Apr 30, 2012

Good In, Good Out

I'll be honest - when I went to Vegas, The Four Seasons had a scale in the bathroom...and it was probably the worst idea in my life to step on it after month of inactivity and not knowing my weight.  I mean, I've ran occasionally, but I did not monitor what I was eating.  I felt like I had gained weight but didn't really think about what I was really doing (denial, much?)  So when I finally stepped on the scale, I guess I was surprised with HOW MUCH weight that I've gained.  Not that I gained weight in general, but just the amount.  I think I gasped and then went into the bedroom and lied down.  I know, I'm dramatic.

Now, you guys know I'm a fan of fitness and health, not skinny and gaunt.  I would rather weigh more and be able to run a 5K than skinny and malnourished.  But let's be real - I want to look good too.  I KIND OF like the look of being slimmer...but with definition.  YOUKNOW what I mean.

That moment at the Four Seasons kicked my ass into April fitness month and more recently, April health-eating month.  It's only been a month of hittin' the gym and only a few weeks of eating right, but I'm working on losing weight and getting in shape.  I decided to write down what I've been doing as I hope to encourage girls not to go on a 'diet' per se, but more of a lifestyle change that you can stick with.

(And also, by writing about it, I kind of commit myself to it too).

Continue reading:

Apr 27, 2012

Day to Night Transition

I have a (hopefully) fun work event to go to tonight, but since it's straight from work I wanted to wear something that I could dress up (read: add heels) to at night while still maintaining some decency during normal business hours.

Day: Tunic + Leggings + Blazer + Flats.  Pretty simple and great for when we go out to lunch on Fridays and I gorge myself.
imaginary voyage tunic, aqua tunic (similar here), lululemon leggings, london sole flats (similar here)

Night: Belt + Heels - Jacket (Not shown: I'll swipe red lipstick to add color)
club monaco belt (similar here), l.a.m.b heels
Bonus Dallas!!
My sister also made this for me.  THANKS (and it's so true)

Apr 20, 2012

Week in Review

Nothing too crazy happened this week, except that my office had a running inside joke revolving my sad/lonesome face during our weekly status meetings.  We use Google+ hangout since we work in different locations and my coworker screengrabbed me...which launched a week-long captioning contest.  Some of my favorites:
This is now my Facebook cover photo:

Other pictures from the week:
a secret santa gift from my creative director that i still use: deborah lippmann in happy birthday
obligatory self-potrait in playa vista
clippers vs okc basketball game
dallas at french market cafe in venice
my old coworker's dog (that i gave him), reese
Dallas when we first got her (8 weeks old) | Dallas at almost 7 months.  

Apr 18, 2012

Opposites Attract: Product Reviews

These two products are ironically the exact opposite of each other but are the two best things in my life right now.  The first smells like the inside of a teenage boy's gym bag after 3 weeks of soccer practice.  The second prevents me from smelling like the inside of a teenage boy's gym bag after 3 weeks of soccer practice.  I love them both equally.

The first is organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV).  This is definitely a "beauty sekret" that Tramanh introduced me to awhile back...and yes, we've been holding out on this gem.  The most popular brand is Braggs and can usually be found at a Whole Foods or the organic section of your local grocery store.
i use a generic organic ACV, but it seems to be doing the same thing as the name-brand version

After reading the reviews and talking to Tramanh, it was definitely something I wanted to try.  The reviews were fanatical to say the least.  ACV is one of those products that you wonder why no one told you about before - girls were using it in their hair to create more shine, using it as toner to create a better complexion, and even drinking it a tablespoon a day to create a glow from within.  I was so excited to try it, though the reviews also said that one of the biggest factors when using ACV is the smell.

And they were right on both accounts.  I started using ACV as a toner since the end of last year (around Christmas time) because even though my complexion was OKAY, it wasn't great.  I was still getting little blemishes, I didn't have a glow, and my skin wasn't smooth.  I initially diluted the ACV with water 1:1 in a travel bottle, because I hear it is pretty potent stuff.  I applied it twice a day with a cotton ball and after the third day, I started noticing my complexion changing in a good way.  It was clearer, the smaller blemishes were going away, the redness was fading, and my skin had a better glow (and not in the oily way).

After about a month, I upped the ante.  I diluted it 2:1 (ACV: Water) but reduced it to 1x a day after I wash my face at night.  It's been about 4 months and I've really noticed a positive change in my skin.  I don't break out as much and when I do have blemishes, they go away a lot faster with lessen time for scarring.

But the smell.  It literally smells like feet.  Smelly, wet, dirty, teenage boy feet.  It's practically offensive.  I know Ryan hates it when I use it.  But the rewards > cons and there's no way I am giving up my ACV.  The smell DOES fade after 3-4hours but can come back if you sweat or wash your face with warm water.  Also, your trash can will smell like ass because of your used ACV cottonballs.

Overall, I love the results.  I haven't used it for my hair and I dare not try to ingest it, even with juice.

The second product is something I've joked about on AskPhivy: my crazy sweating problem.  I remember I joked about how I started sweating when Tramanh and I first starting talking online and someone chastised me for being "weak," well little does that person know that I am just a sweater.  I'm totally self-conscious of it and it bothered me a lot.  So I recently went to the dermatologist who prescribed prescription anti-perspirant.
hypercare is the generic version of Drysol, which is more commonly prescribed
Most deodorant sticks we think of today are two-in-one, but really there are two critical elements within them: anti-perspirant (which prevents you from sweating) and deodorant (which masks the body odor).

In OTC deodorants, including "clinical strength," the aluminium combination (usually Aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly) deposits gel-like beads within your pores, which blocks the sweat from hitting the surface of your skin and will wash away with your skin cells.  However, in prescription anti-perspirants, the active ingredient is hydrated Aluminium Chloryde, which actually acts like an astringent and closes your pores, preventing you from sweating altogether.

This is exactly what I needed, but it's not easy on your skin and it does take some commitment.  Firstly, you must apply it on dry, clean skin at night before bed.  It comes with this weird spongey applicator, but after a few weeks of it not working, I decided to apply with a cotton ball.  At first it's a little cooling, but much like an astringent is on your face, it can start to burn.  The next morning, you're supposed to wash it off with soap and water.  It should only be on for 6-8 hours.  I applied it about 4 nights in a row, and after Day 3, I noticed that I wasn't sweating nearly as much.

My dermatologist noted I can wear deodorant (strictly deodorant, not with anti-perspirant), if I chose to.  So I purchased Tom's natural deodorant, note that it's aluminum-free:
I have pretty sensitive skin on my underarms (and eczema), so this wreaked havoc after Day 4.  I applied my topical cream and it was better.  After Day 4, I waited about 2-3 more days and noticed I would perspire so would reapply at night to re-close my pores.  The theory is, when you start, you're supposed to apply it 4-6 nights in a row, then afterwards you would only need to "touch up," once or twice every week.  The pain is making sure to wash it off the next morning.

So far, I'm addicted.  Anytime I notice a slight "wetness," I apply it the prescription solution that night.  It does get stingy and itchy, especially with my sensitive skin, but it seems worth it.  I can wear button-down tops that used to chafe my underarms, I can wear silk blouses!  I don't have to worry about going to the gym and bringing an extra deodorant, it's been pretty liberating!

questions? ask phivy! | twitter tracker

Apr 17, 2012

How To: Wrap Around Bun

Seen here & here, I am in love with this easy-to-do wrap around bun.  It literally will take you less than 5 minutes to do and it looks more put together than the usual "I just got out of yoga class bun."  Which is me knotting my hair all sorts of crazy and passing it off as an actual hairstyle.

I usually start with Day 2 hair just because updos (even simple ponytails) are easier when your hair is a little dirty.  Sorry for the little spots on the photos, either I need to clean my lens or a ghost kept photobombing me.

What you'll need:
+ 1 hair tie (elastic band)
+ 3-4 bobby pins
+ Any hair bow or hair accessory

Step 1: Start with unwashed hair.
Step 2: Pull back hair into a ponytail.
Step 3: Loop your hair through the ponytail holder twice; when going to loop your hair the third time, stop about 1/3 of the way through to create a "loop."
Step 4: Split the ponytail section in half.
Step 5: Wrap the two ends over each other, criss-crossing over the top of the bun.
Step 6: If your hair is long enough, criss-cross the ends under the bun as well.
Step 7: Secure the crossed-over ends with bobby pins under the bun.
Step 8: Clip a bow or any hair accessory under the bun (I like to show off the top).
It's also cute to put a headband or decorative bobby pins.

Good luck!

questions? ask phivy! | twitter tracker

Apr 16, 2012

Sunlight of Awesomeness

Steph: "What should I name this post?" [Shows pictures]
Ryan: "Sunlight of Awesomeness."
Was he calling my bluff?  Who's laughing now?! HUH?  I feel like my readers are (at me).

Yesterday was Ryan's birthday (he's 32) and how did we celebrate?  Well, we went to Busby's on Friday in celebration of both of our birthdays (okay, in the email blast I may or may not have remembered to tell people that it was also Ryan's birthday).  More importantly, we spent his birthday taking pictures of me.  Sounds like a fabulous birthday if you ask me!

On a mission to 'scout' more photoshoot locations, Ryan and I forgot about a small trail just down Playa Vista.  It's by a marsh filled with birds and wildlife, but there are some trails (and more importantly, not a lot cars), which is great for me being self-conscious about taking photos while people watch!  I used to dislike Ryan taking my blog photos, but after seeing the quality difference (and seeing how much more interesting they are), I have to admit, this might be something I can get used to...and something he's really going to despise.
mossimo tank, kut jacket, lululemon leggings, cole haan booties, zegna sunglasses, hermes bracelet
Our birthday celebration at Busby's was a lot of fun.  Really Asian (like, REALLY Asian), but still a lot of fun.  Fun that we don't remember.  The best kind of fun.

The night started off at Umami Burger (my first time), I had a pastrami burger.  Not a burger made of pastrami meat, no.  It was a cheeseburger WITH PASTRAMI ON TOP.
pmn tank, express shorts, top shop tights, LAMB heels, north face jacket (lol)
ryan saw the light
Then off to Busby's where the girls got in, the guys paid cover, and I got only ONE free drink ticket but my friend found 4 on the floor.
a couple that has april birthdays...stay together? that doesn't sound right.
my good friend, melissa b
Fellow blogger (turned friend), Evil Midori, also came out, which I was super excited for.  She got along swimmingly with my friends, even though we half-heartedly joked that we had a meth problem and asked her to pay her "share" of our meal at Umami even though she didn't eat anything.
how do you guys know each other? THE INTERWEBZ.
You know on AskPhivy, readers ask us to do meet-ups?  And you know how I'm like, "OMG guys, just email me, we'll hang out."  Well one of my readers did and you know what?  She's now a friend and we hang out on the regular.  SO MANY ONLINE FRIENDS!
see, totes not pervy.
After hours of drunkness, where does one go for food?  A fine establishment like Denny's and IHOP of course.  Obviously the only criteria is that they're open 24-hours.  We went to IHOP and once my vodka jacket wore off and my actual jacket was at home...this was me for the rest of the night:
so cold. want to die.
Credit to Evil Midori for the fab photos!

questions? ask phivy! | twitter tracker

Apr 12, 2012


If you're expecting this post to be of half of my ass, shame on you!  That's another site that I get paid to do.

No!  They don't pay me.

Anyway, I've been so lazy trying to set up my tripod lately because it keeps sticking and I keep wanting to throw it off a building, so here are some crap photos of me in my work bathroom.

I bought this knitted sweater thinking it was cool and comfortable, but in fact, it keeps falling off my shoulder and people have likened it to a flying squirrel.  So much for either of those two things.  I do like that it's something I can throw on top of leggings though.
lululemon leggings, mak sweater, cole haan booties

What's the opposite of getting a perm?  Getting your hair straightened?  Because that's pretty much what my hair looks like now.  This morning I did use hot rollers to curl it and though it's holding better than it did before, I'm still kind of regretting not doing a digi perm.  Damn you body perm!

Lastly, here's a picture of Dallas smelling succulent flowers on our morning walk: