Friday, April 17, 2015

Pre-Panama Neon Pastel Nails

There's really just no time for chit-chat today, so we're jumping RIGHT INTO THIS THING. Friday. Nails. Possible polka dot sightings. You know the drill.

Oh, look, yup. We got some polka dots after all. Shocking!! The color combo here was inspired by this Ingrid Nilsen video on YouTube...

Her neon-pastel-minty shirt with neon yellow details, paired with the hot pink lipstick AND the pastel-minty-turquoise nails?! It was all so much for me to take in. I had to make it a mani!

.  notice that i still haven't cleaned off this mint bottle of polish after the august 2014 moving incident  .

I used 2 coats of Love & Beauty Mint on my pinky, middle and pointer fingers, and 2 coats of Revlon's Fuchsia Fever on my thumb and ring fingers. I used Sally Hansen's Mellow Yellow and a dotting tool for the polka dots.



Like it? I HEWPE SEW.

Alright, with that out of the way, I've gotta go... lots to do!! Besides needing to work all day today, I have a dental cleaning this morning, plus there's still packing to complete for my trip to Panamaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! AHHHH. By this time tomorrow, I'll be en route! #Buggin. I'm still preparing, mentally and physically.

Wish  me luck - and send me your sunniest vibes because the weather in Panama is nawwwt looking so hawwwt for the next week haha! I'll be damned if a little bit of "all-day thunderstorms" keeps me from getting into a bikini, though.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Exploring Middlesex Fells Reservation

Over the last few weeks, the Boston area has really started to feel like Spring is springinnnn'. More and more, we're getting beautiful days with clear blue skies that absolutely demand my presence outdoors.

I've got to be honest, coming from all of the natural splendor of Vancouver back to Massachusetts last summer was not the biggest upgrade, scenery-wise. I needed a reminder about how nice it can be to head out into the woods on a sunny spring day in New England. Hence, my recent maiden trip into Middlesex Fells Reservation - a 2,200+ acre park just north of Boston full of trails suitable for hiking, biking, horseback riding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and general outdoor merriment.

The Fells, as it's locally known, is one of the "right in my own backyard" points of interest that I'd been meaning to explore, with some of the trailheads as close as a 10-minute drive away. On this particular Sunday in late March, I randomly chose as my starting point the Sheepfold Meadow - a 10-acre field that's actually used primarily as an off-leash haven for dogs of all sizes (and their fleshy parents).

The Sheepfold is located in the town of Stoneham, along the southwest edge of Spot Pond...

Middlesex Fells Reservation, Stoneham, MA
... and it's funny that I ended up there, since I'm not - how you say? - into dogs, so much. (Please see point #33 on this blog if you have anything sassy to say about that.) But if you head away from the meadow and into the woods, you can leave most of the dogs behind and catch up with a number of trails.

Into the woods at Middlesex Fells Reservation, Stoneham, MA
Walking north from the meadow, I followed no particular trail - just kept my wits about me and remembered which direction I was walking.

Trails through the woods in Middlesex Fells Reservation, Stoneham, MAa
The woods were quiet, aside from the occasional dog barking in the distance. There was still snow covering most of the ground, but patches of forest floor were starting to fight through in some spots.

Beautiful blue sky shining through the trees

The blue sky was the big star of the day... I spent a good amount of time looking up.

Blue sky and tree branches in Sheepfold Meadow

Twisted branches against a blue sky in Middlesex Fells Reservation

I followed my random trail for a little while before turning around and heading back in the direction I came. (I wasn't familiar enough with the trail network to be attempting to create trail loops for myself off the cuff.) Fortunately, on the way back to my car I noticed there were some trail maps available beside the parking lot, so I grabbed one for the next time.

Twisted branches against a blue sky in Middlesex Fells Reservation

Sheepfold Meadown, Middlesex Fells Reservation
There are sooo many trails in Middlesex Fells Reservation that I'm finna grab a friend or two and go back there soon to do some more exploring - especially with all these nice days we're finally seeing.

Speaking of nice days... this week I've been packing/prepping for Panama, which accounts for some of the quietness on my blog. I don't expect to post anything while I'm away, soooo if aka Bailey goes utterly silent, just take it as an indication of the good times I'm having down in Central America. I'll probably still be checking in on Instagram or Twitter, if you want to come say hi to me there!

But don't miss me yet, because there'll still be a nail polish post coming on Friday, inspired by a shirt/nails/lipstick combination that I saw in this Ingrid Nilsen YouTube video!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Remembering Lilacs, Playing with Purples, Game of Thrones, and More!

I'm not an enormous fan of the color purple. Well, I mean, the book was fantastic, but the color itself never seems to be one of my go-to's. Something about springtime, however, makes me rethink all of that.

Different purples hues of nail polish, silver glitter accent nail

In the springtime, purple makes me recall the beautiful lilac bush that stood in the front yard of my grandparents' house for most of my life - and how you couldn't walk near it in the spring without your nostrils being completely filled with the fragrance of the blossoms. To this day, I have a special place in my heart for lilacs because of the childhood memories they evoke.

So when I spotted some lilacs over the Easter weekend, I knew I wanted to run with that theme and do a purple mani this week with lots of different purple hues - starting with Lacy Lilac by Sally Hansen as the lightest hue.

Multi colored purple nails with a silver glitter accent

Using 2 coats of each, I applied:  Sally Hansen Lacey Lilac (pinky), Revlon Diamond Texture (ring), Love & Beauty Orchid (middle),  Sally Hansen Royal Romance (pointer) , Sinful Colors Amethyst (thumb).

Purple nail polishes, orchid, amethyst, lacy lilac, royal

The result might have had a more prominent gradient effect had I not thrown in a random silver accent nail, but these are the lessons we learn in retrospect, hm? We'll be alright.

Purple nail polishes with a silver glitter accent nail

Elsewhere in my life, I've been doing some very serious binge-watching of Game of Thrones. And by "very serious," I mean that I started watching Season 1 in mid-February, watched about one episode a night of all four available seasons, then immediately went back and started watching the show again from Season 1, often watching more than one episode a night - until just completing Season 4 for the second time last night. 

So. I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious. Season 5 premieres on Sunday night, so you know you can catch me up in front of someone's TV like:


This week, I've been waiting out a very-rare-for-me cold, featuring your boys Sneeze, Mucus and Cough. It's kept me from going to the gym, since I know how much of a disgusting trap it can feel like when you're working out while someone near you is wet-coughing. (Fecking gross, guys. Keep your ass home with all of that.) Aside from not being able to workout, the cold isn't actually bothering me too terribly much, if I'm being honest. I've been drinking a ton of lemon honey tea and wearing lots of cozy sweatshirts, which has been just lovely. Plus all of the coughing I'm doing is probably doubling as a marathon core workout.

Tonight I'm meeting up with my cousin Catherine to eat pizza while we plan out our upcoming trip to Panama. I cannot cannot cannottttttttt believe it, but we are leaving NEXT Saturday. I have so many feels about it all. I'm super nervous, because I've never been to a place so different from the US. (The only other country I've ever been to is Canada.) But on the other hand... I'm super excited because I've never been to a place so different from the US! It will be an adventure no matter what - and that's something we can all use in our lives.With any luck, it will also be a warm, sunny adventure wherein I also acquire some tasteful, but not painful, color on my fair skin. SPF 40? SPF 30? I DUNNO, IVE NEVER BEEN SO CLOSE TO THE EQUATOR BEFORE! HALP.

Have any awesome Central America travel tips to share?
Who else is a Game of Thrones fan? Who's your favorite character?
Whatcha rockin' on dose nails doe?

Monday, April 6, 2015

My Workouts of the Week

I didn't post a workout blog last weekend because I'd only gone to the gym twice, due to my wisdom tooth extraction. I combined those two workouts into this round-up, so this is actually a "Workouts of the Last 2 Weeks" blog. It would have been posted yesterday but there was much Eastering going on, so there wasn't much time to post a blog.

LEGGO!
Fishtail braid
.  fishtailing for the gym  .

3/26 (core)
5 mins elliptical
3x: 30 v-sit twists, holding 15 lb dumbbell
3x: 15 dynamic side planks each side
3x: 15 lying overhead raise + double crunch, holding 7.5 lbs
3x: 30 cobras
3x: 15 crunches on exercise ball, holding 15 lbs
3x: 10 Russian get-ups (no weight)
1:05 plank

3/27 (upper body)
5 mins elliptical
3x: 10 deltoid flys, 7.5 lbs each hand
3x: 10 deltoid raises, 7.5 lbs each hand
3x: 20 alternating chest flys on exercise ball, 7.5 lbs each hand
3x: 10 rear shoulder dumbbell rows on exercise ball, 7.5 lbs each hand
3x: 10 overhead press, 7.5 lbs each hand
3x: 10 chest press on exercise ball, 15 lbs each hand
3x: 10 bent over rows, 15 lbs each hand
3x: 10 close grip chest press, 15 lbs each hand
3x: 13 lat pulldowns, 37.5 lbs
3x: 13 seated rows, 37.5 lbs
10 pushups

3/29 (lower body)
5 mins elliptical
3x: 35 calf raises, 17.5 lbs each hand
3x: 15 leg lifts from side plank, each leg
3x: 15 deadlifts,17.5 lbs each hand
3x: 35 side lunges + plyometric pushoff
3x: 12 single leg deadlifts each leg, 7.5 lbs each hand

3/30 (core)
5 mins elliptical
3x: 35 crunches on exercise ball, holding 15 lbs
3x: 35 v-sit twists, holding 15 lbs
3x: 35 cobras
3x: 15 dynamic side planks each side
3x: 12 Russian get-ups holding 5 lbs

3/31 (upper body)
3:15 jumping jacks
3x: 11 deltoid flys, 7.5 lbs each hand
3x: 11 deltoid raises, 7.5 lbs each hand
3x: 22 alternating chest flys on exercise ball, 7.5 lbs each hand
3x: 11 overhead press, 7.5 lbs each hand
3x: 11 tricep kickbacks, 7.5 lbs each hand
3x: 13 seated rows, 37.5 lbs
3x: 11 chest press on exercise ball, 15 lbs each hand
3x: 11 bent over rows, 15 lbs each hand
3x: 11 close grip chest press on exercise ball, 15 lbs each hand
3x: 13 lat pulldowns, 37.5 lbs

4/1 (cardio)
45 mins hiking on treadmill

4/2 (full body)
45-minutes Vinyasa Yoga

4/3 (lower body)
3:15 jumping jacks
3x: 35 calf raises, 17.5 lbs each hand
3x: 15 leg lifts from side plank, each leg
3x: 15 deadlifts, 17.5 lbs each hand
3x: 35 side lunges + plyometric push-off
3x: 12 single leg deadlifts, 7.5 lbs each hand
3x: 40 diamond clamshells each leg
3x: 40 bridges

I hope your Easter/Passover weekend was nice! What did the Easter bunny bring you?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Easy Aqua Spots Dotticure

God knows how my mind travels to the places that it does, but after typing the title of this blog post, my brain jumped to the Snorks.

... so that's just a small glimpse into the random-childhood-pop-culture-references-attuned mass that is my brain. I hope that was exciting for you. Moving on!

My nails today were inspired by an Instagrammer who I just started following yesterday - Cute.Passion. The dotted nails she did here made me want to do something similar in my own color scheme. HENCE, DEEZ:

Aqua easy dotticure, nails, nail polish
The light blue is Dreamer by Revlon, and the turquoise is Bailamos by Orly. I used two coats of each, and added the dual-sized dots using my double-ended dotting tool.

Bailamos by Orly and Dreamer by Revlon, polka dotted nails

Turquoise nails with light blue accent nails, easy dots
Last night I went to my first real yoga class! The only other time I've taken a yoga class was about 5 years ago when I lived on Cape Cod, but it was a "restore & renew" yoga class that focused primarily on breathing and stretching. I didn't even break a sweat, which is why I don't really consider it as a having been a true "first yoga class" experience.

Turquoise nails with light blue accent nails, turquoise dots on the accent nails
The class I went to last night was a special Vinyasa Yoga class being held at the House of Blues in Boston, and it was the kind of physical yoga that I'd really been interested in trying. I had no idea what I was doing, but luckily you can kind of pick up the moves just by watching everyone else. My friend Kara came too, and we both really enjoyed it. There were about 15-20 people in the dimly-lit room, and the teacher was awesome. That kind of yoga could really be right up my alley!

Turquoise nails with light blue accent nails, turquoise dots on blue nails
At some point this weekend I'm going to drive west to Pittsfield to visit with my family for the Easter holiday. We're not religious, but if I can catch my niece and nephew participating in some sort of an Easter egg hunt, then my mission will be complete. Experiences like that are things that I've been missing, having been living away and out of the state for the last several years.

Are you doing anything with your family for Easter or Passover this weekend?
Anyone else trying out yoga for the first time?
What are yooooou rockin' on your nailseses?!

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Citizen Cope Acoustic Performance

Last week the Wilbur Theater sent out a newsletter with a list of upcoming acts, and I was psyched to notice that Citizen Cope was on the list for a March 31st show.  I'd never seen him perform before, but am a big fan of The Clarence Greenwood Recordings album, so I bought a ticket pretty quickly and marked my calendar.

If you're not familiar with his music, Citizen Cope is a mumbling, bluesy/soul/folk/rock/sometimes-hip-hoppy singer/songwriter with a man-bun and pretty blue eyes. His sound is terribly hard to define, so you might as well just listen to it for yourself and decide if you like it or not.

None of my friends ended up tagging along, but that didn't end up being a big deal. Going to shows alone CAN be done, people. Do it. My seat was in the same part of the theater as when we saw Lauryn Hill a couple weeks ago, but a handful of rows closer to the stage. I arrived and sat down with just about 5 minutes to spare before he came onstage at 8:30.  

Citizen Cope performing at Wilbur Theater in Boston, March 31, 2015
.  his outfit can get it  .

He played two 45-minute, stripped down, acoustic sets to a very supportive crowd (there was much hooting, hollering, and song-name-calling-out). He soaked it all in incredibly graciously and seemed humbled by the love he was being shown. Also, as indicated by the caption on the above photo, I liked his look. A casual button down, loose olive green pants, beat-up black boots, and a man-pony. Clarence, let's hang out and be super chill together.

My personal favorites from the night were Sideways (I am a sucker for that song) and Pablo Picaso. There are short video snippets of each on my IG page, here and here. WATCH'EM.

Anyone else a fan of Citizen Cope?
What's your favorite song by him?
Who else has some live music lined up in their near future?? Tell me about it!

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Solo Day Trip to Amherst

When this past weekend rolled around and I didn't have any plans to do much of anything, I began contemplating taking a drive out of Boston, just to clear my head and get a change of scenery. Within about twenty minutes of awaking on Saturday morning, I decided I'd like to drive to Amherst, got dressed, filled a water bottle, grabbed my camera (which I didn't really end up using), jumped in my car, scooped some Dunkin Donuts, and hopped onto the Mass Pike for a 100-minute drive west.

It wasn't a very nice day for a drive - a mixture of snow and rain - so that put a slight damper on my ability to zone out while driving to ponder life's great questions. Instead, I skillfully maneuvered my Yaris down the wet Pike while singing along with my iPod at the top of my lungs. (Quick random poll: Do you sing while you drive? I only recently realized that not everyone does this, which seems really effing weird to me. Please weigh-in via Twitter or Facebook.)

Arriving in the Pioneer Valley, my very first stop was Esselon Cafe. This was where I had my first post-college job as a server/barista/staff supervisor. I graduated from UMass in the spring of 2006 and then floundered a bit for that summer, not knowing where my next step should be. With a whole crop of the-best-effing-friends-in-the-whole-world still finishing up their final year of school at UMass, it wasn't terribly hard for me to decide to move back to Amherst for the fall "semester." There, I found an apartment, scooped the job at Esselon, and then spent the next year working there full-time while pretending I was still in college with my friends.

When I stopped into the cafe for brunch on Saturday, it was the first time I'd been there in years - but the place hasn't changed a bit (aside from staff turnover). I ordered French toast with strawberry compote and fresh berries, which I enjoyed with a big mug of hot coffee before getting back into my car and beginning the ultimate Amherst-drive-around.

French Toast from Esselon Cafe in Hadley, MA, brunch food
.  as seen by all the cool people on my instagram  .
For about 2 hours, I wound and wove my way through the streets of Amherst and through every nook and cranny of the UMass campus. So much has changed in town and on-campus since I was a student there. Businesses have closed, moved, changed hands, changed names. A tonnnn of new buildings have sprouted up all over campus, leaving some areas nearly unrecognizable.

UMass Amherst campus pond and view of the library and student union
.  campus pond and view of the library and student union  .

I made special trips past a few of my old apartments and dorm buildings, as well as some of my favorite off-campus hangouts. The latter included some of the best and most notorious "party houses" around town, which were all given colloquial nicknames like Russell Street, Hippie House, Long Radio House, or Monkey House. Everywhere I drove, bittersweet memories flooded back to me, which - as the term bittersweet generally implies - was both good and sad.

Before leaving town, I did manage to park and actually get out of my car for a bit to head into the Campus Center, where my wallet took a hit as I went a little H.A.M. on the University Store's apparel section.

Sweatshirts and clothes at the UMass Amherst University Store

It seemed high time for my wardrobe to get some fresh UMass gear, so I bought two new t-shirts and a sweatshirt. The sweatshirt has barely left my body since Saturday - it's so freaking soft and cozy.

There were so many fun and irreplaceable times had in Amherst, and driving around town/campus was pretty much as literal as you can be with the phrase "taking a trip down memory lane." It was a much-needed reflection session, and I was glad that I was alone for the day - able to drive absolutely anywhere that I pleased, able to stop at any random house or building or parking lot that I wanted, able to spend as much time as I chose. But I do hope I'm with lots of friends the next time I go!! :)

And on that note, check out this post from the last time I visited Amherst with my friends Kara and Kyle!

Where did you go to school?
When was the last time you headed back to your college campus?
Do you still keep in touch with your college friends?

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