Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quest For My Pretty - Weekly Weight Loss Report

Other than an evening of Tequilla and Karaoke, I followed the Insanity Meal guide nearly to the letter. I'm probably averaging around 1900 calories a day - way more than Lose It wants me to eat right now. But during the week I could really feel myself beginning to change. So oddly, I wasn't afraid when I stepped on the scale this morning...

Weight: 155.4 lbs (-1.4 lbs)

Yay! Something has started to work again! I do think it is more the ratio of 20% fat, 40% carbohydrate and 40% protein I am trying to stick with during these INSANE workouts. It helps! So if you're out there and you're doing Insanity, let me give you this advice: FOLLOW THE FRAKKING MEAL PLAN!

Insanity Week 2 Fit Test
I didn't expect to see the  results I saw during my second fit test. I improved! A lot!

Drill NameFit Test 1Fit Test 2
Switch Kicks:120145
Power Jacks:5174
Power Knees:106116
Power Jumps:3951
Globe Jumps:810
Suicide Jumps:1319
Push-up Jacks:1925
Lower Plank Obliques:6499

Incidentally, I'm floating an idea: Not looking at my scale every week. My reasoning: I'm playing chemist with my body right now and putting it through some seriously tough work. The scale is not reflecting what I'm seeing every week, and certainly not how I feel. That's not to say it's not a good tool - it is. But it might be causing me more stress than I need right now. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Obsession: Page 14 of the Sephora Catalogue - Winged Liner

Have any of you been staring at this image and going "Wow! I want to do that?"

crappy cellphone pic
Why I'm Loving This Eye Look
If you've been following my blog you know that winged liner is a love of mine. You also know that due to my eye shape, I have a HUGE difficult time with it. What I like about this liner is that the wing is so exaggerated, maybe it can work for me! I also love the keen edge that is pictured here (probably can't see it very well in the picture) and how it plays with the crease. This is the type of "different" eye liner application that has me excited.

So I tried it. Want to see?


Face of the Day - August 22, 2011


Obviously, this is a loose basing on page 14. And I didn't spend too much time on it. I know this isn't perfect, but it's a first shot at this look. It gives me hope! Want to know what I used?

Face of the Day - August 22, 2011Breakdown

Eyes
  • MAC Cream Color Base in Improper Copper - used as base.
  • Inglot Eyeshadow in 407 - Patted on the base.
  • Inglot Eyeshadow in 347 - brow highlight.
  • MAC Power Kohl in Feline - around waterline area.
  • MAC Fluidline in Dark Diversion - the main wing and top liner.
  • MAC Plushlash Mascara in Plushblack
Face
  • Mary Kay Timewise Foundation in Ivory 6
  • MAC Beauty Powder in Truth in Light
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in By Candlelight
Lips
  • MAC Lipglass in Beaux
Fun, huh? I think you'll see me trying this again. Maybe I can get it right.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Beauty Spotlight Team: Mystery Make Up Bag by Visionary Beauty


This week at The Beauty Spotlight Team, we're taking a look inside the makeup bag Visionary Beauty keeps in her handbag. A post featuring sweet goodies (albeit with strange faces and little legs) and makeup, now what could be better.........lets take a look inside!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Quest For My Pretty - Weekly Weight Loss Report

Wow. I really hope I lose this week! Insanity is kicking my butt and the mental energy I'm putting into figuring out the eating plan is actually far more than what the plan probably intends for it to be. It really is set up like a "Deal a Meal" but I'm CONSTANTLY worried about eating too much/not eating enough and making sure my ratios are ok. I have had this many carbohydrates since... well, since I was an athlete in high school!

Anyway, lets get on with it shall we?

Weight:156.8 lbs (+0.8 lbs)

When playing with food and starting a new program, especially with what I did (increasing my calorie intake in anticipation of an increased burn rate) I anticipate some weight increase. But this still has me nervous. Thank goodness I have all of you to report to in order to keep an eye on this!



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dress and Makeup: Punkin' it Out For Dayton's PUSH Event

More on the PUSH event later... I had to share my latest favorite article of clothing!

Mod Cloth Dress by Betsey Johnson
Dress: Betsey Johnson, Shoes: Pour La Victoire, Accessories: Send the Trend
Yes, this is a Betsey Johnson dress. I managed to snag it from ModCloth. it was my first Modcloth purchase. I am SUPER IMPRESSED, by the way. I was browsing one night, late, came upon this plaid awesomeness and said "IT MUST BE MINE!" Two days latter it arrived at my door, just in time for the PUSH "Men in the City" Bachelor Auction. I had planned on a much less flashy outfit, a little more classy, but when I put on the dress my husband insisted I wear this one. So glad he did!

Now... what makeup did I wear? Fun colors!

Face of the Night - Aug 19, 2011

Face of the Night - Aug 19, 2011
Eyes
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion
  • MAC New Fixation Pigment - Patted over lid, slightly damp.
  • MAC Later. Pigment - as heavy liner. Yes, it got EVERYWHERE again.
  • Inglot Eyeshadow in 347 - Brow bone.
  • Inglot Eyeshadow in 407 - Smudged into crease to soften the New Fixation.
  • MAC Eye Kohl in Smolder - lower lash line and filling in the upper lash line.
  • MAC Plushlash Mascara in Plushblack
Face
  • Mary Kay Timewise Foundation in Ivory 6
  • MAC Beauty Powder in Truth & Light
  • Meow Cosmetics Blush in Delicious Despair
Face of the Night - Aug 19, 2011
Lips
  • Tarte for True Blood Natural Lip Tint in Glamor Me
  • MAC Lip Gelee in Who's That Lady
I love being able to play dress up! This event offered me the perfect opportunity. I'm so glad that dress arrived when it did! If it hadn't, you'd be looking at pictures that are far more boring than these right now.



Sunday, August 21, 2011

Seven Links! I've been tagged...

A couple of weeks ago, the lovely Jennifer from LillyPea Designs tagged me on her blog The Paper Pod. The purpose: to review your own blog in seven categories, then pass it on. Yes, the dreaded "chain letter" post! But relax, this one doesn't bring bad luck, just a nice look at the past and a celebration of the other wonderful blogs I read. So here we go!

Link 1: My Most Popular Post
In the past 30 Days, my most popular post has been "Review: OPI Black Shatter vs. Kelier Black Crackle Polish Over Chanel Kaleidoscope". Oddly enough, it has received no comments, yet still seems to be the post that people are looking at continuously. I hope this means this post is somewhat helpful because the pictures in the post certainly were not pretty to look at!

Add caption
Link 2: My Most Beautiful Post
Oh dear, on a block that focuses on all things "pretty" I have to come up with something that is the most beautiful??? Oh gosh... I'm going with Day #12 of My Twelve Days of Christmas posts! I had so much fun putting these 12 Days o Christmas together... the eye candy was so worth it. I really must think about doing this again! What do you think? Did you think those posts were as beautiful as I did? Yes, I think I should do this again, only this time I'll plan it so far in advance I don't have problems figuring out what to do. And clearly, Mr. Fassbender has moved up on my list!

Link 3: My Most Controversial Post
There is no doubt in my mind that my most controversial post was "Is THIS What Prom Is in Dayton, Ohio?" I have had more negative comments about that post than any of my other pots. And to this day, I still get comments on it disagreeing with me. But I still have to say - some of those dresses I saw in that store were just fugly beyond fugly. Since then I have kept my eye out for what dresses people wear to the prom in Dayton, and yeah... they are wearing fugly dresses. I did too back then. But you know what I'm discovering? This year's prom dress is probably next year's gown dance at Diamonds around here. (I'm going to get hate mail for saying that, aren't I?)

 
Link 4: My Most Helpful Post
I don't have any idea on this one, but I'm going to go with my "Review: ChaLEAN Extreme - "Muscle Burns Fat" mostly because the difference that I saw in 90 days with body was so staggering many of you, my lovely readers, contacted me about how to get started with your own fitness journey. Not only that but it was the first time I saw before and after pictures of myself in a way that showed me I had made real progress. When ever I feel like I want to give up, I go back to that post and see how far I've come. Helpful indeed!
Link 5: My Surprise Success Post
I will always think of this post when people ask me about success. "My Nail Health and a Long Overdue Review - Qtica Nail Growth Stimulator" is significant to me because not only was this product the first product I received "for free" but Qtica asked me if I'd be willing to review other products and wanted permission to use my images. The review opened new territory for me and made me feel like I had "made it" in a small way in this enormous amount of nail and beauty blogs.

Link 6: Post that Didn't Get Enough Attention
I'm going to go with "Just for you! 10% off Althea Harper and 15% off Sittella" Why would I go with this one? Because I was so excited that I was able to bring this discount to you, my fellow readers, and it didn't seem like many of you took Ms. Harper up on her very generous offer. I did hear from a couple of you, and that's GREAT! But the fact that I heard so little from you my readers about being able to set this up for you made me very sad. Maybe I should have included pictures.

Link 7: Post I am the Most Proud Of
This post has yet to come for me. I know what one it's going to be - it's going to be the one I post about meeting my weight loss goals. I am very proud of my Weekly Weight Loss Reports, and being able to bring that to you every week, letting you know I'm going through the same stuff many of you struggle with on a daily basis too. But I am not there YET!!! I am eagerly anticipating the ability to bring my success to you in one bundle once I am able to do so. Until then I'll keep pushing.


Who is Getting Tagged?
I'm tagging some people I love here. My blog is not really in their league, but they've been hugely supportive of me and encouraging, not to mention absolute joys to read.
Gosh I have so many more people/blogs I'd love to tag! Next time I guess. :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Beauty Spotlight Team: Week of August 20th

  • Have you ever pined for longer, thicker, curlier lashes? Then Shannon at Lipstick Musings has a treat for you! Check out what happened when she tried Rapidlash for a month! You'll never want to turn back.
  • Beauty comes in many forms, Skeem proves that. Enter Beauty Info Zone's giveaway for a Skeem Half Pint candle of your choice.
  • Visionary Beauty gives us a round-up of all the Rouge Bunny Rouge Long-lasting Cream Eye Shadows SILK AETHER. Such beautiful, effortless shades these are really not to be missed.
  • It's true! Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed DOES have the sparkliest nails in the universe! Check out her swatches of OPI's newest editions to their Designer Series!
  • Everyday Beauty raised a glass to Laura Mercier Shimmer Lip Colour in Amaretto.
  • Over at Pretty in Dayton, Styrch's had a rough couple of weeks but she did manage to post some swatches of her first ever Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar purchase and finds that they live up to their stellar reputation.
  • Over at Makeup Merriment, Jeanie believes she has discovered handbag heaven with her new Purse to Go organizer.
  • Modesty Brown shares un petit peu de French shopping.
  • How would you like to make the dreaded task of washing your makeup brushes less of a chore? Perilously Pale shows you how with her review of the BECCA Professional Makeup Brush Soap.
  • It's time for Monthly Favorites! See what made Pammy Blogs Beauty's list of July Star Products!
  • Does NARS new lip gloss Larger Than Life live up to it's name? Is Cindy really a giant? Find out at Prime Beauty! 
  •  Don't forget to enter the Mega Beauty Bloggers Giveaway and win a $100 Sephora Gift Card and more!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Coveted Item of the Week: Rag & Bone Kobra Sweater

I have been obsessing over this sweater for a couple of weeks now. I thought it was time to properly post it as a "Covet" item!

Yup, I'd pair this with cargo's too.
Rag & Bone Kobra Sweater - $325 at ShopBop

There could not be a more awesome transition sweater than Kobra in my opinion. It comes in both black and gray (I have a HUGE preference for the black), so you can imagine the types of combinations that you could come up with. The striping on it is neatly done, but not predictable. I love the mix of strip widths. The open stitch means it's breathable and a great layer.The model wears a bralette underneath, but that could easily be this summer's tank that you aren't quite ready to quit.  You can punk it up depending on what you wear with it, or you could make it just a comfy casual sweater. But admit it - either way... this model looks bad-ass!

What turns me off about purchasing this sweater is that for the price, the material used is a cotton, linen polyamide, viscose blend - I prefer my knitted sweaters to be more pure. It's also dry clean only, and lets face it - I would wear this sweater so much that to remit it to a dry cleaner every couple of weeks might very well be heart breaking. I am also a little concerned that the open stitch might snag more easily than conventional sweaters, making it not so adaptable to a little rough and tumble action.

And lets face it - with my knitting skills I could crank this puppy out in  a weekend if I have every single day devoted to it.

Close up of shoulder area for detail reference.
Will I get it?
Plans are already in the works... but not for this particular sweater. For this to be worth it to me the price tag would have to drop SIGNIFICANTLY. I can knit this and with a better yarn. It would be a great challenge to take on. But made of straight knit stitch with some ribbing... the only tricky part will be lining up the sleeves.

Of course, the knitting process goes far more quickly with a pattern!  Check out Kim Hargrave's "Down" from her Spring Misty collection. Give it a more closed neck and strip the pattern differently and it's really darn close. The open stitch might be a hint different, but it IS a starting point. A very helpful person on Ravelry pointed me to this pattern. The book has been purchased! I am waiting for the book to arrive before I purchase yarn, but I'm thinking I could use a lace weight yarn from KnitPicks doubled up and then dropped to single strand on a larger set of needles for the open stitch.

Now I'm back to that Covetable item known as "Time"...

You know I didn't take these images. Images are from ShopBop.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Winner For My Shakeology Giveaway - Congratulations Laura!

In the end, I had two entries for My Shakeology Giveaway and Random.org chose #1 of 2. Sorry, Cat... the prize goes to Laura this time who ordered TurboFire from me.

Laura, I know where to find you so I will be in touch about your prize.

For those of you who haven't signed up, I still have enough packets for one more 5 day pack if you want to enter my Shakeology 5 day challenge. There's enough time left, I can certainly send you 5 packs if you want to enter.

Heads up - at the end of the month during the 5 Day Challenge I'll be starting to organize another 3 Day Shakeology Cleanse. If you have any questions or think you might want to participate, let me know and I'll be sure to contact you when I begin organizing!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quest For My Pretty - Weekly Weight Loss Report

Sorry for my lack of posting lately. I am having some trouble keeping up a one a day schedule right now, mostly due to fatigue. Since it's just me here at Pretty in Dayton, I hope you understand.

What has been zapping my energy? Well, aside from my husband's random 1:30 am runs to work (WTF?), I've been focusing my energy on learning everything I possibly can about the Insanity Elite Nutrition Guide. I'm having a heck of a time trying to fit in 5 mini meals a day, make them mini meals, and have the meals come out 20% fat, 40% carbohydrate, and 40% protein. In fact, even following the guide, somehow my calories are switched, I'm coming out with a nutrient intake of 40% fat, 40% carbohydrate, and 20% protein. That's... a little backwards. But I'm only on Day 3 of eating using this guide so I'm not expecting to get it right the first time.

The crazy thing - I just upped my calorie intake by about 500 calories. We'll see if my body can handle the fuel. So if you see some crazy things going on with my weight in the next few weeks, that's why.

Weight:  156.0 (-0.2 lbs)

I consider this maintaining. After a weekend of brother-in-law and nephew-in-law, and starting a new eating program I'm totally fine with maintaining. I hope eventually the weight melts right off but hey... Shaun T has only had me for a few short days, right?

Incidentally, I found an excellent resource on how to handle the Insanity Elite Nutrition guide. These videos are put together by a different Beachbody coach, but you know what? I appreciate their resources just as much as any person would going through this for the first time. Take a look and get inspired!

Insanity Fit Test Results 
Oh! This might not mean anything to you, but here are my Insanity Fit Test Results for beginning the program.  I'm supposed to do this fit text every 2 weeks. The Fit Text consists of 8 different activities. You count how many you can do in a minute. I will keep you posted on my progress.

  • Switch Kicks: 120
  • Power Jacks: 51
  • Power Knees: 106
  • Power Jumps: 39
  • Globe Jumps: 8 (booo)
  • Suicide Jumps: 13
  • Push-up Jacks: 19
  • Low Plank Obliques: 64
I am keeping a daily blog for Insanity on Team Beachbody, which you are welcome to read...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Beauty Spotlight Mystery Bag: What is Shannon Hiding?

 
This week at The Beauty Spotlight Team, we're taking a look inside Shannon's makeup bag. Although the bag isn't that big, even Shannon was astounded at how much she had packed into it! She was going to edit it down a bit, but that's cheating, right? Let's see what she has hiding in there...
 
Think she could fit a severed head in there somewhere?  What are your guesses?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review: Zoya Smoke Collection - Fall Love in Cream Form!

The only bad thing about Fall is the ragweed in the Miami Valley. Other than that, you know I adore this season. And I just love the color pallets that are created both in the beauty and the fashion arena. I am more happy to bring to you the first part of Zoya's Fall Smoke and Mirrors collection to you today with "Smoke": Jana, Petra, Codie, Anja, Cynthia, and Dree.

An Apology Preface:  I photographed these in mid-late July, in the midst of Softball season. As you may remember from previous years, playing catcher wrecks havoc on my nails and my cuticles more than any winter season dryness ever could. I did my best given the awful canvas I had to work with. Please forgive me.


Jana

Zoya Jana


Zoya Jana


Jana is that sexy smokey grey lavender color that you don't realize isn't a beige unless you put it next to something beige, like your skin. At first glance I thought she was a cousin to the Touch Collection, but in retrospect, she just sort of resembles her beige sisters. I feel like my pictures here captured her far more darkly than I remember her being. Jana is girly, and sophisticated. A good transition into fall from summer.

Petra


Zoya Petra


Zoya Petra


I new a girl back in college named Petra. She was one of the most naturally beautiful girls I've ever known. Blond with smoldering eyes. She was edgy without meaning to be and I feel like this Petra is the same way. You may want to compare her with other darker purples you have though - we've seen this lovely lady's like quite a lot recently and I think it might be similar to other colors in your stash if you collect purples (like me).This polish was also a little bit more runny than her sisters and I had a more difficult time applying her.

Codie

Zoya Codie


Zoya Codie


If you hadn't told me Codie was a brown color, without sunlight I would have never guessed. Here's your near-black of the group. For those of you who find black to be too harsh on your nails I suggest picking up Codie. The brown may soften the harshness and give you what you're going for.

Anja

Zoya Anja


Zoya Anja


Anja could be your ubiquitous berry color this year if you let her. She's not a true red (THANK YOU ZOYA), but you could have a dupe of this berry color in your collection. I didn't find her to be that inventive, though she is quite lovely.

Cynthia

Zoya Cynthia


Zoya Cynthia


When I see a teal blue like Cynthia it makes me think of how much I'd love a body-hugging dress in a color like this, and maybe dye my hair red. I love this color, it is beautiful on the nails, but I want to wear it bigger than just on my nails! I could tell from the bottles that this would end up being a clear favorite for me.

Dree

Zoya Dree


Zoya Dree


Pea soup!!! How many times have I said that about nail colors lately? It feels like I've been saying it a lot. It must be the "IT" color this year or something. Dree reminded me of her sister color Gemma from the Zoya Intimiates collection but without the secret flash of duochrome. With Dree, what you see is what you get. But I was surprised - I really did like this color.

Application
All colors were applied with two coats Qtica Nail Growth Stimulator and topped with Seche Vite. The only runny one for me was Petra.

Wear
I found the wear on these colors to excellent, and in line with how I feel about most Zoya polishes.

Bottom Line
I'd suggest Cynthia and Dree and Anja would make an awesome color trio. I like the other three colors but I can pass on them. Check your stash for twins for all the colors. But on the whole, the colors all work very well together as a collection. And not a single true red! Yay!

You can purchase Zoya Nail Polish from their website

Full Disclosure
These polishes were furnished to me by Zoya for the purpose of use and review. I was not paid to provide this review, and have provided my honest opinion of the product. I am unaffiliated with Zoya, Qtica and the Art of Beauty.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quest for My Pretty - Weekly Weight Loss Report

I was a little better on my snacking this week, so I didn't think this would be quite as bad of a weigh in as last week. Though really - how could I possibly get as bad as last week??? I'll tell you, actually. One of my acne medications (Spirononolactone) is messing with my time of the month. And let me tell you - it is NOT fun! I know this is TMI, but it does have to do with weight loss - specifically water retention. Suffice it to say that I can no longer predict anything for the time being and sometimes... well +4 lbs?

On a positive note, the softball team I played for nearly won last night! We had an 11 point lead going into the final inning, but weaknesses were exposed and fatigue set it for the home team's at bat in the 7th and we lost 22 to 21. Good game, really. Just... well...

Weight: 156.2 lbs (-1.6 lbs)

Not bad for a recovery.


Next Week
I am starting Insanity! This also includes the eating program. I'll be journaling my food still, but I'm going to try trusting the program for a while. I'll be eating more, but presumably burning more. Plus I'll be eating more cleanly. We'll see how it goes, but let's expect some funkiness in the weight next week, ok?


SPOTS STILL AVAILABLE IN MY SHAKEOLOGY CHALLENGE!
I still have spots available in my Shakeology challenge. I'd love to get your participation. And you might win a Beachbody program! So have a look at my post on the Challenge and get in touch with me! Incidentally, if the dates are not good for you, I am willing to work with you.  Read up on the 5 Day Shakeology Challenge.

Monday, August 8, 2011

My First OCC Cosmetics Lip Tar Purchase - Swatches

I've finally had my first experience with OCC Comsetics Lip Tars! A while back they had a little special and I splurged a bit and purchased four colors. And let me tell you, everything you've heard is true:
  • Lip Tars ARE truly opaque!
  • You don't need much at all - think the tiniest spot of color you can imagine, not even the size of a doe foot applicator.
  • The color does dry down to a non-sticky.
  • The colors are really true to the tubes!
Ready for some scary lip pictures? Well, here they are!

Momento

Face of the Night - July 22, 2011

Momento is an awesome color. It was more pink than I expected. I paired it with MAC Pink Treat Cremestick liner. But it's a very basic good color to have.


Anime

OCC Lip Tar in Anime

Holy Fuchsia! Anime has a certain appeal when you see it and it's easy to see why. This has to be the queen of all fuchsia lip products I've tried. But in my haste I wasn't too careful about applying and got some Anime specs around my face... be ultra careful with this one. You don't want her migrating!

Hush

OCC Lip Tar in Hush

Hush was the most difficult for me to apply. As you can tell I had the difficult problem of uneven application with a light lippy. Hush is sort of a beige-peach color and looked rather odd on my lips. This is one I may try mixing with one of my other colors.

Demure

OCC Lip Tar in Demure

I was very happy with Demure. I could see myself wearing this quite a bit, perhaps mixing it with Momento or Hush too. Again, a little trouble on the application for me. I think I need a better lip brush.




Some Tips
I do recommend using a lip brush with these. Also you will have to be extra careful as it dries, because this stuff can get everywhere. I had Anime all over my face and didn't realize it - sort of annoying!.  I haven't tried mixing colors yet, but believe me I intend to.


Overall: Yeah, I'm totally smitten with OCC Lip Tars and plan on getting more.

You can purchase OCC Cosmetics Lip Tars from their website for $13. And believe me, with such a small amount going a long way it's totally worth it. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Beauty Spotlight Team: Week of August 7th

The Beauty Spotlight Team is here to delight you again with upcoming glamour, oldies but goodies, health and fashion and even 2 giveaways. Enjoy.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Coveted Item of the Week: Hats from Ella Gajewska Millinery

Let's just jump right in, shall we?


Coveted Item of the Week: Ella Gajewska Hats and Fascinators!

Remember back when I was saying that I had a fascination with fascinators? Of course, the entire world seems to have a fascination with them after the Royal Wedding. But that is beside the point. The point is that my wonderful Cousin Bea Ann happens to to be a milliner - someone who creates hats! She picked up my fascination on Facebook and pointed me to another milliner: Ella Gajewska. I have been stalking her Facebook page and her website ever since.
I've been admiring Ella Gajewska's creativity, her whimsy, and lets be honest, her photographer. Aren't these images just gorgeous? Not only are the pieces she creates works of art but also she's putting out some awesome imagery! And still, I'm always looking at the hat, even when there's a naked woman looking like a woodland nymph on my screen. Seriously, her Facebook page is worth following just for the shots of the things that don't always end up on her website.

I think what I love about this style of hat, whether it's one of Ella Gajewska's fascinators, bridal pieces, or everyday wear hats, is that it really makes me think about how fun accessorizing can be. I don't own many accessories where if I were to wear them my outfit would be about the accessory and not the clothing. And I'll be quite honest, I'm not always sure I know what type of clothing would go with some of these hats (perhaps the naked woodland nymph has it right after all). But I do know that these pieces speak to the thirteen year old in me who still cries out for self expression without limits!

I guess to understand that  statement I'd have to tell you that I was a terrible dresser when I was in middle school, but at least I was relatively fearless with my clothing for a girl who went to school in a place that required a dress code. I was the only person I knew who would rock those Victoria Secret cat suits (I think I went through three of them). Anyway, I don't play as much with clothing anymore as I used to. I'm starting to again, and I hope that I'll get to a point where I can make hates like these part of my wardrobe. Seriously, how could you NOT have fun with a Rubix Cube- like thing on your head? That's my favorite, by the way. That and the paint speckled slouchy hat below.

Ella is super nice by the way. She is very interactive on Facebook and responds to comments. I asked her if I could feature her on my blog and she was happy to let me use her images here. If you are at all interested in hats that aren't your typical sort, I strongly suggest you check out her pictures and strike up a conversation.

Will I Get One?
Oh I really want to! But how to choose? Do I go for something totally fanciful that I probably can't wear anywhere, or do I go for something a little closer to normal? I just don't know. If the one with the chain and spikes around were still available (and in a color other than blue) I think it would be mine (go visit her site and see what I'm talking about).

You can purchase Ella Gajewska's art from her website.

All images displayed belong to Ella Gajewska and are used with her permission.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Penhaligon's Bluebell is Like Springtime in a Bottle

Do you remember back when I posted on Penhaligon's collaboration with the Meadham Kirkhoff  Fashion Show for Fall 2010? Well, I hadn't smelled Bluebell at the time of the posting. But I liked the idea of scenting a fashion show so much I had to share it with you. Now, at long last, I have smelled Bluebell so I can actually TALK about what it smells like.

Image From Penhaligon's Website
What Penhaligon's Website Says about Bluebell
Head Notes
Citrus
Heart Notes
Hyacinth, Lily of the Valley, Cyclamen, Jasmine and Rose
Base Notes
Galbanum, Clove and Cinnamon
Created in 1978, this is the pure and unadulterated distillation of the scent of bluebell woods. The telltale earthy sweetness of hyacinths rises through the soft citrus Head Notes and mingles with rose, lily and jasmine at the heart. As it settles the flowers give way to spicy clove and cinnamon and the unique textural base note of bittersweet galbanum.
Tremendously evocative of wet earth, moss and rain, it softly detonates across your scent receptors and instantly transports you to the woodland, surrounded by dripping leaves, skin tingling with spring.
Perfumer: M Pickthall
Cost
Bluebell can be purchased for 100 mls  for $120 or 50 mls for $80. It also comes in a bath oil, candle, fragrance solid, soap... you name it, they have it. Must be pretty popular, right?

My Experience With Bluebell
I have to tell you that when smelling it two images come to mind:

Botticelli's La Primavera


Image from Review of Sorts
And Jessica Biel in the middle of a field for Revlon:


I don't know why that last image I start to feel like the scent smells more modern and less mystical. But either way, I swear Penhaligon's has bottled SPRING.

When I first smelled Bluebell I thought that my sinuses were going to be rebel. Thankfully they did not, and I actually can wear this fragrance! The initial smell of this is very grassy with a hint of citrus. It's not "lemongrass' but the scents mix sin such a way that it could be an approximation. There are floral notes, with a slightly spicy under tone. Penhaligon's wasn't kidding when they said "moss" and "rain". The scent smells like the best parts of spring after a rain shower (or during it slightly). Very fresh, and magical - almost like being accosted by the three graces in La Primavera. As it dries down I smell more field of flowers, and think of blue jeans and romantic outdoor encounters - the Jessica Biel Revlon commercial. I don't find this scent to be "young" although, it could be. It's certainly not overly sexy - except that what about "spring" isn't youthful and sexy?

The scent itself doesn't last a super long time, like most Penhaligon's fragrances. I can see why someone would want to layer it over lotion and shower gel. However, I have never smelled anything else like it. It's fresh, without smelling that semi-medicinal "fresh" smell us Americans like to put in our fresh smelling scents.

Bottom Line
I strongly suggest picking this up in February, just to get your spirits lifted for Spring. You can wear it all through summer, but I think it has a shelf life when autumn comes around. Regardless, I can see this being a somewhat iconic scent for Penhaligon'ss from what I've smelled. If you're a collector you will want this.


You can purchase Bluebell from Penhaligon's Website. 

Disclaimer
The product in this review was provided by Penhaligon's LTD for my consideration. I am not affiliated with Penhaligons LTD and I do not sell their products.

YOUR Dress Design Could Be In Althea Harper's 2012 Spring Line!

Wander over to Facebook and check out Althea Harper's latest cool thing: A design competition! You can enter as many sketches as you want by August 15th by emailing molly at altheahaper dot net to enter. I never have been good a sketching fashion, but you better believe I'll be busting out the colored pencils this weekend!

Get the details on Facebook!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Quest For My Pretty - Weekly "I Screwed Up" Report

Ok, so I over-ate by a little (not a lot) every day this week. I did this because I have been very hungry and I did not think I was taking in quite enough calories. But I got my workouts in and I have been faithful to my Brazil Butt Lift "Slim & Lift" schedule. But I have been snacking. I have been seriously hungry at odd times, and my choices haven't been ideal. I did have a few bad "drinking with friends" nights this week - I am not going to lie. And last night was Softball and Tequila Tuesday.

But really, it wasn't enough of a different week to cause this:

Weight: 157.8 lbs (+ 3.4 lbs)

Brazil Butt Lift might not have quite enough cardio for me, but it is kicking my butt! Also, I am sore in places I usually am not - maybe I am retaining some water as a result? My clothing is fitting fine, if not looser. So... Well, we will have to keep our eye on this and buckle down next week on the eating. Maybe have a few alcohol-free weeks (boo)!

I will be staring Insanity soon, by the way. I asked my BeachBody community which program I should do to drop 20 lbs by Halloween and they were unanimous. For that program, I WILL follow the eating plan. I would love it if you joined me - I am still doing a drawing for a bag of Shakeology if you purchase an exercise program from me until August 17th.

Want to join me with Insanity?

Take My Shakeology 5 Day Challenge! (And YES, There is a PRIZE)

Ok, folks! You know I love my Shakeology. And I really want to share it with you too! I know some of you have told me you want to try it, but that it's a bit expensive. So I'm going to issue you a challenge: Try it for 5 days. And guess what, you'll have a chance to win prizes!

Here's how it's going to work:
  • Commit to the challenge:  Contact me via email (prettyindayton at gmail dot com) and tell me you want to take part in the challenge. I will only take the first 10 people so let me know FAST. I have to keep this one small - it's my first challenge like this folks! And yes, I will be creating a Facebook event for those who enter so we can talk to one another.
  • Get Shakeology:You can order Shakeology from my Shakeology site if you don't have it already, or if you only want to purchase 5 days worth, let me know and I'll sell you 5 packets for $25 (shipping included). 
  • Participate: Challenge will take place during August 26 through August 30.
So how do you participate?
  • Send me your weight and measurements on August 26 first thing in the morning.
  • Drink Shakeology every day - One shake per day, the other meals you're on your own (though I'll give you some ideas).
  • Email me EVERY DAY - include EVERYTHING that you've eaten. I will provide you with feedback - the point is to eat healthy during this time. I won't leave you hanging on it either.
  • Commit to doing 30 minutes of exercise EVERY DAY.  - If you skip a day, that means you do an hour the next to make up for it. Report to me your exercise every day in the email you send me.
  • Send me your weight and measurements when you get up on August 31. 
Don't worry - I won't disclose weight and stats to the public. This is just for you and to keep you accountable during the challenge. 


What could you win? How About A Raffle for a Beachbody Workout Program?
For everyone who completes the challenge, I will enter your name into a raffle for ANY basic package of a Beachbody program (includes fitness programs like my favorites: ChaLEAN Extreme, TurboFire, Turbo Jam or others like P90X and Insanity etc). OR a free bag of Shakeology. Your choice!

What if you don't win the raffel?
If you participated (fulfilled the requirements of the challenge) and your name doesn't get picked for the raffle I'll give you something special too: A chance to use my coach's discount to purchase Shakeology or a Workout program at 25% off.

Who is this challenge good for?
  • Anyone who's wanted to try Shakeology without the commitment of an entire bag.
  • Anyone who's looking to lose weight, reduce cravings, feel better.
  • Anyone who's serious about improving their health and fitness.
Deadline to contact me about ordering packets for the challenge is August 15th.

Let me know fast! I intend to fill these 10 slots up! I have to keep the number small so that it's manageable for me to keep an eye on all participants. But if you don't make the 10 slots, I'll give you advanced notice on the next challenge.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    LipSense Adds New Shade That Gives Back!

    Ms. Emily Rooney sent her distribution letter my way and there was a part of it that caught my eye. I haven't tried the shade personally, but I might buy it anyway. Here's the info from her press release:


    "Beauty That Gives Back
    According to BreastCancer.org, besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among U.S. women and approximately one in eight American women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer over the course of their lifetime. At SeneGence, we recognize the importance of education about prevention, early detection and treatment options for this potentially life-threatening illness. In honor of breast cancer awareness and the many women in our organization, we proudly introduce Kiss for a Cause LipSense.

    .25 oz, $22 each
    A portion of the proceeds from every sale of this limited-edition, shimmering pinkish-purple shade will be donated to the American Breast Cancer Foundation in hopes that our contributions will make a difference for cancer patients as the organization helps to support and fund research, early detection, treatment and education.
    If you used to like Fantasy Fuscia LipSense or currently wear Fuscia LipSense, then you’ll love Kiss for a Cause LipSense!"

    Not sure what LipSense is and how it's different from regular long-lasting lipsticks? Read my previous review. See my swatches.

    If you are interested in LipSense, please consider contacting Emily Rooney at A Look That Lasts.

    Hanky Panky: The Most Comfortable Thongs in the World on Rue-La-La!

    Hanky Panky is going to be on Rue-la-la (affiliated link) today! I'm really excited about this because I've been wanting to proclaim my love for Hanky Panky's thongs for a while now. I heard about them from Style It and Beauty Blogging Junky - they praise this brand all the time. And finally I gave Hanky Panky a shot... low and behold they were right! These panties (the things in particular) are amazingly comfortable! I hate thongs and I can stand them! I highly suggest checking out this sale - I know I'll be purchasing! The sale starts at 11 am EST.

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    StyleMint: So Far Not Impressed...

    I don't know if any of you have been following StyleMint, the T-shirt company founded by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. It works like a subscription service for accessories (Jewelmint or Send the Trend) and you get your T-shirt for $29.95 a month. But this month I logged on hoping to see some cool items... and I did like what I saw but not for $29.95. In addition to that, when I clicked on "Show me more" and changed style-types, I got the same 4 t-shirts styled differently. Take a look:

    Runway Style


    Classic Chic Style
     
    Modern Style


    Not even the fact that one of the styles is called "Michigan" is going to get me to buy from this if they are putting in such a lack of effort to get different shirts for different people and personalize. Seriously??? Don't show me different styles for the same shirt!

    Is any one out there seeing different shirts? I'm very curious...
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