Monday, June 30, 2014

July 4th Nails: Red, Negative Space, and Blue

Yeah, I know I said this nails blog would be posted on Saturday, but GUESS WHAT, I LIED AND ALSO THERE'S NO SANTA CLAUSE. Sawry.

Last year's Independence Day nails were a patriotic spin on classic leopard print, which seemed to be well received. This year I thought I'd use some nail decals for a spin on a standard "stars and stripes" look.

July 4th Nails
I used Ruby Ruby by Sinful Colors, Blue It from the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear line, and a Crystal Silver polish from Forever21's Love & Beauty brand. I also used some of the chevron and star nail decals that I purchased from Inspired Nails last year.

Red white and blue nail polish with nail decals
After applying a base coat and allowing it to dry completely, I used the chevron decals across my pinky, ring and middle fingers. I also placed a star sticker in the center of my pointer nail. Next, working one nail at a time, I covered the chevron nails with red polish and then used tweezers to peel away the nail decal to reveal the shiny negative space beneath. The star decal was a little trickier to remove without mucking up the nail, but I got 'er done...

Blue star, red chevrons, sparkly silver thumb nail
I covered my thumb nail with 3 coats of Crystal Silver for some patriotic sparkle. I don't know what makes it "patriotic" but if you disagree with my use of the term then you must hate your country. Yes, I'm accusing you.

Red white and blue nails, chevrons and stars

Red chevrons, negative space, blue star, 4th of July nails

July 4th Nails, Independence Day nails
And because I like to keep it real, here's what my first attempt at this year's July 4th nails looked like (a disaster I alluded to on Instagram)...

Red and white stripes nails, fail

Suffice to say, that was not the look. Stripes are a real bitch, aren't they??

What will you be rocking on your nails this weekend for July 4th?
Who else is looking forward to some fireworks?!

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Friday, June 27, 2014

I'm Still Alive! So Here Are Some Pretty Pictures :)

Why hello there! DID YEW MISS ME?!

... I will interpret your silence as a "hell yes!" and just take this moment to console you and hope that my absence these past few weeks didn't take too much of a toll on your daily life and general morale.

I have finally returned to Vancouver after being away in New England since June 6, and it is good to be home! The travel between hither and yon is never (EVER) easy on me, and often stretches into two days of travel in each direction. On June 6 my day began with a 7:00 AM, 5.5-hour bus ride from Vancouver to Seattle, followed by a 2-hour wait in the SeaTac airport, followed by a 5-hour flight from Seattle to Boston which landed at around midnight EST. From there, my brother picked me up and brought me to his Danvers apartment (about 25 mins north of Boston), where I slept for the night before continuing my jaunt to Western Mass the next day. I didn't get into Pittsfield till about 2:00 PM on Saturday June 7.

Returning from Mass to Vancouver was, again, a 2-day process. I got a car service from Auburndale, MA to Boston's Logan Airport on Monday June 23, took a 1-hour flight from Boston to JFK, had a 2-hour layover there before a 6-hour flight from JFK to SeaTac. That got me into Seattle at around 9:30pm, which was too late for me to take a bus back to Vancouver, so I had a hotel room for the night in Seattle before another 7:00 AM, 5-hour bus ride back north to Vancouver... culminating in a cab ride back to my home. By the time I walked in the door, I was ready to kiss the carpet in my apartment and not move for the rest of the day.

But that was just the getting to/from nonsense. There was an AMAZING array of fun and joy and love and family and friends that were experienced in the time between!! Being with my besties and my family is rejuvenating, fo sho.

Rather than try to overwhelm you or myself with a recap of the trip just yet, I thought I'd ease back into my little blogging hobby with some photos that I snapped in Vancouver the week before leaving for my trip in early June. Enjoy!

Freshly cut green grass in Vancouver

Tree oozing sap in Vancouver

Tailgate of old turquoise Ford truck

Old Ford truck, turquoise
I spent an inordinate amount of time perched above the following little scene... the colors all just seemed so lovely to me that I kept snapping away...

Green plants, pink petals and a wooden wall

Pink petals alongside a brown wooden wall

Pink flower petals alongside a brown wooden wall

Pink flower petals against a brown wooden wall

Green plants, wooden wall, pink flower petals

Green bush with bright pink flowers
 Volleyball players on Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver

Birds in the water at Kilstano Beach in Vancouver, English Bay

Heron and tankers in English Bay, Vancouver

And yes, today is normally my nails day, but I'll post one of those for tomorrow instead. Stay tewnnnnned.

It's good to be back... and thanks for sticking around  :)

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Make This: Open-Faced Yogurt Parfait

Yep, "open-faced yogurt parfait." As far as I'm concerned, I just made this term up. #CoinedIt. So what is it? Well, here's what the concept looks like in practice:

Open-faced yogurt parfait

Pretty, right? And no mason jars required.

Here's what I put into my open-faced yogurt parfait:

  • strawberry yogurt
  • almonds
  • granola
  • dried cranberries
  • raisins
  • chocolate chips

Some other shit you could throw in there:

  • dried fruit
  • walnuts
  • fresh straw/blue/raspberries
  • shredded coconut
  • honey
  • flax seeds
  • the kitchen sink (if it's fresh)

What would you put into yours?

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Aqua Sparkle Nails

HELLLLLLO Friday! If all has gone according to plan, I am on my way to Massachusetts right now. AKA spending an entire day hating my life. (Please see here for a few reasons why traveling can bite my butt.)

Despite the "getting there" part, which sucks, so many wonderful things await me upon my arrival in MA:
  • Dunkin Donuts. Nuff said.
  • My brother, who will pick me up from the airport and house me for the night at his apartment
  • The rest of my family, who I'll see tomorrow afternoon after I finish my trek from eastern Mass to western Mass
  • Babies: People have had babies since the last time I was home. I'm gonna squeeze some cheeks.
  • A wedding!! My friends Kim and Sam will be getting their nups (nuptials?) on next weekend
  • A bachelorette weekend! My friend Abigail is engaaaaaged and we're celebrating with a weekend in a beachy town in Maine, the weekend after next
Anyway! On to zeeee nails!

I've been itching to use my Nicole by OPI Gumdrops Blue-Berry Sweet On You nail polish again, and just needed to choose a fabulous polish to pair it with. I chose an aqua-inspired glittery polish from Sinful Colors which had been in my stash for several months without me so much as glancing at it. WHAT'S MY PROBLEM? The glitter polish, called Nail Junkie, is a translucent teal base with a lovely amount of holographic glitter rounds in it - some small and some extra small. The polish kind of reminds me of a mermaid.

Excluding my ring fingers, I applied two coats of the Gumdrops polish to all of my nails - a dusty, periwinkle blue textured polish which is also chock-full of blue-leaning holographic glitter specks. I absolutely LOVE this polish - it applies gorgeously and has a thick brush head for easy application. It dries to a rough, sandpapery finish, but not rough enough that it catches on anything.

On my ring fingers I started with two coats of Moonlit Woods, a periwinkle blue Revlon Parfumerie polish that is essentially identical to Blue-Berry Sweet On You, minus the holo glitter and texture. Over Moonlit, I applied two coats of the Nail Junkie glitter. Sidebar:  Nail Junkie, I just realized, looks a bit like Mermaid Tale by ORLY - which Jennie just showed off last week on her blog, if you want to check that out!

I hope you don't mind, but I may just go radio silent for the next couple of weeks while I'm home. You will survive my absence though - I totally promise.

What are you rocking on your nails today?
Have you tried any of these Gumdrops polishes?
Any trips in your near future?

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Monday, June 2, 2014

It's Almost Summer Around Here!

The beautiful spring-turning-summer stuff that's happening around Vancouver lately is making me slightly bummed to be leaving the area for Massachusetts later this week. I mean, obviously I'm ultra psyched to be seeing my family and friends - but the weather in Vancouver has just been spoiling me rotten. The temperatures around here are almost always comfortable - even in the wintertime, generally. I've experienced less than a handful of thunderstorms since moving to the Pacific Northwest in January 2012. Massachusetts summers, on the other hand, are hot, humid, and peppered with thunder and lightning storms. Mostly I'm worried about the humidity... it can really make me a cranky (and sweaty) biatch.

All that to say that I've been soaking up the outdoors around Vancouver lately and really appreciating the beautiful area that I live in - perhaps more so because I know that it will be in my rearview in a week.

Last Sunday, in lieu of taking a hike (as I'd mentioned we might) Dave and I went for a nice long walk through Pacific Spirit Regional Park near his UBC campus. The park is a nature reserve on the west side of town, with miles and miles of trails and woods, but somehow it was my first time checking it out.

It was a grey day, but our 5-mile walking through the park's winding trails was full of lush, green trees.

Wooded trail in Pacific Spirit Regional Park

Peeping through the trees in Pacific Spirit Park

The moss on many of the trees in the park had a distinctly mint-and-kelly green ombre effect, 
which I loved... 

Ombre moss on a douglas fir

There were some tallllllllllll trees in that park...

Tall trees!

And we even ran into a few big-ass slugs along the way...

Big slug on a Vancouver trail

Big slug on a Vancouver trail

Green moss growing on a grey rock

Tiny clovers

Another recent walk around my neighborhood revealed that the Kitsilano Public Pool is open and starting to see some action:

Kitsilano Public Pool and view of downtown Vancouver

Kitsilano Public Pool and view of English Bay, West Vancouver

View of yellow flowers growing near Kitsilano Public Pool, view of English Bay tankers in the background

And elsewhere, I continue to randomly enjoy all of the plant-life surrounding me...

Green ivy

Foxglove flowers growing in Vancouver

Purple flower petals on the grass

Yesterday was GORGEOUS outside - not a single complaint to be had. Spectacular blue sky and a light breeze that kept you from getting too hot in the sun. Dave and I spent an hour just lying out on a blanket on the Kits Beach lawn, soaking it in. Such a relaxing way to spend an hour.

Kitsilano Beach on a late Spring day, volleyball players and mountains

Kitsilano Beach and English Bay

Kits Beach

Tree against a blue Vancouver sky

Any signs of summer sprouting up around your hood?
What does summer weather feel like for you in your area?
Hope you're all breaking out your sunscreens!!!

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

My Workouts of the Week

Since I'll be leaving for a trip to Massachusetts at the end of this week, I'm trying to get in as much gym time as possible before I go, because chances are good there'll be no working out in MA. My eating and exercising habits tend to go completely awry every time I go home, despite good intentions for that not to happen... Oh well.

Here are my workouts from this past week:

5/25 (core)
5 mins elliptical
3x:  20 lying overhead raise + double crunch, holding 5 lbs
3x:  40 weighted v-sit twists holding 15 lbs
3x:  20 cobras

5/26 (lower body)
5 mins elliptical
3x:  15 deadlifts, 15 lbs each hand
3x:  40 side lunges + plyometric pushoff each leg
3x:  40 calf raises, 15 lbs each hand
3x:  40 diamond clamshells each leg
15 sumo squats, 15 lbs
15 sumo squats, 20 lbs
15 sumo squats, 25 lbs
3x:  40 single leg bridges each leg

5/28 (upper body and core)
3:10 jumping jacks
3x:  12 bent over rows each arm, holding 12.5 lbs
3x:  12 deltoid flys holding 7.5 lbs each hand
3x:  12 chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
3x:  24 alternating shoulder raises on exercise ball, 7.5 lbs each hand
3x:  12 close grip chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
3x:  12 deltoid raises, 7.5 lbs each hand
12 lat pulldowns, 40 lbs
12 lat pulldowns, 50 lbs
12 lat pulldowns, 60 lbs
10 mins biking
40 alternating weighted side bends, 12.5 lbs each hand

5/29 (cardio)
20 mins elliptical

5/30 (lower body)
3x:  40 calf raises, 15 lbs each hand
3x:  40 bridges
3x:  40 alternating split lunges, 7.5 lbs each hand
3x:  40 diamond clamshells each leg
3x:  15 deadlifts, 15 lbs each hand
40 side lunges + plyometric push off
15 squats, 15 lbs
15 squats, 20 lbs
15 squats, 25 lbs

The sun is shining today so I'm going to head outside soon for some Vitamin D. I also need to head to the gym at some point to work off this little shameful situation that went down yesterday afternoon:

Stewarts Cream Soda and a Mint Chocolate cupcake

... So, let's pretend that didn't happen, mmk? 

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