Thursday, July 14, 2016

Chichia x ASOS Africa Sale!

Images from Instagram accounts @chichiagram and @thebazaarbohemian

I just don't pay retail, no matter how badly I want a piece of clothing or a bag. Where's the satisfaction in paying a huge mark-up for something you want, but don't need? That's a surefire way to end with a closet full of regret. Sometimes a piece you want sells out, but you have to live in
hope— even sale items get restocked. I'm hoping the jumpsuit above is returned in my size. It seems a risky strategy, but I got five of the items I highlighted in my Lemaire x Uniqlo post. Stalking one's clothes isn't for everyone. There are some of us, however, who live for the thrill of the hunt. Check out Chichia x ASOS Africa at if you're game.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Picnic Picks

Picnic perfection.

These are the only squirrels you want appearing at your picnic.

I'd love to have a super cute English outing with the Anorak picnic pouch packed in my Goododering pannier

I wish everyone a warm Fourth of July with bright clear skies good for viewing fireworks and having picnics! I hope you can ride your bikes to a prime festivity-having-location. I won't be able to do so, but I'm going to get some use out of my picnic pannier this summer for sure. Here are my suggestions for a picnic-friendly fête:

Bruschetta + good bread
Panzanella or anything called "salad"
Google "orzo"
Assemble-on-site sandwiches, like sausage with peppers (see below)

Carmela Romanello's Sautéed Summer Peppers
from I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
minced 1 red onion, ends removed, sliced lengthwise into semicircular chunks
pinch dried oregano
3 bell peppers (1 red, 1 orange, 1 yellow), cored, seeds and pith removed, cut into strips
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1 large tomatoes (or 2 plum tomatoes), seeded and cut into chunks
1/4 cup torn basil leaves
freshly ground pepper

Heat olive oil in large saute pan or Dutch oven over medium heat and saute garlic and onion with the oregano until the onion is soft and translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add peppers and 1 teaspoon salt and cook partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon salt; continue to cook another 10 to 15 minutes until the peppers are very soft. Test for seasoning and serve with torn basil leaves and freshly ground pepper.

Serve with Italian sausages, barbecued if you're lucky enough to have outdoor space. Otherwise, grill them on the stove.

Yields: 6 servings

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Go With 'The Flo'

I haven't had any issues around cycling while menstrual, but that doesn't stop my period from being a major preoccupation every month. Recently, I had to play a concert (I'm in a band) under the broiling sun on the second day of my period. Our band uniform is a customized polo shirt and khaki pants-- the last thing I want to wear while on my period. Of course, my dread was confirmed by the end of a very sweaty performance and I had to scoot out of there with my gig bag over my butt.

Normally, my menstrual cup protects me quite well, but something was just off that day. It happens. I'm favoring the lena menstrual cup because it has the capacity to handle the heavy days of my period. I also figured it was worth a shot at $9 less than the discounted Kickstarter price of the Lily Cup Compact, my first menstual cup. These two cups are really different from one another so the most meaningful comparison I can make is that lena cup's capcity is 25 ml (size small) and the Lily Cup Compact has a capacity of 18ml (size A). I believe this is a world of difference as I always seemed to have a hard time getting the Lily Cup to form a seal during the first two days of my period. I had to rely on pantyliners a lot because of leaks. However, the last few days of my period were fine and, considering how soft and flexible the cup is, inserting it was never a problem. The lena cup is more rigid, but still flexible enough to easily fold for insertion.

Using a menstrual cup is slow going. It's not nearly as quick as using a tampon with an applicator. Using a menstrual cup is something that you have to get the hang of, but well worth it to avoid the mystery materials big, inconsiderate companies use to make pads and tampons. So in the pursuit of a greener, healthier period, I see period panties as a means to host your Aunt Flo in high style.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Bookman Bike Makeover

Apparently, the 2009 Electra Jenny was summoned by my subconscious for this little makeover because I can't find the picture of it I believed I had posted here years ago. (If you find it, let me know). It's not like any of the bikes pinned to my Pretty Bicycles board. Originally, I was just going to have clusters of dots on the rims of my bike wheels, but I eventually ruled that out as being bland.

When Bookman became involved, I saw the opportunity to go big. They sent me an accessories suite of reflective stickers and Curve bike lights that takes care of my visibility needs. The bold blue dots go on smoothly and look like a part of the original paint job. Even though my DIY dots are also made of 3M tape, they seem a little thicker. The sky blue dots are definitely thicker as they are supposed to be easily removed and repositionable without ripping.

The dots come twelve to a pack. I used less than one and a half packs— with such a graphic impact less is definitely more. It might sound contradictory with a reflective item, but using the Curve lights in addition to the stickers substantially supports your visibility. Light pours out of the glass sides of the front unit at up to 80 lumens and the rear unit at up to 37 lumens. You're able to see the road ahead of you well and there's 360° of visibility around you. (I posted a nighttime view from the saddle to my Instagram).

© courtnee cycles chic
Maira Gall