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Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

I was going to post last night, but I’m actually really glad I didn’t. You’ll have to read until the end to find out why.

Yesterday was an absolutely killer day. I woke up feeling happy, I had had a great weekend, but then I started thinking about everything I had to do at work and it all got to be overwhelming.

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A nice sweaty elliptical workout helped. Plus wearing one of my favorite dresses.

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But I was still feeling anxious. Unfortunately when I got to work things didn’t get any better, in fact they got worse. I had managed to tune things out in the morning, but by the afternoon I started to feel like everything was spiraling out of control.

Even a delicious spinach, walnut, beat, apple, red onion, wheatberry, and feta salad from Just Salad didn’t help.

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I wish I could say I felt I handled things well, but I don’t think I did. I let myself be really upset and even though I was productive and I didn’t do anything bad like eat one of the cupcakes at my coworker’s b-day celebration, I still think I could have handled things better. But that’s ok. And you’ll have to keep reading to find out why.

After work I had special preview tickets to see The Change Up.

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Even though this was from the director of the Hangover and the writer of Wedding Crashers (two movies I loved), I didn’t think it lived up to either. It was very funny and Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds did a very good job, but there was just too much gross out humor. Like really gross out humor. When the humor wasn’t gross out humor I thought the movie was really funny and I liked the take on a “dude” Freaky Friday. I don’t want to say this is a movie that’s better on DVD because I think it’s better to see comedies in a theater of laughing people, but I don’t think it’s worth the cost of admission either.

After the movie I felt much better about life, but I was still upset. So I came home and wrote out what happened to me today. And then I wrote some solutions and what I learned from the experience. And I was immensely happy with how I handled myself then and, at the end of the day, I feel happy with my attitude and plan for going forward.

Then, this morning, I went running in Prospect Park and about half way through my run I saw a collapsed biker. He was with a group of other bikers and they said they had already called for help so I didn’t stick around. When I passed by them for a second time a police officer was there.

Obviously all my thoughts are with the biker (and when I passed by the second time he was talking to the cop so he was conscience), but seeing something so scary really helped give me some perspective. And it also caused me to take an extra walking break since it was humid as hell this morning.

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It’s a beautiful day and we’re all going to be ok.

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I’ve moved my Wednesday Workouts to their own page. It makes it easier for me to track what I do and allows me to write this review.

I started running again. I had stopped about a year ago due to some pretty bad knee pain. Over the last year I’ve ran on and off but because of pain or lack of interest I haven’t been able to get back into it. 

I’ve used my Garmin 305 to track my mileage, pace, and time for a while, but for some reason it stopped holding a charge. I had heard about the RunKeeper app from That Wife recently and my broken Garmin was the perfect reason to try it out.

As far as I can tell, and I’ve only used RunKeeper once, it can do many of the things my Garmin does. While I’m running it tracks mileage, time, and pace and I can even set it to do voice cues over my music (you pick a playlist for it to play through your iPod). I set it to update me every mile with my overall time and average pace. 

Normally I find myself glancing at my Garmin all the time so it was a change for me to run not constantly looking at something. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I kept pretty much exactly a 10:30 pace, which is what I’m currently aiming for, even without looking at the Garmin.

What I really like about RunKeeper (and my Garmin, but RunKeeper is free!) is looking at the data after a run.

There are three screens to analyze data, the first one, pictured above, tell you your overall time, average pace, calories burned, and gives you a map of your route with the mileage broken down.

The second screen has the same info at the top but then breaks down mileage by minute. I don’t find this particularly helpful, but it’s certainly nice. 

The third screen shows the mileage split which I really enjoy looking at. When I was running a lot I aimed for negative splits, but for now I’m happy with having approximately the same splits and not slowing down at the end. 

The RunKeeper app also automatically syncs with RunKeeper’s website. Everyone gets a profile, you can check mine out here. There seems to be a really great social networking community there which is something I need to explore more.

Overall I really, really liked the RunKeeper app and I’m excited to play around with it more. Highly recommend!

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My old boss (this is one of many reasons why you shouldn’t burn bridges) sometimes gets free advance movie screening passes and  I was her third choice to take to see Bridesmaids last night. I often worry (I don’t know why) that movies with female comediennes won’t be funny, but I thought Bridesmaids was hilarious. Although I can do without the potty humor (pooping in the street? no thanks), the movie had a lot of smart humor and I found myself laughing a lot. The actresses were all perfectly cast, I especially enjoyed Rose Byrne and Melissa McCarthy and I thought Chris O’Dowd (as the love interest) was adorable. It was quite long (almost exactly two hours), but they needed to squeeze in the most blow job hand gestures I’ve ever seen in one movie. 

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Before the Oscars the International Film Center showed all of the nominated short films. My friends and I went to one of their animated short screenings.

I had never seen any of the past short-form nominees (live-action, animated, or documentary) and before this year I didn’t even know you could see them in NYC (or anywhere). I really enjoyed these though and it’s definitely something I’m going to do next year.

Day & Night: Cute, but I think it gained a lot of acclaim and notice from being shown before Toy Story 3; while a cute story, I don’t consider it enough to stand on its own.

The Gruffalo: I loved this one; the animation (especially the animals’ movement and expressions), the voices, and the story were wonderful, charming, and endearing; by far my favorite.

Let’s Pollute: I’m a big history buff and I love satire so I really enjoyed this one; I liked the way they spoofed old educational films and they got their point across in an interesting, entertaining way.

The Lost Thing: This was the least mainstream out of all the nominees; I didn’t really care for the animation style and I found the story and look of the film to be depressing, although it was thought-provoking and raised some interesting points.

Madagascar, carnet de voyage: I think this was the least-traditional animation style of all the films, but the scenery, music, and overall style were all very enjoyable; this was the first one the IFC showed and I wish they would have shown it second or third as I felt like I was just immediately thrown into it and not in a good way.

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True-Grit-2010

I knew four things about True Grit prior to watching it: it’s a western, it stars Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges, it’s directed by the Coen Brothers, and there is a controversy about whether the young girl should be nominated for best actress or best supporting actress. Having not heard much about it and not knowing anyone who’s seen it my expectations were fairly low, however, I was completely blown away. I grew up with a deep love of westerns and Indians and cowboys (Davy Crockett anyone?) and this movie had everything I love in a good western. The amazing young girl, Hailee Steinfeld, is by far the start of the film and she most certainly should have been nominated for best actress, and maybe she should have even won it; that’s how remarkable her performance is. I feel like True Grit has somewhat flown under the radar, but it’s a fantastic film that I highly recommend.

(Poster source.)

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If you hadn’t noticed I’m trying to squeeze in as many movies as I can before the Oscars tomorrow night. Unlike a lot of “arty” “smart” movies I was completely able to relate to and enjoy The Kids Are All Right (even though I’ve never been in any situations similar to that of the movie’s characters). For a movie about two lesbian mothers and their children’s sperm donor father I think the film was very mainstream. I thought the two actors who played the kids were great (even if I had a difficult time believing the boy was 15 years old) and Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, and Mark Ruffalo were all perfectly cast. The Kids Are All Right is the perfect movie to see if you want to see a smart, well-done, thought-provoking film that doesn’t terrify you (Black Swan) or leave you depressed and saddened about America (Winter’s Bone).

(Poster source.)

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Aveda Product Review

This past weekend, while at my parents’ house, we went to visit my grandparents. I was told we needed to be at my grandparents’ at 1pm so I assumed we would leave around 12:30. I had been lazy and, thinking I still had time, around 11:55 I still hadn’t showered or gotten ready.

Around noon my dad asked if I was ready and said we were leaving soon. Oops. I knew I could forgo a shower, but what to do with my hair?

Then I remembered a free sample I had received from Aveda (I’m part of their rewards program and often receive offers for samples), something called Be Curly Style Prep that was supposed to reactive curls so you don’t need to completely restyle your hair.

Since there were no instructions on the sample I just used my hands to make my hair wet, put some of the Be Curly Style Prep on my hands, and ran it through my hair, attempting to scrunch it into curls.

This is right after I put it on:

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And this is later on in the day:

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(Before trying to style my hair I had had it up in a ponytail.)

Overall I was pretty happy with the results. I don’t think the result was as good as when I style my hair from scratch (I use Aveda’s Be Curly Curl Enhancer and their Confixor), but it was a simple, easy, and acceptable quick fix. And I am always happy when I find a product that actually gives my very, very fine hair style rather than just weighing it down.

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