The end of the season is a good time to invest in a timeless cashmere sweater as they are often deeply reduced yet don’t go out of style. Here are some sweaters that have caught my eye*:


Blue Outfit 3

I wore the outfit when we visited a new, small, casual yet tasty Korean restaurant - Bob Korean BBQ in the Strawberry Park shopping center in San Jose. The menu is quite small, but the dishes are prepared well. Some reviewers on Yelp complained that there is no grilling at the table (which is customary in many Korea restaurants), and it’s definitely not the kind of Korean restaurant with grills at each table or many side dishes. But for a casual, informal lunch or dinner, it’s a nice place to visit, and the prices are reasonable.

Bob Korean Restaurant

Questions: Have you forgotten about any items in your closet lately? Do you like cashmere sweaters? 



Be well,
Andrea


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

Thursday, February 23, 2017

How Our Eating Improved in 2017

2017 has already been a very busy year, but I’m happy to say that despite everything that’s going on, we have been eating very well. The main reason? After an overindulging second half of 2016, we started the year with a Conscious Cleanse.*

Conscious Cleanse Food Cucumber Radish Avocado Salad

The Conscious Cleanse - a food-based cleanse on which you eat plenty - and a wide - variety of food - was just the reset button we needed. I’ve been doing the Conscious cleanse regularly since January 2013.

You can read all my Conscience Cleanse posts here in reverse chronological order. A good place to start is my detailed Conscious Cleanse review.

I always love that it helps me eliminate not-so-good-for-me foods and helps me get back to unprocessed foods with a focus on vegetables and some fruit.

We eat pretty healthy year round, but things do tend to sneak back into our diet little by little, and a Conscious Cleanse is a perfect way to focus on healthy foods without doing anything extreme.

Conscious Cleanse Fish and Salad

Plus, I always pick up a few new cleanse-friendly recipes that become part of our meal rotation. During our last cleanse, we all fell in love with a cleanse-friendly Thai coconut soup and a black bean soup. I now make one or the other every week.

Here is what we “cleaned” up or improved during out last cleanse:
  • We added more veggies to our diet by starting most mornings with a green smoothie.
  • The kid finally likes fish! We now eat a small piece of baked fish twice a week, and we all love it! 
  • We rediscovered that soups make a great meal as well as a healthy snack.
  • We let go of all the “healthy" chips and crackers that had snuck back into our diet.
  • We all agree that raw veggies with homemade hummus or avocado are a perfect snack. 
  • Even though he may not be enthusiastic about all vegetables, the kid will ALWAYS eat roasted Brussels sprouts, and I often have some in the fridge.
  • I eliminated coffee - once again - and feel much calmer and better for it as I had gotten used to drinking an unhealthy amount of it.
  • I got back to serious meal prep on the weekend and on one afternoon per week. It’s a great reminder that if you have healthy foods around, you will eat them! 
  • We got used to seeing mostly produce in our shopping cart and love it! 
  • I made sure to make some time every day for self care and me time
Conscious Cleanse Food Lettuce Wraps

Spring is a great time for a cleanse, especially as part of the work you’ll be doing on the cleanse is “cleaning up” other areas of your life, not only food. I like to think of it as a sort of spring cleaning for both what you eat and how you live your life. Plus, I think drinking green smoothies and eating lots of raw foods is a lot easier when it’s just a bit warmer out.

Conscious Cleanse Food Pulled Chicken in Lettuce

Conscious Cleanse Discount Code

The March 2017 Conscious Cleanse* starts on March 8 with a five day optional transition period. Click here* for more information about the Conscious Cleanse and to register. If you have any questions about my experiences with the Conscious Cleanse, leave them in the comments or send me an email at andreaswellnessnotes[at]gmail.com.

If you do decide to sign up for the Conscious Cleanse, make sure to use code AND25 to get $25 off the Classic and the Classic Plus plans*.

Questions: How has your diet been during the first two months of 2017? Is there anything you would like to change or eliminate? Or maybe something you would like to add?

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

Be well,
Andrea

*Disclosure: I’m a Conscious Cleanse ambassador, and I will earn a commission if you sign up for the cleanse using one of my links in this post. As always, all opinions in this post are my own.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Black and White Leggings and Visiting Monterey Bay Aquarium

LuLaRoe Leggings Review


I have been intrigued by LuLaRoe leggings for a long time as I had read and heard so many great things about them. A few weeks ago, I was invited to a LuLaRoe party, but I couldn’t make it. So I made sure to check out the online Facebook sale and saw some leggings I really liked. They are black and white, with an interesting design but not “too out there.” Leggings with tomatoes, avocados, bold lipstick tubes or extremely bold colors are fun but not what I normally wear.

I wanted to pick leggings I could wear at home as well as out, as the combination of leggings and a tunic is one of my signature looks (see some examples in the following posts: 5 faux leather legging looksleggings with striped dress and denim jacketleggings with black & white tunicleggings with black/white striped dressfaux leather leggings with a moto jacketleggings with black and white dressleggings and a striped dress, leggings with a poncho and a chunky scarf).

BlackWhiteLuLaRoeLeggings1

I paired the leggings with my black boots, a black tunic, and a long black cardigan. But I think the leggings will also look great with a colored top in the future. And I’ll have to agree with all the reviews I had read and heard about the leggings - they truly are the softest leggings I’ve ever worn. I’m already looking for a second pair!  

BlackWhiteLuLaRoeLeggings2

House of Poly Necklace

I also wore my black/white/grey necklace that I bought from House of Poly last year. I discovered House of Poly on Instagram and fell in love with Katrina’s unique designs. When I saw the monochromatic necklace on her Instagram feed, I knew I had to have it. It’s become one of my favorite necklaces, and I think it goes great with the leggings and the rest of the outfit.  

BlackWhiteLuLaRoeLeggings6
House of Poly BlackWhiteNecklace

Visiting Monterey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium 

I wore the outfit on an outing to Monterey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium this past week when the kid was off from school for winter break, and Andy and I took a day off to take the kid and a friend of his on a day trip. We were lucky as the rain took a break, and we got to enjoy a beautiful day in Monterey and at the Aquarium. 

WhiteBlackLuLaRoeLeggings7
BlackWhiteLuLaRoeLeggings3 
I love walking down Cannery Row toward the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Monterey Bay Aquarium 1 
Monterey Bay Aquarium 6

One of my favorite parts of the aquarium is always the jellyfish exhibit.

Monterey Bay Aquarium 2

But there are so many great exhibits in the aquarium...

Monterey Bay Aquarium 3 
This giant fish almost didn’t look real...

Monterey Bay Aquarium 4

Monterey Bay Aquarium 5 
After the Monterey Bay Aquarium we wanted to check out the Dennis the Menace playground, an adventure playground I had read about for many years, but we’ve never been. Unfortunately, once we got there we found out that it is closed until March 18, 2017 for upgrades. But we still enjoyed hanging out next to Lake El Estero and played on the grass.  

BlackWhiteLuLaRoeLeggings4
BlackWhiteLuLaRoeLeggings5

Questions: Do you own any LuLaRoe leggings? Any other LuLaRoe clothing items? If so, how do you like them? Are there any other LuLaRoe clothing items I should check out? 


Be well,
Andrea

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Big Button Wrap Scarf with Burgundy Flares and Sweater

Several weeks ago, I won a giveaway from Shelbee on the Edge. I was able to select an item from her online store’s scarf/wrap section. I love scarves and wraps, and there were so many great pieces, it was not easy to choose.

In the end, I chose a big button wrap scarf in black. The big button is beautiful, and I love that it holds the scarf in place. Plus, there are three button holes, which can change up the look of the wrap. I am very happy with my selection, and I know I’ll enjoy it for years to come. Thanks, Shelbee!

Big Button Wrap Scarf
I wore the scarf for the first time with my burgundy/wine colored flares and a sweater in the same color.  

Big Button Wrap Shawl 1 
Big Button Wrap Shawl 2
Big Button Wrap Shawl 3
Big Button Wrap Shawl  4
Big Button Wrap Shwal 5
Outfit Details*: High Rise Vintage Cord Flares (on sale for a great price!), Rebecca Minkoff Dog Clip Saddle Bag (my everyday go-to bag), Gertie Heeled Lace Up Booties

Questions: Do you like scarves and wraps? Do you own one that’s held in place with a button? 

Be well,
Andrea
*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and www.andreaswellnessnotes.com benefits from actions taken on the links.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Visiting Seacliff State Beach in Winter

The San Francisco Bay Area has been getting lots of rain over the past several weeks. A few weekends ago, there was a break in the rain and we spontaneously decided to go to the beach and enjoy the sunshine with friends of ours.

Our friends have a dog, and they suggested the dog-friendly Seacliff State Beach. It was a mild day, but I never trust Northern California beaches as it’s often cold (this is especially true in summer when there is lots of fog; in winter it’s actually often quite mild, but I like to be prepared). I was comfortable in a tunic, leggings, a denim jacket and a big scarf. I took off the scarf for part of the day and most would have probably also taken off the jacket.

Seacliff State Park 1 
Seacliff State Park 2
Stairs lead from the parking lot down to the beach. Many exercisers walk or run the stairs for a great workout.

Seacliff State Park 3
There is a pier and a famous concrete ship, the Palo Alto. The Palo Alto was built during World War I, and concrete was used instead of steel because of a steel storage. The ship was supposed to be used during the war, but it wasn’t finished in time. In 1930, the Palo Alto was moved from Oakland, where it was built, to Aptos and remodeled into an entertainment ship with a dance floor, heated pool, and other entertainment features. Unfortunately, the fun lasted only two seasons until the company running the ship went bankrupt. After that the Palo Alto was stripped and only used for fishing.

And that’s where Andy spent many afternoons during his childhood. The Palo Alto got damaged and closed to the public a while ago and received further damage in one of the big storms at the beginning of this year.

Seacliff State Park 4 
Seacliff State Beach 7
Because of the recent storms, there was a lot of debris on the beach, but it was a wonderful relaxing day, and I’m very glad we decided to go.

Seacliff State Park 5 
One last look before we headed home... 

Seacliff State Park 6

Questions:  What was you most recent fun weekend outing? What are your weekend plans? 


Be well,
Andrea

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Floral Dress with Black Turtleneck and Faux Leather Jacket & Wine Club Release Party at Murrieta's Well

I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts about wearing sweaters over dresses and thereby creating a whole new look. That gave me the idea to wear my black turtleneck over my dark floral dress from H&M.

Floral Dress with Black Sweater 1 
Floral Dress with Black Sweater

My faux black leather moto jacket from Metrostyle worked well with the outfit. I wore comfortable boots and added my big faux pearl necklace.

Livermore Wine Country

I wore the outfit to our wine club release and pick-up party at Murrieta’s Well in Livermore. It was also an opportunity for Andy and me to go on a date, something we hadn’t done in many months.

We were first introduced to Murrieta’s Well wines about 12 years ago when we tasted them at our friends’ house. But we didn’t join the wine club until late last year as a gift to ourselves instead of birthday and Christmas gifts. I love the idea that each pick up party is a built-in date, especially since we are really bad about making time for dates. Plus, we can visit the winery for free tastings throughout the year.

Murrieta’s Well is not only a great winery because of their delicious wines but also because the space is so nice. There are two tasting areas as well as an exclusive area for wine club members. And during wine club release parties, the winery is closed to the public, so you get to enjoy the entire property.

Murrietas Well Wine Club Relase Party 1

Luckily, on the day of the release party, the rain took a break and we got to enjoy the outside seating area. It was just warm enough to hang out outside, especially once we moved to a sunny spot.

Murrietas Well Wine Club Release Party 6
Murrietas Well Wine Club Realse Party 2
There are six wines served during the release party, and five of them are paired with an appetizer.

Murrietas Well Wine Club Realse Party 3
Murrietas Well Wine Club Reease Party 4

Murrietas Well Wine Club Release Party 5

So glad we got to spend some quality time together and enjoy some good wine and delicious food.

Murrietas Well Wine Club Release Party 7

Questions: Do you ever wear a sweater over a dress? What was the last date you went on?


Be well,
Andrea

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sentence a Day: January 2017

Today I’m joining Sarah from Foxy’s Domestic Side and Leslie from Once Upon a Time Happily Ever After. Both have been writing a sentence a day and posting them for a while. I attempted to participate for several months but had never succeeded (I never thought it would be that difficult to write one! sentence a day consistently!).  I’m proud that I was finally successful in January.

In January, I decided to write the sentences in the notes app on my phone and not in a blog post right away. Having the sentences always with me was very helpful. And I really enjoyed re-reading my sentences when I wrote this post. I didn’t follow a theme but wrote down what came to mind. So here is a mix of thoughts and events from my January.

January 1, 2017
We spent the day with my in-laws and ate the traditional Korean New Year’s meal - rice cake soup.

Sentence a Day 2

January 2, 2017
One of my goals for this year is to collect memories, not things.

January 3, 2017
I’m slowly getting back to “normal” life after the break; how quickly we get used to doing not very much...

January 4, 2017
It’s time to cut back on coffee; not looking forward to it...

January 5, 2017
I had a cup of black tea but no coffee today - not pleasant, but better than I thought it would be.

January 6, 2017
The first day of no caffeine at all and only cleanse-approved food went very well. 

Sentence a Day 4

January 7, 2017
Returning to barre classes after a long break is tough, but it feels good to take care of myself.

January 8, 2017
We took the Christmas tree down yesterday; it was sad but also nice to have a fresh start.

January 9, 2017
The first day of a new quarter - always exciting and a bit sad at the same time.

January 10, 2017
The first class of the quarter went well.

January 11, 2017
I went to an unusually difficult barre class today; I hope I’ll be able to walk tomorrow...

January 12, 2017
The kid got his retainer and new glasses today. 

Sentence a Day 3

January 13, 2017
I caught a really bad cold and couldn’t sleep at all last night; I hope to get over it quickly.

January 14, 2017
I’m feeling worse today; nevertheless, I dragged myself out for a short walk, but I was very happy to be back in bed.

January 15, 2017
I’m still not feeling any better but made sure to go for another short walk; I’m realizing that I take my health for granted.

January 16, 2017
I’m feeling a bit better and did lots of prep work for the week (should have probably rested more).

January 17, 2017
I made it through my night class but ended up losing my voice at one point.

January 18, 2017
I was intending to take a 10-minute nap but slept for an hour; thankfully I had set the alarm on my phone.

January 19, 2017
I think I’m abusing the use of semicolons when writing my sentences.

January 20, 2017
Today was report card day, and we rewarded the kid with some bakery goods.

Sentence a Day 6

January 21, 2017
Now the kid is sick.

January 22, 2017
We made it to the farmers market for the first time in many weeks.

Sentence a Day 7

January 23, 2017
The kid woke up with a fever and stayed home from school.

January 24, 2017
The kid is still sick but hopefully getting better.

January 25, 2017
In addition to classes in a studio, I have been consistently doing online barre classes at home, and I’m starting to feel some results (hopefully, I’ll see them soon, too!).

January 26, 2017
Today was parent night at the kid’s school, and we learned all about their exciting gold country trip later this year.

January 27, 2017
After not belonging to a gym for several years, we joined one today.

January 28, 2017
After a cleanse all month, Andy and I got to go on a date and had some wine and decadent food at our wine club’s pick up party today; back to veggies tomorrow!  

Sentence a Day 1

January 29, 2017
Toady was a gorgeous day, and we spent it at the beach with good friends.

Sentence a Day 5

January 30, 2017
Toady was a busy day with lots of catching up on grading and projects.

January 31, 2017
January was a month with a lot of sickness in our family but also many happy moments that I’m very thankful for.

Link up your own sentences for January here:



Questions: Do you keep a journal? Have you every thought of writing one sentence a day? If you are interested, why don’t you join us and link up with us next month?! The next Sentence a Day post will go live on March 2.



Be well,
Andrea