EXP Core Review (Fitness fashion from Express)

Hey, guess who else has a new fitness wear line.  Express. Yep, that Express. It’s called EXP Core Performance, and they sent me an outfit to review, so I happily shall. Someone wants to send me clothes? YAASSS!

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Hello, EXP Core Performance.

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What they have: Workout Clothes for Women. A whole line of workout leggings,  workout tops, sports bras, and jackets.They say they’re “sexy, stylish, and built for maximum performance.” Oh. You wanna go after VSX Victoria’s Secret Sport? Ok. I hear you. Go for it.

They let me pick out from a selection of a few different pants and tops, and I chose these leggings because 1. I have too many crops right now and 2. HOLY SHIT CRAZY BUTTERFLY PATTERN I LOVE IT. And I chose the black top, obviously, because that’s what I wear. Black tops. And the lovely folks at EXP Core Performance sent me a sports bra to wear under it, too. Sweet!Outfit math expFullSizeRender

The workout leggings kind of rule. Ombre Animal Print EXP Core Compression Legging $69.90. And I’m not just saying that because I didn’t have to pay for them. The pattern is really fun, and it’s the first big, all-over pattern like this that has been flattering on my shape. ( Pear / T-Rex / Thunder-thighs.) The white at the bottom definitely helps because white looks bigger, so the effect is almost the same as if I were wearing bootcut/flared yoga pants. They balance out the thunder thighs. And the pattern at the top (read: the pattern across my ass) is dark and keeps the eye moving, so we’re good there, too. The only drawback is that this fabric is white with a print on it, so the inside of the pants are white, which means when the fabric stretches, it gets lighter because you’re seeing a little bit of that white come through. The black becomes dark grey when it is stretched across my thighs. So. Shopping tip: pay attention to the color of the inside of your workout pants. It’s not a deal breaker in this case, though. I think they still look good.FullSizeRender_2

But more importantly, they make me feel good. I feel like an olympic skier in them. They are edgy and obnoxious and you can’t really wear them and sit on the couch, because look at them! They are ACTION PANTS MADE FOR ACTION! Right?

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The tech and specs:

Fabric: They’re a slippery, almost bathing suit-type material, like Onzie leggings. Which means they wick well, and you could probably use them for bikram yoga or even swimming if you wanted to. Surfing? Maybe. But only if you get them really tight. There’s no drawstring. The fabric is not thick, and  that’s usually a deal breaker for me,  because: cellulite. But the pattern does the camouflaging that I usually count on a thicker fabric to do, so NBD.

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Fit: They have a high rise with a wide waistband, so that’s perfect. Everybody seems to be catching on to that now. As they should be. There’s no reason for anybody to have to have a muffin top. Hooray progress! Also, there’s a waistband key pocket, which is mandatory. I’m between sizes right now, so I ordered the higher size. So they’re not “performance” tight on me. (Except for on the thighs because everything is.)  But despite that, they didn’t slide down during a long walk, and they stayed in place pretty well during burpees and bouncing in a HIIT workout.

I’m impressed, Express. These are thoughtfully designed. Respect.

The workout top is a soft, drapey cotton.  Black EXP Core Strappy Tank $34.90. It’s loose enough and long enough, with some showy interest in the back. What more could you want? You might think “eh, it’s fine” when you look at it online, but it’s the kind of easy-to-wear piece you (I) will probably reach for first again and again. No brainer.

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The sports bra looks basic at first sight, too. (Mesh Back EXP Core Sports Bra $49) But the material actually has an almost shiny, leather-look, so it’s different and edgy, without being slutty.  The scoop of the neck and the width of the straps are flattering. It’s not too low cut,  and it covers the upper boob/ armpit fat. They know what they’re doing over there. And you know I don’t say that shit lightly. Of course, this is a “for looks” bra, not a “for running” bra. There’s no padding, and no special support structure. But it’s pretty slick looking. Oh yeah, and the back has mesh panels, too.FullSizeRender_3

EVERYTHING I got was thoughtfully designed. I’m pleasantly surprised, and actually pretty stoked. This EXP stuff is really flattering. For real.

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Seriously, you guys. When I saw Express in my email, I thought “I have not even looked in the window of that store since college.” And I’m 38. I shouldn’t be in there. But workout wear is for everybody, and EXP Core is a nice find. And you can order online so you don’t have to go in there and stand next to a size 00 seventeen year-old who hasn’t even put on her beer weight yet.

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Thumbs up for EXP Core.

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Beachy Waves Mini Tutorial

HAIR TIP! HAIR TIP! HAIR TIP! YAY!

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My hair idol.

Want loose waves? You need to know how to use a hair wand properly. Turns out I didn’t know how to use one properly and I have been rocking unnecessarily tight curls for years due to my ignorance. Derp. Here’s the tiny tip I didn’t know. (And also, my first video. Hi! )

www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rpegT3HK4k

 

The Derek Lam 10C Athleta Collaboration is here!

Yes. Of course I know there’s a Derek Lam / Athleta collab. Of course I do!!!!

And I was super excited because I buy tons of Athleta. SUPER EXCITED I SAY!!!

Until I saw it.

WAH WAH.

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Here, you can judge for yourself: http://athleta.gap.com/browse/category.do?cid=1038258&mlink=46650,10188358,HP_DL_Main_9_9&clink=10188358

But I think it’s a little basic and boring. And it sometimes makes the model look like a court jester or a character on Star Trek or someone from a really old Old Navy shoot. Not simple and chic. Sigh. These here are the pieces I do like (below). But you’ve been able to find leather joggers (If you wanted to) for a few years now, so…*yawn*.  Maybe they’ll do it again and the next collection will be better. Sorry Derek Lam. Love you. But not this. 😦

This is the good….

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And this is the bad and the ugly…I mean, I get that the color blocking on the tanks is meant to follow that of a sports bra, and that’s good and flattering, and I get that the vertical stripe is there so it’s not just a baby doll color blocking situation. But something about it just falls really frat boy from the 80s-flat. I wish I didn’t feel that way. It’s much better on the tighter tops.(see below). Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 9.28.48 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 9.28.31 AM

And I’m not sure how I feel about these. The location of the bust line feels fresher on these… And the cut is good ….

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But still,  grey and white are kind of the two worst colors to use for active wear because white will show your nip-nips and grey shows sweat in less than one second. Hey, Athleta! I know things! Maybe we should do a collab… 🙂

WorkOutFits post-baby, and what it’s like to watch your body change without your permission.

…or lack thereof, if we’re being honest here.

Here are my IG posts of workoutfits/ workout days from today back to when I was 36 month preggo.  IG = @iamaimeeschewe  Starting with today’s pic.

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Today: Day 8 of Bikini Body Mommy Challenge 4 and day 1 of Whole30. More on both of those later. 

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Self-tanner fail.

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Crunches and planks for all.

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I finally “fit” into my favorite green tunic again. And by that I mean I can put it on, but it sure as hell doesn’t fit like a tunic should. Also I lost my UP24 fitness tracker and I am TOTALLY BUMMED ABOUT IT.

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The good news is: where I live, you can throw a scarf on top of a WorkOutFit and you’ll be the best dressed lady around. That is also the bad news.

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All I want for birthday is some new fresh kicks.

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Sad about having no muscles anymore. I guess a year of not working out (basically) will do that to you. Babies. Jerks.

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I’m pretty into my purple and black tie-dye LuluLemon Wonder Under fold-over leggings. Fold-over really just means I always wear them unfolded/up over my poppin’ fresh dough. And of course, always, Nike Frees. The black tongue and laces really make this pair.  I love them to bits.

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Ah yes. This is me trying to get a feature from Fabletics on Lauren Conrad’s blog. I didn’t try very hard. Meaning I only sent in this one image. One time. But dang. Good hair day, right? Also, that is total angle trickery. Everyone looks skinny with their body cut off and from above. Try it. I do really dig that shirt though. Fabletics. Breeze top I think.

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so hipstergram.

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trying to psych up to get back into the swing of things. trying.

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Same Fabletics top. Different color. My wardrobe choices (read: what fits) right now are very 90s/ bold colors and black/ WWF/ Punky Brewster…purples, teals, black and bleachy tie-dye…not sure what’s going on. I actually wore the same type of clothes in 8th grade: tunic, sports bra top, leggings. Weirrrrrrrrd.

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See? What’d I tell you? Double black tie dye. So obnoxious. So Macho Man Randy Savage. What’s next? Zubaz?

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This is my cardio. Walking. I’m so hard core right now. Not. Can’t wait to be 100%. Srsly. 4rl.

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More with the teal. Hey, lets add neon green! Those are the mom boobs. Gotta say. I’m not a fan. I was totally fine with having smaller boobs and I can’t wait for these jobbies to go away. Oooh. Look how shiny my new fitness ball is. Ooooh. Silver.

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I was proud of my angles and art direction.

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So this was basically my all day post-baby uniform for the summer. Joggers and some kind of a baggy but with big arm holes so you see my bra type of shirt. The top and bottom are both Athleta. The top is sold out now (summer item) but the bottoms are the Metro Slouch capris and you can get them in full length for fall. I recommend them. Comfy. Not tight but not sloppy. If you have an ass, that is.

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This is me starting to work out again. And by that I mean doing my prenatal workout as my postpartum (that just means after baby, not postpartum depression) workout. Note the lack of waist and obvious tip toe leg-lengthening trick.

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Going further back in time, two months after giving birth, even less-little in the middle. Also, I braided my hair one day.

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angles and trickery!! I’m twice as wide when I’m facing forward.

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I thought I’d be using the Ergo Baby Carrier a lot. Too bad baby hated it. He likes the Bjorn.  We’ll try this one again when he grows out of that.

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This was right after my 6 weeks post-baby check up. When my doctor said I could work out again. But she also said I should go to physical therapy. So…yeah. Now it’s 6 months later and I’m basically still fixin’ to get ready to get back in shape. But that’s better than peeing myself for the rest of my life. Probably.

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And this was my belly at 36 weeks. I’m so glad to be not pregnant anymore! Love the baby. But man I LOVE being NOT PREGNANT. aaaaaah. The best thing about being pregnant is appreciating not being pregnant.

I haven’t posted a ton of pics because 1. I haven’t been working out a ton and 2. I don’t fit into much. I basically have three pairs of leggings that I rotate and two big baggy black tunics. That’s what’s comfortable and flowy and makes me the least sad when I look in the mirror. Your body changes a lot when you’re pregnant, and then again after you have a baby (and are breast feeding), and then again as time goes on, and then again when you stop breast feeding. (I hope.)

During pregnancy my waist got thicker before the baby bump showed up. And my boobs got bigger and hurt like hell. I am a pear / T-Rex (little in the middle but she got much back) with a medium-small upper body, so this was not fun for me. Me no likey big booby.  And I gained some cushioning all around. But it wasn’t too incredibly grotesque. Not as freakish as it could have been. I think the baby just took up organ space before growing out toward the world. Sure fucking felt like it. But not as bad as it could have been. I mean. I was still pregnant. It was gross and weird and a total alien parasite situation. But it could have been worse. So I’m thankful for that.

I walked a fair bit, but couldn’t do much more. I had no energy and bouncing was NOT an option. I stopped running pretty early on. It just felt like my organs were going to fall out. So…nope! I guess I didn’t do enough pelvic floor work before and during pregnancy. (be warned!)

Afterward, I wore a belly wrap corset thing and a hip minimizer (highly recommend, more on those later). And after six weeks I started walking again. And I’ve done some barre workouts, but I’ve been taking it very slowly and gradually because I’m still in pelvic floor rehab. (Long story. I’ll write a thing on that soon. I’m not “injured” any more than anyone else who’s ever carried a baby, but it’s important to rehab those muscles first so you don’t pee your pants your whole life. Other countries know this. America apparently doesn’t. Probably not a coincidence that my Physical Therapists are from New Zealand and India. )

Anyway, I’m just trying to give you an idea of what happens to your shape after pregnancy, even without workout out or watching what you eat too much. (me.) My waist is getting smaller on its own/ returning back to a more “me” shape. What isn’t changing is the boobs and upper body weight. Like the fat arms and armpits and upper back and whatnot. That’s still disorienting because it’s not my natural body shape and all of my clothes fit differently/ don’t fit because of the damn boobs. Everything is a crop top all of a sudden. It’s ridiculous. But that should change soon enough, when I stop with the breast feeding. I look forward to that.

I also don’t want you to think that not working out for 6 months is normal. (Or that I just said “Fuck it, I’m a mom!” I didn’t.) You can totally work out. And I could have gotten to this point quicker if I had been more religious about doing my physical therapy.  But I wasn’t. (I will be now, though. Promise. I’m sick of this.) So it’s taking a long time to get to the point where I can do all the fun high impact/ plank/ quick movement/ boot camp/ real exercise stuff again.  And to be able to wear my ninety seven different pairs of black workout pants.

Also, I should note that I’m finally realizing how much of this shit it is out of my control. Hormones tell your body to store fat because it’s going to use it or baby stuff and baby feeding stuff. Hormones tell your body you don’t need some of that anymore. Hormones tell you to lay the fuck down because your body needs all the energy for other functions you don’t even know are happening. I never went totally nuts food-wise or workout-wise while pregnant or after. I’ve just been normal, up and down, sometimes a total pig, sometimes not -me. Watching my waist get thicker and thinner despite my intake and output has taken some pressure off and given me a little faith in my body actually maybe deciding it wants to be smaller one day and it all happening pretty naturally. Maybe. I mean. That would be cool, right? Is that how normal people think and live? Huh. Must be nice.

But I’m for sure going to get more serious about my PT and keep on working in more working out.

And at least for a little while longer I’ll still be in tunics and leggings town. Hope you like purple tie dye and Punky Brewster…

 

Pretend Shopping Spree: Olympia Activewear

Olympia Activewear: the coolest sports bras in town by a San Francisco-based designer. Good job, Ms. Kaili Lickle.

Let’s pretend for a second that my boobs aren’t “I have a baby”-sized. And while we’re at it, let’s pretend that my ass isn’t “I have a new baby”-sized either. Here’s what I’d love to wear from Olympia.

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Tough, hardcore and beautiful. Perfect.

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Sporty with a sophisticated softness. Perfect.

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Awesome details on the waistbands and knees.

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Perfect proportions on the trim of the shorts and where the calf fabric starts on the leggings.

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And then this is actually something I could wear IRL.

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Also, cute headband. 🙂

Love love love the Olympia.

Pregnancy Workout I loved: Susanne Bowen Prenatal Barre

So you know I love me some Dailey Method. And you also know I had me a baby. Which means I haven’t been able/allowed to do traditional core work for a long time. And core work is literally 1/3 of every single Dailey Method workout. So…sad face. No can do.

But, good news! While I was preggo I ordered prenatal workout DVDs by Suzanne Bowen of Barre Amped, and they are THE SHIIIIT!!!  They’re also great for after baby.

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Suzanne Bowen’s Slim & Toned Prenatal Barre Workout is like Dailey Method lite. You get some thigh and butt and core and arm stuff, but it’s do-able. It’s perfect. She also makes sure to incorporate the pelvic floor work in your positioning. Which is key. She calls it “zipping up a tight pair of jeans.” Which is a pretty good cue, I think.

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The Long & Lean Prenatal Workout is a little weird, but it’s really gentle and gets you moving and flowing without feeling like it’s a wussy waste of time. As you get up there in months, it’s a really nice option. Sometimes it’s hard to remember to move in any plane other than forward and backward, and this gets you moving all around and keeps you limber. The movements are repetitive, but almost in a meditative way. Like moving yoga? Strengthening Tai Chi? I don’t know.  I’ve never done anything like it before. Try it. It feels good. Mostly, in my 3rd trimester, it felt good to be able to do ANYTHING other than walk. Especially since I had to pee every four minutes.  Getting some movement in  at home, near the bathroom, became key.

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After I had the kid, I kept on using the Slim and Toned Prenatal Barre workout as my post-baby workout. I still use it, actually. Mostly because it’s broken into short segments that I can A. handle, because I’m out of shape as hell and B. squeeze in before the kid wakes up / shits/ gets bored / starts crying again.

Yeah, 15 minutes of strength training a day isn’t much. But you know what? It’s not nothing. And it’s a super easy, attainable, no-pressure way start building up some consistency. One segment a day? Awesome. Then you work up to two segments a day. Sweet. Pretty soon you’re doing a whole DVD a day. Progress, man. It happens fast and it’s not that hard. Woo hoo!

I also ordered some more of her Barre Amped DVDs now that I can handle more activity, and I love them. To me, Barre Amped is just a more approachable version of Dailey/Barre/Physique 57/ Ballet Body/ whatever. Still with results. Just a hair less serious. Less intimidating. More down to earth. More Southern or something. I like it. I like it a lot.

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So yeah. Suzanne Bowen. Barre Amped and Prenatal workouts. All on Amazon. Check ’em out.

 

New Protein Yums! Brand review: MyProtein

Long story short:  There’s a new protein source in town. It’s called MyProtein. And it is good. If all you need is a thumbs up or thumbs down, then THUMBS UP, I say.  Their shop is here.  And right now you can get 20% off of all protein powders with code POWDER. You’re welcome! MyProtein.com

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Here’s my review:

I have a new baby. I don’t have time. And I’m tired. So my way of getting protein lately (other than a steady stream of grocery store rotisserie chickens) has been eating box after box of protein bars. But I can’t be trusted around those things. A box might last me a week. Or I might take down six bars in a sitting BECAUSE THEY’RE CANDY.

So the other day, while my brain and my finger were fighting over whether or not I should push the “Buy another box of protein bars with 1 click” button on Amazon Prime (on my phone, while feeding the kid), a miracle happened!

Someone from MyProtein contacted me and asked if I’d do a review if they sent me some food stuffs to put in my face. Um. HELL YES I’ll do a review! Perfect timing, psychic angel person from MyProtein! Boom.

Here we go:

MyProtein is a new company, they’re from the UK and distributed in the US from Aurora, Illinois. Of Wayne’s World fame. And a half hour from where I live. (Yay, quick shipping!)

They make protein powders and shakes and supplements and even some gear. The protein products are all low-carb, sugar-free, etc. They also make jerky and peanut butter and snacks, so it’s kind of a no-brainer one stop-shop for quick protein stuff. And I’ve just about reached the maximum number of rotisserie chickens one person should consume in a lifetime, so, YES YES PERFECT THANK YOU! Quick protein!

They sent me some shakes (delicious), some peanut butter (perfect), some jerky (gone in 60 seconds), and some Omega 3 (haven’t touched it yet because I’m still taking plenty of for-the-baby vitamins).

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First of all, points for clean design. A lot of protein/ supplement brands look like a ‘roided up fire monster mated with NASCAR (aka: MMA) or they’re so girlie they look like they belong in the barbie shampoo section. MyProtein products look like they don’t think you’re an idiot. So thanks for that.

Here’s what I got and what I thought:

MyProtein Beef Jerky (original flavor):

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This is the first thing I opened. And by that I mean I ate it immediately after opening my box of goodies from them, because jerky.  It was tasty, not too sweet, and  fresh.

I also got single packet samples of flavored whey protein powder

Strawberry: Yum. Tastes like Strawberry Quick.

Cookies and Cream: A little more “cream” than cookie. Think of it as Double Stuf Oreo flavor.

Salted Caramel: Brilliant idea!!! Tastes like Kraft Caramels. The cubes with the cellophane wrappers from childhood? You know what I’m talking about. Anyway, it’s not super sea-salty. But I’d just add salt to my smoothie to get it there. Yum.

Chocolate Peanut Butter: also tasty. Not fake-y.

But the part I was most pleasantly surprised with? The shaker. Seriously.

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I hate shakers. They’re awkward to drink out of and they’re big and cluttery. But this one has a spout and it is easy to drink out of. This one I will not throw away. They seem to know what they’re doing, these MyProtein people.

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And then, their Peanut Butter. Guess what’s in it? Peanuts.  That’s it. No sugar. No salt. No extra oils. No weird things to keep it at an unnatural consistency. Just a big jug of QUICK PROTEIN STRAIGHT FROM THE EARTH! Usually I can’t keep peanut butter in the house because I’ll eat half a jar in a day. Or an afternoon. But this stuff, because it’s not sweet or salty, you eat what you actually need, and then you’re like, “OK. I’m good.” And you get on with your life. Also, it doesn’t separate much. So, bonus.

They also have this cool thing where you can get plain whey protein, but then buy flavor drops instead of having a huge jug of one flavor. Great idea, right?   10966230-1094305484410114

Overall: I’m impressed. I like the stuff.  And I’m ordering more.

MyProtein. Check em out: MyProtein.com

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I’m never wearing a bathing suit again.

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from salt gypsy

Swim leggings. Wait, what? Yes. Swim leggings. Leggings you wear while swimming. AKA Swim Tights. AKA Surf Leggings. These are a thing. I guess surfers wear them (makes sense) and now you can get them at more and more places like Urban OutfittersAthleta, Prana, even Land’s EndNordstrom carries Onzie, which makes RIDICULOUSLY obnoxious-cute patterns and started as a bikram yoga brand. Their fabric is kind of slippery and weird, but that’s because its meant to get wet and also to dry quickly. Bikram. According to their website “Onzie yoga gear is perfect for hot yoga, but can also be used for pilates, spinning, swimming, surfing, running or hooping. Our clothes can be worn as everyday wear or into chlorine and salt water environments.”

What? Sweet. Because I just had a baby and I haven’t really been able to start working out for real yet and I’m NOT trying to wear a bathing suit. In fact, I’m NEVER trying to wear a bathing suit. Who is? Shit. Swim leggings? I’m fucking sold. I’m never wearing a stupid, make me feel terrible about myself and miserable while I should be enjoying playing in the water, bathing suit again! Score one for freedom!!!! FUCKING SWIM TIGHTS, MOTHER BITCHES!!! HOORAY!!!!

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(These are from Salt Gypsy, available through Without Walls/ Urban Outfitters.)

 

Also…If there’s ever a time to take a step back to a more modest approach to swimwear, maybe it’s now. For me, 100%. But also, maybe, for America. #justsayin #merica #hotdogpizza #highfructosecornsyrup #processedfood #healthcrisis #obesityepidemic

 

These three are all Onzie. Silly funs. I mean. There’s a tiger on your butt. A BUTT TIGER.

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This is how Atlhleta does it. Reviews make it sound like their swim tights are  muffin-toppy, though. But they’re only $22, so if you’re skinny, go for it!cn9161471

 

And Land’s End. Keeping it real. This is how most of us should probably dress for public swimming. Their shirts don’t go straight up and down as if they’re built for little boys. Crazy concept, huh?

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I ordered these two (Thank you, Nordstrom anniversary sale.) The city print ones are a fail because, yes, of course that print is not the best for the thighs. I knew that would happen but had to try anyway. Second pair’s not here yet. We’ll see. BTW, there are more sizes on the Onzie site than Nordstrom’s.

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Fabletics Breezy Top

FABLETICS = subscription-ish fitness fashion company associated with Kate Hudson’s little ass. You join, and every month you have to buy or skip. They show you outfits based on your shape/style preferences. If that’s your thing, fine. I prefer to shop by piece. But you can do that too.

I have ordered four things from them, but I’m only talking about the Breezy Tank today because it’s my favorite. IMG_5343

This top is cotton-ish, thin, and super-drapey on one side. It’s a long tunic length and asymmetrical.  The left side is longer, has a bigger arm hole, and has more fabric that kind of drapes under the waist. I totally dig it because I like the big-armhole-shows-a-sports-bra thing but I can’t rock too much exposure because I’m not little in the middle right now. (And I have much back.)

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The quality is good, especially for the price. The draping is great. If you get it big enough it won’t be too clingy. (I’m getting better at buying for the size I am, not the size I think I should be…two tricks to that: 1. Telling myself this is a temporary state of affairs and 2. telling myself that I prefer a drapey fit, so I have to size up. You know. For style reasons.)

I’m not sure if it would be flattering on all body types, but I’m stoked for anything drapey and flowy in a new shape. I keep on buying baggy tanks on repeat and it’s getting silly. So FUCK YEAH for the Breezy Tank. Thanks, Kate Hudson’s sort of company!

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Calia by Carrie Underwood

Hey, Aimee, have you heard of Calia by Carrie Underwood?

Yes, of course I have! I pretend-shop for all the workout clothes all the time. Duh. But I haven’t written about it yet because 1. I’ve been busy with the newborn and 2. I checked it out a while back and my take was “Eh. It’s ok. But I’ve seen it all before.” However, it is sort of a big deal: it’s lovely-ish fitness stuff that’s more affordable than Lulu and very accessible. So OK. Fine, Carrie Underwood. Here you go.

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Get it, girl.

Calia by Carrie is a fitness apparel line by Carrie Underwood for Dick’s Sporting Goods. Dick’s is like Sports Authority but nicer. Carrie Underwood is known for American Idol, songs about Jesus and slashing tires, big blonde hair, lots of eye makeup, and really great legs.60553794cd84a631a91fc7988c66827a carrie_underwood2 carrie-underwood-300

She’s a vegetarian and often a vegan. She works out a lot. She tours a lot. (See legs.)  She married some hockey player and just had a baby around the same time I did. And yes, of course, she’s already rocking a mini dress. (LEGS.)

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Post-Baby Carrie

But she’s a celebrity and I’m not, so let’s not compare because I don’t have a staff or a tour or mini dresses to get back into. But lets do be happy that her waist looks (a teeny bit) thicker, as it should, and lets feel better about ourselves (me) that our (my) midsection is still thick four months after baby because 1. I haven’t been able to work out and 2. even Miss Carrie, who can and does, still has it. SWEET!! But lets also give much respect to the legs. THE LEGS. Bless your Barbie-worshiping, singing about Jesus driving metaphorical cars-heart. THE LEGS! Well done, woman.

She built those legs.  She did the “soft teen turns into tiny, ripped, mini-dress rocking super-star” transformation thing that happens a lot with Idol Alumnae (Katharine McPhee, Jennifer Hudson), so I say she is qualified to venture into fitness fashion. And everyone knows country = money, so congratulations, Dick’s Sporting Goods, for jumping on that obvious money train. (Darius Rucker, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Republicans, etc. etc. etc.)

Calia by Carrie Underwood lives here caliastudio.com and the Dick’s site is here. I have no problem with her #staythepath / work in working out / the gym is where you are-type messaging. Totally authentic to what she does, having to train while touring and all. The ads look nice and the pink wash matches the color pallette of the line. Oh wait, I’m not supposed to be a Creative Director right now, I’m supposed to be a fashion blogger. Sorry, I’m both. Once a MadWoman always a MadWoman.

The Clothes

Calia Tops are $30-50-ish. Sweaters are more like $80. Every single piece is something you can find somewhere else: rouched tanks, cocoon cardigans, batwing sweaters, etc. You know, basic, sort of pretty stuff. Which is why I got that meh feeling back when I first checked it out. It’s nothing innovative. It’s nothing new. It’s just a “you gotta have one of each of these kind of pieces because they sell” kind of a thing. Which is exactly appropriate. I guess. But if I had the opportunity to create a line, I’d want to try and introduce at least one iconic piece that had something interesting or different or risky going on. (Like Stella McCartney for adidas, with the chest straps.) She probably couldn’t, even if she wanted to. Big business. Blah blah blah. But that’s how I feel about it. It’s perfectly safe.

Bottoms are $40ish for shorts, $65ish for tights and capris, and they’re so boring they just put me to sleep scrolling through them. Except these. These are kind of interesting. And props for the proportions and flattering seam-lines and wide waist band (good for muffin tops).

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Calia by Carrie Essential Tight Fit Printed Capris $65

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Calia by Carrie Essential Tight Fit Printed Capris $65

Also, there’s just so much heather grey. I love grey. More than people. But heather grey is the worst color for workout pants because it’s super bump-showy and sweat-showy.

There are also some bras, accessories and panties. The balconette bra is interesting, and the accessories are pretty enough. They’re just not necessary. Does Carrie Underwood need to make a yoga mat and a yoga block and a head band (nay, 5 different kinds of headbands) AND underpants? If I have my branding hat on, I say just do a few new things instead of doing everything. Even if everything is great, it’s too much to absorb right off the bat.

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Calia by Carrie Inner Power Heathered Balconette Bra $41

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Calia by Carrie Inner Power Heathered Balconette Bra $41

That being said, I kind of like the fruit infusion water bottle and would totally try the toeless grip socks for Dailey Method, despite the creepy mannequin foot model. Dailey Method socks always slip off of me. Aaaaand I have tingers. Toeless socks are worth a shot. And shit, two pairs for $10 is great. Imma order some of those right now. Carrie wins again.

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Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 9.22.48 AM Calia by Carrie Fruit Infusion Water Bottle $30 and No-Toe No-Heel Grip Bottom Socks $10 for 2 pairs (!)