Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Go Green: One of My Favorite Items to Help You Go Green

Lately, I think everyone is starting to realize more and more how important it is to do our part in going green and helping the environment. One of the easiest, most convenient ways to do this is to use reusable grocery bags! Its one of the easiest habits to change, one of the cheapest, and it makes such a difference for our environment.

I've been using Envirosax reusable grocery bags for a couple years now. They come in all different styles, and are built to last. They are super durable - I haven't had any problems with them breaking, despite the heavy groceries I put in them week after week.

I have three sets of my own and highly recommend them! I've received numerous compliments on them because not only are they environmentally friendly, they are pretty, too.

Not only do I use them for groceries, but also anything else you need a bag for - throw your lunch in there! Throw your gym clothes in there! Anything you'd use a plastic bag for, you can use these pretty bags for.

I just ordered several to give to friends as gifts from the website Bright & Bold. They shipped super fast and the transaction went really smoothly.

Right now they are having a special - buy any of 6 selected styles and only pay $28, including free shipping.

Check it out! Each set includes 5 bags and a carrying pouch. These bags are waterproof, lightweight, and they can hold the contents of two plastic grocery bags and up to 40lbs.

BTW, everything I share on this blog are my opinions after using or trying a product - I am not being paid or compensated in any way for posting these things!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

ME! (pictures!)

In the comments of my last post, I realized a lot of you guys have no real idea what I look like! so, I thought I'd do a post with some pictures over the years so you have a better idea. :) BTW this is not me fishing for compliments, mmmk?

COLLEGE! Did I even have to say it? I think you can tell. LOL.

Again, college

On our trip in French Polynesia. This trip was *heavenly.* This was when we were on Moorea. Look at that background! Thats why I chose this picture.

In Vienna - a year and a half ago we did Vienna, Budapest, and the Czech Republic

My friend Shana and I. Contrary to what this picture suggests, I do NOT drink! I was holding these for the person who is taking the picture, who shall remain nameless.

Me and my handsome hubby. This dress is a Betsey Johnson from a few years ago. Its the same as in the pic above.

Well, thats it! The last few are the most recent ones and I look almost exactly the same, except my hair is shorter... grow hair, grow!!

Hopefully this gives you guys more of an idea about... me! If you guys have any questions about the places I traveled to in these pics, let me know. I still know all the places we stayed and have tons of opinions on everything.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

RAVE: New MAC Purchases & an OOTD

This week my Chinese class and I had a farewell lunch at a restaurant near the mall. I, of course, took this opportunity to stop in at Macy's and check out some new products.

First, my absolute favorite purchase in awhile is a new blush by MAC. Its a MAC Mineralize limited edition (translation: hurry up and buy it before its no longer!) blush. I bought it in the shade Sun & Moon. Its amazing. Its a perfect blush for spring and summer. The color is hard to describe but its a great blush for a glowy look. Its the perfect mix of peachy, pinky, bronzey gorgeousness... its highly pigmented and goes on smooth. It works great with bronze eyeshadows. The MAC website calls it a neutral brown and a pink brown.

Trust me, you'll want to run to your local MAC to try out this blush. As soon as I put it on, I couldn't stop looking at myself... and believe me I am usually not that vain! Ha ha ha! Its just that pretty. I have fair skin with yellow undertones, if that helps. I do tan quite easily when I live somewhere where there is sun :)

My next favorite purchase is MAC's Lip Conditioning Balm with SPF 15. This stuff is amazing! I purchased it in the Soothing Beige color. I am usually a pink-lipgloss-wearin' kinda gal, but the SA convinced me to try it, and I am so glad I did! This color is one that looks much better on than in the pot.

I love the Soothing Beige. It is very versatile, works extremely well with bronzes, and it actually is pretty sheer with a little splash of color that just enhances your natural lip color. Its also supremely moisturizing, its not sticky, felt great on my lips and once it wears away my lips are left soft. It has a really light caramel-y sort of taste. And it has SPF 15. The only thing I can say is try it before discounting the color - its a GREAT color! I love this balm so much, I might go back and pick up one of the pink colors, too.

Finally, my last purchase was another gorgeous blush. Its a regular edition blush in the shade Springsheen. MAC describes it as peach with pearl. I think its a very pretty peachy tone, also has some pink tones in it... again, hard to describe but it gives a pretty peachy, golden flush to the cheeks.

This isn't the best pic, and it actually looks darker in person.

I'm still learning how to take pictures of myself in the best way to showcase my makeup, and, well, when I figure it out... there will be pics on here. Any tips for me? I can't seem to get it right.

And my OOTD... I woke up and had 15 minutes to be out the door for breakfast with friends.

The color of the cardi and the stripes in the shirt are actually navy.

I'm wearing a Banana Republic top, J. Crew Jackie Cardigan (not totally my style, but its chilly here), 7FAM straight leg dark wash jeans, J. Crew fireball necklace, and my wine colored Rebecca Minkoff Morning After Clutch. I love the red, navy and gold together! Subtly nautical. Gold sandals. And excuse the mess... I'm moving to China, people!

I also did the braid look & I'm digging it. BTW I am not wearing the new blush or gloss in this pic. I actually have barely anything on.. like I said, was rushing out the door!

Well that's its for now! In the middle of typing this post, actually, closer to the end than the middle... I accidentally deleted the entire thing. Yeah. Had to start all over again from scratch, and you guys know how long it takes to put in pictures and links! AHH!



Stocking Up for China

You might be wondering what someone's house would look like if they were planning to move to China really, really soon. Well, I can tell you, the answer is... somewhat of a disaster. It sort of looks like a tornado blew through my house. As if this house wasn't small enough already, we also have a ton of stuff we are collecting & stocking up on so we can bring it to China with us. As a person who is really particular about my products, you can bet I've been stocking up on certain things! My husband keeps reminding me that we are not moving to Mars.... but, I have friends in China whose Sephora orders have been returned and who have found it to be really expensive to buy anything that is foreign and makeup related. I'm not taking any chances.

The closets in this place are way too small. Let this be a warning - when moving into a new place, don't just look at square feet - look at closet space! I apparently wasn't thinking when we moved into this place... our condo in San Diego was smaller than this place, but with much better storage space and walk-in closets. Since we've moved here, the second bedroom has doubled as my closet. Now, its our moving-to-China storage room.

So what's on my must-bring-to-China-with-me packing list?

Apparently - 300 pounds of tampons and other feminine products. LOL. We are also bringing some snacks - Cliff Bars, Zone Bars, Power Bars, granola bars... if you know me, you know I am a monster when I am hungry. To spare my husband and anyone else we travel with, we decided it would be a good idea to have some of these bars on us at all times, just in case!

You might also spy a Kerastase bag and an Aveda bag - which means, yep, you guessed it, I am bringing some of my coveted shampoo & conditioner with me! Can you blame me?! With dyed blonde hair, quality shampoo & conditioner is key! Friends have also told me that these foreign brands of hair products are also extremely expensive there. There are also a lot of limitations on shipping liquids into the country, so I am going to bring as much as I can with me during our move.

BTW I haven't actually tried the Kerastase green line yet, but comes highly recommend by some Fashion & Beauty Nesties, and I can't wait to try it! I also bought an item from the pink line - Chroma Thermique - its supposed to be really great for color treated hair, very nourishing, and also gives amazing shine.

In this you see my Mac sheer pressed powder, Makeup Forever HD Foundation, various DDF cleansers that I love to use, my La Roche Posay daily moisturizer that I've already blogged about, and my go-to dry shampoo by Oscar Blandi. To sidetrack a little bit - I love this Oscar Blandi dry shampoo. This small container is only 11 dollars, and I've had it since December and have used it about 3 times a week since then. I still have over half left. This not only takes away oiliness, but it also adds volume for that just-washed look. I love this stuff!

And finally, the really fun stuff...

Various over the counter medicines, primarily including, as you can see, medicine for GI discomfort! I hear while in China, Immodium is your friend, at least for the first few weeks.... haha。。。免得措手不及!

I know once I am there, I may look back at all this and laugh... but, maybe not!

I have some really great MAC products to RAVE about really soon!

Thanks for reading -


Friday, March 26, 2010

Country snapshot: Bhutan (不丹)

Once we arrive in China, my husband has about a month to come up with a rough draft itinerary of our travel plans for the year. Since it is such a daunting task, we've already started to gather ideas of places we want to see and things we want to do.

China, and Asia in general, has many amazing places that most people don't even realize exist. I decided I wanted to draw more attention to all the wonderful places that most people never get the chance to see. To do this, I am going to occasionally do a "country snapshot" or a "city snapshot" of places we plan to visit and places that I just want to highlight for potential travelers. This is the first one, and I am choosing Bhutan because prior to taking this Chinese course, I had never even heard of the place, let alone wanted to visit it. Bhutan is definitely on our short list of MUST SEE places! Even though Bhutan is not a part of China, I chose to start my "snapshots" series with Bhutan just because I think its a really unique place that is virtually unknown to many people.

I will also try to consistently spell it Bhutan, but in Chinese, the sound system we use (called pinyin) spells it Budan - so its hard for me to type it how we would spell it in English - Bhutan. I'll try to be consistent though!

According to this article, the Fourth King of Bhutan announced that he measures Bhutan's progress not in terms of GDP, but in terms of GDH - Gross Domestic Happiness. Apparently, Bhutan has been rated the 8th Happiest Country in the world.

So, where is Bhutan?

As you can see, Bhutan is right on the border of China and India. It is a small, deeply Buddhist country located in the Himalayan Mountains.

(From The Star)

(from National Geographic)

The government of Bhutan wanted to ensure that Bhutan would maintain its history, culture, and identity, which may be why most people have probably never heard of this country to begin with. In order to do so, the government has made it hard for most people to travel to Bhutan, striving to keep out low budget backpackers. Bhutan is currently one of the most expensive countries in the world to visit. For Americans to visit Bhutan, the visa fee is $230 per day, per person. This is all inclusive though - it includes lodging, all meals, a private guide, and a driver.

Everything must be done through a tour guide. Several that have been recommended include:

And, how do I get to Bhutan?

There is only one airline that flies into Bhutan, and there is only one airport. The airline is Bhutan's own airline, Druk Air. Tickets on Druk Air are apparently arranged by the tour guide you choose. You must fly into Bhutan from Bangkok, Kathmandu, Delhi & Calcutta and sometimes Dacca (Information found here).

Apparently, the descent into Paro, the city where the airport is, is considered one of the scariest landings in the aviation world. According to Travel & Leisure, only 8 pilots in the entire world are trained to land in Paro.

The only option other than flying is to come in by land through India, though its not recommended at all from what I can tell from my research.

The best time to go to Bhutan is reportedly during festivals - apparently Bhutan loves its festivals! But one of the most famous is Buddha's Birthday, known as Vesak, and is on June 1st.

And now - pictures of Bhutan. These pictures are all from National Geographic.

And this picture is from here. Its a picture of Paro Taktsang, also known as Tigers Nest. It is a 17th century monastery that every Bhutanese must (is required to) visit once within their lifetime.

Hopefully I will be able to add pictures of my own one day!

*Special thanks to Tarinay and Dahab for some of the information

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My first blogging award!


The Sunshine Award (and boy do I love sunshine!)

1. Put the logo on your blog within a post.
2. Pass the award on to 12 bloggers.
3. Link to the nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

I am passing it on to:

1. Amber's Notebook
2. Embarrassment of Riches
3. Saltwater Dreams
4. Gigi's Gone Shopping
5. Through Andi's Eyes
6. Anthroholic
7. Potent Cocktails
8. The Restless Blogger
9. Effortless Anthropologie
10. The Beauty Queen
11. Veronika's Blushing
12. Superficial Obsession

And a big thanks to House in Tillford for my first award!

(Since I am new to blogging, please forgive me if this is the blogging version of a chainletter!)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Shopping Your Closet

Don't you love that?

I pulled out a top that I bought on super sale from The Limited 4 years ago when my husband was in Iraq - that I have never, ever worn - and it just totally came together for my look tonight.

The top is perfect with two of this Spring's hottest trends: nude & lace.

I added to the look with my J. Crew gold & pearl necklace. On the bottom half, I wore dark rinse 7FAM skinnies with a pair of gold sandals I bought at Banana Republic last year. Yes - it was actually warm enough in Monterey to wear sandals. I would have taken a picture of the entire outfit but I was on my way out to dinner to celebrate my final Chinese scores! Which were awesome by the way - the best I could have hoped for :).

So, anyway, usually I would have taken a picture of the entire outfit when I returned home, but, somewhat embarrassing to say is there is not nearly enough light in this house for pictures right now - all the light bulbs in our living room have been dead for at least a week, but we've chosen to live in the dark instead of buy new light bulbs - you know, with all the effort that would require.

Now that Chinese class is over, I don't know what to do with myself!! Thankfully I still have this Vogue my friend in China sent me - I can read/study & learn the newest trends at the same time. Um, yay for Chinese Vogue?!

Until next time!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Hello, Spring!

Yesterday was officially the first day of Spring! Monterey weather was actually nice last week and for once, it felt like Spring, too. Yesterday, I decided to celebrate the first day of Spring with a nice pedicure to get ready for sandal weather!

BTW, later in this post I talk about my favorite foundation and newfound mascara-love. Scroll down if you want to see those topics!

I tried a polish from OPI's Fall 2009 Spain Collection. The color I chose is "Conquistadorable Color." In the bottle it looks like a pretty, dark fuschia color. On me, the red tones really come out, though its still a really pretty color and is perfect to take me into Spring with pretty feet :). You can purchase it here, on this site, they describe it as a "take no prisoners, vibrant red" (I thought it was pink! what can I say!?)

I also recently made a big haul from Sephora as part of my preparation for moving to China. I use Make Up Forever's HD Invisible Cover Foundation.

I love this foundation - it provides flawless coverage and over all just works great with my skin. It doesn't leave me oily or dry, its a perfect balance.

For a more affordable option, many people recommend Revlon's Color Stay as the best drugstore foundation. Many of you guys already use this or have heard about it.

It is said to be very comparable to MUF HD foundation. I'd try it myself except I learned that if something isn't broken, don't try to fix it! After The Great Hair Fiasco of 2009, I am sticking with what I already know works for me.

One of the things I was most excited about from my Sephora haul was actually the free stuff I received with it! Because it was my birthday month, I not only received my little birthday gift, but I also had 500 beauty points saved up and I decided to use them on the current perk - the Tarte Insider Collection 7 Piece Sampler.

I was mostly excited for this perk because it includes 3 different types of mascara. I have been on the hunt for mascara that works for me for a really long time. I've tried from drugstore brands to higher end designers, and many times I end up dissatisfied. Including disappointment with DiorShow, and YSL Faux Cils.

Since then, I'd been trying a bunch of different drugstore mascaras - my favorite, Max Factor mascara, though it will be discontinued in the U.S. pretty soon. I also tried L'Oreal Collagen Mascara which I know many people rave about - it was an absolute mess on me - the messiest, clumpiest mascara I've ever dealt with!

So, I was excited when I received the 7 Piece Tarte Sampler. And, it just so happens I found a mascara that I love... that just works for me. It has passed all the tests - it goes on nice, lengthens and separates my lashes, gives them volume, and doesn't clump, smudge, or flake off throughout the day. It also doesn't irritate my very sensitive eyes.

Its Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara, and it is also a NATURAL mascara.

On the Tarte site, it describes this mascara as:
This is what we call a push-up bra for your lashes™ a 4-in-1 (lengthening, curling, volumizing and conditioning) dermatologist tested mascara that gives dramatic, thick, sexy lashes and is clinically proven to increase lash volume by 424%.

Here is also a before & after picture from the Tarte website - and you know what, I think its real! I would say this is what I experienced, too.

You can also find it at QVC at a pretty decent price as far as "designer" mascara goes - 2 for 25 dollars.

Stay tuned - I love this mascara so much, I want you guys to try it out, too! I am planning to do a giveaway with a full-size tube of this mascara as the prize! But, you have to be a follower, so make sure you sign up and officially follow. :o)

I also have some new MAC purchases to share later this week!

Well that is going to be it for tonight - I have my final Chinese listening test tomorrow, and the final reading on Tuesday! I need to go study!

In the meantime - what nail polish colors are you loving for spring & summer, and what is your newest makeup product that you love for spring?


Thursday, March 18, 2010

The easiest thing you can do to keep your skin young-looking

If you do nothing else, wear sunscreen.

Even if the day doesn't seem particularly sunny, its still really important to wear sunscreen. On overcast days, the sun can sometimes actually be stronger due to the way it gets reflected from the clouds (Hey, my doctor told me this! You can't make this stuff up!).

Don't forget to not only apply it to your face, but also your NECK, and your HANDS, too! Many people neglect putting sunscreen on their neck and hands, and these two places are actually some of the first places that can give away your age!

I know how hard it is to find a good sunscreen to wear on a place as sensitive as your face. I am really picky about what I put on my face, and I am especially picky about how the cream I use on my face feels. The last thing you want is a greasy cream on your face, especially when you are on vacation - combine an already greasy sunscreen with sweat, and that feeling is almost unbearable.

I have searched high and low for a sunscreen that doesn't feel greasy on my face, and I have two amazing options that I think are worth trying.

First, this sunscreen is actually a daily moisturizer and sunscreen combined into one. I use it every morning on my face, and I love it. Its not greasy at all, it doesn't clog my pores, and it looks great under makeup - makeup goes on very smooth, almost as if you have a primer on (even if you don't!).

Its La Roche Posay's Award Winning Anthelios Daily Moisturizing Cream with SPF 15

On the La Roche Posay website, it sells for 30 dollars - but I recommend buying from here. Its sold for only 23 dollars for 3.4 ounces. It lasts awhile, too so I definitely think its worth the money. Its also very moisturizing without being oily. I highly recommend it!!

From the La Roche Posay website:

Product Information
Allure October 2009 Best of Beauty WINNER: Best Facial Moisturizer for Normal Skin.

Breakthrough daily moisturizer containing Mexoryl™ SX, a unique organic UV filter that is highly protective against short UVA waves, provides comprehensive UVA/UVB protection*. Anthelios SX features the first new sun filter in a sunscreen approved by the FDA in 18 years.

Moisturizer with SPF 15 for daily protection
Light, oil-free texture
Non-acnegenic, non-comedogenic
24 hour hydration
Fragrance-free, PABA-free
Dermatologist and allergy tested

Also, I found this review on amazon and thought it was interesting. I cannot attest to the validity of the comment, but thought it was intriguing and thought I'd share:

The Anthelios website notes that SPF factors only measure blockage of UVB rays and not UVA. In essence, because this product does a much better job of blocking short UVA rays (it's much more photostable than other sunscreens and therefore lasts longer in the sun) than most other chemical sunscreens on the market, it's still much more protective than a sunscreen with a higher SPF rating (which simply means it blocks more UVB rays).

My next suggestion is a really unique sunscreen that I absolutely LOVE. My mom introduced me to this a few years ago - she still uses it every day. Its Colorescience's Sunforgettable. It also comes in 6 different shades.

Although it retails for 50 dollars - its a little on the pricey side - but just one tube lasts several months! I used this while I was vacation in French Polynesia - and I did not burn at all, and that South Pacific sun is STRONG! I also love that it can be worn over makeup, or on bare skin with no makeup, yet can still provide a little sheer coverage.

This is also a great sunscreen to travel with! Its not a liquid or a cream so its really easy to take on a plane in your carry- on.

From the website:
Sunforgettable Mineral Powder Sun Protection SPF 30

Sun protection is the fundamental step in keeping skin healthy and beautiful. Sunforgettable’s highly refined minerals shield skin from the damaging effects of the sun and environment, helping to defend against the signs of aging. It is a lightweight mineral powder with a barely-there feel that provides the safest, non-irritating, instant UVA and UVB sun protection. The self-dispensing powder brush makes this breakthrough, sheer formula easy to apply and reapply throughout the day.

Because I know how important it is to always wear sunscreen, and I know how hard it is to find a great one - I wanted to pass on these two amazing products to you guys! These are definitely holy grail products for me.

BTW - I repurchased my glossy black Hunter wellys from Nordstrom, and they already shipped! I figured since they serve a practical purpose my husband really couldn't say anything :o)

Until next time -


Why China? More about me!

A few of my readers wanted me to answer a few more questions they had been wondering about why it actually is I am learning Chinese, and why I am going to China. Let me answer these questions to give you guys a little bit of a better idea about what it is we are doing over there! I've also discussed with my husband answering these questions, and he agrees that these are all questions I can publicly respond to.

1. WHY are you moving to china? Is your husband Chinese?

My husband's job is taking us to China. He is a Marine Foreign Area Officer, which basically will makes him one of our military's China experts. They sent him to graduate school to study Southeast Asian Affairs, then to an intensive language school, and finally to spend a year of in-country training in China. So, no, he's not Chinese!

2. What does your husband do - will he be quitting or is he working over there?

My husband will still be employed while he is there, however, while he is actually in China, his only job is to continue studying Chinese at a language institute in Beijing, as well as travel throughout the country to better understand the history and the culture of the Chinese. Although we will have to pay for my tuition, I will also be officially studying Chinese at the same language institute while we are there.

3. How were you able to be in class everyday all day for the last 15 months? Did you quit your job? What was your motivation for learning the language and going to China?

I was previously employed by the Navy as a Victim Advocate - it was a part time job while I finished my masters degree in Criminology. I finished my masters degree at the same time the Chinese course was starting. We decided that because having the ability to speak and understand Chinese is such an asset, it would be more than worth it for me to quit my job and dedicate 100 percent of my time to learning Chinese. Due to the type of field I want to work in, this type of ability will definitely be an asset to my future.

4. Why china? What made you decide this? Why not Spanish and go to Spain?

When my husband was considering the list of possible languages to learn and places to go, China was his first choice. He has always been really interested in Chinese history and Chinese culture. China is also one of the most influential countries in the world right now - all of this inspired him to learn Chinese. We both decided China would be a great choice just because of the benefits towards our careers, as well as just because... well... we love a challenge! The Chinese program is 63 weeks long - the Spanish program is 24 weeks long - and you graduate at the same proficiency level. That just goes to show how much more difficult learning Chinese is! and as I said... we love a challenge.


I think this answers all your questions! If you guys want to know anything else, just ask!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Recent Anthropologie purchases & reviews!

I've lived in Monterey, CA for the last 2.5 years. While its beautiful here, I am definitely ready to leave! I'd say the year around temperature averages around 55 degrees. While its not freezing, its definitely a little bit hard to deal with that cool weather year around - plus I never get to wear the type of clothes I love to wear - summer clothes! I grew up on the tropical, sandy beaches of South Florida so its been an adjustment to live somewhere with no summer and no real usable beach. Let's just say I am looking forward to getting out of here and moving somewhere that has a summer!

Anyway, in preparation for warmer weather I needed to re-vamp my warm weather wardrobe since it is seriously lacking, to say the least. I headed to one of my favorite stores, Anthropologie, to check out their always awesome selection of beautiful, unique tops/tees.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

This is the Swathed Gingham Blouse. This top immediately caught my eye when I saw it in Anthro's catalog. Originally I was going for the black, but it was a lucky shopping day when my husband was with me and he was all about the green. Seeing as how I am trying to brand out from my ever-classic black habit, I tried on the green and just loved it! I think its a perfect spring and summer blouse, and love the kelly green with my blonde hair. When I wear it, I will make sure to tie it a little better so the bow doesn't hang too long.

Next up is the Buds and Bunches Tee. I also bought this in the orange color shown on Anthro's website. I think the orange color is a lot nicer in person. I love this tank because the straps are thick enough to not show a bra. The straps are also braided which is a really pretty detail, and the blossoms are too pretty to pass up! I love how it fits and can see myself wearing this throughout spring & summer!

Next up is the Hourglass Surplice Tee. I love this tee! Its super flattering & so comfortable! The material is so soft, and I love this turquoise color. This is a really easy to wear top that would look good on anyone. Its also very reasonably priced as far as Anthropologie goes!

And last for today is the Foliage Fancy Tee. I absolutely love this tee. Again, the material is really really soft and the shirt is very simple, but the lace detail is a really pretty feature that absolutely makes the shirt. The lace is placed in the perfect spot so as to not reveal any "sensitive areas"... its also very lightweight and thin material (though still feels solid and good quality). I bought it in the grey.

I have some other items I recently bought from Anthro, Banana and J. Crew, but I'll save those for another post.

In the meantime - I recently purchased a pair of glossy black Hunter welly rainboots, but decided to cancel the order at the last minute. I sat there thinking about my purchase, which I was very excited about, but then I pictured myself opening the box with my husband next to me - and me pulling out a pair of rainboots. I could just HEAR him ".... really? Steph? Really? rainboots?" It was enough to convince me to cancel the order!

These are the boots:

But, I'm still thinking about them. I know they can be used in rain as well as in snow when worn with the fleece inserts. Do you guys own Hunter wellys? Do you like them? Should I buy them? Do you get a lot of use out of yours? As a Floridian I've never lived somewhere where it snows - well, except for one brief winter in the D.C. area, but during that time I had a pair of uggs. I was thinking of buying the wellys instead of the uggs - thoughts?

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

China, here we come!

So, I've been putting off writing my first post because I'm not exactly sure how to do this blogging thing! I mean, about a year or so ago I used to have a food blog, but it was short-lived, mainly because I was just way too busy to even cook, let alone blog. For the past 15 months I have been learning Mandarin Chinese. Monday through Friday for the past year plus, I have been in class from 8:00 in the morning to 3:00 in the afternoon. That doesn't include the time I spent at home, a total hermit, on the couch with my husband, memorizing new vocab words, reviewing old ones, and listening to Chinese. It has been INTENSE (and socially alienating)! But the rewarding part of learning a foreign language definitely outweighs all the hard work that you have to put into it.

I think learning Chinese is the coolest thing I have ever done. Really. Just the fact that I can listen to something in Chinese, something that just 15 months ago sounded like a bunch of noise, totally foreign, totally incomprehensible - in just 15 months it has transformed into something I (most of the time, lol) can actually understand! How cool is that?! I'll tell you - it is one of the coolest things ever.

So where does Beijing come in? As part of my incentive for this ridiculously long period of studying, studying, studying, I always knew that at the end of this schooling would come the best part about it all - MOVING TO BEIJING! Yes, readers, I am moving to Beijing, China and will live in China for one year. My husband and I are so, so looking forward to this! We LOVE to travel. I've never been to Asia. I can't wait. We want to see every province and many of the border countries.

I also know there will be plenty of challenges.

1. I may be one of the girliest girls you will ever meet
2. I don't like getting dirty
3. I don't like being uncomfortable
4. I'm soooort of a picky eater
5. I can't use chopsticks... something about a lack of coordination... (but I will damn well learn!)
6. I don't really like big crowds (that will be a problem in a country with a population of 1.3 billion people)
7. I don't particularly love public transportation, which is how we will get around China
8. I make everyone in my class use purell
9. And I've spent at least a few hours scouring the internet for sandals that are good for traveling but still fashionable (it seems those two things can't go together, but, I am determined to make it happen)

Trust me, everyone who knows me is watching to see how this will play out! My goal while I am in China is to try (almost) everything at least once; embrace the food, the culture, the language, the people, the history - and with a country with as rich a history as China's and as quickly developing as China is - this is going to be a really amazing journey and I think its a really great time to be IN China experiencing all the changes first hand.

So with our passports and visas ready to go and our plane ticket booked - China, here we come! We will be leaving May 9th for Beijing, with no house waiting for us on the other side of the ocean, alone & unafraid as my hubby would say. :)

This blog will be all about my experience in China, my travels, the food, the people, the culture, as well as the fashion! (Can't leave out fashion!)

So you might be wondering where this amazingly creative & original blog name come from. I think its an interesting perspective as I am pretty sure I am going to stick out in a crowd over there.

Anyway I'll be posting some fashion/beauty related things in the next few days (hey you need to shop before you go!), and some posts about getting ready for a move like this. Stay tuned!

And so this post wasn't a total bore, my cute little JIWAWA I'll have to leave with my mom in the U.S.