Jul 26, 2014

You can grow flowers

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From my rotting body,
flowers shall grow
and I am in them
and that is eternity. - Edvard Munch

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More or less everything is in bloom, finally. The stargazers bloomed in time for my birthday. And this might be the first year the deer didn't get to them. They're so heavy they can't help but to be weighed down. They're propped up at the top by a hanging basket.
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The sunflowers took the longest, but they're some of the tallest I've ever grown. Basically, the landscaping is the dreamiest this time of year and I'm slowly prodding my father to let some of the gardens get a little bit wild.

This bit is honestly more to feature my mini planchette ring from Blood Milk than the black eyed susans. I'm glad I went for the mini rather than the large or else my hand would've been swallowed whole. The polish is Formula X by Sephora in Kelvin (hot tangerine.) It's much more candy orange in real life, though it looks so different in different lighting. It's pretty perfect for this time of the year.

Jul 21, 2014

Sewing : Yoga Mat Tote

DIY yoga bag
Since March I've been doing yoga pretty regularly. I've been doing a combination of aerial and mat classes at a studio not too far from my house. While it isn't directly on my way home from work, it has convenient enough times that I can easily head there for the 6 p.m. classes.
It took me a while to find a studio that fit well. Some place that I felt totally welcomed, that was cool, offered enough variety of classes and probably more importantly didn't cater just to stay at home moms.*
It didn't take that long before my mat from 5 Below started getting shredded. I had debated just going for a $20 dollar mat, but wound up deciding on an $80 Manduka Prolite. Which was well worth the investment -- this mat is definitely serving me well. But I didn't want to ruin it with the big stretchy band I had around my old mat, so I decided to make a yoga bag.
DIY yoga bag
I used this tutorial from Sew4Home. And it was super easy. And even better, it was cheaper than buying a sling/strap combo. The material was from Joann Fabrics and I had heaps of coupons plus both fabrics were on sale. The grand total (2 yards of fabric, webbing, button and thread) was around $20. I think the hardest part was picking out what fabrics I was going to use.
DIY yoga bag
This bag is absolutely the perfect size. I can toss in my water bottle and towel and throw it over my shoulder.
DIY yoga bag

*That's not a jab at stay at home moms, for the record. It's just that a lot of local studios only offer classes during the day, the latest being at 5 or 5:30 which prevents folks with 8 or 9-5ers the ability to head to the studio any time that isn't the weekend.

Jul 17, 2014

Ipsy July 2014 Glam Bag : Sensationally Sunkissed

It's that time for my monthly Ipsy review!
Ipsy Glam Bag July 2014
1. Marrakesh Endz Split end mender & preventer - I haven't tried this yet, and I'm skeptical of anything that claims to repair split ends. But I really like the smell. It has argan oil (which I love) and hemp oil. Plus some hydrolyzed wheat protien. I totally don't know what that means but it sounds fancy.  
2.  Pur~lisse pur~moist hydra balance moisturizers spf 30 - I think the Ipsy gods may have been shining down on me. I got a version of this back in May and really enjoyed it. This does have the slightly tacky feel that SPF tends to have, so it doesn't feel as luxe, but I'm still excited for it.
3. Elisabeth Mott Tints & sass in cherry -This is super similar to one of my all time favorites, Benetint. This however, smells like cherries (which is nicer for on-lip application, though it is a little bit medicinal.) And it has a doe-foot applicator which I'm on the fence about. I do like how it's plastic, so I feel like it's significantly less likely to break and since it's smaller (sort of) it seems ideal for traveling.
4. Models Own nail polish in red sea - I'm pretty pleased with this, though I haven't worn it yet. Fundamentally Flawless has some fantastic swatches that I found prior to getting my bag (but after my Glam Room opened.) I'm thinking of slapping this on my toes for my birthday.
5.  bareMinerals 5-in-1 BB advanced performance cream eyeshadow with broad spectrum SPF 15 in divine wine - I'm sort of obsessed with the texture of this, even though I'm too lazy to read what all this is supposed to do. Do I need a BB cream for my eyes? What's the five? The SPF I do get, however. Anyway. The texture is great, but I'm partial to cream eyeshadows. I've only messed around with it, so I can't speak to longevity. The color is so "meh" though. In fact, since it's bareMinerals the color selection is just sort of weak since it's going for neutral options. This one in particular just gives the dark lid look on me, which I go for, sometimes. But I prefer a little bit more wine in it, ya know?
6. Ipsy the bag - I'm crazy about the fact that it's neon pink (like last years!) and super unique (like last years!) It's square pleather with a felted sort of lining. The scalloped edges help keep the neon in a sort of darling arena.

Ipsy Glam Bag July 2014
left: bareMinerals right: Elisabeth Mott

Jun 27, 2014

Life Lately : Late Spring/Early Summer 2014

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1. Paranorman & Coraline soundtracks on vinyl, Aggie Fights variant. YES. Makes up for not snagging a RDS released one. | 2. Cold brewed coffee | 3. Survivor peony, it beat the crazy hail storm. | 4. Fresh apple cider donuts from a stand in Amish country. They were still warm. And magical. | 5. Kitty friend at a nursery. Darling thing would not stop talking. | 6. Grilled brie and fig spread. Absolutely delicious. Absolutely not any different tasting that baked brie. | 7. Jamie Wyeth's Pumpkinhead Self-Portrait. He might be my favorite Wyeth. | 8. #tbt Cigar Box edition. Concert stubs, an unused passport picture (circa '06 or '07 I think?) and there's definitely a birthday card in there signed by some band dudes at Warped Tour. | 9. Alice Morgan saying "keep on living" in my filofax. Sometimes, it's a good remindr.

Jun 25, 2014

Forumla X : The System

Formula X

Now that I work in a somewhat conservative office and have sort of flung myself off the whole nail art train (I was a super early adopted of that anyway -- I had the Klutz Nail Art book that was released in '97!) I'm just more into having a long lasting mani.
So after hearing heaps of raving reviews about Sephora's Formula X line, I decided to test out "The System"
And honestly? I'm pretty impressed. I used the entire system the night that I bought it, and less minor tip wear and a small chip on each index finger, the polish was still going strong a full week later. I did, for the sake of ridding myself of tip wear, remove the polish and reapply. The incarnation featured here was four days old and survived a trip to the nursery and planting nearly 200 plants. I had gloves on, but still, that's pretty impressive. But I'm going to review each step of the system below.
Formula X

  1. Cleanse - Is this acetone? Rubbing alcohol? The copy says it's "infused with witch hazel (to purify nails), Vitamin E (to condition) and invigorating cucumber extract." Does it seem to work? Yeah, but I've also down well with straight acetone, polish remover or rubbing alcohol on mail nails after I shape them.
  2. Shine Base Coat - This is meant to be "a binding and ultra sticky base coat." I'm out of practice with normal base coats, as I normally use Essie's Grow Stronger or Gelous. My only "real" base coat is a mediocre and oversized bottle from Sally Beauty that I only really used to prevent staining. That said, it does seem to work pretty well -- and at the least it's fun to look at in the bottle.
  3. New Neutral : Extraordinary - Grey is the new black. I picked this shade since I don't have a blue leaning grey. Despite the swatch on the site, this grey definitely leans blue. And it's definitely my summer answer to black nails. I like it a lot, enough that I even rocked it two weeks in a row.
  4. Shine Top Coat - I love this top coat. There's no shrinkage, it's glossy without being too thick, it doesn't crack and it holds the polish on well. 10/10 will buy again. A lot of reviewers have said that it gets gloppy with time -- but I've experienced that with every quick drying magical top coat. So if I'm going to be get a somewhat pricey one (spoiler: I am) I may as well be getting rewards points for it.
The next step is trying out the base and top coats trying out non-Formula X Polish and then trying the parts of the system on their own to see if they're definitely worth a re-purchase. I will say that I do enjoy a lot of the colors that Sephora's put out, so much so that I've already asked for some for my birthday. Yes, please.

TRACKING