Friday, February 26, 2010

The BEST nail polish EVER

I blog about nail polish a lot. I like buying it. I like using it. It generally makes me happy. I've been partial to more expensive nail polish lately rather than your drug store brands. Think OPI and Essie rather than Revlon and CoverGirl. They tend to go on smoother, chip less, and be overall better in my opinion.

Yet recently my roommate's mother bought us a bottle of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Right Said Red. She said it was the BEST nail polish ever, and what do mothers know if not best?

I was a little skeptical, though I fully love Sally Hansen 2 in 1 base and top coat. But I'm a sucker for a new nail polish shade, so I caved and tried it. It is fantastic. Not only does it go on smooth with no bubbles, and isn't too runny (so it doesn't run into your cuticles and the sides of your nails), but it dries shiny! It really looked like I had a salon manicure. I'm sold. I want every color they make.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

If you're a woman and you don't love her a little I judge you

Even Ensler is the poster child for modern day girl power. She is notorious for her public fight against violence against women, promoting the controversial (but AWESOME) Vagina Monologues, and generally encouraging women to take control of their lives and love themselves. Who couldn't benefit from that message every once and again.

I came across an excerpt from her latest book I am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World in Glamour magazine this month while I was on the bike at the gym. It was placed in a section about love and life advice for women, and I'm not going to lie, it gave me goosebumps. If you're in my book club, and you're reading this, get ready I'm going to recommend this book at our meeting on Monday.

Read and enjoy ladies. That's all there really is to say.

Dear Emotional Creature:
I believe in you. I believe in your authenticity, your uniqueness, your intensity, your wildness. I love the way you dye your hair purple, or hike up your short skirt, or blare your music while you lip-synch every single memorized lyric. I love your restlessness and your hunger. You possess the energy that, if unleashed, could transform, inspire and heal the world.

Everyone seems to have a certain way they want you to be - your mother, father, teachers, religious leaders, politicians, boyfriends, fashion gurus, celebrities, girlfriends. In reporting my new book, I learned a very disturbing statistic: 74 percent of young women say they are under pleasure to please everyone.

I have done a lot of thinking about what it means to please: to be the wish or will of somebody other than yourself. To please the fashion setters, we starve ourselves. To please men, we push ourselves when we aren't ready. To please our parents, we become insane overachievers. If you are trying to please, how do you take responsibility for your own needs? How do you even know what your own needs are? The act of pleasing makes everything murky.We lose track of ourselves. We stop uttering declaratory sentences. We stop directing our lives. We forget what we know. We make everything OK rather than real.

I have had the good fortune to travel around the world. Everywhere I meet teenage girls and women giggling, laughing as they walk country roads or hang out on city streets. Electric girls. I see how their lives get hijacked, how their opinions and desires get denied and undone. So many of the women I have met are still struggling late into their lives to know their desires, to find their way.

Instead of trying to please, this is a challenge to provoke, to satisfy your own imagination and appetite. To take responsibility for who you are, to engage. Listen to the voice inside you that might want something different. It's a call to your original self, to move at your own speed, to walk with your step, to wear your color.

When I was your age, I didn't know how to live as an emotional creature. I felt like an alien. I still do a lot of the time. I am older now. I finally know the difference between pleasing and loving, obeying and respecting. It has taken me so many years to be OK with being different, with being this alive, this intense. I just don't want you to have to wait that long.

Eve Ensler

Go ahead, Accept that drink from the sketchy guy at the end of the bar!

I would like to say that I am more suspicious than most about roofies and accepting drinks from strangers. I know a couple people who have been victims of having a little something extra slipped into their drinks. One scenario turned out well, her boyfriend was along and she got home safe. It turned into a funny story from the bar. Like almost getting arrested, a hilarious survival story of getting wasted and things going awry. The other didn't end so well.

I find it so unbelievable that creepy men can still get ahold of roofies to take advantage of young women just looking to have a good time when there's really no reason for such a drug to be so available. When you go out to smoke a cig and leave your friend to watch your beer, or accept a round of shots from a random guy, the possibility was always in the back of your mind.

Well not anymore! Thanks to Tracy Whittaker (who I automatically liked just because she has the same last name as one of my friends) all the single ladies can take those shots, and accept that drink from that sketchy guy at the end of the bar without a second thought. Enjoy that free alcohol! Ms. Whittaker was once a potential victim of being roofied herself, but thanks to a watchful bartender she escaped unscathed. Justifiably shaken up by the experience, she took action.

The result? A minty, plumping, lip gloss that has testing strips to detect date rape drugs in drinks built in! What a genius! She added a little safety mechanism to a product we're going to be wearing anyways. Check it out at, and buy one for a friend!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

V-DAY Strikes again

It’s that time of year again, Valentine’s day is around the corner. You can see the desperate gleam in the eyes of girls at the bar. Suddenly CVS only seems to be selling blushing rose, and sultry scarlet nail polish. All of the envelopes at Hallmark, even for birthday cards, have transformed to shades of red and pink. Your favorite restaurant is reservation-only all weekend long, since V-day falls on a Sunday this year, and people will be celebrating all weekend long.

As with any year, this lover’s holiday has me contemplating all things romantic.

I mean, why is it that red and pink were chosen to be the colors of passion and amour? It is because red is the color of lips and blood, representing bodily pursuits? Or is it because pink is the color associated with women and their femininity since birth? Or, it is just because so many different types of flowers conveniently come in these shades?

Flower symbolists say that red flowers represent deep romantic love. Pink imply a lesser romantic attachment, saying in like rather than in love. White mean chastity (what else is new?), while yellow hints “Let’s just be friends.”

Color psychologists say that the color red initiates a quicker heartbeat and faster breathing. Maybe red is associated with love because the bodily response created by it mimics that of the excitement of falling in love. Pink, on the other hand stimulates relaxation and calming feelings.

It is interesting too, to think of the different associations that you present by choosing between these two romanticized colors. Red implies everything sultry: power, assertiveness, and sex; while pink suggests the demure, innocence, and everything ladylike. Yet red also suggests danger, the devil, and fire. It becomes a question not just of which color flatters your skin tone more, but what subtle message are you trying to send your date this year.

I was reading an article in Vogue this month that says Valentine’s day bouquets should not just be only red or only pink, but a wide variation of shades and tones of each hue. It practically commanded people to stay away from a bouquet of uniformly red, roses especially, but uniformly red anything. The bouquets they showed pictures of were beautiful. They had sprinkles of every kind of flower of every shade of pink to red from peonies to lilies.

Perhaps I loved them because they were so visually appealing, ranging from barely pink to the deepest bloody red. Or perhaps these bouquets struck a cord because of their symbolic acceptance that one must not choose between red or pink, ladylike or sexy, friend or lover, but may occupy a beautiful range of spaces taking up all of the above roles and the places in between. Isn’t that what every girl wants for Valentine’s day?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Bell Jar

I am reading The Bell Jar (this very edition shown) by Sylvia Plath for my book club this month, and though I am not finished with it, I am utterly fascinated with it, and by her-to the point that I willingly read the forward to the book just to know more about it. My only thought is that I cannot believe that it too me so long to get around to reading it.

This woman has such an amazing voice, it sounds as if she could have been writing the book today, speaking to a young woman today, telling her fears and doldrums, a remarkable feat for a book written in the 1960's when women held such a different place in society when compared to today. Though I have not yet reached the tragic part of the novel, her hints at a character's unraveling are stunning. I recommend.

Color Me Excited!

Bonnaroo 2010 has announced its lineup! And it is fantastic. Though it veers away from the more hippie focused vibes of former years towards more pop/hip hop standbys, I for one, am not complaining. As long as they don't touch the peace, love, and happiness anything goes vibe I don't mind a bit.

I went to Bonnaroo last year for the first time, and not to sound cliche, it changed my life a little bit. It' s a back to basics respect for other people who are just all gathered in the same place to enjoy the same thing, some damn good music that links the hundreds of thousands who flock to Manchester, Tennessee together. Though I don't know if I will be able to attend this year yet, due to it's very close proximity to a good friend's wedding, here's to hoping that I will.

On the hip hop end, we have Jay Z, Wale, Damien Marley and Nas, Kid Cudi and I guess Stevie Wonder would fit into this category too? I am an ultimate fan of Jay Z. If I could steal hova from Beyonce. On the relax and listen to some lady crooning we've got Ingrid Michaelson, Norah Jones, Regina Spektor, and the ultimate angry femme Tori Amos. For those of us who liked "punk" music in high school there's Weezer (who knew they even still performed?) but I'm excited for the throwback. There's Blitzen Trapper, OK Go, THE DEAD WEATHER (if I can find out where Jack White is staying I'm there), and She & Him. For pop, there's Michael Franti and Kings of Leon. Filling the slot of the band I will avoid seeing at all costs, and the crowd that will just be downright annoying (it was Phish last year) is Dave Matthews Band.

Just like last year, the only problem I forsee having during my three days of music soaked bliss is how I can possibly make it to see every performance I want to hear.

Check out the complete line-up here:

My goal between now and then is to find an appropriately sparkly hoola hoop and learn to hoola dance before June 10th. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I discovered a stain miracle worker. Well, that's a lie, my step-mom discovered it and passed along a bar of the stinky smelling stuff to me. It doesn't smell bad exactly, just slightly antiseptic. But as I discovered, it is simply the wafts of an age-old stain fighting technique conveying it's power with a strong scent. Fels-Naptha, a heavy duty laundry bar soap has been around for over 100 years. There's a good chance that my great grandmother used it to scrub her clothes along a washboard before hanging them out on the line.

I've had the Fels-Naptha bar sitting in my cabinet with my other laundry supplies for a couple months now. I've had the opportunity to use it, I tend to stain my clothes often, but instead stuck with my tried and true stain treating technique--Spray it with Shout, let it sit, throw it in the washer and shout it out!

Flash forward to this past week. I borrowed one of my roommates shirts, wore it out on a date, and managed to splash spaghetti sauce on it's cream colored fabric. Then, I get home from the date, and in my magical post-date haze I take off the shirt, toss it in the laundry pile, and totally forget that the stain ever happened.

Two days later, I'm making spaghetti for myself in the kitchen, and I suddenly remember the stain. I rush to the closet, hoping that my shout can work it's magic. I grab the shirt, squeeze the nozzle, but my shout is out. Not wanting to leave the stain to ruin the shirt any further, I rummaged around in my cleaning cabinet for any other stain remover and came across the Fels-naptha. I figured it couldn't hurt, peeled back the label, dampened the bar (per my step-mom's instructions) and rubbed it into the stain. I let it sit for a few minutes, and repeated the process while rinsing under warm water.

I couldn't believe my eyes. The stain washed right out! Not even a trace remains. If it can get out set in pasta sauce, I can't wait to see what it can do for my mascara stained towels.


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