Friday, May 29, 2015

Nails and a WHOLE LOTTA Random

Yeah, yeah - it's been another *cough* several days since I last blogged. Are you picking up on a new trend? Well, don't fret. (Surely, you were fretting.) I'm not abandoning ship altogether, just only blogging when I get the urge. The urge has become more sporadic in the last couple of months, admittedly, but this little internet space of mine means a bit too much for me to just cut it off completely.

Sidebar, who else actually learned the word "sporadic" from Alicia Silverstone back in 1995? G'wan. Admit it.

Today's blog is going to be a bit of a "life lately" word vomit, disguised as a nail polish post. Ready?

These nails were super spontaneous and weren't inspired by a single thing other than the color blue:

Sally Hansen Pacific Blue with Lapiz of Luxury Accent nail
The bright blue, if you didn't already know by looking at it, is Pacific Blue by Sally Hansen - one of the most badass nail polish colors in the land. It's electric (boogie woogie woogie). My ring finger has 2 coats of Essie's Lapiz of Luxury topped with one coat of Green Tea by LA Colors. Green Tea is a really pretty mint-sparkle polish, but it's suuuuper sheer, so it's basically useless on its own.

Essie Lapiz of Luxury, Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, nail polish, bright blue

Sally Hansen Pacific Blue with Lapiz of Luxury Accent nail

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I spent last week in Charleston, SC visiting my friend Simmons. Since my job allows me to work remotely, we were able to hang out for the week without either one of us taking any time off from work. We got in some great beach time at Folly Beach, and I got to meet his friends and check out downtown Charleston (which is adorable and packed with people at this time of year).

Random Folly story: A dude at one of the bars there told me I was his dream woman (specifically my freckles and nose ring), and then later actually said, "I'm a sailor and I sail out tomorrow. Can I have a kiss?" I was all, WTF? No. And does that actually work on people? He probably wasn't even a sailor. He probably just knew a kid who owned a pontoon boat. Is this seriously what the singles scene is like these days, people? FML.

Pier on Folly Beach, South Carolina

On Memorial Day, I spent my day off kayaking on the Charles River, stopping by the display of 37,000 American flags in Boston Common, eating froyo from Orange Leaf, binge shopping at TJ Maxx (got two new summer dresses!), and capping things off with some Chipotle for dinner. Successful day? I dunno. Sure.

37000 American flags in Boston Common, Memorial Day 2015

In other news completely, those five workout videos I filmed for the website I manage have now all been made live, and I've now gotten up the nerve to share them here in this blog. Watch them if you want to. Even better, give them a thumbs up or share them or leave a comment. A nice comment, not a troll comment. You can keep those.
The pool at my apartment building opened up, so I've been spending some time out there, tryna catch a tannnn. But a sensible tan, because I've been applying sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) like a good girl and do not intend to get a sunburn this year. Skin cancer is common as shit and in most cases preventable, so allow me to remind you: Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. SPF = BFF.

On Tuesday night I went to a Fashionably Featured party on the roof deck of the Revere Hotel in downtown Boston. It was honestly just a reason to get dressed up and wear one of the pairs of heels that are sitting in my closet, not getting enough play.

Speaking of playing in heels, I have two more reasons to get dressed up this weekend:  My good friend April has a bridal shower tomorrow on Cape Cod, and my friend Linden is getting married in Pittsfield on Sunday. I'm going to dash across the state from one to the other, so lots of driving for me in the next couple of days! Good thing I just brought my car in for an oil change the other day... and came out $300+ later with a new muffler, too. Funny how that happens, innit?

Alright that should suffice for life updates for now. I have written a large amount of my Panama blog, but haven't finished it yet. Maybe that'll be my next trick!

Hope you guys have a great weekend - PEAAAAAAAACE.


Friday, May 15, 2015

SUP??! Nails 'n Other Things

It's been quiet around here this month... and that's primarily because I haven't felt like blogging. Simple as that, haha! Hey, it's my blog, I'll ignore it when I want to.

Normally even when I'm being neglectful of my blog, I still manage to put up a nail polish post every Friday. Well I have also become quite lax with that, as you can see. Lack of inspiration plus tired cuticles have left my nails looking like the red-headed step child of my hands. This week, however, inspiration suddenly struck, and I bounded to my nail polish box to pick out some colors. Then this happened:

Green nail polish bottle, shattered and splattered!
.  shattered and splattered  .

Ugh. My pent-up nail polish excitement got the better of me, apparently. I spent over 2 hours cleaning up the glass shards and green polish splatter of that mess. And it was a bottle of Sinful Colors Mint Apple, to boot - one of my absolute favorite greens. #Balls.

Irked, but not unbowed, I decided to press onwards with getting a nail polish post up this week and seeing my inspiration to fruition. Here's what I finally ended up with:

Mint nails with green and pink polka dot accents

Two of the polishes used in today's post are brand new as of yesterday. My intention at CVS was to replace an old bottle of Essie's Turquoise & Caicos, but once I was there in front of the display Mint Candy Apple was suddenly the more appealing shade to me. And so a game-time decision was made, and the mint won out over the turquoise. (Interestingly, it had absolutely nothing to do with the Sinful Colors Mint Apple that had met such an untimely demise earlier in the week. Nothing at all. It appears these nail polish companies are just terribly un-clever when it comes to naming their light greens.)

Essie Mod Square, NYC High Line Green, Essie Mint Candy Apple, Sinful Colors Snow Me White The other new polish I picked up is Essie's Mod Square - a strawberry-bubblegum sort of hot pink, free of any shimmer or iridescence. Together, Mint Candy Apple and Mod Square look BEAUTIFUL. A perfect summer pairing.

Essie Mint Candy Apple, with bright green and hot pink polka dot accent nails, perfect summer nails

I used 2 coats of Mint Candy Apple on my thumb, pointer and pinky nails. My middle finger has 2 coats of NYC's High Line Green, and my ring finger has 2 coats of Sinful Color's Snow Me White, topped with polka dots of Mod Square.

Besides already peeling off every single one of the above-pictured nails in record time, here are a few other things I've been up to since you last heard from me:
  • Lots of gym time (though, sorry, no workout blogs... mreh)
  • Checked out the opening day of the SoWa Open Market in Boston's South End neighborhood, which runs every Sunday from now till October
  • Went out for tacos and mojitos on Cinco de Mayo with Kara and her boyfriend Kyle
  • Dined out at some good restaurants around Cambridge (including The Friendly Toast and Firebrand Saints)
  • Kayaked on The Charles River with my friends (I subsequently purchased a season pass at a great discount with a Groupon)
  • Quick trip home to Pittsfield to surprise my mom for Mother's Day and visit the rest of my family
  • Caught up on the Game of Thrones episodes I missed while in Panama, as well as the latest episode
  • Took a 1-hour free trial boxing class at The Ring Boxing Club in Boston (SUCH a good workout - I was absolutely drenched in sweat)
Taking a trial boxing class at The Ring Boxing Club in Boston
.  source  .
Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown, MA

I suppose I've also been eating a fair amount of ice cream sandwiches, if I'm being totally honest. And binge shopping. Whoops?

So that's what's up and what's on my nails, all in one fell swoop. I hope it was worth the wait.

What are you rocking on your nails this week?
Have you picked up any new polishes lately?
What's the most exciting thing you've done/eaten/heard/seen in the last few weeks?!

{Linking with Fab Favorites and The Nail Files}

Friday, May 1, 2015

Craft Club #5: Floral Arrangements

Goodness, I almost forgot to post a recap of Craft Club #5!!!! WHAT IN THE HELL WAS I THINKING?! *Slaps self on the wrist*..... *Immediately thinks of slap bracelets*.... *giggs*

First of all, yes - I'm back from my trip to Panama, and YES - it was AMAZEBALLS. I've still been getting back into "non-vacation mode" brain, which means I haven't even bothered blogging about any of it yet or editing pictures. I'll get to it, obviously. And when I do - I suspect you'll know about it.

Anyway, back to Craft Club. In late March, my friend Kim hosted our monthly craft seshhhh, and this time we were learning some basics about floral arrangements! Fun bonus fact: Kim was super preggers at the time, but she has since given birth to a bouncing baby boy named Benjamin. I haven't officially met him yet, but I assume he's the best.

Joined at Kim's house by Abby, Jenna, and Anna, we spent a late weekend morning/early afternoon munching on brunch foods, gabbing, and arranging beautiful flowers into glass vases.

Kim had prepped for the day by purchasing a ton of flowers -  blue and white hydrangeas, cream, yellow and pink roses, green and white mums, and hypericums for accents. She also happened to have about a million spare glass vases around her home, thanks to her wedding last summer! #Recycle.

Admittedly, we spent most of the time chatting and eating. The food spread for the day was spot-on: fruit salad, 2 different types of homemade quiche, donuts, Waldorf salad... mmm!

A couple of the tricks/tips that Kim taught us...

1. Arranging flowers in 3's (triangles) makes the overall look balanced, rather than rigidly symmetrical. For example, the pink roses in the below pic are forming a triangle (even though the one in the upper right is hiding a bit!):

2. Don't be afraid to wind/weave the stems of flowers into each other. You don't need them each to stand up beside each other like soldiers. LET THEM MINGLE!

Here are all of the finished arrangements from the day.... though I can't for the life of me remember whose is whose! Mine is the only one I know for sure - it's the top-center in this picture:

Another successful Craft Club with good food, good friends, good conversation, and good creativity! I believe the next one will involve drawing/coloring/picnicking out by the Charles River in Cambridge, and I am very much looking forward to it!

{Linking with Craft Frenzy}

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.

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?