Friday, October 17, 2014

Seeing Spots: Fuchsia and Polka Dot Nails

Don't spit at me, but today's nails are not even slightly autumnal. They're also a bit more "16-year-old girl" than "adult about to turn 30 in a few weeks," but it's my hot body and I'll do what I want!

Fuchsia nails with black and white polka dot accent nails, Maybelline Clearly Spotted
Clearly I just can't get enough of this Maybelline Color Show Polka Dots polish. I keep reaching for it! 
Fuchsia nails with black and white polka dot accent nails

This is two coats of Fuchsia Fever by Revlon on my pinky, pointer and thumb nails. Two coats of Snow Me White by Sinful Colors on my ring finger and middle fingers. My ring finger is topped with two coats of Clearly Spotted by Maybelline. On my middle finger, I used my dotting tool to add polka dots in Revlon's Stiletto. (On my left hand, I did fuchsia polka dots on my middle finger, but wasn't as pleased with how it looked.)
Fuchsia nails with black and white polka dot accent nails, black and white glitter polish
You can see my other manis using Clearly Spotted here and here. I'm quite fond of both of them.

Fuchsia nails with black and white polka dot accent nails

Tonight my brother Rob is picking me up and we are heading back to western Massachusetts to visit with my family for the weekend. My sister Mallory is turning 31 on Monday, so we thought it would be nice to go see her and give her a present or a high-five - or maybe even both. Probably both. I'll also get to see my nephew and niece, who are both just as clever and hysterical as can be. Maybe I'll even get to hit up an apple orchard while I'm there! I certainly know a great one in the area...

What are you up to this weekend?
Any family time planned?
Show me what you're rocking on your nails via Twitter or Instagram!

{Linking with The Nail Files, Beauty Buzz, and Friday's Fab Favorites}

Monday, October 13, 2014

New England in the Fall: Everywhere Else Can Suck It

Sooo not to brag or anything, but New England in the fall is simply the bee's knees. October, specifically, is the month to come here if you're looking to do any leaf-peeping. That means you better get here pronto if you want in on the action this year.

My neighborhood isn't lacking in deciduous trees, so I've got a front row view of Mother Nature doing her annual color-changing thang. Things look different around here every single day, and I have been snapping plenty of pictures around my hood each time I go out for a walk or to run an errand. Here's a bit of what's been in my lens:

This weekend I tried to get back to the gym a little bit, but only to do cardio. I still can't do many other exercises without my shoulder hurting, so at the very least I can put in some 30-minute sessions on the elliptical here and there. Can't be letting myself get soft during Halloween month, when we're all supposed to look super fly in our skanky costumes. Just kidding, my costume won't be skanky - though it will feature some exposed bra. Can't wait to show you what I mean, but you'll just have to wait till Halloween to find out. My friend J-rod throws an annual Halloween party that I've missed out on the last 2 years, being away in Vancouver, so it's especially exciting for me to be here for it this year.

Stay tuned for probably more fall pictures from my neck of the woods.
Do the leaves change where you live?
Are you dressing up for Halloween?

{Linking with Finding Beauty}

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fall Foliage Nails

Oh well hello there, Friday. Fancy seeing you here again.

It's been another week of muscle relaxers and chiropractor appointments over here, trying to make my shoulder stop misbehaving. I can't tell if the chiropractor is helping or not, but at least I've got a man massaging my neck for me twice a week. Don't tell him I said that.

In other news, I have been taking walks outside in the refreshing sunshine that Boston has had this week - and the autumn leaves are really looking spectacular. I've got a ton of pictures to share with you soon, so please come back on Monday to leaf-peep some of thooose!

On a related note, my nails today were inspired by a tree right outside my window that has slowly been turning from green to yellow over the last couple of weeks. Everyday it's a little more amber and a little less emerald, which inspired me to break out my makeup sponge and do a sponge mani with green, yellow and orange.

I'm not entirely thrilled with how these came out - honestly, they're not what I envisioned. But they're not awful, so that's why I'm sharing them.

I started out by painting all of my nails this Hunter Green color from Love & Beauty. Next I used some white polish on a makeup sponge to dab some random splotches around my nails. (The white splotches would serve as my "blank canvas" for the next steps.)  Once the white was dry, I repeated that step with a yellow polish (Little Miss Sunrise by Essence), then an orange polish (Metallic Mango from Milani), and finished it off with another dabbing of the yellow polish.

At the very least, this is something out of the ordinary and different. It can also be done with pretty much any color combination you'd like, so... go forth and dab with your sponges, ladies.

{Linking with The Nail Files, Beauty Buzz, and Friday's Fab Favorites}

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Friend Date Night: The Paint Bar

Autumn on the Charles, painting from The Paint Bar Boston
This past Friday night I met up with my friends Steph and Kara at The Paint Bar on Newbury St in Boston for an evening of getting our Bob Ross on. Whoop!

The Paint Bar is one of the best business ideas, ever. It's a painting class that all skill levels can enjoy, with an instructor teaching the whole class how to paint a particular picture, step-by-step. There's also a bar with plenty of wine and snacks, so you can drink and nibble while you paint and socialize with your friends. Choose a class and reserve your seat online (they usually sell out), and list your friends' names at checkout to make sure you're all seated together. Sounds fun right?? So much better than doing the same ol' thang with your friends on a Friday night. Unless that "same ol' thang" for you is getting free passes to Discovery Zone with all-you-can-eat pizza and ice cream or something. In which case... keep doing you, ma. You sound like you have a good life.

Anyway, after arriving at The Paint Bar on Friday and tying on our aprons, we headed to the back of the shop to fill our palettes with the designated amount of each paint color. There's a little sign that tells you exactly how many pumps of each color you need for the painting you'll be doing that evening - i.e. 2 pumps black, 6 pumps white, 1 pump brown, etc.

Paint containers at the Paint Bar, Newbury St Boston

The painting we were going to be recreating that night was called Autumn on the Charles, which was a lovely riverside scene of an autumnal tree with the Boston skyline in the background. Once everyone had arrived and prepped their paint, we got started.

Blank canvases ready for painting

A friendly instructor stood at the front of the room demonstrating and explaining each step of the painting, while another employee manned the bar. Between each step, they turned up the music in the room, so there was a fun and laid back atmosphere the whole time. Definitely not a formal painting class with a snobbish instructor. Kara, Steph and I got our gab on while we painted, sipped, and snacked. I've been on muscle relaxers for the past couple of weeks, so no alcohol for me. But don't worry - I ate enough snacks and drank enough Coca Cola to make up for it. Shout out to the Rice Krispies Treat that I enjoyed that night. Yum.

Here's a sort of step-by-steppish picture guide of the painting in progress:

Friends painting!

We used a cool cross-hatching technique to make the sky:

Cross hatch sky painting

Sky and river painted

The Paint Bar, Newbury St, Boston

Boston skyline painted

The John Hancock tower and the Prudential Center are the two big "skyline" giants in Boston:

Boston skyline painting, John Hancock Tower, Prudential Center

Painting the tree was pretty scary after all the work we'd done on that skyline and sky:

Tree painting, Charles River, Boston skyline

Autumnal tree scene next to the Charles River, Boston, painting

Autumnal tree, Boston skyline painting

Finally - all finished! Buildings outlined in black and Citgo sign added in:

Autumnal tree, Boston skyline next to the Charles, painting

The cool thing about this class is that everyone is painting the same thing, but no two paintings end up looking alike. Despite being given detailed instructions on how to do everything, the painter inevitably brings his or her own style to it. From left to right, here are Kara's, mine, and Steph's paintings:

The Paint Bar, finished paintings

Kara's painting
.  kara's  .

My painting
.  mine  .

Steph's painting
.  steph's  .

There was kind of a yellow-lighted hue to the room at The Paint Bar, so I took this picture in the whiter lighting of my bedroom...
My painting, better lighting

Autumn on the Charles, Boston Skyline painting

The moral of the story is - go paint with your friends. You'll have fun and you'll get some artwork out of it. I plan on giving my painting to my sister Mallory, since it doesn't really "go" with anything in my room.

In other news entirely, today is my 2-year blogiversary :) I believe that's the cotton anniversary, so looks like mama's gettin' a new pair of jeans! Old Navy, here I come.

Is there a Paint Bar equivalent in your town? Would you do something like this with your buddies?

{Linking with Wonderfully Creative Wednesdays and Craft Frenzy Friday}

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Few Good {Boston} Things

A view of South Station in downtown Boston:

South Station entrance, Boston

Boston Wharf Company sign in the Fort Point Channel district:

Boston Wharf Company sign in the Fort Point Channel district of Boston

America! While this is most likely just a seagull that was caught in some flattering lighting, I prefer to think that it's an eagle soaring past our star-spangled banner at just the right moment:

American flag with soaring eagle/seagull
.  that's the moon, in the bottom right  .
Subway tracks near my house:

Boston subway tracks

Copley Square in downtown Boston - 

Buildings in Copley Square, Boston

When I moved from Vancouver back to Massachusetts, I promised that there'd be "pictures and adventures from a new city" here on my blog. This is just a tiny snippet of some of Boston's cityscape, and I can't wait to share more!


Friday, October 3, 2014

5 Fall Nail Designs

Yesterday I did my nails twice, and each time the outcome displeased me so much that I removed the polish in a fit of rage. (Just kidding about the rage; it wasn't that serious.) Normally I pride myself on my color combinations, but the choices I made yesterday have me questioning all of that. Ah well, it's back to the drawing board for me. But in the meantime, here are five other fall nail designs that you can feast your eyes upon:

These mustard and navy nails are a great way to incorporate the seasonal mustard yellow without having to commit to an entire garment in the bold color:

Mustard and navy nails, fall nail designs
Use a dotting tool to create abstract autumn leaves against a blue sky:

Autumn leaves nail design, colorful dots
Everyone loves jewel tones in the fall! These jewel toned nails of emerald, sapphire and topaz were inspired by a fashion blogger's outfit:

Jewel toned nails, polka dot accent nail
Halloween nails! This nail design was inspired by witches and was a fun departure from the typical "orange and black" Halloween color scheme:

Witch Halloween nails
Candy corn nails are a great excuse to bust out the makeup sponge and do a gradient this season! Click through for the how-to: 

Candy corn Halloween nails

Tonight I am going to The Paint Bar on Newbury Street with my friends Steph and Kara. The Paint Bar is a super fun thing to do with your friends - it's a painting class where you can "paint, drink and be merry" (so sayeth their website). I've been to The Paint Bar in Newtonville, MA before, where we painted a really cool Boston nighttime skyline. Tonight's picture is a beautiful autumn-inspired painting of the Charles River - you can see the picture here. Everyone in the class paints the same picture, but each person's comes out a little bit differently. I'll absolutely be bringing my camera and will blog in the near future about the good times that are had!

What do you have going on this weekend?
Have you spotted any cool fall or Halloween nail designs yet?
Do you have something like a Paint Bar in your city?

{Linking with Friday's Fab Favorites, Monday Must-Haves
Beauty Buzz, and The Nail Files}

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Craft Club #1: Fun with Foil

What do you get when you combine friends + crafts + good food + wine? You get a Craft Club. And ours just launched on Sunday night. 

My friend Steph is a huuuuge fan of crafting whenever possible (hence the coloring book session the two of us had together a few weeks ago), and she had the fabulous idea of starting a monthly Craft Club with some of our friends. Each month we'll rotate who hosts the club, and the host will choose the craft of the day.

So on Sunday evening, we met at Jenna's house for the inaugural craft sesh. Armed with 5 canvases, 1 jar of Mod Podge, an array of foam paintbrushes, 1 roll of aluminum foil, some scissors, and 2 cans of metallic spray paint, the 5 of us (me, Kara, Steph, Jenna and Lauren) went to town doing pretty much whatever we wanted.

The general idea was to cut/tear pieces of aluminum foil into shapes or strips and arrange them on our canvases, spray paint the canvases or foil pieces with metallic gold and silver, and then Mod Podge them into place on our canvases. Everyone's came out so different!

Craft Club

Craft Club
.  hard at work!  .

While we crafted, we also took breaks to enjoy the delicious white bean, pumpkin and turkey chili that Jenna had prepared for us that day in her crockpot. There were also crackers and cheese, as well as some incredible cupcakes that Steph brought from Cupcake City for dessert. Kara, who had come to the Craft Club straight from a baby shower for one of her cousins, brought with her some leftover sangria and chicken salad from the party to share with us.  I wasn't able to partake in any of the sangria or wine because of the muscle relaxers I've been taking, but I had plenty of iced tea to make up for it.

But back to the crafting.

Using different household objects as guides, I traced several circles of different sizes onto my foil before carefully cutting them out. Not fully sure what I was going to do with them, I started arranging the circles randomly around my canvas...

Crafting with foil and Mod Podge
And here's what I ended up with, though there may be some pink acrylic accents added to this before I put it into its frame:

Circles of foil and Mod Podge

Steph kept hers delightfully minimal with 3 adorably perfect hearts in one corner, and the "negative space" hearts in another part of the canvas. She sprayed her canvas gold before covering half of it with foil on a diagonal angle:

Foil hearts

Art with silver foil on gold canvas Kara made a cool cave-like design with hers, reminiscent of stalagmites and stalactites:

Fun with foil and Mod Podge

Golden foil on canvas

Lauren went to town on hers, turning it into a real picture of a sunset over an ocean of waves. I love the way the texture of the canvas comes through the gold paint:

Waves of foil on canvas

Sunset made with foil on canvas

And when we last left her, Jenna had made some progress towards the look you see below... though I know she was questioning whether or not she was going to keep it that way. Who knows how hers ended up!!

Foil shapes on canvas

Gold and silver foil shapes on canvas

This was really a perfect way to kick off our Craft Club. It was structured, yet completely laid back, the food was delicious and wonderfully comfort-foody, and we all left with a new piece of artwork.

Crafts and wine!
For our next Craft Club, the plan is to meet at Lauren's for a crochet lesson, probably sometime in early November.

Who else has gotten their creative juices flowing with a random craft project recently?
Would you ever get a Craft Club going with your friends?
Got any suggestions for an upcoming Craft Club project? Share with me!

{Linking with Wonderfully Creative Wednesdays and Craft Frenzy Friday}