Quest for the (padded) cup.

There are two kinds of sports bras: the kind with padded cups and the kind that are stupid.

If there’s no padding, then there’s nippage, and that’s not OK. I don’t think we need, like, Wonderbra-level padding, just something to smooth things out. That’s all I, on behalf of all humanity, ask for. Well, that and one more thing…

Almost every single top or sports bra I have that came with padding, came with REMOVABLE PADDING.

Why?

No seriously, I’m asking.

Because I don’t know anyone who would want to

-be flatter

-choose to show their nips to their Crossfit class

-hand wash foam disks, separately from everything else, and then try do the magic origami trick that is necessary to get them back into those stupid little slits and back in the right position.

WHY ARE THEY REMOVABLE? WHAT IN THE EVER LOVING FUCK WITH THAT?

They’re pressed against the sweatiest stinkiest part of your body. They need to be washed. Why not just make them part of the bra, SO WE CAN WASH THEM, without having to search for rogue foam cups beneath the washing machine agitator like they’re rare artifacts in Egypt and we are Indiana Jones in the mother fucking temple of mother fucking doom?

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I’m talking about these mother fuckers.

Putting on a jog bra sucks. Taking one off sucks even more. Washing them sucks because you have to use cold water, and special detergent in order to not destroy the spandex, and air dry them, and then when you go to put them on again THOSE STUPID PADS ARE EITHER MISSING, OR THEY’RE FOLDED IN HALF AND HAVE SOMEHOW MIGRATED THROUGH A SECRET INTERNAL TUNNEL IN THE BRA AND ARE NOW IN THE BACK STRAP BY THE CLASP. BY THE CLASP!!!! That’s enough to make me say screw it and not work out, right there.

Then you have to spend ten minutes swearing, and moving them half inch by half inch back into their place, and then unfold them THROUGH THE FABRIC, blindly trying to figure out if the three points are in the the right three corners of the bra.

FOR FUCK’S SAKE. It sucks enough being a woman. SPORTSWEAR COMPANIES, PLEASE. SEW THE CUPS INTO THE BRAS.

JUST SEW THE DAMN CUPS INTO THE BRAS. Removable cups are stupid and pointless.

Just sew the damn cups into the bras. Please.

So I can stop doing this. This is just sad. Fix it.

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NEW NIKE FREES!

Ohhhhh SNNNAAAAAP! Nike’s got some new additions to the Nike Free fam. They’re called the Nike Free RN Distance (RN = Running) and Nike Free RN Commuter. (I am a huge fan of Nike Frees. They’re like wearing slippers, they’re one of the few Nikes that don’t have a pointy narrow toe box, and I wear them all day, every day. I only take them off when I have to wear “real” shoes or when I run or train. And when I train, I usually wear Nike Free TRs, WHICH ARE ALSO GREAT!)

Nike Free RN Distance Distance! So, probably cushioning that doesn’t break down as quickly as the typical Nike Frees. And probably a wee bit of support. SOLD! Oh wait. There’s no solid black. UNSOLD! Bummer.  Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 9.36.59 AMScreen Shot 2016-06-15 at 9.35.53 AMScreen Shot 2016-06-15 at 9.36.16 AM

Nike Free RN CMTR What does “commuter” mean? It means that the upper is totally flat-packable so you can throw it in your work bag when you need to switch to your office-appropriates. Which in itself is kind of sad, right? Dudes wear sneakers to work all the time and it is not seen as sloppy at all. I’m going to make an effort to make sneakers work with my work clothes. #genderequality y’all. Oh, they do have CMTRs for men, too. I guess the other benefit is not taking up as much space in your gym bag. Sigh. Schlepping a gym bag. That makes me sad too. I love having a home gym.

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So, after all that, what did I buy?

My 8th? 9th? 10th? I lost count pair of Nike Free Runs. Mostly because they come in BLACK ON BLACK!!! right now. I love black soles. I love black laces. I love Nike Frees.

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Side note: What the fuck with the rest of the colors, Nike? The white on white is cool if you’re into white shoes. But the rest of them…Are you purposely making ugly basic colorways so we have to pay more to Nike ID a pair that actually looks cool? Not cool, bro. But thank you for finally making black on black! I’ll buy 1-2 pairs a year, forever.

 

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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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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