Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Elle's Nail Art #1: Santa Fe

I love nail art. I really do. It can be a quiet expression of individuality or a blatantly bold fashion statement. We can play with glitter and shapes and colors and patterns, all in ways that were wholly passé 6 years ago. Awesome. 

I'm calling this look "Santa Fe". I paired a barely there soft minty blue with an iridescent pinky-gold in geometric accents. The result reminds me of turquoise jewelry. It also makes me want to start singing that song from Rent.

What I used
China Glaze in Refresh-Mint
OPI in Cozu-Melted in the Sun
Base and Top Coat
Nail Guide Stickers (Chevron shape)

I'm looking forward to doing a full tutorial, AND a DIY manicure guide soon! First, I need to tackle my ever-shredding cuticles. Have tips in soothing them? Share them in the comments!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Easy Manicures to Try This Month


If you're like me, you get bored with your nails quickly! I hardly ever have chipped nails because I tend to paint them again before they wear out! Here are 3 manicure styles that ANYONE with the right colors and a steady hand can pull off!
This is an adorable, sparkly version of a French manicure. You can make this slightly less stark by layering glitter over a similar color (navy glitter over a medium blue, perhaps?). 

White polish
1 large chunky glitter, Try Milani Jewel FX in Silver (drugstores)
1 fine glitter, Try "It's Bouquet with Me" SEPHORA by OPI (sephora stores)
ProTip: Dab on glitter polish, don't smear and glide. Dabbing allows you more control over the chunky glitter.
Nervous to try a bolder style? Add an accent nail! The ring finger is traditional, but it's really up to you! 

White polish
1 pale pink polish, Try Essie "Poppy Art Pink"  (drugstores)
1 opaque silver glitter, Try SEPHORA by OPI "Social Climber" (sephora stores)
ProTip: If you do a glitter accent nail, avoid glitter/shimmer polishes on the other nail to up the contrast.

French Tip Nails Designs : Wonderful Colored French Tip Nails

Colorful manicures are super cute. Try all one color, or mix it up, like in the picture above!

Clear polish
1 pale pink polish, Try the Sinful Colors Line (drugstores)
ProTip: If you have a steady hand, try painting a line horizontally across the line. Too shaky? Use nail stickers as a guide line! Don't have nail stickers! Use blue painters tape!! (just dull the stickiness a bit by pressing it against your skin a few times). 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Give Me a Brainy Brit in a Deerstalker Any Day... (Or, My Obsession for Sherlock).

So, I'm... uh... kind of a Sherlock fan.
A little bit.
Sort of.

I'm not typically a "fangirl". I have serious love for some nerdly things (Harry Potter, Star Trek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), but my love for those tends to stop just sort of obsession. Ok, so I ran a Harry Potter online RPG for a couple of... years.... SO WHAT? It's a magical story about friendship and good over evil! Hero's Journey! Mythical connections! Oh, shut up.

There's something about the BBC Sherlock series that truly gets my nerdly giblets all in a twist. It's smart, it's sarcastic, and it has the bitingly quick sense of witty timing that I haven't seen in a great show since Buffy ended.

Here are some of my favorite examples of Sherlock fan art. I am not a "Shipper" (one who fantasizes about unexplored relationships within a show,film, etc), so I am steering away from those.
"Sherlock" - AmandaTolleson

"Sherlock" - dotdodoe

"Sherlock and John" - hoo0

"Sherlock" - WuLiao-Yuzi

"Sherlock" - laalaachii

Also... I am kind of obsessed with Irene Adler, the sophisticated criminal known simply as "The Woman". Uh, love her.

"Irene Adler" - favoritedarkness

"Irene Adler" - FowlHunter

"Irene Adler" - alicexz

What's your favorite nerdly goodness?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Monthly Favorites: July

I thought I would share a few of my favorite things with you! This month has a summer theme, and each of these items are fresh and refreshing. We all need that in these sweltering July months! $53 "Catch of the Day" XS-XXL
ModCloth has recently expanded it's plus size line, and the choices are ADORABLE. They have many options that run from XS-XXL, and another line of 1X-4X (4X are fewer and further between). I've never ordered from Mod Cloth. What do you think of their products? $28 Seahorse Bangle
I am a Rhode Islander, and so I am naturally obsessed with Alex and Ani. The charm bracelet company started in RI, and Rhodey women love them. I love that the bangles are small and elegant (not chunky - I'm looking at you, Pandora). I prefer slim, dainty jewelry, and Alex and Ani totally fits that bill.

I own this bangle and five others, in both the silver and gold finishes. They recycle, AND the bracelets are adjustable to fit ALL sizes.

OPI $8-10 Cozu-melted in the Sun
I love a bright polish as much as the next girl, but sometimes I just crave the freshness of a pinky-nude color. This color has a gorgeous splash of golden glisten and sparkle, and is a perfect natural pink shade. $40 Midi Graffiti Skirt     8-28
I can't get over this skirt. A longer pencil skirt in a bright color AND a text print? Sign me up.

Apotheca Flowers and Tea Chest
Being a teacher, I have some time off this summer. There are many reasons that I am happy to be back in NH, visiting with family... and Apotheca is definitely high on that list.

Apotheca is a tea/coffee/flower/gift/beauty shop that is THE ultimate place to get adorable things in Southern NH. I have art, lotion, perfumes, and a million other amazing items from there. It is a must visit whenever I am visiting home.

What are your favorite summer things? Share in the comments section!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Full Disclosure

I have gained a lot of weight recently. I moved to a new city, started my first year of teaching, and ate crap and junk. I went from being conscious of making healthier choices to saying "Screw It" and eating whatever I wanted.

I am a FIRM believer that people should enjoy life and enjoy food. If I want a burger, I am having a burger. However, making healthy choices is about enjoying food in a way that includes variety and reasonable portions. Not gorging on chips and fries and ice cream all the time. Which I've totally been doing.

This is a detriment to my health. And, I'll be honest here, a detriment to my wardrobe (which I currently am far more swayed by). My clothes are fitting tighter, or too tight. And my go-to sizes at stores are now uncomfortably snug. I am 6'3" and currrently a size 26. If I allow myself to get to a 28 or 30, I am SEVERELY limited my fashion choices.

So... screw that. Time to get my butt in gear.

I promise that this blog will never be a whiny fat-fit blog. I will never blog about drinking nothing but SlimFast or bemoan my carrot stick lunch. I am, however, a promoter of health and body acceptance. We should never be ashamed of our bodies, but I also am firmly against the bloggers out there who blindly turn away from medical research and claim that being obese has no ill-effects on the body. It does. Stop fooling yourself. However, do we all need to be below a size 10 to be healthy, fit, and happy? NO. Go for walks and jogs, dance, and eat some leafy greens. It does a body good.

I will keep you up-to-date about my progress as I start this summertime journey. Rarely. I promise. More fashion that fitness.

Current Measurements:
Bust: 52.5
Small Waist: 50.5
Belly Button Belly:  58
Hips: 59
Thighs: 34

Saturday, July 6, 2013

"The Heat" and My Not-So-Secret Crush on Melissa McCarthy

I know, I know. I'm not exactly original. We fatshionistas friggin' LOVE us some Melissa McCarthy. She's plus-sized. She's gorgeous. She's hilarious. She's unashamed. What's not to love?

Melissa McCarthy is my idol. Long before I had aspirations to be a teacher, a writer, or a singer... I longed to be on SNL and be a comedian. I'm pretty funny, and I'm great at characters. I wanted to get paid (however terribly) to be funny. I wanted to be a professional silly person.

But, when I say that Melissa McCarthy is my idol, I mean it in every facet of her humanoid form. I mean that she's found an equally funny husband and is raising funny kids. That she's a down-to-earth person who everyone loves to be around. That she's becoming wildly successful at a job that she loves.
That she is a friggin' fox and has an amazing stylist (nn her own SNL words: She's "primarily in a Croc"). And yes, because she is living out my awkward tweenage fantasy life.

So, yes. I went to see The Heat. Melissa could star in a movie called "This Movie Blows (No, Really)" and I would still pay good money to see it. I was not disappointed. The commercials for The Heat were pretty bad: classic mismatched buddy cop, Mulder/Scully, set-up with some decent soundbites. It looked okay. The reviews were oddly strong for a lackluster set of commercials, but I had faith in my lady love. She'd be hilarious, no matter what.

I. Friggin'. Loved. It.

Okay, yes. It was a class mismatched buddy cop flick. But who cares? The genre works because IT WORKS. I laughed, I got a little teary-eyed, and I cheered when someone got shot in the nuts. It wasn't until my 20 minute drive home that I started to think about why I loved it.

Here is my list of Reasons Why The Heat Was Actually Really Good:

1.  It's about 2 very different, but believable, women who act like believable women and never fall into stupid, stereotypical femme tropes. No nail-painting. No makeover scene. Wait, there was a makeover scene. But it was the least girly thing I've ever seen (Melissa's Mullins character hacks Sandra's Ashburn character's pantsuit to shreds with a big ol' pair of scissors).  They bond over kicking ass and struggling to get to know each other. There's no weepy girly crap.

... nice... makeover.... Sandra. You look awesome... really....

2. Every minor character was hilarious. It didn't matter if the character had 2 lines or 20. The minor characters were all amazingly well-cast and hilarious. Jane Curtin as Mrs. Mullins had about 5 lines, but her facial expressions stole every scene she was in. Michael McDonald was a hilarious, but still scary, bad guy. Kaitlin Olson ("Dee" from It's Always Sunny) made me laugh riotously as the Bulgarian drug distributor. And Michael Rappaport and Joey McIntire make requisite appearances as Mullins' heavily Boston-accented brothers.

3. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy have become friends since filming, and their enjoyment is evident on the screen. They fit together like peanut butter and jelly.

4. Badass chicks with a whole lotta guns.

5.  A small part of me was waiting for FBI agent Sandra / Ashburn to pull out her pageant gown.

Lookin' sharp.

According to IMDB, there is already a sequel in the mix... Right on!

Cat-iversary and Birthday!

I may be a crazy cat lady, but... Nope, I've got nothing.

Happy 6 months to Walter and Zooey. I adopted you two from Best Friends Animal Society, a program in Utah that I support wholeheartedly. I may live across the country, but Best Friends is an amazing program and worth your attention.

"Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
At the heart of Best Friends is the Sanctuary, where, at any given time, about 1,700 animals are turning their lives around, receiving the medical help they need, and getting love and acceptance to help them overcome their past. While searching for their forever homes, they live in a scenic, healing environment among human and animal friends.
Best Friends owns nearly 3,700 acres, and we lease another 17,000 acres of state and federal land. Nearly 30,000 people visit every year to meet the animals and tour what has become the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals"

Walter and Zooey are the greatest cats. They're friendly and sweet, love bellyrubs, and are ceaselessly entertaining. I chose them because they were a bonded pair (a couple that have a strong relationship that should be adopted together). Bonded pairs are incredibly hard to adopt out, as most people are looking for one addition to the family. They arrived to me just in time for New Year's Eve 2012 - six months ago at the end of July! Also, they were born in July, which makes this their birthday month!

Join in me in wishing my 2 darlings a happy Annibirthsary, and donate to Best Friends Animal Society here!

Walter takes a snooze in his favorite spot.


Zooey (back) and Walter, seated on my stomach and STARING AT ME WHEN I WOKE UP.
Walter and me on a lazy Saturday. 


Tattoos are freaking awesome.  I have 4 tattoos myself: one on my ankle, one quarter sized tat on each inner wrist, and a text tattoo on my upper back shoulders. I love them. I want more. Tattoos truly are as addicting as they are proposed to be.
Quote from The Catcher in the Rye, about education. Definitely on my list.
I have a specific love for text and literary tattoos. As an English teacher, writer, and lover of books; I find myself obsessed with how people imprint meaningful words onto their skin. I pour over literary tattoo website (like Contrariwise and The Word Made Flesh). I make lists of quotes that I find particularly meaningful, whether in their message or their source. 

From Shel Silverstein's "Invitation" poem. My personal favorite.

My back tattoo is simply the word "Words". I think it perfectly summarizes my greatest love (...words...), and serves as a jumping off point for a life-long tattoo project. I am going to fill my back with meaningful text tattoos. They will be different sizes and at different angles, overlapping and creating texture. I'm incredibly excited and terribly nervous to begin.

Abso-fucking-lutely brilliant.

What quotes are the most meaningful to you? Would you get a tattoo, or specifically a text tattoo?