Tinkerbell Training: Week 3

I’m pretty happy with myself this week because I managed to wake up at 5:30 AM on all my scheduled running days and complete my planned distance!

Tuesday: I ran 3 miles today in just under 45 minutes. That’s a pace of 14 minutes and 15 seconds per mile. Great improvement already from last week! I left early this morning but it was still pretty warm out for most of my run.

Thursday: Today was my second Magic Mile. My goal was just to improve my time over last week, and boy did I improve! I ran it in 10:08, almost a 30-second improvement! This means I will be moving up to the next level of interval training — a 30-second jog with a 45-second walk in between. I ran 3.24 miles overall today in just under 45 minutes. It is finally beginning to feel a little bit like fall, so the air was cool and breezy.

Saturday: Today was my first run with my new intervals, and I had a little bit of pain in my left shin at the beginning of the run, but I skipped one jogging interval to walk it out and felt perfectly fine afterwards. I ran a total of 3.5 miles at a pace of 13:45. Great improvement in pace this week compared to last week! It was also nice and cool out this morning, and I jogged through a beautiful sunrise.

September Birchbox Review

Last year, I discovered a neat little service called Birchbox. Normally, I would be wary of trusting most subscription services, but a coworker of mine used it and swore by it, and it seemed legit. It’s a pretty good deal, too — ten dollars per month for a cool box of beauty samples! Here are my thoughts on what I got in my box this month.

September Birchbox
My September Birchbox came with Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm, Eyeko Black Magic Mascara, Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips, amika Blow Up Spray, and Ruffian Nail Lacquer.

Before Dr. Jart+ BB   After Dr. Jart+ BB
To show you an example of the effectiveness of Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm, here’s a before and after image. On the left, my face is completely free of make-up, freshly washed. As you can see, the beauty balm does a really nice job of evening out my skintone and hiding my large pores. It doesn’t cover all my acne, but it plays it down a little, and when I add powder over the top they’re virtually invisible. I also love that this balm is 45 SPF, meaning I don’t have to worry about also adding sunscreen to my face.

Me with Mascara
Here I’ve added the Eyeko Black Magic Mascara and the Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips. I’m not a huge fan of either of these products. I was glad to get the mascara because I was nearly out of the previous bottle, but the texture is really rubbery and makes my lashes stick together. The lip gloss adds a little bit of shine, but wears off pretty quickly, so I’m not sure how effective it is. It’s nice for days when I want to be a little casual though and add some shine but not color.

Temporary profile photo
I got a haircut on Saturday, so on Sunday I decided to test out the amika Blow Up Spray. I sprayed it in my hair before blow-drying, and then styled it the same way my hairstylist does. I was able to get a similar effect, but I’m not sure that the amika spray does anything that the product I got from my stylist doesn’t already do. The bottle says it can also be used on dry hair for styling, so maybe that would be a more effective use of it. I just can’t see purchasing a full bottle of this because it doesn’t seem like a particularly unique product.

Hedge Fund Polish
My Ruffian Nail Lacquer came in the color “Hedge Fund,” which is basically an olive green. It is a nice shade for fall, and the polish seems high quality and goes on smooth. I might add some gold sparkle polish to it later in the week — it seems like the golden tones of this polish would really react well to that.

Overall, not a bad haul. I think I’ll be likely to reuse most of the products in this box, but maybe wouldn’t purchase full versions of any of them.  The only exception to this might be the Dr. Jart+ Beauty Balm, as I have been pretty happy with it so far.

For more information on Birchbox, or to sign up yourself, check it out here!

PS: May Birchbox Review


Introducing: Cookies!

Hello readers! I just wanted to take a moment tonight to introduce you all to my amazing cat, Cookies!

Look at that adorable face! I got off work early today and Eric is working late, so I spent the afternoon hanging out on the couch with this cool cat watching stand-up specials on Netflix. There’s nothing like relaxing with a sweet kitty after a long week at work.


L.A. Eats: Tender Greens

For my first entry into my L.A. Eats series — in which I’ll tell you all about local Los Angeles eateries — I’m going to go with one of my all-time favorites: Tender Greens.

I could probably eat at Tender Greens every day for a week and not get tired of it. No joke. This place is delicious, and has tons of great choices.

Currently, there are six Tender Greens locations in Los Angeles, with three more coming soon. The restaurant also has locations in San Diego, San Francisco, and Orange County.

Happy Vegan Salad

The “Happy Vegan” salad — delish!

Tender Greens is great because it offers the freshest ingredients from local farmers. Their menu has so many choices, and they’re all amazing! First of all, they have twelve awesome salads to choose from. And if that’s not enough for you, you can build your own dish. They have marinated steak, grilled chicken, BBQ chicken (my personal fave), fried chicken, albacore tuna (another fave), and mixed veggies, which you can mix-and-match with a variety of simple salads. If salad isn’t your thing, you can also get any of them on a sandwich on some truly amazing ciabatta bread, or you can create what they call a hot plate — your choice of protein plus mashed potatoes and a simple salad. You can even sub any of the sides for a variety of other things, like soup or grilled veggies.

Ahi Tuna Hot Plate

One of my staples here is the albacore tuna hot plate with a kale salad and grilled veggies instead of potatoes. I also highly recommend the salt & pepper chicken sandwich with romaine hearts and the happy vegan salad. But, honestly, I could eat literally anything on the menu and be happy.

In addition to the awesome meals, they also have a great selection of desserts and natural sodas. They even have some beers! Look at these awesome vegan cupcakes:

Vegan Cupcakes

If you’re in L.A. and you’re in to eating healthy (or even if you aren’t!) definitely be sure to make a stop at Tender Greens!

PS: Flore Vegan Cuisine & Deluca’s Italian Deli

Tinkerbell Training: Week 2

Monday: I really wanted to sleep in this morning, but I toughed it out and did a 30-minute Nike Training Club workout. I tried to take it easy, but even so, my quads felt a little rubbery afterwards and I walked a little slowly most of the day.

Tuesday: I woke up this morning to run, but could barely stand up out of bed for all the pain in my glutes and quads. I guess I worked out much harder on Monday than I thought I had. I skipped the run and took a long shower instead to try and relieve the pain in my muscles.

Wednesday: I still had some stiffness and soreness in my upper legs when I woke up this morning. I went out for a run, but found it still too painful so I ended up walking instead. I walked 1.8 miles at about a 19 minute/mile pace. Didn’t quite go the full 45 minutes because of my legs, though it did feel good to stretch my muscles out a little.

Thursday: Still sore this morning! What a bummer. I decided to skip Thursday’s run and do it Friday morning instead so that I might actually be able to run a little bit.

Friday: Finally felt up to running today. I ran a total of 3 miles, and did my first Magic Mile at a pace of 10:34 min/mile.

Saturday: I went out for a coworker’s birthday party on Friday night, so I slept in pretty late on Saturday and skipped the run.

Sunday: I slept in again, but did my long run in the evening right before dinner. I ran just over 4 miles at a pace of 14 min/mile. I’m still taking my running intervals pretty easy — I run 30 seconds and walk for 1 minute — so I didn’t have any trouble with this run.

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    Hello! I'm Erika, a quiet girl living in the noisy city of Los Angeles with my husband Eric and my cat Cookies. I enjoy exploring new places, going on adventures, eating delicious food, and taking lots of pictures! >> Read more

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