Wednesday, July 1, 2015

FingerPaints Aloha Lei

Hey sugar, what's shaking? Long time, no post. I'm still job hunting (ugh), summer is here (gross), wedding season is in full swing (don't get me wrong, I'm so happy for my friends, but sometimes I cannot with all this ~love~ when I know I'm going to die lonelier than the volcano in that Pixar short) ... you know how it goes. Luckily for my wallet, I've only got two more weddings on my docket this year -- I'm not totally sure yet if I'll be able to attend the second one on account of it being in NYC and my being a broke a$$ bitch, but I definitely will be at my college friend Kristin's wedding in Richmond this fall.

Since orange is Kristin's favorite color, I went through a bunch of orange polishes looking for something I could wear to her bridal shower this past weekend. I settled on this LE FingerPaints glass fleck that actually was released last summer because it's been a long time since I wore glass fleck AND a FingerPaints. I was pretty pleased with Aloha Lei -- so pleased that I'm wondering why I waited a whole year to wear it. What is wrong with me? (Answer: So many things, really. That's a whole other blog post. Or just ... a whole other blog.)

Three coats with Gelous + SV.


Hello, beautiful. I'm sure I've said it before, but every gal needs an orange glass fleck in her collection. They're perfect for summer, and it takes a lot for this color and finish to look bad on someone. For the two of you who are curious, Aloha Lei is NOT the same as two other orange glass flecks I've loved (and blogged!) in the past, China Glaze Riveting and Zoya Amy; those polishes are a deeper, more red orange while Aloha Lei is brighter and lighter, generally giving more of a citrus vibe, I think.

No formula or application issues here. This might be opaque at two coats, but I was polishing in low light and did an extra coat to be sure. With a layer of Gelous before SV, I was able to wear this polish for SIX days ... no chips, although I did have some light tip wear (it's not super noticeable since this is a lighter colored polish).

Aloha Lei is from last summer's FP Poolside Paradise collection, LE and available only at Sally's. If you want this one now, you're SOL. I did see one bottle floating around on eBay last night, but maybe keep an eye out for a blog sale. Or who knows, you might get lucky digging in your Sally's clearance section ... I still see OPI Gwens from early 2014 every now and then.

Now that you know what I think, I'd love to hear from you. Anyone have a favorite orange glass fleck? Are you loving the revamped FingerPaints line and LE colors as much as I am? Seriously, they're stupid good. Would you wear this to a bridal shower? 

Unless I'm going somewhere extremely stuffy these days, I've been trying to enjoy polishes that traditional, conservative workplaces would not consider appropriate. Might as well get some use out of my collection, you know? I still think this was a good choice for last weekend -- Kristin's shower wound up being a small and intimate affair at her parents' home, cohosted by my friend Krysi (you'll recall she is the Hostess with the Mostest). Krysi REALLY committed to the honey theme ... the handmade invitations, the food, this insane wreath, the decorations, the party favors (local honey from a Colonial Heights apiary), and the game prizes ... I love a good theme, so you have no idea how much this appealed to me. Here are a few snaps.

(homemade white chocolate honeybee pops, the night before)

 Finished honeybee pops ... the ones with the shitty paint job were mine

Love these ladies! (Told you Kristin loves orange.)

I won this movie quote game, despite never having seen some of these movies. Someone said, "Rachel's gonna get this" and I was like, "THIS IS NOT MY GENRE, CHANNING TATUM IS MY GENRE" (because lbr, he is the charming-est potato) (also can we talk about how my preferred "Notting Hill" quote is the one about happiness and that goat painting? or any of the "Horse and Hound" stuff? Basically, not this quote?). I only squeaked out a win using context and recalling a "When Harry Met Sally" quote painting at Steff's house from her own bridal shower, so ... thanks, Steff! ;)

Aforementioned honey swag and my local honey favor

Mrs. Bigglesworth, not here for the party crowd

After the shower, a bunch of us went out to dinner and it was kind of THE BEST social thing I've done in a while. It was basically a reunion of Krysi's bridal party from her wedding two years ago, and it was so great for all of us to be together again, even if it was just for a couple of hours and we gals were dog-tired. (I don't know why I was tired, I barely did anything.)

Before I go, let me wish a happy and safe Canada day to my Canadian readers today, as well as a great July Fourth weekend to my American homies. If you have to work ... #getmoneybitch. I don't think I'll be doing anything exciting except FINALLY watching "Wolf Hall," but who knows. Be good, and I'll see you next week, which, oh my god, can you believe it'll be Stuff's 4th blogaversary? I could've gone to grad school and been out by now. Anyway, I have a couple of posts I started last month that I finally got pictures for, so I'll try to stretch things out so it's not completely crickets and tumbleweeds over here. Also, I missed you. Hope to see more of you around here this summer!

P.S. Anyone going to see "Magic Mike XXL" or "Terminator Genisys" tonight? If I can finish up some housework, I'll try to get out there for Potatum & Co. Listen, when one of your favorite movie critics all but trashes "Genisys" and essentially praises "XXL," it's hard not to feel a little validation about your (terrible) choices. ;)

P.P.S. Speaking of movies, I got to catch "Love & Mercy" last night and it was so beautiful. (Plus, free popcorn and the theater to myself, what?) I almost teared up when "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and a live version of "Love & Mercy" came on at the end. Ugh, I love Brian Wilson, I don't even know what I would do if I got to see him live. If you're even remotely a fan of him or the Beach Boys, RUN, don't walk!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Skinny Dipping (With Friends): NYC In a NY Color Minute Prospect Park Bloom

This was not going to be my pick for this month. I had Anna pick a polish via text, but then I set it down somewhere in my house and couldn't remember where I'd left it. Naturally, I found it in my overnight bag almost right after getting these pictures, because that's just the way things work, n'est-ce pas?

Anyway, I went with another nude from the same brand as Anna's original pick, an NYC polish. I can't remember the last time I blogged an NYC, although I've worn a few that didn't make it on here. But a few weeks ago, I made a Rite Aid trip to pick up a ginger ale and buy some on-sale shampoo when I got to the clearance bins and noticed one was full of NYC products. I grabbed a few In a Minute colors that looked interesting, because they were 99 cents and if you stick a clearance label on something and I'll probably definitely buy it.

So, Prospect Park Bloom. There seem to be two different versions of this color, a soft pink blush-tinged buildable sheer/jelly, and then there's the version I have, which also is a buildable sheer/jelly, but much, much more yellow-toned.

FYI, I had to lighten my pictures a bit because Prospect Park Bloom came out looking more peach than nude. Although I didn't have much success, you can get a feel for the yellow tones in this version. My skin color does not look right AT ALL (normally I wouldn't mind, but with nude colors? UGH). Maybe I just need to take photos of this under the OttLite.

Four coats with SV.

Hmmmmmm. First off, I think I'd like to see the pink version of this in person because I bet it's more wearable for a wider range of skin tones than this yellow version is. In fact, I'd only recommend this version if your complexion carries more yellow & olive tones than red and pink ones because lobster hands is nagl, even if this was 99 cents.

Also, strangely enough, Prospect Park Bloom was one of those colors I loved on my nails when I saw it in natural light. OTOH, I didn't love it so much when I saw it in artificial light. (It actually made me think of cannoli.) I don't know how this compares to polishes like OPI My Vampire is Buff or Zoya Jacqueline, neither of which I own; I gave away my bottle of Zoya Cho a long time ago, but this is more red than that one was.

Maybe this polish actually is a creme, but this bottle of Prospect Park Bloom went on the nail like a buildable sheer jelly. It's opaque at three coats -- I just wanted to see how it looked at four. If you wait a minute or two in between coats, you won't have to worry about patching or bald spots; similarly, the formula was easy to work with some patience. (I take my patience for granted because I usually do my nails while watching TV and I get caught up in a show pretty easily, but you might not be the same way.) Dry time was quick with SV, and I wore this for three days with no chips and barely discernible tip wear.

This polish is core in NYC's In a NY Color Minute line (the line that gives us Grand Central Station), which you can find anywhere that sells NYC products. However, I noticed that a good chunk of NYC products also happened to be on clearance at Target, so I recommend that you grab what you can if you are prone to panic. According to Nouveau Cheap, Rite Aid no longer will be carrying NYC products -- holy mackerel, where I am supposed to get their LE collections now? I only ever saw them at Rite Aid! -- and I think NYC also has redone their permanent line. I also believe NYC rebranded with a new logo; if you check out this Instagram post, you'll notice the NYC In a NY Color Minute bottle we know on the left, while the right-hand bottle sports a slightly different logo. I haven't been to a drugstore in two weeks because I've been snowed in, so I'm curious to see what's up. BASICALLY, if you're like me and you don't want to live in a world without NYC Grand Central Station, just grab it every time you see it. $1.99 isn't so bad ... I just skip the soda purchase instead. ;)

Thanks for reading! Any thoughts on this nude, problematic nude polish shades, NYC, clearance buys, mislaid polishes, or discontinued product panic? Anyone who loves makeup KNOWS that struggle is way too real! And don't forget to look at Anna's Skinny Dipping pick -- we both derped on this month's post, but it's been a ridiculous, cold, snowy, SHORT month, so please forgive us. March should be better. :)

One more thing before I sign off: Have any of you gals ever taken a barre class? I mentioned earlier that I'm trying to find a fitness routine I won't hate (I'll almost certainly hate the music, though, I always do), and I am one of those people who prefers in-person classes because I need structure/routine and 100% will screw around if I'm on my own. I don't know if it's the winter cabin fever talking, but I signed up for an intro class tomorrow night (barring natural disasters, ofc), so I'm excited. --Excited, and also a little worried because SO FAT, MUCH FITNESS, VERY LULULEMON, MANY STEPFORD, etc. I also get self-conscious because I wear glasses and no matter what I'm doing, working out with glasses always looks weird. (I can't wear contacts, and wearing sports goggles during tennis lessons caused major fashion trauma when I was younger.) Anyway, please share what you know. Thanks in advance! I'll try to report back in my next post.

Thanks for reading, and have a good weekend! My sister is coming to visit for a few days, so we'll see if I have time to post something next week. Either way, I'll see you in March!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Shopping My Stash: Boos Choose

I love Valentine's Day because it is THE optimal holiday for puns. Last year, Steff and I had a generic Valentine-y SMS theme; this year, I got the harebrained idea to have our significant others pick our polishes.

Once again, I failed at my own prompt. In all honesty, I don't think B particularly cares what's on my fingers as long as they don't continue to smell like polish. We were watching TV one night recently and I was massaging his scalp when he started sniffing the air and said I still smelled like polish. (Really, dude? Six years, and you're gonna comment on it now?) Anyway, I mentioned this theme to him last week and I was so tired at the time that I think he said, "Wear a Valentine color!"

"Riiiiiight," I said. "Another Lippmann it is, then." (... and then the conversation devolved into the topic of stupid nail polish names. Typical male.)

You wouldn't know it due to the lack of activity on this blog, but I'm actually pretty deep in a Deborah Lippmann phase that started sometime near the end of last year (I actually wore a Lippmann last weekend). Like, I LOVE Lippmann. The formulas generally are impeccable, my body chemistry agrees with them, and when I can get DL on sale, I love them EVEN MORE. Sure, I had a bunch of options for this SMS since DL polishes are named after songs, but given my relationship history, I really only had one choice.

Three coats with SV.

And don't worry, I have every intention of reswatching this. Weather is weird and so is my phone cam and I don't understand what is going on with top coat on my ring finger. Are those bubbles? What the HELL?!

Put your hands up if you're into this polish! Dear gawd. It's been a minute since I've worn a vampy jelly (the last one I wore was a Lippmann, too), but when I put these suckers on, I ask myself why I don't just wear them all the time. Contrary to these brown photos, Single Ladies is a deep red jelly, opaque at three thin coats. I don't know of any dupes for it, but if you don't feel like shelling out for Lippmann, there are a bunch of great options at just about any price point.

This was released for Fall 2011, but I didn't acquire my bottle until February of last year -- there was a crazy awesome Beauty Brands sale and I ended up buying this (and 7 other Lippmanns) for $6.99. I KNOW, RIGHT? Again, if you're a hardcore Lippmann stan, this may be worth a full price splurge, but if you can't ball like that, keep your eye out for a good deal. They're out there, I promise.

Not only do I love this polish because of my aforementioned feelings about the DL brand, but DL Single Ladies also reminds me so much of all the great things going on in my life circa late 2008, which is when I started getting into polish. I loved vampies, and the first polish I ever bought was a vampy similar to this one (albeit less red and slightly more berry). Plus, "Single Ladies" was an annoyingly popular song at the time***, which also was around when I met B.

Speaking of B, tonight makes exactly six years since we first went out for a drink, which fell on a Friday that day, too. Barring the weather and his work schedule tonight, I think we'll be stopping by that bar later for old times' sake and a quick drink. Will I be drinking any long island iced teas, like I did then? I highly doubt it. Will I go home with him, like I did then? Yes, probably. Haaaaaaaaa.

Thanks for reading Shopping My Stash! As soon as time and weather cooperate with me, I swear I'll fix this month and last month's SMS pictures. They're so janky. :( Also, Steff's post accidentally went up last night, but if you haven't had a look at Ben's Valentine-y selection, check it out. I already have a slightly zany idea for next month's theme ...

Happy Galentine's Day to all my ladies for today, and if it applies, have a happy Valentine's Day tomorrow!

And now,

*** I had a few coworkers who ran this song into the ground, which had me hating it even though it's a total bop. Also, a college friend of mine danced to this song as part of his campaign for homecoming king, so ... there's that. And yes, he wore the leotard.

P.S. Is it really necessary to play this song at weddings whenever the bride tosses her bouquet? WE GET IT.

P.P.S. The line about Dereon jeans still makes me cackle like a hyena. I spent wayyyyyy too much time in ONTD comment threads, hahaha.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Skinny Dipping (With Friends): Orly Dare to Bare

Hi! Remember me, the girl who used to write this blog? I feel pretty bad that it took THIS LONG for me to get this post together, but real life is a beast. As a result, my blogging groove has disappeared and it took me FOR.EV.ER. to get pictures I was happy with.

However, this nude polish post came at a fairly good time, because the week before it was supposed to go up, I landed a job interview. While I didn't get the job, the first interview is supposed to be the hardest, so at least I'm glad I got it out of the way, and I identified a few areas needing improvement should I (miraculously) land another interview elsewhere.

But to get back to the business of polish, I'm really glad I do a series on nude colors, because what is more work-appropriate than that? I know Orly does a really inconsistent job with their collections and their marketing is not great, but I feel like they were more on point in 2014 than they weren't. Compared to their Galaxy FX, Baked, and Smoky collections, I think Blush was severely underrated. I have four of the six Blush colors -- I blogged Cheeky last year; today it's all about Orly Dare to Bare.

Three coats with SV.

Dare to Bare has some pink/blush tones in it, but not enough to make it terrible on me. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who has fair skin with heavy yellow/olive tones, though it would look gorgeous on just about anyone else. Is there a dupe for this one out there? I don't know, probably, but for the amount you get in an Orly bottle, this one is hard to turn down.

The same thing goes for its formula. It's a creme that's not as thick as most cremes, but not as translucent as a jelly-creme on the first coat, so the coverage and opacity surprisingly were really good for a nude polish. No streaks! Dry time was good with SV, and I wore this for five days with barely visible tip wear and no chips until Day 5, when I decided to put some more air in my tires and it was so cold I couldn't feel my hands and chipped nail polish all over the hubcaps when taking off one of my pressure valves. OOPS.

If you're looking for this polish, the clearance section at Sally's might be a long shot at this point in the year, but you never know -- because that's where I found mine. I knew I needed Cheeky and Naked Canvas from the Blush collection, but thanks to Sally's clearance, I was able to snag this and Flawless Flush for next to nothing during a red tag sale near the end of last year. But if you can't find it in person, check blog sales, destashes, eBay, whatever ... it's not hard to find! And then grab all of my Orly Blush picks, because that collection is so underrated (and work-appropriate), it's ridiculous.

The job hunt isn't going as well as I'd hoped, but I guess not much lives up to the hazy optimism of the holiday season. You know what I mean? I have to be honest, I'm starting to have doubts about my resumes and cover letters on top of whether I'm even applying for the right kinds of jobs in the first place. A majority of my connections are in a field that is not having its finest hour right now, so networking is a bit of a challenge, too. It's hard to map out what you want to accomplish in a year when the thing that you need to hold you down is what is uncertain!

The truth is that it's not so much about me "staying positive" as much as it is about me staying distracted. Apart from job hunting, here are a few other things I've been up to:

  • Trying to come up with and stick to as realistic of a budget as possible. !!!
  • Trying not to get sick. This is a doozy when you don't have health insurance, but you have reactive airway, and it's flu season. (I'm not so much worried about the flu as much as I am worried about what came after it, because last spring's allergies really tore me a new one). This also includes trying to get back on a regular sleep schedule, which is more difficult than it should be. I finally conked out at 7 a.m. on Thursday morning.
  • Trying to find an exercise routine that I don't hate because I hate them all, but not as much as I hate the 25 pounds I gained since 2011.
  • Going back to brushing up on my French (and Spanish ... and Portuguese) on Duolingo. Je mange du beurre.
  • Trying to spend time with my family, because for various reasons, this is an uneasy period for a lot of us.
  • Figuring out how to redesign and restyle my parents' house (and also B's) on a limited budget.
  • Plugging away at my Goodreads 2015/PopSugar Reading Challenge. Last week, I finished Eddie Huang's Fresh Off the Boat (3/53, and "turned into a TV show," respectively). Not only am I looking forward to seeing the upcoming ABC show (despite Huang's reservations) (sidenote: I already love Constance Wu's character) (FEBRUARY 4, Y'ALL!), but I can't NOT read anything written by a fellow child of the [Asian] diaspora. I hope I get a chance to share more about this book later, as I had a lot of feelings about it. So did my stomach.
  • FaceTiming with my sister, her cat, and her roommate's cat. Our longest chat was 6-7 hours. SOMEONE PLEASE HIRE US.
  • Researching sources for 100% cotton yarns and attempting to learn the brioche stitch once and for all. See this cowl? I'M COMING FOR YOU IN 2015.
  • A Twitter friend and I are watching all the Oscar movies nominated for Best Picture this year. I'm 4/8 right now, but there's one movie I have absolutely zero desire to see, so I keep putting it off. Eventually, I'll get around to it. However, I would really love it if two other nominees won.
  • If you've been seen every episode of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" to date, then you know that Kwazy Cupcakes, the Candy Crush-like game Gina was playing last season, is an actual thing. A real, beautiful, addicting thing. HOWEVER ...
  • For one week, I was trapped in the hell that is Level 29 of Candy Crush. As a result, I don't think my brain is capable of solving any puzzle or problem that ISN'T Level 29 of Candy Crush. B thinks this shows I am persistent, but does not think I should use this as an example in a future job interview.

That's not everything, and there are a couple of potentially huge (not job-related) things coming up, but for the most part ... yeah. I KEEP PRETTY BUSY for someone who doesn't have a job or her own family or basically a life. Sorry, y'all. I didn't mean to go all Pity Party on you! I'm just a little frustrated right now. If you're job-hunting, too, and it's kind of just ... going? High five. I feel you, sister.

Thanks for reading my word vomit. Next month's edition of Skinny Dipping will be relatively on time and less pathetic. :) #dispolishdoe! Hopefully I'll be able to get a post together for next week.

P.S. My dad suggested I start a blog. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ^infinity.
P.P.S. I have never told my parents about this blog. They would judge me so hard.
P.P.P.S. I really need to get it together, but, DUH.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Shopping My Stash: A Marsala match?

Hi guys! Posting late today because I am the actual worst (and something about life + not sleeping for 2 days).

So, Marsala. As soon as it was announced as the Pantone color for 2015, I had the following reactions:
  1. "That is dangerously granny chic." (before I got a read on the color) 
  2. "What will Steff say? This needs to be an SMS post this year."
  3. "Oh, that is actually FASHION." (I got a better read on the color ... but not much better)

I am wild about last year's color, Radiant Orchid, but (1) I understand that it's not for everyone and (2) it's not really a FASHION shade. Marsala, OTOH, is both of those things *and* I believe Steff mentioned that it easily can be interpreted as neutral, which always is nice. However, I have always been drawn toward bright and saturated colors, so it's no surprise that marsala never really was on my radar and that I'm having such a hard time getting a good read on its range.

Luckily for all of us, every other brand came forth on Instagram with a product suggestion in that color. Seriously, EVERY OTHER BRAND. And then I saw this post:

And I was like, "Yeahhhhhhhhhhh, I have that!"

So now, some terrible pictures of butter LONDON Tramp Stamp:

Three coats with SV.

Yeah, so despite the ratchet pictures -- which I am totally re-doing when I get a chance, BTW -- you can see that Tramp Stamp is really nice! I was not entirely convinced this would look good on me, but it does. I've actually had this bottle in my stash for a few years, 4 maybe?, but I've never worn it.

Part of the reason I wasn't immediately enthused about marsala is because it is somewhere between mauve, cranberry and brown, and frankly, if I want to wear a brown shade, I'll just wear brown -- there are some great browns! But part of what drew me to Tramp Stamp is that it looked like a color that would have been right at home in the OPI Russia collection, which is one of my favorite collections from when I started getting into polish. And truth be told, I am attracted to any shade that could fit in that collection.

I didn't have any issues with formula or application on this butter LONDON. Dry time with SV was good, but I probably would get much better wear with the bL P.D. Quick top coat (don't ask me why this is, I only discovered this last year). If you're interested in this shade, it's not hard to pick up because I feel like it's one that people don't really go nuts for.

I'm so glad I loved Tramp Stamp, though, because if I love the other two marsala polishes I own as much as I loved this, I might become a marsala convert! Wouldn't that be wild? If for some strange reason you have not read Steff's blog post, she did a pretty interesting write up of the color. :) Also I kind of love her pick!

Sorry for the late/lame blog post, guys. I hate that my first Shopping My Stash post of 2015 was so blah, but I have been running on empty this week and I had a surprise job interview yesterday (I didn't get the job, but no worries) so I am WIPED OUT. I'm going back to sleep. I totally will re-do the pictures of this polish later, though, because I think it deserves better. In the meantime, Skinny Dipping will go up next week.

Talk to me about your favorite past Pantone color, your thoughts on marsala, whether you own any marsala polishes ... suggestions for future Shopping My Stash posts ... I don't know. I'm out. Have a good a weekend!

Monday, January 5, 2015

OPI Fashion a Bow + Holiday 2014

Every Christmas, it happens: OPI releases several reds in its holiday collection.
  1. I pass on one or two because SERIOUSLY DO WE NEED ANOTHER RED?
  2. something (or someone ... *cough* JANICE *cough*) makes me want it
  3. I NEED IT
  4. I can't find it anywhere
  5. I score it at a steeply discounted price
This holiday season, that red was OPI Fashion a Bow. I didn't want Fashion a Bow until Janice talked it up, and then when I went to take advantage of Ulta's OPI B2G1 last month, I realized it wasn't in the display (neither was Love is Hot and Coal), what the blazes??? I resolved to order it online after the holidays, but during a last-minute TJ Maxx visit on Christmas Eve Eve, I found the OPI holiday Gwens for $3.99 a pop.
I KNOW. I still can't believe it. It was so surreal to see those polishes at TJ Maxx for $3.99 when they were $9 across the street at Ulta!

So yeah, of course I pounced. And this polish is gorrrrgeousssssssssss.

Three coats with SV.

If you are in the market for a lovely warm red jelly, GET THIS POLISH. It's definitely on the orange side of warm red, but trust me, it's red on the nail. I can't gush over this polish enough. The color was perfect, the application was perfect (barely any clean-up, guys!), its opacity was perfect (you can stop at two coats), and its dry time was perfect. Wear time was about as good as I could have asked for -- I've had it on since Wednesday night and I didn't notice any major tip wear until maybe Sunday morning. Oh, and no chips! I'm pretty happy.

Don't forget to poke around your local TJ Maxx or Marshalls for this polish. I've even seen this polish at Kroger, but it was $8.99 there, I think -- not much of a save, admittedly, but to me FAB is worth it. Because it truly is FAB, of course.

I'm superstitious enough to have continued my NYE tradition of wearing red polish, and I think I can say I loved this one just as much as I loved Essie Silken Cord, which I wore last year. But maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan, NYE was such a clusterfuck this year. I had grand plans of meeting my friends at our favorite Irish bar in Richmond to hang out and see the bagpipe players at midnight (basically, what we did last year), only I had a to-do list that was a mile long because I somehow am a VERY Busy Unemployed Person. I got to B's house at 11:29, so we opted to stay in and watch the CNN NYE countdown with Silver Fox and Kathy Griffin. Then we made dinner and watched "Edge of Tomorrow," which I mostly slept through, although I have to say that I really liked what I saw. I even started watching episodes of "Avatar: The Last Airbender," FINALLY! I'm also super excited that I was able to start 2015 by seeing people I've meant to see but haven't in forever; I went to see "Big Eyes" with a friend from my old job (we very much enjoyed it -- Tim Burton, make more movies like this, please!), and I got to hang out with Katie from The Daily Varnish for a little bit yesterday. We had so much fun, and I'm hoping we get to pencil in more hangouts this year. :)

Before I go, some Insta snaps from Holiday 2014:

Black Friday, Rach-style

Annual Christmas Yeti pilgrimage

The botanical garden's 2014 holiday light theme was "a legacy in lights" (before becoming the botanical garden, the land was bought as the grounds for a bicycle club).
According to the press release, more than 500 plastic bottles were recycled and turned into some of the flowers seen here.

B at the botanical garden

A stove simmer I made the night of my parents' early Christmas/32nd? 33rd? anniversary dinner

We're not Jewish but my sister made rugelach anyway. She made two kinds, Nutella and triple berry jam.

The bus line my sister took back to NYC ... we died laughing every time we said its name

I-64 on Christmas Day

My aunt's dog in his Christmas sweater

My aunt and I saw this on Boxing Day, and it wasn't as bad as I was afraid it would be. I am not the biggest fan of La Streep (nothing against her, but there are other actresses in Hollywood) although I have to say, her singing was better here than in "Mamma Mia," which, good god my ears are still burning.

A gift from one of my dad's former employees, who I've been spending lots of time with lately


Sometimes there are years when your friends just knock it out of the park, you know????? I don't have a picture of it, but my best friend from high school got me a Scotty dog sweater, and it's everything. B also got me an external hard drive for the express purpose of storing nail photos and blog stuff, which I am super excited about!

While I loved all my Christmas gifts and the people who thought of me this past season, there is one present that I think you all will enjoy more than the rest.

Ladies, allow me to present the motherlode.

Krysi DIYed some nail polish ornaments for me! THIS GIRL I SWEAR

CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS FOR A SECOND?!?!?!??!?!?! Krysi did an awesome job of picking 10 polishes I did not already have, and she gets forever bonus points for including a polish I did not even know existed. (Try to guess which one. And while you're at it, try to guess which one was B's favorite ornament!) I love them all! Anyway, don't hold your breath waiting for me to blog these polishes ... just know I am totally going to be wearing and treasuring them, always. And I can't wait to put the ornaments up on my tree next season. :)

I feel like I glossed over 2014, especially the holidays, which is odd for someone who loves Christmas as much as I do, but I felt it was more important to step back so I could better deal with things as they happened. However, this made what I was able to capture all the sweeter, so I'm okay with it.

This is all I've got for today. Thanks for reading! I hope your holiday season went well (or passably so), and that your return to work and/or school this week isn't too intense. I'll try to have Shopping My Stash up on Friday -- I gotta talk to Steff once I see how Tuesday goes -- but until then, I'd love to hear your thoughts on OPI holiday red regret/lemmings, OPI Fashion a Bow, any movies you saw this holiday, or a great gift you gave or got recently. Let's chat.