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I fortunately got to celebrate with my mom twice this month:  first, during an early Mother’s Day visit hosting her for a few days here in Austin, and then we got to surprise her with an impromptu visit back home on the actual holiday.  I love that no matter how old I get, I always cherish when Mother can come to the rescue as nurse, soul food chef, and occasional housekeeper.  I don’t mean to call her a maid, but my mom has some kinda knack for cleaning certain things around the house better than I ever could.  The flip side of that coin is she also has a knack for pointing out say, dust bunnies hiding behind the door of our guest bedroom…uh, THANKS for bringing that to my attention, Mother.  But, she showed me how she heats a bowl of tap water to steam up the inside of the microwave first, therefore making it easier to wipe away nuked residue.  In showing me this trick she thoroughly cleaned my microwave…thanks, Mom! 🙂

Serendipitously (for reasons I’ll explain), a few weeks ago I received some fresh fitness attire to review from Lands’ End.  Did you know they now make Activewear?  I remember this brand from years ago…their catalogs showcasing mix & match bathing suits to fit every shape, size, and color preference.  Well, they offer so much more than swimwear nowadays, and I was happy to get to try out some sample pieces from the debut Lands’ End Performance collection in the gym.  I received the 1.) Regular Performance Sport Crop Pants in Black 2.) Performance Colorblock Tank Top in Soft Pink Painted Stripe, and 3.) Solid Med-High Impact Performance Sports Bra in Black.Review of Lands' End new Performance Collection

Pants:  These workout pants are smoothing, supportive and most of all, SO SOFT!  The wide-leg, capri cut wasn’t great on my chicken legs…I usually go for full-length yoga pants or fitted legging-style crops.  The pockets are a huge plus, though — there’s a hidden zip pocket and a pocket for your iPhone in the back.

Top:  I loved the length…nice and long.  Great bright colors.  Super breathable and lightweight without clinging to my skin.  SIZE DOWN because it runs large and the armholes & silhouette were a little wide for my frame.

Sports Bra:  A flattering, quality piece!  Adore the individual molded cups for “the girls.”  My other beloved high-imapct sports bra by Moving Comfort definitely works, but it is in no way wearable post-workout due to the compression factor.  This sports bra by Lands’ End is comfortable enough to wear both running errands and around the house.

Overall:  The fabrics are fabulous…supportive where they need to be and breathable in the places a girl can appreciate.  I suggest sizing down — I’m a Small in Nike, for example, and in this label I could’ve definitely gone with XS in every piece.  Apparently evolving way beyond catalogs & bathing suits, Lands’ End brings their tried & true standard of quality and performance to workout gear.  It all comes at a moderate, budget-friendly price point and they even have Lands’ End Shops at select Sears locations.

So, back to Mother’s visit:  I showed her Whole Foods Market new location at The Domain, did some cooking at home, watched girly movies, did our nails…ya know, a bunch of girly stuff!  One of the highlights of her trip was our evening checking out a new yoga studio.  Whether as a rental investment or to buy & live in ourselves, at the time we had been actively looking at houses on Austin’s East Side and I wanted to show her the neighborhood.  We decided to experience the classes at a boutique yoga studio called East Side Yoga.  This welcoming, affordable & peaceful studio is located on a great street, representative of the area’s vibe.  Yoga is something both my mother & I have practiced in our own lives for years, and the activity has turned about to be a perfect way to share time together.  It’s wonderful when you can discover new shared interests in your relationship with Mom, right?  I was recovering from a minor medical procedure so we opted for an easy Restoring Hatha class.  I’ve never been to a class where the instructor goes around the room and asks each and every student to speak and share any health issues or requests — kinda different but ensures personalized attention.  The studio is intimate without feeling crowded, and the substitute instructor was so great…such a soothing voice!

Best part: since Mother didn’t have her yoga clothes, she was able to sport those pieces I had just received from the Lands’ End Performance collection!  As I said, they were a touch too big for me, but it all fit her perfectly!  We’re basically the same size, but she prefers her workout clothes a bit looser and with more coverage.  These pieces were so great for her:  fun colors, quality fabrics, and age appropriate.  She commented on the softness & comfort of the pants, especially — she stayed in them for the rest of the evening and they proved comfy enough for TV-watching back at home.  She even brought ’em back home to La Porte as part of her Mother’s Day gift.  Here she is, modeling their tank at our post-workout dinner:My mom in Lands' End Performance top

After our class, we walked across the street to the cutest European-style cafe, Blue Dahlia Bistro.  This place is consistently satisfying, great for any time of day, and the outdoor atmosphere was fitting for a nice little bite with my mom.  That’s egg salad on toast points topped with capers…it was so light and delicious!  We had a little table with a nice vantage point for East Side people-watching, too.  Miss you, Mother!  Come back to Austin soon!

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