Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Five: Vacation!!

This week's Friday Five is vacation pics!  Since we all know what my favorite part of vacation is...well, you should all know what kind of pictures are coming!   I took a mini vacation up to Holland, Saugutuck, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo, Michigan.  The weather was AWFUL.  It was raining the entire time I was there and it.was.cold.  I am an east coast girl, I have weathered winters in New York and Pennsylvania and I'm no wimp when it comes to the cold but it was seriously freezing the whole time we were gone.  It didn't help that we stayed right on the lake. Anyway we had fun perusing shops and looking at the scenery.  And we DID see one lighthouse.  Because it's mandatory that you do anytime you are near a body of water!  But here's what we did most:



First night there we ate at the 8th Street Grille (on 8th Street, duh) in Holland.  If you go there--and if you're in Holland you SHOULD go there-- get the Apple Bread Pudding.  I do not like cooked apples.  I do not like ice cream.  I do not like caramel.  This has all three.  It's to die for and this massive plate of it only costs $3.  Yum :)



Morning two: Alpen Rose for  breakfast.  I got this cappuccino which was delicious AND pretty. :)


Also got this avocado and monterey jack frittatta.  The best thing about this breakfast?  The potatoes.  They make their 'home fries' out of actual ROUNDS of potatoes and they're cooked with onions.  Delicious.  We also got homemade strawberry jam and strawberry's :)  Fancy.  Their choices vary by season so there's no telling what you'll get when you go but one thing I can say for them is their customer service is unrivaled.  I don't think I've ever felt more welcome or well taken care of at a restaurant.  And I eat out A LOT so that's saying something.



Dinner night two: 8th Street Grille again.  The plan was to eat at the Good Earth Cafe.  For some reason it was closed.  On night one we discovered AFTER we had ordered that there was a seasonal menu so we decided to go back and take advantage of it.  This is ricotta and asparagus ravioli's with pine nuts.  Delicious? Yes.  Also VERY greasy which sucked.  While the 8th Street Grille has great food, this is the third time I've been there and had less than stellar service.  I think if you go there frequently and get to know the staff, you'll be treated better but for a place which is situated in the middle of tourist town...they should be more open and friendly.  Drinks were left empty on the table more than once, we had to wait enormous amounts of time to place an order and both waiters seemed disappointed we didn't order drinks.  Still...food is yummy.  This is also the very first time their famous soup bar was actually open.  All the soups contained meat so I skipped them. But I'm told the chicken corn chowder is delicious.


Home sweet home.  My coffee this morning in my favorite Dharma mug. :) Vacation was fun and I can't wait to go again (we all know how I hate being home) but now I'm feeling sickly and tired.  Vacation hangover is no fun. :P  Happy to be relaxing with my lovely husband though. :)  

Last time I was in Holland my friend Aubrey and I ate at the Wooden Shoe restaurant.  It's not great.  Sort of like a Bob Evans but with smaller portions and cheaper food.  I'm not sure what's Dutch about it other than the name because nothing on the menu is Dutch.  It's a big tourist attraction but honestly, I'd skip it if I were you.  Unless you like clogging!

Side note: I've been informed by my husband that we only eat at "trendy" places.  Which may be true considering the reviews/descriptions of the places we ate!  (At home we always eat at the newest places too.  And then we move on to the next, what can I say, we're food snobs!)  So there are plenty of 'non' trendy places to eat in Holland as well.  If anyone has been to either of these places (or some others!) I'd love to hear about it! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The joys of cleaning...

Yeah. I like polish. What?


Today is the first official day of my vacation.  And yet, I'm still at home. :(  But that will all be changing soon enough...in the meantime, I decided to spend my free day organizing my make-up and beauty supplies.  Something that's LONG overdue.  I think I went about it all the wrong way.  Instead of going through one drawer at a time, I hauled everything into the living room, turned on my favorite show (LOST) and pulled everything into a pile in the floor.  Now I'm completely overwhelmed at it all and wondering how I'm ever going to get it back in order. :/  I know, I have real problems don't I? :P  Aoife decided to come a long and help me out.  She climbed into my now empty helmer, layed down, and occasionally reaches a fat paw out to knock over a polish or two.  This is the look I got when I attempted to snag a few from the pile in front of her.  Not so nice. I'm still sorting through tons of polishes, lip glosses, eye shadows and various other beauty supplies.  But at least I know in a few days I'll be on glorious vacation somewhere nice. :) 


Yep. Cleaning up sure is a tiring job.

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend! :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bliss Steep Mask

 Bliss Steep Clean® Mask is a pore-plunging, clog-clearing, professional-strength facial mask that transforms skin into a scene of extreme purity in just 15 minutes. This skincare essential exfoliates dead skin cells for a smoother complexion, prevents clogged pores to minimize breakouts, minimizes large pores, and brightens skin. It is a must-have for all (but especially congested) skin types.

Or at least, that's what Bliss has to say about this mask.  What do I think?  Well, it's a well known fact that I LOVE masks.  There are a few reasons for this but mostly I'm just really lazy with my skin care routine and I like quick fixes.  I also like to be able to relax and feel pampered without leaving my house.  Having other people's hands all over me (especially on my face! Ick!)  is a recurring nightmare of mine.  The idea of walking into a spa for a day stresses me out more than anything they do there would ever calm me down.  

This particular mask was sent to me as a sample and I couldn't wait to try it.  It says it will do so many great things for my skin.  It also comes in two packages which you get to mix together to form the mask!  It's fun AND useful.  So I got out the packets and did as they say. Mix the blue and the yellow together until it turns green.  I wouldn't say it really turns green.  It makes a foamy, creamy, greenish mixture that you then massage onto your skin.  As you massage it seems to get warm (though this could be from the motion of your hands) and it gets even creamier.  Then you leave it for 15 minutes.  Easy enough.  It smells great.  Fresh, soothing, and clean.  And it doesn't get hard on my skin which is something that makes me crazy with masks. I just can't stand the way it feels on my skin. >_<
Plus it has a nice, subtle tingling effect which makes you feel like it's working.  


One thing I noticed when I went to wipe it off is that it turns kind of clear as it sits on your face.  I don't know if it's because it soaks into your skin or what but it's almost creepy...so how did it work?

Pretty well actually.  My skin felt softer, smoother, cleaner.  It looked better too.  My pores were less noticeable, blackheads were gone, and my whole face looked glowy.  The smell lingers too which is kind of nice.  This mask retails for $54 for 3.4oz.  Would I pay that price for it? No.  Because while it smells nice, is easy to apply, and makes my skin feel awesome, it's still not as great as what I'm using now. And my current go-to mask doesn't require me to do chemistry to use it. :P  Here's an insider tip though. If you try this mask and love it (and you will) you can pick up a smaller version (which is pre-mixed) on Amazon for 29.99.  And that's a price I'd totally pay. 

 

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nail Mail Fail :(



I recently placed my very first order with a beauty website called AveYou.com.  I don't generally purchase newer polishes online because I'd rather get them in the store.  But as The OPI Muppets Collection has yet to hit stores and I had some coupon codes from some lovely polish pals, I thought why not.  I ended up getting three of these for about $5 LESS than I would have paid in store.  And as a bonus I didn't have to drive anywhere!  Monday I was SO hopeful they'd come in the mail, but alas, it was Columbus Day.  No mail on Columbus Day.  So after an excruciatingly long wait today they finally arrived around 4:30PM.  I know...crazy right?  I got my package, opened it up and....super sads.  The Rainbow Connection bottle was nicely bubble wrapped but oddly, had polish around the outer bottom rim of the cap.  It gets worse.  I twisted the cap EVER so slightly AND....MAJOR POLISH SPILLAGE.  Glitter went everywhere.  The top of the bottle, as you can see, is cracked in half.  There is glitter on my hands.  There is glitter on my Helmer (which incidentally is full as of today :/ And I still have polish on the way. Yikes.).  There is glitter on my carpet.  There is even glitter on my poor kitty.  (I think it suits her :P)  I freaked.  Understandably.  And panicked.  And then cried.  Yes. Actual tears.  It's been a rough few days.  But then my husband, ever the calm one,  found me an empty bottle of Seche Vite (after suggesting I pour out one of my "cheap" polishes! Hello!? That's like killing your smallest child!) and I poured what was saveable into it.  And yet...

 
 
It looks so sad and not rainbowy in the Seche bottle.  And it doesn't have the nice wide brush that OPI's have.  I didn't even get to paint ONE stinkin nail with it before this.  So seriously lame.  Although most of the polish was saveable, this still gives me a wicked case of the sads.  I'm one of those people who still has the original boxes for EVERYTHING.  Having an OPI in a Seche Vite bottle is KILLING me right now.  KILLING.  And I can't even  put it next to my other OPI's because the shape makes it too bulky.  The shame.  But there is a bright side to all this!!  And that's the customer service at AveYou.com.  This is the first time I've ever ordered or received a damaged polish and let me tell you, I receive TONS of polish mail both from companies and from people.  I was a little worried about what the response would be when I wrote them about it and I took A TON of pictures just in case they asked. Pictures of the polish. Pictures of the mess. Pictures of the bubble wrap with glitter flecked all inside of it.  I wrote them and explained that it had cracked open when I touched it.  I told them my other two were fine.  I told them that most of the bottle was saveable.  And I told them I had pictures if they needed them.  (I've heard a lot of companies ask. Understandably.)  I kid you not.  FIVE minutes after I sent the email I had a response. And not one of those, We-got-your-email-you're-very-important-we'll-get-back-to-you-later auto-responses.  Nope.  A real email.  Which said they were terribly sorry, will resend the polish immediately and will look into what might have happened to my glorious Rainbow Connection after the evil postmen got their hands on it.  (Ok I might have embellished a little bit on that last part :P) So the moral of the story is: AveYou.com ROCKS. Tons. And I'll definitely order from them again (at some point!).  And you should too if you want great customer service. :)  Oh and as a total side note:  Warm and Fozzie is my new OPI love. I would marry it.  Gone Gonzo...not so much.  :P

Thanks for following! Do you have any polish mail horror stories?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Kitty Love

So it's no secret that I have two kitties who I love more than anything.  They're super sweet (at least to me :P) and they're always very cuddly.  In fact there's only one problem with them...they're VERY attention hungry.  Aoife, my himalayan LOVES to follow me around and lay all over me and she purrs more than any cat I've ever had.  Eoghan on the other hand prefers to pretend that he doesn't need me until it's time to eat or at all odd hours of the early morning when no one can see that he's begging me for attention. Last night he woke me at 2AM so that he could get some love. Silly kitties.  Even though Eoghan was here first, Aoife is none too happy to share my time.  Today as I was getting ready to upload a blog on here, this happened:




 I don't know if he's cold, or he's sick, or he just finally decided that he wanted some attention from mama but that's Eoghan sleeping on my desk and totally blocking my screen.  You can't hear it but he's currently snoring like a freight train.  This is normally Aoife's spot when I'm typing although she's much better at flattening her fatness out so that I can still view the screen normally.  And she was not thrilled to have her spot stolen.  About ten minutes after this happened, I felt a tug on my leg.  I looked down and was greeted with this:




You can practically feel the detest.  She spent the past half hour moving from one side of my chair to the other, tapping on my legs and keyboard with her fat paws and crying as if to say "That's my spot!"  But Eoghan remains.  Now she's sulking in my vintage suitcase in the corner.  Poor, poor Aoife.  So no beauty blog for today on account of fat, jealous kitties.  But tomorrow perhaps something will turn up!  

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend and as a side note, Happy Birthday to the innovative and imaginative John Lennon who died long before his time.  The Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland will be lit tonight at 4PM EST so catch it online if you have the chance. (and I guess this means Yoko Ono wasn't on the invite list to Paul McCartney's wedding today!! :P Couldnt' resist...and congrats to Paul!)