Monday, September 30, 2013

Wet n Wild I'm Not Shrimpy

Guys, there are new Wet n Wild displays lurking around Walgreens.  That is ridiculously exciting to a crazy person like me.  I've picked up a few things, but only one polish.

I got I'm Not Shrimpy even though I'm reasonably sure that it's a dupe of Waves of Enchantment from the limited edition Mermaid's Cove collection of summer of 2011.  Two years ago I described Waves of Enchantment as:  "a lovely rosy coral absolutely packed with gold glitter."  I can't think of a better description for I'm Not Shrimpy.  The formula was good.  Maybe a little sheer, so I did three coats.  I had a bit of trouble with the brush, which was reminiscent of the SH Insta-Dri brushes but a little...bushier?  I don't know.  It was a little unwieldy.  But anyway, if you missed Waves of Enchantment, which I've heard was difficult to find, then this is a good substitute (if not a dead-on dupe, which I strongly suspect it is).  

Ben and I had basically the most adorable weekend ever.  We went to a wedding in a very tiny town.  We knew about the wedding for ages and kept telling each other that we had to book a hotel.  Then it just never happened.  Once I actually got around to calling to make reservations I was told that the hotel was totally booked.  I said, "Okay, what are the other hotels in the area?"  The woman responded, "There are none within thirty minutes in either direction.  This is the only hotel here."  For a while Ben and I were defeated and we thought we would just make the drive home after the wedding (kind of a long drive).  Then my dad suggested we look for a bed and breakfast.  I found one and we got the last available room.  OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS.  This place was SO CUTE.  Here are just a couple pictures.  Ben actually has most of the pictures of the B&B itself, built around 1885.

This was at the wedding and I thought it was the CUTEST idea.  Everyone got a little "yay" flag when we left the church, and then we waved them when the bride and groom walked out.  I'd steal the idea for our wedding, but these friends will be there and they'd know I'm a thief.

The parlor at the B&B.  Adorable.

There was a stereograph and I got unnaturally excited and made Ben use it.  Please also notice the stack of VHS tapes behind him.

Bikes for us to use!

And we used them

The little marina on Sunday morning

An amazing Lake Erie view

Ben with the little Vermilion lighthouse

After the wedding we went for a drink at Chez Francois, which was within walking distance of the B&B.  And that bloody mary was AWESOME.  I would go back just for that.

Ben with his dark and stormy

We loved the B&B and little town experience so much that we're planning on going back one weekend in October when we can just laze around and look at the lake.  If you're looking for a weekend getaway and you're in the Cleveland area, then I'd seriously think about checking out Vermilion and the Gilchrist Guesthouse because it's adorable.

Of course leaving for one night meant we had to leave little Remy.  It was his first night alone, but our friend Jenna came over to hang out with him and make sure he was okay.  When we got home he was glued to me and he had a lot to say.  Then Jenna, who along with being an excellent friend is also a super talented photographer (you can find her work here), surprised me with pictures that she took of Remy!  She sent me a lot, but my favorite one is probably this one:

He looks so grown up!  His kitten face looks like a cat face in this photo.  In reality he only weighs about three and a half pounds and he's still a baby.  One of the interesting things about Ragdolls, and many pointed cats in general, is that they're born very light--sometimes almost white, like Remy--and as they grow up their coloring darkens until finally, at around two years old, they get their full coloring.  Remy's tabby stripes are really coming out on his face and paws, and he has very faint stripes on his legs and body that I think will darken up a little more.  Also, look the little pink spot on his nose! He's too cute.  Jenna takes great photos.  We bought a bunch from her for our apartment (which we have yet to hang), and I love poking around her etsy site every so often.

Lastly, I absolutely have to mention my Cleveland Indians, who have absolutely kicked ass in September.  They won ten games in a row and swept the Minnesota Twins to clinch the first place spot in the wild card race.  PLAYOFFS, BABY!  I love baseball and I love the Tribe.  I'm so proud of them!  I'm so, so happy to be able to watch them play in October.  The regular season ended yesterday, which was sad because that means summer is totally gone.  Also Breaking Bad ended yesterday (which I've been watching for years and I'm a huge fan of) and Ben and I finished watching The Sopranos a couple days ago.  It's been a week of goodbyes.  While I wait for the wild card game (Wednesday here in Cleveland) I'll be working on my resume and making job contacts.  So maybe this week will be one of new beginnings, too.

So, has anyone else stumbled on the new Wet n Wild displays?  If so, what did you snag?  And also, now that I'm obsessed with B&Bs, does anyone in Ohio have any suggestions for ones we should visit?  I'm on the lookout.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

OPI A Woman's Prague-ative

Last Sunday, which was the first day of fall, I just went all in welcoming the season.  I had spent the past three weeks pretending that summer wasn't leaving.  But then the equinox came and it was undeniable.  So that day we did many fall things.  I got OPI A Woman's Prague-ative at Ulta a couple weeks ago, and I decided to save it for when autumn actually began.  

I got this polish because it reminded me of crushed up leaves and bonfires (even though it's from this year's spring collection...?).  Very autumnal.  But I actually like it more in photos than I do in person on me.  It looks a little weird against my skin tone.  Regardless, the color is nice.  I'd describe it as a burnt orange shimmer with flashes of yellow-y gold.  I did two coats here, and the formula was the standard-OPI-pretty-good formula.  No complaints (except that it chipped on my thumb the same day I put it on; I think I must have snagged it because that's still the only chip I have and I'm on day four of wear now).

I mentioned that I got this polish specifically to wear for the beginning of autumn...turns out so did my best friend, Sam.

wtf iOS7?  could you be any weirder?

We picked the same polish!  I had a good laugh at that.  

Anyway, I'm holding a little gourd in that picture up there because Ben and I went apple picking on Sunday!  We also picked up a couple pumpkins (one large, one very small, and one itty bitty gourd [for Remy, duh]).  We went to two different orchards.  One had less people and so was much less stressful. The other one had more stuff, including maple bacon donuts.  We had a lot of fun.  Apple picking and pumpkin gathering are some of my favorite things about fall.

Sunday was one of the coolest days we've had here so far (but it's warming up again this week!!!!!) and I actually needed a fleece jacket during the daytime.  One of the reasons that I love picking apples so much is that it gives me the excuse to climb trees.  And believe me, I will.  I don't think I did much of it last year because I wore a dress to the orchard, but this year I put on some damn pants, wore my boots, and got all up in those trees (we really weren't supposed to, but a lot of the gala apple trees had already been picked clean within arms' reach).  We had so much fun.  I think we're actually going to go back to one of the orchards at the beginning of October when different apples are ripe.  It's only a dollar a pound, so why not?  And we're apple fiends here, so they're not going to waste.  Yum.  Apple snacks.

The only other thing to report is that Remy had his second vet appointment yesterday.  At his first one he was extremely chill, I think because he was totally terrified.  This time he was older and wiser and knew what to expect.  Thermometer in the butt?  Not havin' it.  Claw trimming?  Infinite struggles.  Oh, you want to clean his little ears, vet tech?  TOO BAD.  He calmed down a little for the doctor, and we found out that he weighs 3 pounds 10 ounces.  That's 1 pound 6 ounces gained from his last visit only a month ago.  He's growing so quickly.  He also got his first round of vaccinations since being at the breeder.  They made him a little wonky and tired.  He spent literally all of yesterday like this (or some variation of this):

I'm hoping that he peps up a little today and is interested in eating.  When this kitten doesn't eat you know he's feeling under the weather.  

Alright, that's all for today.  Later tonight we're going to the Indians' last home game of the season.  We're wildcard contenders and I'm happy to have one last chance to cheer on my team.  Here's hoping I'll still be cheering in October.  Anyone else feel like Prague-ative is more of a fall polish than a spring one?  What's your favorite polish for fall?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sharpie Manicure Semi-Fail

One day last week I went to Staples to grab something for Ben for work and I ran across a huge display of Sharpies.  I had seen that they can be used for nail art so I picked up a couple.  I won't lie; I don't have a steady hand and I'm not that creative.  But I decided to try to do a simple tribal inspired pattern with the bronze Sharpie.  It didn't turn out too badly, but I definitely went too small on the pattern.  And then the topcoat smudged it a bit.  Not bad for a first try, though.

polish on my cat

For this I used a base of Orly Purple Velvet which is kind of an epic throwback.  I'm pretty sure this one was either from 2009 or 2010 when we were all like, "Oh mattes?  Come at me."  Weirdly now matte seems to be a thing again.  But anyway, it's a fine matte polish.  It leans more to the red side of purple with a tiny bit of shimmer.  Plus I added topcoat so the finish is a moot point anyway.  I did two coats.  I didn't have too too much trouble with the pattern, but I learned a few things.  First, I wish the tip was a little finer; it was a little hard for me to get sharp, thin lines.  Next, because the the tip isn't super fine it's best to do a larger pattern.  Lastly, I think it's beneficial to put the cap back on the marker and shake it every two nails or so, just to make sure the ink flow is consistent.  Oh, and also...I can't draw a straight line to save my life.  But maybe I'll get better at it.  

Okay, so Saturday was the last day of summer.  And I'm really sad about it.  In fact, I don't even really want to talk about it.  But we went to an Indians game to send off the season in style.  

(we won)

But now I suppose I can start showing fall polishes and doing fall things and drinking fall drinks (hey apple cider; missed ya) and picking fall fruits and gourds.  I guess I'm ready.  Plus, Halloween.  So, yay.

Also, I got my hairs did.  My bangs had completely grown out, which you could probably tell by some of the pictures I've posted on here.  So I got them back.  But the best part about it is that I was telling my hair stylist, Kim, about the Phillip Lim for Target launch and how I had an extra bag that I wasn't sure I wanted to keep.  She asked to see a picture, so I googled it quickly and showed it to her.  As soon as she saw it she told me she'd trade me my haircut for the bag, so that was immediately a done deal.  And then, this:

worth it

That's all.  Anyone else tried this Sharpie business?  I think I'll try a few more times and see what I come up with/if I do less terribly.  Happy Monday, everyone!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Copycatting: Outline Manicure

Heeeeeey girls.  I have to start this post out with a quick story.  You all probably know my unhealthy love for Target designer collaborations.  I blogged about Jason Wu here and Prabal Gurung here.  So you probably know what I'm about to say next.  Phillip Lim!  I was really excited about this collection. I had been keeping up with all the buzz surrounding it, and I came up with a new strategy:  bring Ben.  I prepped him for it.  Told him all about how Lim's bags are famous, etc etc.  I like accessories, but I'm a clothes girl.  I thought it would be perfect to bring Ben because he could grab the bags while I hit the clothes, and then I'd pick what I wanted later.  Sadly, however, Ben ended up working on Sunday.  I was so bummed!  But then I realized that my friend Michelle would probably be going, so I texted her and told her I'd drive over to her Target so we could go together.  Happily she agreed, and it turned out that she was probably a better partner than Ben because she just knew.  She was all over those bags, and while I scoped out the skirt/dress/top situation she grabbed me an adorable one.  All of this is applicable to today's blog post because Michelle was wearing a FAAAABULOUS outline manicure that she had blogged the other day.  I read her post on it (check it out here) and thought it was cute, but when I saw it in person I was all like WHOA, I gotta do that.  Hers is very clearly superior to what I came up with, but I tried!

Like I said, not perfect but...that'll do, pig.  In retrospect I think I should have chosen another color for the base color.  I used CoverGirl Perfect Penny, which is a metallic rose gold (that's REALLY brushstroke-y), and it turned out to be kind of close to my skin color in photographs.  In a lot of the pictures I took the sides of my nails don't even look painted with Perfect Penny, but I assure you, I went cuticle to cuticle with that stuff.  The primary color here is Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Jumpin' Jade, which I've had forever and I don't think I've ever used.  I wanted to use an Insta-Dri because they have that canoe paddle brush and I thought it would be easier to freehand the interior of the nail with it.  Honestly, it wasn't too hard.  I wish that the bottom of the green would have turned out a bit rounder, but I think it looks pretty good for my first time (Michelle's is way better).

Anyway, the Phillip Lim launch was fun.  Some pieces were worth the hype, some weren't.  But that's how it goes with those Target collaborations.  There was one dress that I had my eye that I didn't see in the store at all.  Neither did my friend Sam, who lives in Massachusetts, so I think it's safe to say that many stores didn't get that one in, period.  I tried on [and bought] a few things that I liked, but my very favorite thing turned out to be this peplum tank in black:

This one was definitely a sleeper hit for me.  Seriously, I pored over that damn lookbook and I didn't even notice this one.  Once I got it on, though, it was so flattering.  It has a nice, sturdy zipper down the front and the fabric is structured and substantial.  I actually ended up getting two bags, too.  I got one the day of the release and then decided to check out the Target by my place yesterday to see what they had.  There was one mini-satchel in black left, so I decided to get it.  I figure that I can return one of them if I decide I don't need one, but honestly I haven't gotten a new bag in quite a while so...why not, right?  I'm also still mulling over the shirt dress that I got.  I think I need to try it on for Ben and see what he thinks.  But anyway, I had a lot of fun and it was good to hang with Michelle.  She got to meet Remy, too, and he was, as always, really happy to make a new friend.  

That's all for today.  Has anyone else tried these outline manicure thingies?  I'm excited to try it with different colors that are a bit starker.  And what about Phillip Lim?  Did you guys snag anything?  Spill!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Shopping My Stash: OPI Confucius Says "Coral"

Happy Friday the 13th!  Welcome to the first installment of a monthly series, Shopping My Stash.  Let me get real for a minute:  I buy a lot of polishes, put them away somewhere, and then forget to use them (that happens to everyone, doesn't it...?).  I've been collecting polishes with gusto since about 2008.  Five years of this behavior and I've developed quite the collection with dozens of untried polishes just languishing away, lonely, at the back of one of my [several] Helmer drawers.  A while ago I was toying around with the idea of doing a series wherein I only feature untried polishes from years gone by.  My dear friend Rach from over at stuff i (s)watched expressed an interest in a monthly collaboration, so we're in this together now.  This month we decided to start out with auspicious polishes for a rather unlucky Friday.  

My first pick is a black label OPI.  In true me-fashion, I searched out an untried coral.

shoulda cleaned up around my middle finger's cuticle.  shoulda woulda coulda.

is it wrong to pose Remy with inanimate objects while he's sleeping?  because if it is I just don't wanna be right

First we should probably talk about why I chose this one.  I was digging through my aforementioned Helmer drawers trying to find something that might go along with our theme of "luck."  Honestly, I saw this polish and my brain went, "Ooo, pretty.  Want that one."  Then when I read the name I went from Confucius-->wisdom-->making one's own luck-->blog post.  Plus it's coral, and as Rach told me a few days ago, coral and I are forever (we are).  And hey, creative interpretations are my specialty; just ask any of my past professors.  

Anyway, now we should talk about how squishy and delicious this coral looks.  When I opened the bottle and started applying it I was expecting it to be a straight-up creme.  But it's not.  The formula is sort of a creme-jelly hybrid (which some people insist on calling "crelly;" not here, girls. not here), and it immediately reminded me of some older Essie polishes, particularly the Resort collection from 2010 (Splash of Grenadine, I'm looking at you).  The coverage was great, and the old chemical-laden formula didn't disappoint me at all.  It was easy to work with, even with the old OPI skinny brush.  As for the color, it's a very warm, orange-leaning coral.  I've been trying to think of a dupe for this one and I'm coming up empty-handed.  The base color does, however, appear to be extremely similar to OPI I Eat Mainely Lobster (a now-perennial favorite), which does have gold shimmer in it.

After a bit of Googling I found out that Confucius Says "Coral" is from the OPI Far East Collection of 2000, which brought us Japanese Rose Garden and the first incarnation of Pearl of Wisdom (re-released with the Hong Kong spring 2010 collection).  Ah, nail polish history.  So satisfying.  Anyway, that means this polish is 13 years old.  The formula held up just swimmingly, and I hardly even had to roll the bottle around to disperse the pigment.  This one gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from me.  

Head on over to stuff to see what Rach has to show you.  We're both really excited about doing this series, so I hope you guys like it too!  Sometimes it's fun to pull things out of the vault like this.  You know, like a Disney movie.  Basically we're the Disney movies of nail polish right now, is what I'm saying, so it should be pretty hard not to love us.

Until next time!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

SinfulShine Pragmatic

I went through a period a few weeks back where I decided that I needed a bunch of these SinfulShine polishes.  I showed you Alfresco sort of recently, which I was wearing on the day that I got The Epic Sunburn of 2013.  I had kind of forgotten about Pragmatic, which sat in my makeup bag (for some reason?) for a couple weeks before I finally decided to give it a spin.

Remy loves nail polish bottles

wearing Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss lipstick in #107 (GREAT color, awful wear-time, especially for a matte)

Pragmatic is a lavender polish that has a fine, pearly shimmer running through it that's actually visible in the bottle and on the nail.  In some lights this shade leans blue, in some lights (and in most of my photos) it's a bit pinker.  The formula was very nice, and I used three coats here.  I could have used two, I think, but I wanted to see what kind of a difference a third coat would make (not much).  This polish is starting to chip as I type this, so I think I got about four days of wear out of it with NYC Grand Central Station.  I do like the color a lot; it's very happy.  You too can slather this happy shade on your nails for only $2.99 and a visit to your local Walgreens.

Have you guys run across any of the Wet n Wild Fantasy Makers stuff in drug stores yet?  I've seen a bunch of the 2013 collection Rite-Aids and a local chain, Drug Mart.  There's a neon nail polish collection as well as the requisite tombstone polishes, and some neat eyeshadow duos that come with falsies, a lipstick, and a little nail polish.  God, I love Halloween.  I'm trying to resist them because IT'S STILL SUMMER, but I'm still excited about them.  Drug store hopping:  my favorite pastime.  

To end I'll ask:  does anyone have a favorite shade from the SinfulShine line?  Remy seemed to like Pragmatic, as you can see above.  He's doing well, by the way.  I just had to cut his claws for the first time myself yesterday and he wasn't really having it.  After several failed attempts including doing it while he was dead asleep (he woke up immediately) and wrapping him in a blanket, I finally discovered that if I did them one at a time with a few minutes in between, and gave him many kisses and snuggles and "good boy"s, he would let me do it.  I think he just likes the attention and he had to make me work for it.  What an adorable little jerk.  He was starting to climb my pants, and that's really not something I want while I have a mascara wand precariously close to my eyeball.  Kittens are the best/worst.

Okay, I'm out.  Have a good week!