Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Girls in Curls

Curls. Unless you already have them, you want them and sometimes when you have them, you don't. We read in magazines that boys prefer them, I personally love the pretty, sexy feel I have when I have the perfect curls in place and I think they are universally flattering on all face shapes and lengths. The problem is they can take lots of time and skill to perfect and then the heat from the curlers or curling iron can wreak havoc on your hair. So what's a girl who wants pretty curls to do? Glad you asked. I came across this crazy little video through another blogger that goes over a quick and easy way for you to get curls without heat. I tried this a few times and have had some great results. The only thing I recommend is that you use a hair band that is not too loose or to tight. Let's just say I had a mark on my head for hours as a result of using something that was way too tight, not to mention a super headache!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Black and White Weekend

I watch the blockbusters, the indie films and the comedies of today and I like them, even love and rave about them. Then I have an evening where there is nothing on TV and find myself on the TCM channel and loving the movies of yore. Always the standby is the Hitchcock and while I am not a raving Hitchcock fan, Rear Window is an amazing movie and Jimmy Stewart is phenomenal (and I could die happy if I could have Grace Kelly's wardrobe from the film). Then there is the disturbing What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, with Bette Davis and Joan Crawford at their best. Seriously commanding performances and pretty crazy content considering this was made in the early 60's. I also caught the romantic and funny Pretty Baby the other day. Had a bit of a Mad Men vibe mixed with the crazy caper of fooling the boss. Good, fun, clean times.

One of my favorite films from the Golden Age of Hollywood though is Imitation of Life. It stars Lana Turner being the star she is as a struggling actress with a daughter (who eventually turns in to Sandra Dee) and has a friendship with her nanny/housekeeper that lean on each other through single motherhood in good and bad. Don't know exactly why this movie still strikes a chord with me, but it does. I love it! I swear I have so many movies of this period that I love that this post could turn into a novel.

Then there is the movie I plan my holiday around. Nothing screams the holiday's like It's a Wonderful Life. I can't make it through the season without seeing this twice. I think I get this from my dad. Actually I know I do, because I call him every year when it comes on TV and he is usually also watching it as well, even though we both own it on DVD.

I could never talk about these old movies without talking about the movie that started my obsession, The Wizard of OZ. I remember waiting for this to come on TV (CBS if I recall). For those of you who don't remember or know we didn't always have DVD's or VCR's, we used to have to wait for movies on the screen or TV. It was a big deal because my mom and step dad weren't super into TV so we still owned a black and white, but they always made sure I had a color TV to view the movie on. Nothing shows the power of 30's Hollywood like the moment when Dorothy stepped out of the black and white house into the color of OZ. It is still is something special to watch.

As I am writing this I know there are so many films that are not mentioned and should be, but like I mentioned this would be a novel if I did. Please leave a comment and let me know what your favorite film from the bygone years of Hollywood, I know we all would love to know!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Life is a Beach!

Schools out, summer is officially here and I am sure we could all use a vacation. I know not everyone will be gone for weeks to a tropical location, but perhaps a weekend at the beach or a day at the pool will definitely be on most of our summer agenda's. So with that in mind (and to get my mind off the gray weather here in Seattle) I put together the items I will for sure be bringing with me to fully enjoy the surf and sand!

First up is the suit. I totally think that is a way personal decision and one I hate having to make. There seems to be no one size fits most in these things. I think I will go with a simple bikini that is firmly covering everything I think it needs to.

Simple and Cute.
Trina Turk
A cover up is key as well. The walk to the pool should be stylish too! I LOVE this one since it can also be thrown over jeans and a t-shirt for casual dinner wear.

Victoria's Secret. It's on sale right now!
The we have all the accessories and water side must haves that I will not be without!
Flip flops. Sperry Top-sider
Perfect XL tote. Land's End
Kate Spade sunglasses are my favorite.

I love this scent and the non greasy spray. FAV!!
Bobbi Brown
And lastly don't forget your summer read! I will reading Harry Potter: En de Relieken de Hood (aka Deathly Hallows in English, but I will be trying to get through it in Dutch). What's your summer read?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Polish Off

So I have told you my secrets of getting the nail polish to stay on, but about when you want to take it off? Have you ever gone through more cotton balls than you should and still don't have all of your polish off? You know what I am talking about, the ring around your toes. Not something we would call cute. I have tried several different types of polish remover and none of have made it clean on the first go round. So while perusing the interwebs I came across a suggestion for polish remover for the girl on the go. If you have ever been stuck in Warsaw and the only option is a brand of nail polish remover that you have never heard of and think is a double for ether, because you are pretty sure you passed out when trying to remove the polish off your toes, this is a very good idea. So I purchased a box and was hoping not only would they work, but that they could be portable. Score and score! Not only did one finger mitt work on both feet, but they came in individual little packets that are sure to take up little to no room in your suitcase! Love, love and really totally love.

I don't usually do pre-portioned packaged items to try and cut down on waste for the environment, me, etc. So I was thinking about the overall impact these would have as they are pre-packaged, but then I realized that by using one mitt for ten toes (and potentially some fingers too) instead of 5 or 6 cottons rounds I was creating less waste. So I think this is even a bigger win!

Wondering what product I am talking about? Deborah Lippmann Stripper To Go! I love the cheeky name too. The tag line is 'for go-go girls' which I know is each and everyone of us.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Polish On

I love pretty nails. Nothing finishes an outfit better then lovely pretty nails including your feet! So with peep toe shoes, flips and sandals this summer I present to you the best option I have found for nail polish.

I have tried so many polishes and the result is awesome for a few days and then for reasons I can only think of as my crazy stomping walk they chip. Who has the time for repainting the toes every few days? I certainly don't (although I kinda wish I did ala debutante style, but that's never going to happen). So I keep going through bottles of nail polish hoping and wishing that one will sustain me through more that one week. Then a few months ago in my BirchBox I received a small bottle of a pretty purple polish by Zoya. So even though it may only be yet another bottle of disappointment I gave myself a pedicure and placed the new polish on my toes. I went through a few normal days of wear and tear and to my surprise it was still in place, even the little toes! So I didn't touch up any of my toes and THREE WEEKS later it was still in place. I actually felt I needed to take it off before it needed to be taken off. Has that ever happened to you? Well then tell me what type you use!

My friend and sugar guru Tobi told me that Butter London has the same effect, but it is a little bit more expensive. Since I like to make sure my wine budget doesn't get reduced I can't say I have tried it, but might give it a whirl soon. Until then I am going to keep using the awesome pretty colors from Zoya since I know they work like a charm!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Music for the Masses

So ever since I was born music has been in my life. Just ask my dad, he was in and out of 70's rock bands from the word go. Ever heard of Apple Jack? Well that's ok, it's a secret of the Pacific Northwest. From 70's rock to 80's love and of course my own 90's addiction to bands I would love to not admit that I listened to, music is seriously the soundtrack to my life. I still love the moment in my 20's when I shocked my step dad, by naming the artist of Little Red Riding Hood (I will spare you the search, Sam the Sham and the Pharohs). I take my music seriously and yes while I love me some  JT and have every song ever by him (including Motherlover and 3 Way) I do have a bit more in my arsenal. So this while watching the Voice, who covered some of my favorite song this week, I was inspired to share a few of my favorite voices, bands, moments and full on love music with you. How my brain works is within moments, thoughts and connections to music so I hope you get from it what you should...Pure joy and love of talent. This is what I have in heavy rotation this week.

Dolly Parton - Jolene
    Goodness me. First of this woman is amazing and there are a million songs I could pick from her vast music library, but this is and will be always one of my favorites.

Colin Hay - Overkill
   I have an unhealthy obsession with this man from Men at Work who rocks it out in his solo albums. His gritty voice and guitar absolutely draw me in every song. This just happens to be the top of the heap. There is also the song " I just don't think I will ever get over you" for the erie yet relatable moments we have alone.

Broken Bells - The High Road
     With lyrics like 'Come on and get the minimum, before you open up your eyes, Come on and get your overdose, collect it at the border line' and 'They know and so do I the high road is hard find' how can you not want to check this out!

Cold Play - The Scientist
    This song (not to mention the video) has captivated me from the first time I heard it on the 'A rush of Blood to the Head' album. It's a a soft, symphonic song that makes me calm, happy, yet sad at the same time. How is that even possible?

Joshua Radin - Paperweight
    One of the most beautiful songs of love in this day and age. Buy it, love it and if you need an extra JR fix please check this out.

Joe Cocker - Woodstock
   Seriously an amazing performance. This song makes me feel love and his voice so crazy awesome and raw.  Also I think I need the boots.

Thanks to my father, Paul and my mother for sharing your love of music with me. Let your iPod soar!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tower of Bable

Most relationships are quick and easy and in the same language. So far mine has been the same route, but recently I have needed to step up my game. By this I mean I need to learn Dutch. How often do you think that sentence happens? Not saying anything about the Dutch, they are awesome.

In order to learn Dutch I turned to Rosetta Stone. I have used Rosetta Stone before to get me through Paris (and really I didn't use it as much as I thought. Contrary to what you hear the French waiters are fine with my broken French or English, as long as I am cute. Which I was. And I enjoyed every moment in France...Anyway) so I figured they would be good to go with them for Dutch. The thing was this time I need to get an understanding of the language and not just enough to buy shoes and wine, but to communicate with people and friends. It was about 3 years ago that used it first for French and I can tell you it is still an amazing way to go. I have purchased the online 3 month access to get started. Included with online access (Totale) is both an iPad and iPhone applications that you can use on the go. So while I use my laptop/iPad for core learning and interaction, I can use my iPhone application in my car on the way to/from work to help instill the lessons. This app takes place of the CD's that used to come with it, but this way the speech recognition tells you if you are saying the word or phrase wrong.  While the iPhone app does not to take place of the actual online learning it really does help. Since this is an immersion program sometimes what you are being taught is not immediately understood. There has been more than one thing that all of a sudden clicked with me just by repeating the phrase over and over again. I couldn't be happier with this entire program and feel that this is definitely money well spent if you are looking to learn a new language.

On a side note Rosetta Stone actually offers Welsh. Yes Welsh as in Wales Welsh. Don't know why I find this so interesting, but I do!

Tot ziens!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Salt in your Coffee

I have been trying to really clean out my house the last few weeks. I have so much stuff that I am not using and since the annual family garage sale is coming up it's time for some stuff to find new homes. In the great clean out '11 I have found somethings that I forgot I even had. How does that happen? It must be a result of having so much stuff you no longer can keep track. It's even crazier if you think that only two years ago I moved into this place so I must have seen this stuff then. At least that is what you would think.

So when going through my bathroom I came across some dead sea salts that have not been used in easily a year. We all know the benefits of dead sea salts (No? Check this out) so I had to think of something to do with them. After some thought I decided I wanted to make a body scrub out of them for the shower and turned to the Internet for ideas. The only problem was most of the recipes I found had a heavy oil base and I wanted a thicker less oily scrub then what I was finding. So after taking some ideas from the recipes I had seen I made my own scrub that has a heavy salt base with sweet almond oil, coffee and essentials oils. It's really thick so you use a small amount and less oil means you don't feel so oily after the scrub or leave a ring around the tub. So far I have only used it only a few times (I don't suggest exfoliating everyday), but it is doing it's job and not leaving me a slick mess afterwards.

1/3 to 2/3 cup of dead sea salts (or a course salt)
essential oils (I used vanilla)
3 tablespoons of freshly ground semi course coffee (Here is some information on the benefits of coffee in your scrub)
3 - 5 tablespoons of sweet almond oil

I started by adding the essential oils to the salt directly (about 5 drops) and let it sit for a few minutes to get soaked up and followed by adding in the coffee grounds. I then added the sweet almond oil little by little until it was the consistency I wanted.  Where I ended up was somewhere around what you would find as the waves roll back into the ocean and the sand is wet, but not super soaked.

This is the result and I really love this scrub and plan on making a few other types too. Look for them soon!

I finished it off by placing it in this cute jar!

You can really tell that it isn't super runny. It's perfect.

It smells just like a vanilla, almond latte!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Snack Attack

When I am watching what I eat (which is basically everyday) I always crave a salty crunch for a snack. The problem with this is that salty snacks are hard to stop eating. You know they say you can't eat just one and it's true, I can't. So I have been on the hunt for a good for you, low fat/calories and tasty salty snack. This has lead me down some roads of over indulgence of good for you foods, but that quantity I consume is not, which doesn't help when you are trying to get poolside ready. The good thing is I think I may have found the perfect solution to cover both areas of quantity and healthy. 

The other day my friend Joanna came over for dinner and brought some kale. She had seen Gwyneth Paltrow on The Ellen Show where GP showed a few recipes from her new book, one of them being kale chips. Kale chips? Yes! She quickly put them together and at first bite I knew I needed to keep these on hand! They are super crunchy, salty and delicious and always hit the spot for me in the afternoon when I am desperately needing a crunch fix. The good for you factor is high and the calorie consumption is minimal so I feel good about what I am eating. It's a win win for my daily diet.

Here is the recipe for you to try and I do think you and your family will enjoy it!

Kale Chips


One bunch of kale (flat leaf or curly)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt as desired

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Wash kale thoroughly and remove center ribs and stems. Tear or cut leaves into bite size pieces and then use a salad spinner of towel to remove excess water. 

This is a crucial step. You want to get the leaves as dry as
possible or you will have it take longer in the oven.
Combine kale and olive oil in a bowl making sure to distribute evenly to all pieces. Place leaves evenly on large baking pan and lightly salt.

Salt away!

Bake until crisp about 20 minutes for flat kale or 25 minutes for curly kale. 

*To avoid over baking I suggest checking the kale at around 15 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Yum! I want some right now.

Suggestions - To add a little flavor to your kale you can sprinkle with smoked paprika, use garlic or onion salt in place of regular salt or just play around with a few of your favorite spices!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Raise your pink glass

I enjoy wine. With dinner, with friends, with life. Trust me when I say life and wine will happen on a regular basis in this household. With that there are classes of wine for each occasion, but with summer around the corner I am waiting for the first rosé to grace my house. This is hands down one of my favorite summer wines and while I am not Oenologist I do know what I like, so that's a start. First if you do not already know rosé and white zinfandel are not the same thing at all. White zin is known for being a sugary sweet "starter" wine with no complexity. Rosé can be dry with subtle fruit tastes and compliments a variety of foods. Also it is amazing to have on hot summer day with my favorite go to dinner of cheese, breads, compotes, fruits and olives! So to celebrate the soon to be summer I wanted to share a few of my favorite kinds of rosé and hope you give this pink drink a chance.

This is really one of my favorites. Berry flavors and 
really crisp when served chilled. Pretty bottle too!

This is the wine that started my love of rosé.
While in Napa we had a lunch event at this winery and this
was one of the best things I had tasted while there. A little on the 
expensive side for rosé, but well worth it.

This lovely wine can be found at your nearest Trader Joes 
and it is a perfect compliment to any summer gathering. 
Can't beat the price either! Photo via ViniVino

And last but not least, while it is not Rosé, this is a super fun and awesome party addition.
Sofia 4 Pack Mini Blanc de Blancs
Sparkling wine in a can with a straw? Ummm yes please.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

BeJewel Me

I love jewelry. Rings, earrings, bracelets, necklace, you name it I have at least 10 of each (if not more). I have noticed that as I get a little older I do tend to gravitate towards better made items. Don't get me wrong it's not like I am swinging around with 2 ct. tennis bracelets, but I will spend a little more to get a nicer quality silver necklace as opposed to spending $6.80 at Forever 21 for a necklace that will last about two weeks. Cute, yes. Long lasting, not really. So I was a intrigued when I heard about JewelMint. It's a service similar to the Shoe Dazzle or Just Fab in that each month you get a showroom, but this had jewelry (instead of shoes), that is made just for you based on the answers to the fashion questions that they serve you during the initial sign up. Kind of cool right?

So I signed up and had had my eye on a pair of earrings that I kept going back to the site and looking at. They were totally me, BUT I have been on a strict budget and $30 for awesome earrings were just not in the budget this month. Then came the coupon code. I swear sites know me. Give me a coupon code and I will order that and the other item next to it. Yes I am that girl, judge away. So the price was right and the earrings were purchased. I was excited to get them, but prepared to be disappointed. I mean really could earrings that they give me at that discount really be worth having? Well in short answer, yes. They were well made, hefty in weight, but not too much so that my ears hurt. They sat well on my ears and didn't turn them green and went fab with about 20 outfits. I would say I scored. Here is the evidence. Do you disagree?

They are great little deco like earrings!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Crazy Crafty!

This week I have found some great ideas for craft projects that are officially on my to do list this summer. Most of these are super easy and involve very little time and or expert skill (seriously!). There are a few others that I have just started working on, but not quite ready to show those yet! We will see how they come out once I get them finished and photos taken.

I think the produce bags below are my favorite this week. I always bring my reusable bags to the store, but don't have anything to put produce in. The idea below solves multiple grocery store/farmers markets issues! And speaking of farmers markets, the last photo looks AMAZING. This is one of my favorite food combinations and totally screams summer. It tastes so fresh and yummy!

This is a super cute and easy idea for place cards.
You could do different shapes to match your party theme!
via Trouwplaza

This is just colored yarn dipped in diluted glue, wrapped
around balloon, hung to dry and then pop the balloon.
Full tutorial can be found here

I am a little obsessed with old mason jars lately
and this looks super cute. via Country Home

These easy to make produce bags made from old t-shirts.
This is a great way to recycle and keep produce in place.
Instructions can be found here via Delia Creates!

I am actually thinking about doing something like this,
but as a belt! This is super cute though. via Love Meagan

Not a craft, but this is a great and super simple idea
for summer appetizers! Love it. via The Party Dress
Please let me know if you do any of these projects and be sure to send pictures!!

Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I Got Your Back

Not trying to get all personal and stuff, but summer is seriously thinking about coming around soon and this means tank tops, dresses, bathing you see where I am going? Skin is going to show and if you have the winter blah skin or even if you have a little back acne (bacne anyone?) I happen to know of  a little secret. See I had this problem. My skin gets crazy with every change of the season no matter how careful and vigilant I am with my body care routine. The cause of this can range from hair product used during showering, lack of air to skin (due to winter causing us to wear layers and layers of clothes and then for most of the country spring still acting like winter) and even just plain neglect. I mean really it is the most inconvenient place to get to and then when you do it turns you in to a contortionist in the shower. For me the tip of the blah skin iceberg came when I was in Vegas for work and happened to be staying at the Mandalay Bay which has a Lush store. I took this as a sign to try and get this back issue solved.

The best thing about Lush is the people in this store know everything about their products. You ask a question about what would be best for you and they know exactly what to get for you AND then they have you try it out in the store. Combine this with the fact they use natural products, everything is made by an actual person and all of the products smell amazing, how can you go wrong? After I told my story of back issues the sales girl ushered me over to the Ocean Salt Cleanser and declared I had to try it. So out came a scoop of blue looking scrub and on my hands it went. During the scrub session the sales girl mentioned that she had a similar back issue awhile ago and used this product to solve the issue for her. I must admit she did have nice skin. So after a scrub and rinse my hands were clean, soft and felt lovely. I was sold.

Must admit that it has been working absolute wonders on my skin. I am a believer with excellent pool side worthy skin! Now just to get the legs and behind into shape...
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