Thinking Out Loud Thursday

by Lisa on Thursday: Feb 04, 2016

This week has been a good one so far! I’m ready to share my thoughts from the week, linking up with Thinking Out Loud Thursday:

Thinking Out Loud

  1. Nearly every day this week, I’ve had at least 4 hours of meetings at work, today included. On the one hand, it’s a nice break from the pressing deadlines and usual work, but on the other hand, by the end of each day I’m more than ready to leave the conference rooms and go home.
  2. Outside of work, things have been relatively low key, which has also been a nice change of pace. I didn’t even end up writing much in my planner for the first half of the week, as far as to-do lists are concerned. This is practically unheard of for me.
  3. Speaking of planners, I recently subscribed to the Planner Addict subscription box. I actually subscribed back in November, but due to a series of issues, I won’t be receiving my first box until today (according to USPS tracking). I have to say, this company is already leaving a bad taste in my mouth, and I will almost definitely cancel. After I get the box, I will be posting a full, honest review of my experience.
  4. On the topic of subscription boxes, I’ve canceled a bunch in my effort to save more money for the wedding, so I’m down to only two (assuming I follow through on canceling Planner Addict): Sephora and BoxyCharm.
  5. I was previously subscribed to Julep, but it just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. Also, D and I were subscribers of Japan Crate, which is a subscription that sends out a box of candies from Japan on a monthly basis. I canceled that so we could get through our backlog of Japan Crate goodies and also to save money. I will eventually resubscribe to this one for sure because it’s incredibly fun and unique.
  6. The weather this week has been unseasonably warm, much to my delight. It was over 60 degrees one day this week and they’re forecasting the same for today. I’ve been getting outside for 1-2 walks per day, and it’s been exactly what I needed.
  7. D and I were chatting last night about how many old TV shows are relaunching this year. It seems like the trend has been started, and now everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. There’s Gilmore Girls, Dexter, the X-Files, Full House, and probably more that I’m not thinking of. I’m a super fan of the Gilmore Girls, but I’m apprehensive that they’re not going to do the original series justice.
  8. D and I binge watched Dexter right around this time last year and loved it, but couldn’t stand the finale. I’m not sure how they can come back from that in this new version of the series.

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Are you looking forward to any of the new “relaunched” TV series?

Are you getting unseasonable warmth in your area too, or is it snowing where you are?

Play! by Sephora January Review

by Lisa on Tuesday: Feb 02, 2016

This is month five of the Play! by Sephora subscription box, and I continue to enjoy this box and look forward to receiving it. For those who have been waiting, it sounds like Sephora will be releasing more slots to get in on this subscription in the near future. For now, I believe it’s still only available in select markets.

January Play! by Sephora Box

As always, this is a subscription box I pay for on my own, and I am not affiliated with Sephora in any way.

January Play! by Sephora Box Contents

This box’s theme is “No appointment necessary” – meaning no need to go get botox, etc. To me, this means that some of these products must be rather powerful.

Sephora - Highlighter and Perfume

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight – For a subscription box that’s known for sending only sample sizes, this seems to be a full size! When I used it, I went very light on the application and liked the glow it gave me. This seems like the kind of highlighter that can be as subtle or as not-subtle as you want it to be.

Tocca Beauty Isabel – I’ve received a few Tocca perfume samples from regular Sephora orders in the past, and I’ve never really liked any of them before, so I didn’t have high hopes for this. After smelling it in the sampler, I thought maybe I was wrong. But, I’ve been wearing it today, and I must say I’m sick of it. It’s not a bad smell, but it’s just a little too overpowering.

Sephora - Dr. Brandt and Living Proof

Living Proof Prime Style Extender Spray – I’ve been loving Living Proof products this past year, especially the styling products. I tried this one out on its own without any other pre-blowdry products, and it left my hair very soft and manageable. I will be using this again, for sure.

Dr. Brandt Skincare Needles No More – I haven’t given this one a shot yet, but based on the description, this sounds like one of those powerful products I mentioned above. I am kind of curious to try it on some of my trouble areas, so we’ll see.

Sephora - Mask and Peel

Sephora Collection Eye Mask – There were a few different variations of this product you could receive, and mine came with the green tea version. I just got through trying it right before writing this post, and I actually quite enjoyed it. It was very cooling and comfortable, and was to be worn for 15 minutes. My main gripe with masks in general is the waiting time, because it means I will need to be without my glasses for that time period (which means I can’t do most things because I’m super near sighted). However with the shape and size of this mask, I was able to wear my glasses as I waited! Also, it should be noted that I have pretty bad dark circles and when I took the mask off, they looked significantly reduced.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel Original Formula – This is the other product in the box that I haven’t tried just yet. I’ve never tried a facial peel before, so I have no idea how my skin might react to it. Another one to report back on.

Overall, I’m very happy with this box. There were a lot of fun new products to try and a few that I’m still looking forward to trying. Also, with some of the items like the highlighter, I know the products will actually last me quite a while.

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What is the best face mask you’ve ever tried, and what made it so good?

Do you feel my pain about the glasses + face mask dilemma?

Workout Week in Review 1/25 – 1/31

by Lisa on Saturday: Jan 30, 2016

It’s the last week in January, and it’s time to look back on my week of workouts! I got in 4 solid workout this week, which was one less than I was originally planning, but overall I’m very happy with my efforts.

Monday
Much like last week, Monday kicked off on a good note with a successful 6:30AM wakeup call. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my determination over the past few weeks to start Monday this way, and I hope the trend continues. I completed a fast-paced 40 minutes of cardio.

Tuesday
Tuesday marked the return of TurboFire, a workout I love to throw on when I need something to kick my butt and leave me a sweaty mess. I always feel like I’ve worked hard when one of these DVDs is over and they never get boring.

TurboFire

Wednesday
Wednesday was another 40 minutes of dance cardio.

Thursday – Off

Friday
I was thisclose to not doing any type of workout on Friday, but at the very last minute, I decided to go for some more cardio and got in a quick 25 minutes. Much better than nothing at all.

As for the weekend, I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to fit in another workout session. If I do, I will consider it a bonus and will also try to make it something strength-based.

Next week I will definitely be bringing more strength workouts into the mix, but you can bet my dance cardio isn’t going anywhere.

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What are your favorite workout DVDs to do at home?

Do you prefer to workout at home or go to the gym?

Thinking Out Loud Thursday

by Lisa on Thursday: Jan 28, 2016

It’s time for my random thoughts of the week and tid bits from life:

Thinking Out Loud

  1. Did you catch my post on vegetarian eating at Tokyo Disney? Check it out here. Even if you don’t care about the vegetarian food aspect, check it out purely for a look into Tokyo’s Disney parks, which are quite incredible.
  2. I had my first experience with my site going down today. It was that mysterious database connection error that you sometimes see when a site goes down. I have no idea why it happened, but after much research and some troubleshooting, I was able to get it back up. Hopefully that was a one time thing!
  3. I just recently caught up on the new season of Dance Moms. Anyone else watching? I’ve been watching since the beginning of the series, but I have to say sometimes the drama just gets to be too much screaming and drama. Sometimes I just want to watch the actual dancing!
  4. Something about me that you may not know is that I took dance classes for 10 years when I was younger. I started when I was 8 and stopped after I graduated high school. I loved it very much, and often wish I had kept it up beyond high school. Tap was my specialty, but I also dabbled in jazz and ballet.
  5. How did everyone fare in the blizzard over the weekend? Boston didn’t get hit with the brunt of it, but we did get about 4-5 inches, which D and I spent most of Sunday morning cleaning up. While it sucks at the time, I always say that shoveling snow is a great workout. It’s not only cardio, but an upper and lower body workout as well.
  6. Since I started tracking my spending every day, I’ve noticed a significant decrease in spending overall. I’m now a week and a half in, and the results are making me happy. Previously, I would log in to my credit card account on pay days and be somewhat surprised to see how much money had flown out of my account. Now, not only do I know exactly what to expect (because it’s already listed in my planner), but it’s significantly less than it ever was. I hope I can keep this up for a few months!
  7. Part of the challenge of planning my wedding right now is that the majority of the wedding party lives out of state, including the maid of honor and best man. Anyone ever deal with this before? I’m trying to figure out the logistics of things like bridesmaids dresses and the bridal shower, among other things. I’m sure it will all get worked out somehow, but right now it’s a bit crazy.
  8. And I think that’s all the thoughts I have time for because my lunch break has run out and I have about 55,000 emails to respond to!

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Tell me something random from your week!

How to Be a Vegetarian at Tokyo Disney

by Lisa on Tuesday: Jan 26, 2016

In fall of 2014, D and I went on the biggest trip of our lives (thus far) and visited Tokyo, Japan. It was my second time visiting the country, but the first time for D. This was also the trip where we got engaged – a story I will be writing up in the next few weeks (stay tuned!). While we were there, we knew we wanted to make a stop at Tokyo Disney.

If you’re unfamiliar, Tokyo Disney is made up of two parks: Tokyo DisneyLand and Tokyo DisneySea. We decided to do one day at each park in the middle of our two week stay in the country. Since D and I have been together, we’ve gone to Disney World in Orlando many times, and it is a very important part of our relationship’s history, so we couldn’t pass up the chance to see what things were like in the Tokyo version of the parks!

Tokyo Disneyland Castle

Before we left on our trip, I did extensive research on everything we would be doing while we were away, and Tokyo Disney was no exception. As a vegetarian, I knew it would be challenging to find meals anywhere in Tokyo and thought it would be a good idea to have some restaurants inside the parks picked out ahead of time.

Thankfully, I had found several blogs during that time to help me with that process, most notably: The Honorable Rat. I think I read almost every post on his blog before we left!

I could (and probably will) do a whole post on what the parks themselves were like, but for now – let’s talk about food!

Thanks to the Honorable Rat’s post on the topic, I knew the situation going in ahead of time: There was one restaurant in each park that served one vegetarian dish. So, it is an extremely limited selection, and if you didn’t know this information going in, you’d definitely be frustrated running from place to place only to find out everything contained meat or fish!

Tokyo Disneyland

The one restaurant in Tokyo Disneyland that contains a vegetarian option is Eastside Cafe. We foolishly wandered around a little bit beforehand instead of going straight there because we were on the other side of the park. We happened to spot a pizza place called “Planet M”.

Tokyo Disneyland Planet M

I was sure I would at least find a slice of cheese pizza there, but much to my dismay (and confused agitation), I found that they only had meat pizzas, and yes, fish pizzas. Welcome to Japan, where fish pizza is more common than cheese.

It was at this point that I realized how serious the “one restaurant with one dish” recommendation would be, and we high-tailed it over to Eastside Cafe before we got too hungry.

Tokyo Disneyland Eastside Cafe Menu

Here they actually had a 3 course vegetarian option displayed in a separate menu, as pictured above. This was quite a pleasant surprise, and I thoroughly enjoyed my Italian-style lunch. I was very full afterward, and would definitely go back again. We didn’t stay long enough at the park to warrant a second meal, though if we had, I’m not sure what we would have done.

Tokyo DisneySea

DisneySea Entrance

DisneySea was our second stop, and after learning our lesson at DisneyLand, we did not bother looking at other restaurants and went straight to Ristorante di Canaletto.

DisneySea - Ristorante di Canaletto

There was a short wait here for lunch, but knowing it was our only option, we happily waited. The views outside of the restaurant were spectacular. DisneySea is breathtaking and is nothing like any of the other Disney parks when it comes to atmosphere and theming. If you’re going to go to one park over the other in Tokyo, pick this one.

DisneySea Gondolas

Ristorante di Canaletto did not have a separate vegetarian menu like Eastside Cafe, but true to word, there was exactly one dish that was meat and fish free.

Ristorante di Canaletto menu

This pasta dish was flavorful and contained a ton of fresh veggies. Side note: in Japan, there is not really a concept of “vegetarianism”, which is why it can be so challenging to find food there if you don’t eat meat or fish. At the same time, in places like Disney where there are actual vegetarian dishes, they are almost always vegan as well.

It can be challenging to find vegetarian cuisine while at the Tokyo Disney parks, but if you know exactly what you’re looking for ahead of time, you will be fine. There are also snacks around the park such as popcorn and sweets that will also be okay to eat.

In the next few weeks, I’m planning to do a similar post about what it was like as a vegetarian on our trip to Tokyo as a whole. Stay tuned for that!

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What is your favorite travel destination?

Have you ever traveled to an international Disney park?

Ever tried fish pizza??