Saturday, August 23, 2014

the search for the perfect running bra

It is on. The search began a few days ago, after I noticed the amount of chafing and tightness my old Nike sports bra is. As the search goes further through the various sports bra or tanks (with built-in support bras) I currently own, I realize they're all either loose (from years of stretch and wear) or too tight (I've gain a few past couple of years). Many, well ALL of them, I purchased on sale, without thoughts to the support level or how well it fits my body type. I mean, they're on sale, beggars can't be choosers, as the saying goes.  To be honest, I don't usually wear them often, as I'm not much of an active person in terms of sports or working out, and I just think they all work the same.

Now that I'm in my 30s, and I care a lot more about comfort, I'm slowly learning about the many benefits of a well fit sports bra and sneakers (that's a whole another story).  I've done quite a lot of online research (articles from Runners' World and Fitness magazines) and online active wear retail sites such as Adidas, Nike, Head, Underarmer, Moving Comfort...etc, to see what's important.  When you're active, it's important to find and wear the right bra. As a female, you know that when we move, so does our "girls" (no matter what size you are). How comfortable you will be during your workout highly depends on how "active" our "girls" will be.  It's a different story if your preference is to have them bounce up and down like you're a Baywatch girl. However, you need to think about what damage you are doing to your body. Breast tissues are very sensitive and are easy to stretch and/or tear. If you don't want sagging breasts way before you are to get them as you age, then protect them.

To find the perfect sports bra, a few things I need to consider:
  • Band - It should be snug but comfortable and should not ride up when you're active
  • Cups - There are molded cups or just smooth fabric. Any spillage means it's too tight.
  • Straps - Are they digging into your skin (too short) or sliding around (too long - chafing hazard)?  
  • Support - A balanced amount of compression and comfort is very important.  I don't want too much bounce during a run or a jump.
  • Impact - What activities will I be participating. They come in Low, Medium to High impact support levels.
I went to a local Dick's Sporting Goods store, thinking they should carry a wider variety of sports bras. I grabbed a few from Adidas, Nike and Moving Comfort.  Unfortunately, none of them work. A little about me. I'm petite with a short torso and narrow showers. However I am quite endowed in the front department. The Adidas Tech, Nike Pro Classic and Victory Compression are labeled with medium support. However, the moment I tried it on, I know it was not enough.  I think finding a bra that's for high impact will be my best bet, even for low impact activities such as yoga. The Moving Comfort Jubralee, Fiona and Juno all had adjustable straps, which seems like a great idea, except for the fact they are adjustable by velcro. However, I must say, the fabric was soft and comfortable.  Needless to say, I came out of the store empty-handed, along with my $10 off coupon, unused. (What? I'm still a bargain hunter.)

Moving Comfort Juno

Well, if you're interested in Moving Comfort, they're having a sale currently on most of their sports bras and they offer free shipping with orders over $50. 

I on the other hand have decided to search elsewhere. I just bought three highly rated sports bras (for high impact) on sale from Lady Foot Locker. Once they arrive, we'll see if the ratings have any merit.

Lady Foot Locker Promo Codes: LKS148MC for 10% off $50 or more, LKS14848 for Free Shipping. (Only one code per order). 

Good luck to those with the same dilemma as myself. Or if you have any suggestions, please feel free to share in the comments.

Thanks!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"His Excellency" truly is excellent

For my first presidential biography, I wasn't too sure what to expect. I've read multiple biographies and non-fiction before, so I'm not new to reading this genre of books. However, as the first presidential biography, "His Excellency" by Joseph J. Ellis exceeded much more than my mediocre expectations. He increased my appetite for knowledge of the subject and all that relates.  Let me explain.

I'm no historian or professional book reviewer, so don't expect that out of me. My husband asked me when I first approached this new project of mine, what do I want to get out of this, and specifically this book on George Washington. I thought for a minute and then responded with something along this, "For me, it's about getting to know a little more about the people who lead our country, and ultimately shaped it to what it is today. Who, what, why and how were my questions. Who are these people besides what we were taught in school, (mainly in elementary for me)? What makes them special? Why are they special, why are things the way they are and how were they achieved? I want to know a little more about the country I love and respect. What's a better way then reading biographies about those that founded and lead this country to what it is today? Also, I'm not here to remember dates and cram all the info I learned for an end-of-book exam. It's just for fun and for my curiosity."

So back to "His Excellency". George Washington. What do you think of when you hear or read his name? Who is he? When was the last time you thought about that? It's true that "Washington" is a common name amongst the United States, from street names to state names, and we see Washington on our dollar bills and quarters. How does human brains process knowledge when they hear a word? For me, I start thinking words that associates the word I hear.  Washington is a state, the capitol and our first president. Mr. Ellis tells us that the childhood story about the cherry tree and Washington's famous line "I will not lie" is a myth, but a good myth it is. It gives us, (when we're kids) the image of an honest man. Even as an adult, words that came to my mind to describe our first president is that he's a humble and honest man. Boy, was I right, but prior to that, Mr. Ellis intrigued me, as a reader with a further glimpse of how he became that man, and much more.


"His Excellency" gave us a true biography, with background and chronological settings, as well as further interpretations of George Washington's thoughts and reasoning. Sample writings were included to support findings.  George Washington was a young man with many events in his life that one may say is unfortunate, but proves to have benefited him in more ways than one.  His 'luck' in life, one may say he's fated or destined for more, and eventually the undeniable leader of our new country. Washington was an arrogant and ambitious man, which at first I find ironic. Would you associate such a character with humility and honesty? Possibly in this age, not, but it was necessary and a great combination for centuries before, as demonstrated in the life of Washington.  Respect flowed through my heart and mind when he did not let the arrogance and ambition get in the way of the importance of the new republic, the United States of America (even though it was not the official name yet), by stepping down as commander. He understood what it meant to forsake for the greater good. That took humility.

Nearly halfway through the book, it was no longer what Mr. Ellis wrote, but who George Washington was.  I was engulfed in the life of Washington and what his belief for a representative government meant. It was a start of how the United States came to be, and what it represented.  He was a man, not perfect, but a hero in every American sense. His grand exits from the end of the American Revolution, to the presidency and final exit on earth highlighted why he deserves honor and recognition for years to come.  I don't want to give away too much, even though many may already know.  I respect him, for his service, his quiet strength, his belief in our country, his dying wishes (as evident in his will) and for not being perfect.  Mr. Joseph Ellis captured all that and allowed me to see why George Washington, our first president as a nation is referred as "His Excellency."

Trivia:
Did you know that it was unanimous in selection and votes for George Washington to be the first president of the United States? And did you know that Washington lost more battles than won?  Now, how and what makes him special? You'll have to read "His Excellency" to find out.

Side note: I look forward to reading all those that were characters in Washington's life, including Martha, Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams....etc, all that are part of my presidential project.  And I would highly recommend and look forward to Joseph J. Ellis' other books.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Little Italy in Baltimore - The Italian Festival

Check out the annual Feast of St. Gabriel Italian Festival in Little Italy, Baltimore, MD.  Great food, music and games!


Friday, August 8, 2014

Library of Congress' Annual National Book Festival

How awesome is this?! This year, the annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday, August 30, 2014.  It was founded and hosted (2001-2008) by the former First Lady, Laura Bush.   A gathering of intellects or just common people that love a good book.  Great for kids and adults, alike! I've always wanted to attend since its inception, but was never able to. I hope this year, I will be able to go. There are presentations and book signing by authors, as well as exhibits. For more information or attending authors, check out their website at:  http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Project: journey to know more about our Presidents and their better halves.

This year, my goal is to focus on travels within and history of our country, the great American nation, the United States of America. I've been to many areas of the country, even drove cross country twice. However, it's only in recent years, my interests in the historical aspect increased. After recently visiting the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, and his home and Eleanor Roosevelt's home in Hyde Park, NY, I've decided to learn more about the most influential group of people in our country, our Presidents and their First Ladies.

I hope to use this blog (since it's been dormant for some time) to follow my journey. Currently, we have 44 Presidents, which means I have a while to go. I will start in order and I don't plan on rushing myself. This project may take years and may intercept with other projects I have. However, I hope at the end of this journey, I will have a better understanding of our country's history, and the very people that help shaped and continue to shape it.

Let's start!



Thursday, March 6, 2014

Rude cougher

Some people are just plain rude and inconsiderate.  If you're coughing,  cover your mouth. This guy, wearing a black wool coat, gray slacks, black ski knit hat, with headphones on and his hp laptop open and sitting on the floor of the train facing me. He kept coughing and don't even bother covering his mouth. How rude is that?  I kept staring at him whenever he coughs and he doesn't get the point. Should I just speak up and say, "can you please cover your mouth?" People are odd these days. Anything can tick them off. O, he also is playing with his iPhone.  Why would you need both your laptop and iPhone on a train ride? Why?

It's been a very long day.