Paris Vacation – random #2

Our Parisian friend, F, had been posting pictures on my Facebook page for a while, pictures of vending machines. But these were no regular vending machines.

Oh no.

These machines were full of NAIL POLISH.


Like I needed another reason to love Paris.

Of course, we went to find one early on in our vacation.

I have been wearing the green color, Yumi, for about a week now. There is a bit of wear at the tips of the nails, of course, but it is barely noticeable. The formula is opaque in two coats and the brush is a dream. Suffice it to say that if I had to tell myself to just get three and walk away because I could have bought every color on the machine.

We’ve had a rough week with the boys having the puking plague and my husband being, uh, elsewhere (I will tell you about that in a few weeks), so when I get a bit of time later I think a change of polish color is in order. What do you think, red or blue?

Patriotic Mani

Just in time for today’s soccer game AND for the 4th of July, I bring you a couple of red, white, and blue manis.

One is pretty awesome, full of creativity and gorgeousness.

The other one is mine.

Seriously. that ONE NAIL took me 45 minutes. And it chipped like, 2 minutes, after I took this picture. Thankfully, it was AFTER.

But enough of that, let’s look at the pretty 😀

Girlfriend’s just too critical of her art. I think it’s gorgeous. And glitter! I should have added glitter. Duh.

Carina is a dear friend from college, we got back in touch a few years ago and of course, then she moved to Seattle. Sheesh. On the plus side, it meant that I got to see her when we went on our recent road trip. She’s just awesome and does amazing nail work.

Thank you for convincing me to do this, even though I massively sucked at it! Love ya, C!!!!

40th Birthday Swag Bag Blog Hop

My sweet friend – and Brit lit author – Pauline, contacted me about joining a blog hop and, considering my love of putting things together, I had to say yes! The idea is that you’re gifting a few items to your best friend, sister, etc. and money is no object. That sounds right up my alley 😀

The categories are: book, beauty product, snack food, music album, and “my choice.”

Book – It would have to be Outlander, the first in a brilliant series by author Diana Gabaldon. I gave away a copy a few months ago, and if you’ve been thinking of reading it or need something new to read, I urge you to give it a try, especially because Starz will be airing the miniseries starting on August 9! Here are the protagonists of the series, as portrayed by Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan.

Beauty Product – I have been completely won over by Nail Butter, a nail and cuticle enhancer that has turned my nasty, dry, cracked cuticles into soft and smooth skin. Love this stuff, love the gardenia smell, and it’s all natural and cruelty-free, which is also a great thing. Here’s the gross before, and I apologize in advance:

And the lovely after:

Snack Food – Being the complete Hershey bar-loving peasant that I am, I cannot possibly suggest something like Pauline’s choice of Hotel Chocolat’s Chocolate Dipping Adventure, but I do have something from England – McVitie’s digestives.

Of course, being me, I prefer the ones with milk chocolate. They are wonderfully filling and during my first trip to England, often kept me fed and happy during long days of sightseeing.

Music Album – Hmmm. This one is kind of tough. I like all sorts of music, from Classical to Country, and what I listen to often depends on my mood. I absolutely love the voice of one Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, aka Lorde, so I will suggest her smash album Pure Heroine.

My Choice – Hmmm, trip to Paris? That would always be my choice, but if I had to pick a thing instead of an experience, I would choose something beautiful and endlessly versatile:

The Sutton Necklace in green.

A WOOT and a Radiant Orchid

My awesome husband’s fabulous idea of adding color to our backyard by making redwood frames for flowers won this:

for the whole of 2013!

I love The CSI Project and it was pretty surreal to see they chose our project as their favorite of the year.

So that was the WOOT! and now for my first take on Radiant Orchid.

My friend Carina and I went to a new (to me) beauty supply place and holy moly it was awesome. There I found a color I thought would be a good fit for Radiant Orchid and guess what, the name of it is Foxy Roxy. Named after my sweet puppers, how could I resist?

I got a few pale colors and a very pretty tomato red. Then I got out of there before I could spend the grocery money.

Does anyone else need like 5 more hours to the day? Because I totally do.

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Nail woes

The other day I IG’d this picture of my sad, sad little cuticles:

Sorry if you were in the middle of eating. Pretty nasty, right? I do wash my hands five trillion times a day, so I am sure that is not helping my dry skin at all, but to be honest, I have also tried a few lotions, creams, and cuticle oils and the result is always the same: Within twenty minutes, my skin looks dry and horrid again.

I know how glamorous (ha) my life must seem, but let me break it to ya: I don’t have time to apply stuff every twenty minutes. I need something that works, that I can apply in the morning and at night, and maybe apply once in the middle of the day. That’s the level of my commitment.

I am a sucker for pictures of pretty manicures even though I keep my nails super short, and I read a comment mentioning a product called Nail Butter. They are American-made and cruelty-free. I won’t preach about choosing cruelty-free products; right now I am educating myself and I have gotten rid of a few things. I plan on ridding myself of more and choosing cruelty-free products, but as slippery as that slope is, it’s not the point of this post. Nail Butter is not gifting me anything, I have placed an order and am awaiting its arrival and I hope it makes my cuticles better. Not because I am vain, but because I want my skin to be healthy and the skin around my nails just looks gross.

Will keep y’all posted – I know, please try to control your excitement – on how things go. For now, though, if I run into you, please don’t look at my hands ;D

Bond, James Bond

Are you going to see Skyfall this November? I think it’s so nice of the studio to release the movie just before my birthday. Between Skyfall and the Young House Love book, which also comes out just before my birthday, I tell ya, it’s going to be a good start to my 41st year of life. Oh god.

My dear college friend Carina and I went to our little nail polish place a couple of days ago and I fell in love with some of the OPI Skyfall collection. Here is a picture, from the OPI website, of the Skyfall collection

The shades I liked the most were The World is not Enough, a beautiful shimmery taupe, and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, a purple-gray also with some shimmer. For a very glam holiday look, try the Bond Manicure as described on the OPI site. I also got a cobalt blue (very in color this season) from the OPI Germany collection, called Un-for-greta-bly blue:

Thanks, Carina, for a great time hanging out and for my beautiful nail polishes, I am wearing a Skyfall shade on each hand right now and will probably wear the cobalt blue for my date with my husband ;D

Five Shades of Teal

I am in such a turquoise and teal kick, I swear, every other color in my polish stash is being completely ignored. Last week I went to a local nail supply store with my college friend Carina, and I got a few pretties in summery teals and turquoises.

From left to right:
SpaRitual’s Off the Grid, this one I already had, purchased at Sephora to match my Shellac manicure.
Color Club’s Gossip Column, a very saturated creme formula.
China Glaze’s Deviantly Darling, one of their luster chrome shades that changes color as you move your hands around.
Essie’s Dive Bar, darker on the nail than in the bottle.
Jessica’s Fishnets and Fringe, the darkest of all five.

I am so in love with these shades – today I am wearing Fishnets and Fringe and at first look it looks black, only once you stop and look can you detect the dark teal tones.

Now I am off to bake some cakes and watch the Olympics opening ceremonies – I love the Olympics, will you be watching?


I don’t get salon manicures. I think the last one I got was for my wedding, or maybe soon after. With all the crafting, Lego blocks I have to separate, and the gardening, it’s really not worth it. Usually, I will just paint my own so when it’s chipped a day later, I don’t really mind.

On Saturday, our friend J came over to watch UFC fights with my husband. His darling wife, my friend M, came over later and suggested we escape the testosterone by getting our nails done nearby. I figured it had been long enough and that way I could chat with my friend.

Since I’ve been hearing all about the Shellac from various friends and online, I decided to give it a try. It’s still too early to decide if it was worth it but I sure love the color I got, Hotski to Tchotchke.

It is so sparkly and pretty! The perfect color for this turquoise addict ;D and lovely for summer.

M got a gorgeous deep pink on her toes.

She also brought us some cake pops and since they are my other-favorite color, yellowy green, I had to take some pics.


See how it sparkles?

Orange crush

Spotted this nail polish at Walgreens the other day and had to have it! It’s a steal at $1.99:
orange nails
I had just Mod Podged some scrapbook paper onto an old oatmeal container when I took the pic.

Have a great Tuesday!