Date Night at Saks Off 5th



GG and I went out for dinner tonight and then over to the new Saks Off 5th that just opened. Now I have a very important question: can I remove these long tassels (they’re barely tassels, just leather strings) attached to every zipper of this otherwise awesome bag? I know they will get tangled, stepped on, and are begging to be chewed up by cats!

Also picked up these cute suede flats I am calling “elf shoes” because there is just something about them, I don’t know if it’s the length of the point or how low the sides are cut or something? They’re really comfy and a great price, and GG said they didn’t look like elves, so maybe it’s just me…

Museum of the American Revolution



We went to the Museum of the American Revolution to celebrate MB and R’s April birthdays … because we are all nerds! I loved it, it’s a very well designed museum. There’s a really good flow from one exhibit to the next, and it truly uses all senses – there are things to see, hear, touch, and even smell! (Ok, nothing to taste… yet.)

Even us history buffs picked up some new information there. Because I forgot to answer it for myself in the video, a fact that I picked up was that George Washington had a big butt and was self conscious about it!

Afterward, we got lunch across the street at The Little Lion, which I’d chosen because it came up in a search for “kid friendly” restaurants. What they meant was that it’s loud, so nobody will notice your noisy child. It really fit the “revolutionary” theme in kind of a hipster way, though – and they have cheese plates!

Walking Around Wayne After White Dog




GG and I used up another Christmas gift card by having dinner at the White Dog Cafe last night. It’s one of those local places everyone always raves about, but neither of us had been there! It was good, though the dog decor was a little overdone (literally every piece of art, pillow, wall hanging, etc. had a dog!). Then we walked around town a little bit, talking about how it was in the ’90s, because we’re old now.

Springtime!

Spring has sprung suddenly, and I’ve been busy but having such a good time!

Last weekend, GG and I attended the Philly Farm and Food Fest – we had gone once before, a couple years ago, but every year it gets a little bigger. We took the train in to the Philly Convention Center, and got in right when they opened, so we could sign up for the speakers we wanted to see. Between presentations, we spent the entire day wandering around the aisles of vendors. This year’s show also featured a “curd convention,” where they put the cheese producers all together in one area. Unfortunately, GG and I are not the only cheese lovers in Philadelphia, and the area was quite crowded. (Meanwhile, the “Local Libations Lounge” required an additional ticket, was sold out, and remained mostly empty the whole time – we would have paid extra for the cheese section if that’s how it was going to be!) We did get to see two Curd Convention speakers, though (which came with samples!): David Katz of Honeygrow; and Sue Miller of Birchrun Hills (makers of one of one of the most approachable blue cheeses, Birchrun Blue, which I’ve been a fan of since I discovered it at the Phoenixville Farmer’s Market a million years ago) with Aimee Olexy of Talula’s Garden/Daily/Table (who I was kind of prejudiced against because of our bad experience when we tried Talula’s Garden). Despite all the amazing samples, we still managed to keep LCHF for the day! (Mostly – we may have cheated on a bite here or there…)

The next day, we met up with our friend C at Seven Stones Cafe in Media to catch up. That place is so cute! We got there at a little bit of a busy time, but then it cleared out and we got to sit and have a nice talk. Since it was so nice out, we walked up and down State St. for a little while before heading home.

Yesterday we went to one of our favorite spots, Tria, to use my Christmas gift, a very generous gift card from GG (and we only used half of it, so we’ll have to back again)! It was perfect we got a meter parking spot right across the street, we got there at just the right time to have the restaurant to ourselves, and we were able to keep LCHF (I did have beets on my salad – don’t tell anyone!). The highlight, of course, was the amazing cheese board! My favorite was the Brillat Savarin, an amazing, runny, creamy cheese… I mostly linked it here so I know where to buy more ;)

For Easter yesterday, GG was invited to play guitar with his cousin’s church band, while I went to brunch with my family, and then we spent some time together back at my grandmom’s place. (Meanwhile, GG had been invited to his Greek friend’s house, where they were roasting a lamb on a spit!) Finally, we got back together at his parents’ house for Easter dinner – and some impromptu magic tricks from my brother-in-law!

In other news… I ordered a camera … but it was the wrong one … so I returned it, and then got the one I wanted used on eBay for half the price (but it’s in excellent shape). And now I’m trying my hand at vlogging :O

Vlog and Tote Purse Organization




I’m a vlogger now! Follow me around a little, and see how I organize my big ol’ tote purse, the Thirty-One Around Town Tote. (Also featured: the Swap It Pocket purse organizer, seriously one of the best purse organizers I’ve ever used, and I’m a collector!)

Evereve Trendsend 2

As a little reward to myself for recently dropping a few pounds, I decided to try another Evereve Trendsend box. I’d only done it once before, but was very pleased with their thoughtfulness and service. The pieces are a little pricey, but it’s nice to treat yourself (and I wear those 7 For All Mankind pants all the time!). For this box, I mentioned a couple work events and a trip coming up, and also said I was ready to wear a little bit more fitted pieces instead of the loose tunic type things I’ve been wearing lately. In response, Heidi R sent me three outfits, which may or may not have met my requests…

Outfit One: This combination was very strange; individually I liked both pieces, but I don’t think I would have ever paired this kind of preppy looking, light shift dress with this brown, slightly western-ish, heavy-ish moto jacket…



Allison Joy Tie Neck Shift Dress – $29.99
I liked this dress, but it had a few strikes against it: 1) as a shift dress with no stretch and no waist definition, it had the “tent” effect (i.e. it comes out as far as the farthest point of my chest, and then falls straight down, making me look larger than I am); 2) I’m not really into tie necks, I never know how to tie them and generally think they look goofy (at least on me); 3) not fully sold on the orange and pink parts of the design. Maybe if I had some kind of summertime dress wearing event on the horizon I would have kept it, but with those strikes against it, I took it off the maybe pile and onto the return pile. (To be fair, I thought it was $55 according to the tag, which may have influenced my opinion as well. According to the web site, it was marked down from $68.) [Edit: 4/2] After rethinking this one and considering the price, I’ve decided to keep! [/Edit]

BB Dakota Allerton Suede Jacket – $89.99
When I peeked at my box before receiving it, I saw this very cool brown suede jacket. However, I have cut all brown and tan out of my life, and only wear black and gray. It just makes things so much easier. So had this jacket been black or gray I would have absolutely kept it because it fits nicely, it’s so comfy and soft, and I love the asymmetrical zipper. Return. (Marked down from $108.)

Outfit Two: If I thought the previous outfit was strange, this one knocked it out of the park. The leggings and jacket were very heavy and structured to wear with the light and gauzy dress.



Lysse Mara Legging – $39.99
I was excited to see these were coming, because I think they are an Evereve fan favorite! They’re a really thick ponte knit, with decorative seams down the front and back of each leg. I already have a pair of ponte leggings I like, but I think these are a little nicer (and cheaper!). Keeping! (Marked down from $78.)

Beloved Classic Cami – $28
Heidi sent me this plain black cami to layer under the dress, which has an open back. However, as if I didn’t already have enough plain black camis, I wear Ruby Ribbon camis pretty much exclusively now. Although the fabric is nice and it’s seamless, it’s a really expensive plain black cami… Return.

BB Dakota Nicholson Faux Suede Jacket – $79.99
I had mixed feelings when I saw this was coming – I liked that it was black, and I was excited for another suede jacket option (since I knew I wouldn’t be keeping the brown one), but I wasn’t sure about the kind of unstructured, flyaway design. When I put it on, I was even more confused, because the inside sides of the sleeves are not suede but a knit. However, it grew on me. After revisiting a couple times, I decided to keep. (Marked down from $98.)

Free People Beaux Slip – $39.99
No no no. I pretty much hate everything about this. The neck comes up so high on my throat. The back is wide open (hence the need for the cami underneath). I do not like the flowy, hippie-ish style. And it just did not work with the heavy jacket and structured pants. Just for fun, I tried the outfit with my own shirt, and I liked it much better! (It’s what convinced me to keep the other two pieces.) But this was a return. (Marked down from $88.)

Outfit Three: Heidi recommended pairing the two pieces in this outfit with the black suede jacket above, as well as wearing the top with white denim, which I’m sure would look beautiful in the summer but which I would surely destroy!



Allison Joy Maribel Lace Up Tank – $48
I was worried when I saw this coming because I’m not really into this new strappy/tie neck thing I’m seeing more and more on tops. But, as Heidi said in her message, it does include all my favorite blue and turquoise colors! And GG got more of a ren faire vibe from the lace up neck. It fits really nicely, the fabric has a nice stretch to it, and I need more patterned pieces in my life, so I decided to keep it, despite the high price.

Sanctuary Essential City Peg Ankle Pant – $89.99
Jeez, how many pairs of black pants do I need?! ;) Well, I asked for a straight leg pant, I can always use these for work. They’re skinny, but don’t look like skintight leggings. They have a little black leather trim on the front pockets, which is a nice touch. The price was high, but comparable to what they seem to sell for on other sites, and they have great reviews around the internet. Keeping! (Marked down from $99.)

So there we have it: four five hits, four three misses. To complete your order, you check out online and indicate which pieces you’re keeping, and you’ll be charged at that time. Anything you’re not keeping goes into a pre-paid bag to be shipped back to Evereve. There isn’t a styling fee or any other charge, you just pay for the pieces you keep. There’s no incentive or discount for keeping everything they send, so you don’t feel obligated to keep something you don’t like just for a discount on the rest. I did notice they seem to be scaling back just a little bit on the materials they send – last time the letter from my stylist came on letterhead printed with a color logo, and this time it was just a black and white photocopy. Also, the prepaid shipping bag came with a second copy of the packing slip in it, as is requested for returns; this time, there was only one packing slip so I’ll have to send my copy back with my returns. Just little things, but I noticed. All the clothing was still wrapped with tissue paper and a sticker around each outfit, and overall the experience was quick, personal, and fun!

March

Highlights of the month:

  • Officially started shutting down my side business! Nothing negative happened, but it takes a lot of time that I just don’t have to dedicate to doing it right. Maybe someday I’ll write some more about my experience, since this seems to be in the news a lot lately…
  • I finished doing our taxes… Officially the very latest I’ve ever gotten them done ever.
  • Was really busy at work with a number of projects, including finishing building a tool and then training users on it… I’m really excited that my new boss is trying to put me in positions where I can get more experience and facetime with management.
  • Tried a few new keto recipes and, after a week of not really having time to cook, decided to try prepping meals on the weekends when I have time so there is always something around for GG (or me) to eat. After 3 full months on LCHF, we’re both almost to our goal weights! I don’t know about GG’s plans, but I have a second goal after this if all goes well. I’ll have to write more later about some of the tips things we’ve learned.
  • My JA program is close to wrapping up for the year and once again the kids can be infuriating but in the end make me proud. We had an event in the office that a couple of them came to and they did really well. Next month we have a couple big events for them and then their regional competition, and I think they’re really going to pull it together at the end!

LCHF Costco Picks

Doing the LCHF lifestyle, you’ll probably end up cooking from scratch more and eating out less, which is great – but it also means you’ll be shopping more for fresh groceries! We have a Costco membership but used to only go a couple times a year. Now I’m going every week or two, because with the quantities we’re using certain ingredients, it just makes sense to be able to buy them in bulk there. The prices are great, and they have lots of organic options too! Here’s some of the items I always pick up there:

  • Eggs: I used to buy the 6-packs of eggs because we would rarely go through a dozen before they expired. Now we can easily go through a couple dozen a week, so I love the Costco 24 packs. I usually just get the regular ones, but they also have cage-free, brown eggs, etc.
  • Ground Beef: People swear by their grass-fed ground beef, which is about $5/lb at our store.
  • Chicken: I am very weird about chicken. I always worry it’s not cooked enough, and so I usually end up cutting it into small pieces to cook. I hate cooking chicken breasts, which is why I love the large packs of chicken tenders. There are 6 individual packs all connected together, so I usually keep 1-2 in the fridge and freeze the rest.
  • Cheeses: You know I love cheese. If you’re going to go through a lot of it, why not stock up? The big double-packs of feta last a long time, and it’s a great salad topping or good to bake with chicken. I can blow through one of the 3-packs of Boursin cheese in a week (also great inside stuffed mushrooms). And the deli sliced provalone is great to bake into cheese crisps.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: HWC, as the kids call it, is great for a million things LCHF, but we mostly add it to our tea for a satisfying drink that can really fill you up!
  • Produce: I don’t know why I used to always be wary of Costco produce. I guess because I didn’t think we’d go through the larger package quick enough. Everything I’ve gotten there has been great quality!
    • Avocados – Usually a great bargain here. I don’t want to jinx myself, but I think every one I’ve gotten has been perfect. If you keep them in the fridge they last longer, so I usually store them there and just keep 1-2 sitting out to use.
    • Mushrooms – The packs are slightly larger than how they sell them at the supermarket, so not an overwhelming amount.
    • Romaine Lettuce – They have 3-packs of romaine hearts like you can find in the supermarket, but they also have 5-packs of smaller, denser romaine hearts that actually work out to be a better deal.
  • Chia Seeds: These are a great source of fiber, and you can use them for a million things – we love chia seed pudding for breakfast, and I also make chia seed crackers to eat with my cheese (just make a paste of seeds and water, spread into a thin layer on a pan, and bake until crispy).
  • Almond Flour: A great buy at Costco! If you like experimenting keto baked goods, you can go through this pretty quickly.
  • Snacks: Whisps are one of my favorite LCHF-friendly snacks, and you can stock up on a big bag at Costco. The Kirkland brand beef jerky is also decently low in carbs and actually has a really good taste and texture (though weirdly it says to refrigerate after opening, which kind of seems like the opposite of how jerky should work..?). All sorts of nuts are plentiful at Costco (the macadamias are an especially good deal). There’s lots of keto snacks, if you know where to look ;)