Bloggers Like Me
Jun 252013
 

I have never been the kind of person with a huge stockpile of vacation photos. I almost always forgot my camera, and even when I remembered to bring it along, I’d leave it in my pocket on most trips. Even my son’s first year of life is mostly documented on my cell phone. Don’t judge.

But then I started this blog. And I was forced to take pictures of things I was doing, or places I went. And let me tell you, they were some pretty horrible pictures. But they’ve slowly started to improve.  And I find myself  looking at my life experiences in a whole new way.

I don’t claim to be a photographer. I’m just a person who has a little camera, and likes taking pictures.  Luckily, we live in an age where online photo editing sites make it easy to take my ho-hum pictures and turn them into something a little more appealing. I have really been getting into pixlr, and editing lots of my random vacation shots. I’ve also enjoyed trying to look at the world at new angles. You never know how you can transform something by moving left, or right, or in some cases turning it upside down.

Today I thought I’d share a few of the pictures I enjoyed playing with, and a couple that I think are pretty neat without any fancy fidgeting. I’m still learning a lot about the process, so don’t expect expert stuff here :) And in the end, I just like what I like. I like making things that are beautiful to me. I hope you enjoy them too!

I took this picture on the way home from our weekend in Bryson City, NC. One the way up we'd seen this huge field of poppies just on the shoulder of the highway. As a California girl I got excited, because they were a reminder of home, and the state flower. On the left is my original photo and on the right is the edited version.

I took this picture on the way home from our weekend in Bryson City, NC. One the way up we’d seen this huge field of poppies just on the shoulder of the highway. As a California girl I got excited, because they were a reminder of home, and the state flower. On the left is my original photo and on the right is the edited version.

This is just something that happened while I was playing around at home. I love the light fixture in our bedroom, and I can never make it look as graceful in pictures as it does to me in real life. So I thought, why not try to capture the reflection? We have some inspirational plaques on one of the walls, so this is what came to mind. I added a vintage filter, and a little vignette. I'm pretty happy with the result.

This is just something that happened while I was playing around at home. I love the light fixture in our bedroom, and I can never make it look as graceful in pictures as it does to me in real life. So I thought, why not try to capture the reflection? We have some inspirational plaques on one of the walls, so this is what came to mind. I added a vintage filter, and a little vignette. I’m pretty happy with the result.

I like this picture of the bean, taken at an awesome little coffee shop on our trip. The blurred focus around his face was unintentional. But I love happy accidents. I think it makes him look slightly more angelic than he actually is ;)

I like this picture of the bean, taken at an awesome little coffee shop on our trip. The blurred focus around his face was unintentional. But I love happy accidents. I think it makes him look slightly more angelic than he actually is ;)

 

Just quick snapshot of some of the amazingly colorful work the students od SCAD did in this year's sidewalk arts festival.

Just quick snapshot of some of the amazingly colorful work the students of SCAD did in this year’s sidewalk arts festival.

And here are just a few pictures of some pretty awesome snippets of nature.

And here are just a few pictures of some pretty awesome snippets of nature.

I hope you enjoyed my little photo display. As I get better I’ll try to share more.

Is there a new hobby you’ve picked up unexpectedly? Please share it with me!

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Jun 242013
 

Hey y’all! How’s it going? This week’s mani Monday is gonna be a little bit of a cop out. I didn’t really do anything interesting to my nails this week. Sometimes you just want to rock a color you’ve already worn, you know? So I thought I’d show you a couple of manis I did while I wasn’t  around these parts as much. Yup that’s right. Even when I wasn’t blogging I still snapped a few pics of things I really liked. Please excuse my less than stellar cuticles. Everybody gets a little dry and cracked now and the >_>

Anyway here you go!

This is a mani inspired by the movie UP. If I was better with nail art I would have added the little house. But I decided not to hurt my own feelings, and just went with the balloons. I also love doing just the clouds. They are so light and airy, and just make me happy.

This is a mani inspired by the movie UP. If I was better with nail art I would have added the little house. But I decided not to hurt my own feelings, and just went with the balloons. I also love doing just the clouds. They are so light and airy, and just make me happy.

I may be mildly obsessed with Wonder Woman. Just mildly. So of course when I needed to throw together a super quick mani the night before an outing, I did this. I sued some mini polishes from NYX and they were surpisingly good quality. I actually really like this mani. I think I'll give it another go with some more details. Maybe some stars on the blue and a full on Wonder Woman symbol with the gold. I'll let you know if/when that happens.

I may be mildly obsessed with Wonder Woman. Just mildly. So of course when I needed to throw together a super quick mani the night before an outing, I did this. I used some mini polishes from NYX and they were surprisingly good quality. I actually really like this mani. I think I’ll give it another go with some more details. Maybe some stars on the blue and a full on Wonder Woman symbol with the gold. I’ll let you know if/when that happens.

So that’s it for this week. Do you have any random mani pics hanging around on your phone or camera?

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Jun 172013
 

Whew! That weekend went by fast. How was your Father’s Day? Did anyone do anything super over the top for your dad? Luckily, my husband is super low key. We stayed in and had a marathon of our new favorite show, Suits. I just love a good legal drama/comedy.

This week’s manicure has no fancy embellishments. The color itself is so vivid and eye-catching that it doesn’t need any help to get noticed. A couple of weekends ago I was doing my regular Ulta run, looking for new polish, when I happened upon the Essie Neon collection for this summer. There were some really pretty shades, but this one really caught my eye. I’m a sucker for a good blue polish. Even more so for a good cobalt blue. So of course, Bouncer, It’s Me! was right up my alley. Also, can we take a moment and appreciate how much Essie is stepping up their naming game? I think we can all admit that we’ve bought at least one polish simply because of the catchy name!

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Anyway, I grabbed this puppy up and rushed home to try it out. When I started applying the first coat I was a little worried. To be honest I thought this polish was going to ruin the beautiful relationship I have with Essie and their flawless formula. This polish has a very weird consistency at first. It was streaky. And it starts drying very quickly, so going back to try to even things out just started removing big patches. I was so shocked, that I actually looked up other reviews to find out if it was just my bottle, or what. Everything I read said that the first coat was problematic, but the second coat did the magic self leveling trick and everything finished flawlessly. I was super skeptical. But all the pictures seemed to show a beautiful even finish, so I soldiered on. And wouldn’t you know, the second coat actually fixed everything!  And a little bonus. Because of the “neon” pigment this polish dries to a satin, semi matte finish. It looks sort of like matte vinyl before applying top coat. It’s a great effect, if you’re bored with super shiny nails. I topped it with Seche Vite because I just love super shiny nails. I did notice that there was more tip wear than normal with this shade, but I was able to wear it in the pool without any chipping. In fact I wore this for about 6 days before I removed it and there was no chipping at all.  SCORE!

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This color is simply gorgeous. It’s not what I would call NEON but it’s definitely got a cool “glow” to it. It’s also a jelly polish. But not the super sheer takes a ton of coats to build it up jelly. It’s actually opaque after 2 coats (3 if you do really thin coats), but it still has that juicy, squishy look. So if you’re in the market for a beautiful cobalt to add to your collection, grab this as soon as possible!

 

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Jun 102013
 

Surprise! I’m back after a looong hiatus. No long explanations here. But I do have to shout out my awesome husband for saying I should post this mani, because he missed my blog. There’s nothing better than a loving supportive man!

So this week’s mani is actually pretty simple, but oh so fun. My mommy sent me a package of nail art tools last week. Among them were quite a few different sized dotting tools. I figured I give them a go before trying to bust out the brushes, because dots are so much easier. I decided to go with a neutral palette. And because I’m incapable of doing anything without at least a little shimmer, I used two metallic polishes to do some of the dotting. The overall color scheme is soft and romantic, but the dots give it a touch of a mod feeling. And if you think about it, the colors are kind of  Neopolitan ice cream inspired.

Too Mani Dots

If you want to re create this look you will need:

A  neutral polish with a pink undertone- I used Zoya Avery

For the dots- a light cream or off white color ( Zoya Jaqueline), a metallic copper/rose gold with a satin fish (Essie Penny Talk), a cool greyish taupe cream (Essie Chinchilly), and a sparkly metallic gold (Zoya Ziv).

First polish all of your nails with 1-2 coats of the neutral polish. Zoya Avery is an opaque neutral cream, that covers in just one coat. Follow up with one coat of quick dry top coat. Then start your dotting. I used 4 different sized dotting tools for this mani. I used 2 different sizes with each color, and did one color at a time. You can just apply the dots randomly, and even overlap a few.

Once you’ve dotted to your heart’s desire, let your dots dry for 5 to 10 minutes. Then go ahead and finish off with one more layer of fast dry top coat.

I really like this look. It’s a nice break from all my usual glitters and bright colors.

What’s on your fingers this week?

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Apr 082013
 

Hey y’all! How is Monday treating you?

This week I have a mani from another indie brand. Yup, I bought even more nail polish! O_O  This time I decided to try out some creations from Pahlish, This one is called Heart of Man. It’s a gorgeous deep wine, almost black cherry colored, jelly base. It’s jam packed with garnet hexes, sprinkled with pink holo micro glitters, and topped off with raspberry squares. Since the glitter is all in various hues and shades of the base color, it adds depth and dimension and that gorgeous “inner glow” I love. So it’s not an over powering glitter party. I think this is another one you could safely sneak into the workplace.

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The formula here was …. interesting. It was quite thick , almost the consistency of hair gel.  It took some getting used to because it didn’t spread as easily as other formulas do. But once I got used to it, I actually appreciated the formulation. There was no pooling, and it made it super easy to keep the polish just where I wanted it. I think the way to get the best results, is to do very thin coats. It builds up beautifully!

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Heart of Man is still available in the Pahlish etsy shop for $9. I really appreciated the quick turn around time. The one downside to ordering polish online is that you have to wait for them to come in the mail. I’m really impatient and prefer instant gratification. But that wasn’t a problem here. I placed my order late Friday night, got a shipping notification Saturday morning, and had my polish in hand by Monday. Couldn’t ask for more!

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I have a few other new polishes to swatch for you in the next few weeks, so stay tuned. Have you tried any indie brands yet? If so, what are your favorite brands? If not, is there something specific holding you back?

I’m back to linking up with the MANICure Monday ladies. This week the hop is being hosted by Mimi.

There’s a new link tool, so you don’t have to have a blog to link up! Head on over and show off your work of art. :)

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Apr 012013
 

Hello Jo! Whad’ya know? OK so your name probably isn’t Joe, but hi anyway. How was your weekend? Did you have a nice Easter?  It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but I wanted to get back to doing what I really love. So here we are with a new Mani Monday on this 1st day of April.

I didn’t have any specific theme in mind when I decided to do this look. I just knew that I wanted to use my Pixie Dust as an accent.  Since I have a grey polish (actually a few) from Zoya I figured why not match that with my grey Pixie dust and call it a day. I did a little bottom up gradient just to add a touch of sparkle. The result is a pretty, subdued mani that could take you from day to night. I definitely think it’s subtle enough to wear to most work places.

I applied 2 coats of Zoya Tao, and then one coat of quick dry top coat.  I applied the Pixie Dust  in London just at the base of my nail after wiping most of the polish from the brush. I used the almost dry brush to disperse the Pixie Dust toward the free edge of my nail to achieve a subtle gradient effect.

Pixie Gradient

Pixie Gradient Flash

What’s on your nails this week? Are there any trends you’re loving right now?

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Hey guys! We made it through another week here, and that’s awesome. I thought that I would like to start sharing a little more regularly. And instead of stressing over what when where how and why, I decided to take it easy and just bring you 5 random thoughts about my life this week.

1. Eating at home is good for your budget and the food tastes better, but sometimes you really just need pizza, ya know?

2. Never try to separate a toddler and his toy laptop. It will not end well.

3. Some people have and after dinner drink, I am having after dinner brownies and milk.

4. I relaxed my hair last week after almost 2 years. I don’t regret it.

5. There are few things in this world worth fighting for. Love is definitely on the top of that list.

So what’s going on with you this week? Do you have any wisdom to share?

Have a great weekend. I’ll see you on Monday!

 

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Honey Sweetheart Uniquelybrandid

Hey dude, what’s up? I hope you don’t mind me calling you dudes. It’s the California girl in me.

I know you’re like, ” Wait, it’s not Monday what are you doing getting all willy nilly with the posting? ” Well I wanted to share something with you because it’s awesome, and I’m kind of obsessed. Also it’s on sale so I figured you might want to check it out.

This past weekend I went on a little trek to Bath and Body Works. I was looking for new candles and a room spray. Well I kind of bombed on the candle front, but I did find a pillow spray and this amazing scent that I am addicted to now.

Disclaimer: I’m not usually a fan of Bath and Body Works fragrances. Well that’s not completely accurate. There have been a few specific scents that I enjoy, but as years go on I just don’t find myself drawn to many of the new scents they bring out. So when I saw the new America’s Sweethearts line I wasn’t expecting much. First of all the packaging is a little tween-y. But don’t let that distract you. I picked up the Honey Sweetheart scent and I just … I don’t know. I’m not a girl who really likes sweet smells. I’m much more into sophisticated florals, water scents, and woods. But for some reason this scent just called to me.

Honey Sweetheart includes notes of honeyed violets and pink sugar. Yes that’s right honey, flowers, and cotton candy. Definitely not my go to kind of fragrance. I’ll admit that I can’t see myself wearing this for a super dressy special occasion. But there is just something lovely and sweet about this that makes it perfect for everyday. It feels especially girly , but not in juvenile way. And the best part  is that the scent isn’t cloying. You won’t be driving people crazy walking down the hall smelling like the dessert booth at your county fair.  It’s the kind of scent that just makes you want to smile.  Ever since I purchased it, I’ve been spraying it on at least 4 times a day. It’s kind of crazy.

There are two other scents in the Sweethearts collection: Daisy Dreamgirl and Berry Flirt. When I  was in the store they were buy 2 get 2 free, so I picked up the Daisy Dreamgirl  fragrance spray and body wash as well. It’s a very refreshing and subtle floral scent, and I enjoy it. But Honey Sweetheart has captured my heart. Right now you can get these Buy 3 get 2 free on the Bath and Body Works website. I’m not sure if these are limited edition or not, but I’d snatch them up while you can!

Have you ever been surprised by a fragrance? What are your go to feel good smells?

 

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Mar 042013
 

Hey! It’s Monday! We made it through another weekend. I hope you all got rested and charged up for this week.  Boy! Let me tell you. I have got a lot of stuff to show you all in the next few weeks.

But this week let’s start off with a request from Alisha of Coily Locks. She asked for swatches of the two glitters from last week’s post over black and white. I aim to please, so here they are.

Different Dimension All Red-y In Love on index and ring fingers; Aorta Miss You Bu I Don't on middle and pinky finger.

Different Dimension All Red-y In Love on index and ring fingers; Aorta Miss You But I Don’t on middle and pinky finger.

Different Dimension All Red-y In Love on index and ring fingers; Aorta Miss You But I Don't on middle and pinky finger.

Different Dimension All Red-y In Love on index and ring fingers; Aorta Miss You But I Don’t on middle and pinky finger.

I just want to let you all know that if there’s ever anything you want to see here, leave me a request. I want to make this a place you like to share with me. And I can’t get better without input.

Now on to this weeks manicure.

It’s been oddly cold this week. So of course I’ve been daydreaming of Spring and summer. I decided that if I can’t frolic in the sand and sun I can at least let them inspire me. I used Zoya Zuza and Godiva to create a sand and sea mani. I really like that I can use my Pixie Dust polishes with a top coat to create a whole new finish. I didn’t want to do anything too fussy so I just used some tape to create triangle accents.  And because I’m a weirdo I made one triangle at the base of my index finger instead of the tip like all the others. Anywho, I hope you like it.

Sand and Sea UniquelyBrandid

Sand and Sea Flash UniquelyBrandid

Are you ready for spring and summer?  What are you looking forward to the most in the coming seasons?

 

Remember that this week’s MANICure Monday is being hosted by Efie at LA Lynn’s. click the link below to see what’s up!

 

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Happy Monday everyone!  This week Mani Monday is jam packed.  As you know, I’m becoming a big fan of indie polish brand Different dimension. Well, Missi was kind enough to send me a few  samples to review. Before I start with the reviews I want to let you know that I did not pay for these polishes. I have, of course ordered from this shop before. As always, anything I say is my own opinion. If you know me well, you know that nobody can make me say or do anything I don’t want to anyway. ;)   Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get on to the good stuff!

First up, I have two polishes from the Love’s A Punny Thing Collection.

All Red-y In Love is made up of  red, pink, and holographic micro glitter with larger red and pink circle glitter and bright red holographic hearts. It’s sparkly and full of Valentine goodness.  As usual, I have swatched two coats of this polish on it’s own. I like to give you an idea of what each creation looks like without any layering , so that you can decide what other colors in your collection might best suit your style or mood.

All Red-y UniquelyBrandid

Aorta Miss You, But I Don’t! is an incredibly pretty combination of  fuchsia, purple, and holo micro glitter. There are fuchsia circles and garnet hexes and purple hearts. This one is so jam packed with glitter that my husband asked if there was black glitter in it as well. I was a little confused, but then I realized that the spaces between the glitter in the bottle are so small that the empty space just looks like tiny black glitter! I plan on buying a full size bottle of this, because it is just too gorgeous on the nail.

Aorta Miss UniquelyBrandid

There are four polishes in the Love’s A Punny Thing collection, and after trying these two I’ll definitely be checking out the other two.

Mystic Falls is a polish inspired by The Vampire Diaries.I have to admit that I’ve never seen the show, so I’m not sure what the inspiration behind this polish is. It’s  a black base packed with multi-chrome pigment; so it shifts depending on what light you’re in. I have never had much luck with color shifting polish in the past. They always look so amazing in the bottle, but I never seem to get the same effect on my nails. So obviously I was expecting that this would be another womp womp. But to my surprise it totally came through for me. It shifts from a really pretty pink shimmer, to purple, to a sort of green/  gold/bronze look. It was really hard to capture the full range of color shifting on camera. The bottle shot is the best representation of what you will see when you wear it.

Mystic Falls UniquelyBrandid

Last, but not least there is Orbital. I was super excited when I saw this included in the samples. I had been eye balling it for a while because it looked so cool. I feel like this is galaxy nails in a bottle. Start off with a black jelly base. Then add in multiple sizes of pink, blue, and purple holographic glitter. The final product makes me want to book a flight into space!  I have to warn you, this stuff eats top coat. It’s weird because the others only required one coat of quick dry topcoat to become perfectly smooth, but I had to pile 3 coats on top of this baby to get it smooth. It’s totally worth it IMO.

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Did any of these tickle your fancy?  Be sure to check out all the other amazing offerings from Different Dimension.

And of course, be sure to get on over to the MANICure Monday link up to get all of your weekly nail inspiration!

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