Tuesday, October 29, 2013

DIY Artwork: House-Warming/Birthday Collage

When my good friend Kara moved in with her boyfriend over the summer, I knew I wanted to do something in the form of a "house-warming" gift for her. The fact that her birthday coincided relatively with her move was just a doubly good reason to make something special for her new space. So I discreetly tricked her into describing for me the color scheme of her new living room (it's way over in Massachusetts, so it's not like I could pop in for a casual investigative visit), and got started picking out some pieces that I could use to construct a collage for her.

To create a collage, I first figure out my color scheme. Kara told me that her new living room was filled with beiges, browns, blues and aquas - which sounded fab to me. I love a good aqua/beige scheme myself. In addition to those hues, throwing in a pop or two of a bright natural green seemed like a good idea. And so I began flipping through my stash of magazines and pulling out pages that had colors/textures that tickled my fancy.

.  the colors duke! the colorssss!  .
.  (triple bonus points if you get the reference)  .

Once I'd collected a stack of potential pieces, I got to work tearing and cutting them and then arranging them onto an 11x14 piece of poster board. I neglected to take enough pictures during this step... oops. #BadBlogger.

Here, I've finally finished arranging the pieces - but now comes the task of glueing them all down:


.  top half  .
.  bottom half  .

Here is the piece finished - glued, trimmed and framed:

And Kara even sent me a picture of how it looks in her new apartment:

.  ("vase" pronounced very dramatically like "vaahhhhhhhze")  .

What sorts of arts 'n crafts projects have you been getting into? Do you like to make presents for your friends and family too?

Check out more collages to get your creative juices flowing ~> here!

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sweat Round Up of the Week

This weekend has been nice and relaxing! I didn't have much to do besides catch up on a ton of blog-reading, watch some movies, and give David a haircut. Plus I scrubbed the bejesus out of my bathtub, so... that was rewarding. We took a nice long walk into downtown Vancouver last night and scoped out some of the fools who were running around in costumes. The fog around here finally lifted, revealing that some places around the city have actually put up holiday lights already! #ThatsWhatsUp!

On top of taking nice daily walks this week, I got in one decent arm workout and one decent leg workout. Check out my workouts below:

10/23 (cardio & lower body)
21 mins elliptical, 2 miles
Workout gear, top from Forever21, grey leggings
.  new long sleeve base layer top from forever21  .
.  love it for going to/from the gym!  .
  - 15 deadlifts, 15 lbs each hand
  - 15 goblet squats, holding 15 lbs
  - 20 calf raises, 15 lbs each hand
  - 1:00 plank

10/25 (upper body & core)
7 mins elliptical, .7 miles
12 overhead press, 12.5 lbs
12 bent over rows, 20 lbs each hand
30 Russian get ups, 5 lbs each hand
12 chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
30 weighted v-sit twist, holding 12.5 lbs
12 close grip chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
30 weighted crunches on exercise ball, holding 12.5 lbs
15 deltoid flys, 5 lbs each hand, kneeling on bosu ball
15 deltoid raises, 5 lbs each hand, kneeling on bosu ball
30 cobras
12 lat pulldowns, 30 lbs
12 lat pulldowns, 40 lbs
12 lat pulldowns, 50 lbs

Hey here's something else worth noting - my mom wins the MVP of my recent music scene because she randomly sent me the new Justin Timberlake album in the mail:

Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience, Part 2 of 2
Completely unprompted. Completely awesome of her. This album is The 20/20 Experience, Part 2 of 2. You may remember that he released Part 1 earlier this year, after taking a way-too-long hiatus from releasing his own music. I haven't fully formed any huge opinions about the album overall, but one of my favorite tracks is a sexy little diddy called You Got It On. Listen to it for a sexy time!

How has your weekend been going? Did you get in any good workouts this week?

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Autumn Leaves Nails

All of the autumnal foliage around here has been making me want to splash some of that fall flare all over my fingernails! So I did.

Fall foliage nail polish

The inspiration behind these nails is a fully-swagged out tree against a beautiful blue sky. Something like this:

Fall foliage, Vancouver, Sea wall

So I pulled out my favorite "sky blue" nail polish - Snowcone by Orly - and selected a crop of fall leaf colors from my stash to make it happen:

fuzzy navel by ruby kisses, little miss sunrise by essence, posh by revlon, a list by essie, and snowcone by orly, nail polish
.  fuzzy navel by ruby kisses, little miss sunrise by essence, posh by revlon, a list by essie, and snowcone by orly  .
After applying a base coat and one coat of Snowcone to all of my nails, I tapped a few dots of the green polish onto a scrap paper and used my dotting tool to place a few green dots randomly around the lower half of each nail. I repeated this step with each color, until the lower half of each nail was more or less full of multi-colored dots.

Fall foliage nails, leaves nails, nail art

I left a little bit of blue peeking through the "branches."

Autumn leaves nail art

Fall foliage nails, leaves, nails, nail art, abstract

What do you think of this look? A little abstract, but fun, quick and easy!

Fall foliage nails, leaves, nails, nail art, abstract

And today there's a little something extra in my weekly nail polish blog! Each Friday I link up with Jennie over at her weekly Nail Files link party. This week she's hosting an awesome giveaway full of nail goodies and has asked for some help in spreading the word about zee fun. You can follow the link to enter the giveaway here ~> a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out what Jennie is generously giving away to the winner:

A bottle of Seche Vite top coat (which is apparently the Rolls Royce of top coats in the nail polish world), a bottle of China Glaze Patent Leather Top Coat, a bottle of Finger Paints Paper Mache, a bottle of Seche Vite Collage Overlay, a bottle of China Glaze Razzle Me Dazzle Me, a set of 10 assorted striping tapes, a set of nail art brushes, a set of dotting tools, and a packet of cheetah nail strips.

You can even earn extra entries for following me on Bloglovin, sooo.... DO THAT, RIGHT?

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fall Foliage Around Vancouver

This is my second fall here in Vancouver, and it's just as lovely this year as it was when we first arrived to Canada last October.  The weather is constantly shifting between stretches of beautiful blue days and stretches of grey/overcast/rainy days, which keeps things interesting... and green!

Sunny Vancouver fall day, Kitsilano Beach
.  my beach  .
One of the things that surprised me last October was that Vancouver actually gets some beautiful foliage this time of year. Having moved from the Northeast to the Northwest, I was expecting to be disappointed by any fall leaves other than those of my beloved New England. But you know what? Vancouver's leaves aren't bad. They're not bad at all!

Sunny Vancouver fall day, orange foliage

Sunny Vancouver fall day, red foliage

Fall colors, Vancouver

Vancouver foliage, downtown

For the last week or so, though, Vancouver has been coated in a thick fog - some days more whited-out than others. Dave and I took a walk on the beach a few days ago and I snapped this picture of the mountains north of the city... or what you can see of them through the fog:

Foggy Vancouver, Kitsilano Beach
These pictures are from a walk we took Tuesday night - the fog is swallowing the Burrard Bridge:

Foggy Vancouver, Burrard Bridge

Foggy Vancouver, Burrard Bridge

(As a reminder, here's what it looks like on a sunny day:)

Vancouver, Burrard Bridge
But yesterday, while working in my living room, I glanced out the window and noticed that the sky had turned blue for a few moments, so I took this photo quickly before it was all covered by fog again:

Orange foliage, fall, Vancouver

So it's not exactly a New England fall around here, but it's still got its flashes of color and pizzazz. Hopefully this fog doesn't last for too much longer though - it's borderline creepy. Also, it makes it incredibly hard to drive at night, as it turns out. #CantSeeShit.

Do you live in a place where the leaves turn colors in the fall? Have you been getting any of this crazy fog??

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Monday, October 21, 2013

I Keep Winning Stuff! Celebrity Pink Jeans, Movie Tickets, Disney

Ok guys - there's something in the water. I swear that I went 27 years without ever winning anything, ever. Contests that I "couldn't possibly" lose, raffles, lottery tickets... you name it, I've been busy not winning at it for 99% of my life.

Then, sometime around the holiday season in 2011, I randomly decided to enter a raffle as I was entering a Wal-Mart, where there was a table set up by a few high school girls who were raising money for their cross-country skiing team. Considering it more of a donation than a chance to win something, I bought two raffle tickets from the girls - and then completely forgot about it. A couple of weeks later I received a phone call out of the blue, letting me know I'd won! Whaaaat?!?! It wasn't even the prize that was the most exciting part - although the woven basket containing gourmet nuts, chocolates, and an amazingly soft fleece blanket was quite lovely. The best part about it was finally feeling the excitement and the "Me???" feeling that accompanied being the lucky one chosen as the winner of something.

Since then, there was another sizable lull in my winning of things, but I'd been instilled with a little bit more hope about the prospect of it happening again in the future. Bitten by the "I could actually win" bug, if you will.

Then at my friend Jenna's early August wedding, I caught the bouquet. It practically came soaring right at me! Hoozah!! #AnotherWin.

Here's where the real winning spree starts:

Just a few weeks later, after entering a giveaway on a blog that I (again) completely forgot about afterwards, I was contacted via email by Jessica and told that I'd won some Celebrity Pink Jeans. Jeans!!!! I love jeans! And the best part is that I thought the prize was one pair of jeans, but apparently it was three pairs! The "extra" two pairs seriously made my day! I won these on August 26th and received them on October 7th:

Celebrity Pink Jeans, blue jeans with rips, black skinny jeans, skinny jeans, orange skinny jeans

Celebrity Pink Jeans, blue jeans with rips, black skinny jeans, skinny jeans, orange skinny jeans

Here I am rocking the blue pair:

Black jacket, black purse, Celebrity Pink Jeans, ripped skinny jeans, black booties

Next on September 29, I was alerted by Nina (from the blog Nina on the Moon) that through a giveaway on her blog I'd won two tickets to an advanced screening of the new Romeo and Juliet movie! Whaaat! So the next day, I bribed David with theater chocolates and got him to join me for a date at the ScotiaBank Theater in Vancouver for a night of modern day Shakespeare. Thanks Nina!

Romeo & Juliet 2013, advanced screening ticket

The day after Nina alerted me to my winning her movie tickets, what the heck do you know it - I got another email from another blogger telling me I'd won another giveaway!! YOU KIDDIN ME?! AM I GETTING "WIN" PUNK'D?

This time it was the diamond edition of Disney's The Little Mermaid from Sabrina over at the blog The Eclectic Grab Bag. Now, if you know me then you know I'm obsessed with Disney movies (the older ones - new ones do nothing for me). It was already on my radar that The Little Mermaid was the movie that Disney was releasing from their elusive "vault" this year. Suddenly being handed this gem on a silver diamond platter nearly made me pee my pants. Thanks for making me nearly pee my pants, Sabz!
Diamond edition, The Little Mermaid, Disney, DVD, Blu Ray, 2013
.  wouldn't you think my DVD collection's complete?  .
So I don't know why Lady Luck is suddenly on my side, that feisty little sass-pot. But I now know this with certainty:  If winning random stuff online is wrong, I don't wanna be right. Now excuse me while I go sing "Part of Your World" in the shower for the next month.

Have you won anything cool in a blog giveaway? Brag to me about it below!!

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sweat Round Up of the Week + Other Recent Things

Happy lazy, football Sunday! Are you guys watching any games today? I'll be cheering on the Patriots this morning/afternoon while I do some blogging and photo-editing. Also, "Go find Kanye West" is (literally) on my list of things to do this weekend, because he's performing in Vancouver tonight. I didn't get tickets to the show, but perhaps it's not too late to scoop some? That might end up on my Sunday to-do's as well.

I wanted to do another Sweat Round Up, because it's been a few weeks. After another lapse in exercise, due at least in part to me coming down with a 3-day mystery illness the week before last, I stepped things up a little bit again this week. Here's what I've been up to in the gym - and you can click on any of the exercises for a video demo of each one, if you're curious:

10/13 (lower body and core)
5 mins elliptical (1/2 mile)
  12 deadlifts, 12.5 lbs each hand
  15 lying overhead raise + double crunch, holding 5 lbs
  20 calf raises, 12.5 lbs each hand
  30 weighted crunches on exercise ball, holding 12.5 lbs
  12 squats, holding 25 lbs

10/16 (upper body and core)
10 mins biking, 2.16 miles
12 bent over rows, 12.5 lbs each hand
30 weighted v-sit twist, holding 12.5 lbs
12 overhead press, 12.5 lbs each hand
30 Russian get ups, holding 5 lbs
15 deltoid flys, 5 lbs
15 deltoid raises, 5 lbs
12 tricep kickbacks, 5 lbs each hand
30 cobras
12 lat pulldowns, 30 lbs
12 lat pulldowns, 40 lbs
12 lat pulldowns, 50 lbs

10/17 (lower body and core)
10 mins elliptical, 1 mile
- 40 bridges
- 10 single leg hip lifts on each leg
Russian get ups, 5 lbs each hand
20 deadlifts, 15 lbs each hand
1:00 plank
1:00 plank
30 side lunges + plyometric pushoff (each side)
1:00 plank
1:00 plank

I've also been doing a lot of walking around Vancouver lately, admiring the changing fall colors around my neighborhood and the city, as well as ticking things off my Fall To-Do List.

Fall colors, foliage in Vancouver
.  dem colors doe  . 
This past Friday night I went into Vancouver's Yaletown neighborhood for dinner at the Cactus Club Cafe with two of my new blogging buddies, Rose and Lauren. [Technically, Lauren is a YouTuber, but it sounded weird for me to refer to them as my "new internet friends" (right?) (#catfish), so "blogging buddies" has both alliteration and non-weirdness in its favor.] It was a nice opportunity to dress up in some heels, have some girly drinks (I had the Cohiba - vodka and soda mixed with muddled blackberries, lemon, and spearmint), and get to know each other some more.

Before dinner, Rose and I had fun snapping some pictures in an alley across the street from the restaurant. Rose keeps a style blog with lots of outfit pics, so I played photographer and took a bunch of pictures of the adorably classy dress she was wearing. She had some fun directing me in a few pictures too:

Alley in Vancouver, ripped blue jeans, black jacket, black purse
.  my dad would definitely have a sassy comment to make about the big rips in these jeans  .
.  come to think of it, so would my boyfriend  .
Alley in Vancouver, ripped blue jeans, black jacket, black purse, black heels
.  love these bewties  .
What have you guys been up to this weekend? Get in any workouts or spontaneous alley-way photo shoots? TELL ME EVERYTHING!

And on a final (awesome) note, today is my sister Mallory's 30th birthday!!! It hurts my heart a bit that I can't be in Massachusetts celebrating with her for this big birthday, but I sent her something special that hopefully will help bridge the distance - if only in spirit. Happy birthday Schmal, I love yoooou!!!!

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Witch-Inspired Halloween Nails

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Goodness this week flew by! I can't believe it's Friday already, but I'm so excited for the weekend. Tonight I'm going to dinner in Vancouver with a handful of fabulous ladies that I met at the #blogvancity event last month. I'm really looking forward to dressing up a bit and heading out for a girls' night!

Today I have some more Halloween-ish nails for you. These colors remind me of a witch's outfit - black and purple with a few pops of gold and green.

Halloween nails, purple, black, gold flakes, glitter

A few weeks ago I picked up this really cool nail polish from Forever21's Love & Beauty line - it's a clear base jam-packed with tonnnnns of gold and green foil flakes inside. The flakes actually remind me of the gold flakes that are found in bottles of Goldschläger, #AMIRIGHT? The polish seemed like something that would work well for both holiday nails and Halloween nails, so I scooped it up to add it to my collecksh. (That's short for collection. Sound it out.)

Gold and green flake nail polish, Love & Beauty, Forever21

After first checking out how the gold and green flake polish looked over a white polish base (it looks fine, by the way), I decided that it needed to go over a black polish next, for a Halloween look. I love the witchy color combo of black and purple, so that's why I went with purple for the accent.

gold/green by love & beauty, stiletto by revlon colorstay, amethyst by sinful colors
.  gold/green by love & beauty, stiletto by revlon colorstay, amethyst by sinful colors  .
Black nails with gold and green flakes, purple accent nail, halloween nails

This purple polish - Amethyst by Sinful Colors - is the perfect Halloween purple! 
Did you even know there was such a thing??

Halloween nails, purple accent nail, black nails with gold and green flakes

Sinful Colors Amethyst, black nails with gold flakes, halloween nails

Sinful Colors Amethyst, black nails with gold flakes, halloween nails, witch colors
As a parting sidebar, the brush on the Revlon Colorstay Stiletto polish was awesome - wide with a round, tapered tip, which made for really easy application.

Do you have a Halloween costume picked out already? Are you going to do your nails along with the rest of your costume? I'd seriously love to hear how you're going to be dressing up!

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