Mood...






Watch- Michael Kors
Necklace- Kate Spade(old) 
Ring- gift
Nail polish-  Sally Hansen - Sorbet #08
Flowers: Carnations 



I spent the weekend buying Mother's Day gifts, going to Pilates and napping. I swear Sunday afternoon naps are the best thing ever.

There was another devastating world tragedy this weekend, and today I got some news that a friend that suddenly fell ill has taken a turn for the worse.  Every day I am reminded that I need to just do the things that I love and be kind to myself and everyone around me, regardless of the constant chatter to climb higher, go longer and spin faster. I have a very laid back personality so I have to be careful not to come across as aloof.  It's not that I don't care it's just that along the way I realized this- 

  "My heart is at ease knowing that was meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me was never meant for me" - Imam Al-Shafi (at least according to the inter webs). 


Thanks for stopping by!

Stardate:15026.04





                                                                                                                                        

I've Been Stalling...





I finally got a library card at the end of 2013 and as a result I read more books in 2014 than I had in the years past. Most of the books I read were e-books. I decided at the end of the year that I would buy the books that I liked the most. These four made the cut. My initial idea was to give a short review of the four books. However I'm terrible at reviewing books. If you ask me about a book I read you usually get something like:

Me:   Well, there was this girl who was born a guy sort of. Uhhmm her people were inbred and
         after some stuff with her family she starts being a guy and then she meets a girl and it
         kind of works out. I really liked it.

You: What?

That is why we are almost half way through 2015 and I'm just finishing this post.  They say the only way to get over your fear of doing something is to actually do it, so without further ado I give you the inaugural of the comely book review.  No refunds will be given after this point.



First up we have Edwidge Danticat's- Claire Sea of Light.  It's the story of a young girl and her father in a fictional seaside town in Haiti. The little girl goes missing and the hopes, dreams and disappointments of various people in her community are interweaved in the story of the search to find her.  As you can see from the picture above I own several books that Ms. Danticat has written.  The setting of most of the books I have read by her is Haiti. She has a lyrical writing style and there is always an element of mysticism in her stories that I have come to associate with that island.

  • Quick read
  • A little bit of mystery,  a little bit of mysticism with some Haitian culture as the backdrop


The Sleepwalker's Guide To Dancing is on the surface a story about an immigrant Indian family told mainly from the perspective of the daughter Amina.  Dig a little deeper and you will find a story about sacrifice,  acceptance, forgiveness and love.
  • Good combination of humor and realism
  • Nice exploration of father-daughter dynamics




I'll say from the start that The Goldfinch is a very long book.  It is 771 pages.  Before you turn away though I want you to know that this was one of the best books I've read in a long time. I actually listened to the audio book but it still feels strange to say I listened to a book. The book jacket tells you that the tale begins with a boy losing his mother. What happens to him and the twists and turns his life takes after that event kept me enthralled to the very end.  It's a sweeping narrative that covers the life of the boy, Theo from young teen to adulthood.  My heart soared for him when things went well and my soul was crushed when they didn't. 

I like to read the bad reviews on a book first because I think you get a lot more from them than the five star reviews. And, yes there were quite a few people who hated this book. I agree with some of their critiques. Yes, it could have been shorter.  Yes,  there were some sections where the story lagged. However,  even with that I would like you to give it a shot. There are characters in that book I still can't stop thinking about. 
  • Suspenseful and moving story with some art history as a backdrop
  • Unforgettable characters




Hyperbole and a Half is the first book that I'm aware of by blogger Allie Brosh. It's based on her blog of the same name. Read it. It's funny. You'll thank me later. You are welcome.

  • Laugh out loud funny
  • Check out her blog where she uses her special brand of humor to address everything from depression to trying to be a responsible adult- "Clean All The Things" 


If you have made it this far I thank you for your patience! Let me know about what you're reading now, and if you've read any of the books from this post. 


Edited to Add: Turns out April 23rd is World Book Day so my procrastinating was right on time :)



Stardate:15022.04

Et Voilà





This is the time of year when I get the urge to do something different with my hair.  I've been toying with the idea of cutting it for some time now but my hairdresser has told me no. Yes, that's how it works with us.  I tell her what I would like and then she does what she wants.  To be fair though I always end up liking what she does. She went out of town recently for an extended holiday and left me to my own devices.  Naturally I turned to the Internet for guidance, and this is what I came up with.

On freshly washed hair I took each individual lock of hair and bent it so that the bend was just at my chin or in some cases my collar bone and then wrapped the hair around itself. If I was a better blogger I would have had before and after photos with numbered steps.  In my defense I had no idea I was going to be able to pull it off. I was seriously just winging it, and wouldn't you know it worked.

The reaction from the peanut gallery was very favorable. There were a lot of questions about how I got it to stay (gravity? - insert shrug here) and several comments about how I looked so much younger(insert side eye here).  I took these pictures in the last days of the style for posterity.

Do you change your hair with the seasons?



                                                                                                                                      Stardate:15019.04





#Slightly Obsessed: Spring Edition

Hello guys. I hope all is well. Spring has sprung and with it comes my updated slight obsessions.

Cole Haan Flats



There is no easy way to say this so I'll just spit it out. I'm getting old. That four inch plus heel ship has sailed and it is never coming back. You will find me in these comfy and cute flats from Cole Haan as I sit by the dock reminiscing about things past.




Apple & Rosehip Tea Stick





I picked this up in Japan last year.  It was one of the few things in the local convenience store that was in English so I figured what the heck I like apples and rose hip didn't sound like it would kill me so I gave it a shot. I ended up loving it. The packet contains a granulated powder that you add hot water to.  I still don't know what rosehip is but I taste a lot of apple. It also tastes great hot and cold so if you fall asleep waiting for your tea to cool( Am I the only one that happens to?) you can still enjoy it when you wake up.


Nude nail polishes



Flowers: Sea Holly
Nails: JINsoon Doux (2 coats)


I've been wearing a lot of nude polishes lately. There was a time when I thought nude polishes were just for old people who got a headache from bright colors. Yet another sign that it is time to bring on the pudding cups.

Diptyque & Jo Malone Scents



Okay so this one is a year round obsession. These are what have been in regular rotation for me this Spring.

Pineapples



I can be very persnickety when it comes to fruits. These past couple of weeks the pineapples from Whole Foods have been bringing me joy. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they can keep it up through the summer.

What have you been slightly obsessed about so far this spring?

Stardate :15004.04

Boris and Natasha



Hi. My name is Boris





Hi. My name is Natasha

It feels like it has been ages since I've done a wellness post. I remember when I used to post my monthly workouts regularly. You can find all of those old posts under the wellness tab if you are interested. 

My workouts then and now usually consist of some cardio, some flexibility/stretching and some strength training.  Running is my cardio of choice, but I have been known to go to a spin class everyone once in a while.  When I was younger I ran around my local park for an hour a day several times a week. When I started working full time I bought a treadmill so even with an erratic work schedule I could always get my cardio in at home. I am sad to report that after many years together my faithful friend passed on recently. That treadmill was one of my best investments ever so after a respectable period of mourning I decided to buy another one which I named Boris. Let me just say that a lot has changed since I bought my last treadmill at Sears all those years ago.  The most interesting thing to me was that treadmills now have the ability to decline. It might be hard to see due to the glare from the flash but there are three negative levels all the way to the left of the console that come before the zero that indicate the decline option.  According to the salesman it gives you the opportunity to use different muscles while running. Yep, that's the same face I made.

Natasha is my Pilates Reformer. I've mentioned before that I take Pilates classes regularly and even certified as an instructor.  Pilates is an exercise system designed to stretch, strengthen and balance the body. The reformer is a machine that with the assistance of springs allows you to use your own body weight to perform various Pilates exercises. You don't need to have a reformer to do Pilates as most of the exercises can be done on a regular mat. I got a reformer to work on deepening my own practice and to use with clients.

If I had a mansion I'd have an entire wing just devoted to wellness. Alas, until then I have Boris & Natasha and my nail polish☺.

What do you do at home for your wellness?

Stardate :15008.03


Skin Care: Lush









This is my third post on skincare. See my other two here and here . Today's post is about Lush. According to their website, Lush originated in England with the first North American store opening in Vancouver in 1996.  Lush's tagline is fresh handmade cosmetics and they reportedly supply their stores from two cosmetic kitchens in Canada.

I've been using products from Lush for about six months now. I would always see their store in my local mall and one day I just went in to see what they were about. I walked out with the Dark Angels Face/ Body Cleanser(4.0z as pictured) and the Catastrophe Cosmetic Face Mask. Over the next several months I tried out several different face masks and their Tea Tree Toner Water. I have been very impressed with their products. My favorites so far are the Dark Angel Cleanser, the Tea Tree Toner and the Cupcake Fresh Face Mask. I have combination skin and my specific skincare concerns are cystic acne, hyperpigmentation and eczema.

The Dark Angel Cleanser gives me a great clean while gently exfoliating my skin without any irritation. It has a scent that is difficult for me to describe. The best I can come up with is it smells slightly spicy and sugary to me. The first ingredients listed are rhassoul mud, cold pressed organic avocado oil, glycerine, powdered charcoal and black sugar. It has the consistency of a finely milled sugar and flour mix and applies like a paste. It rinses black so if you have any surfaces that are easily stained you will need to use extra care when using this.

I like a lot of people have been kind of meh about toners. It's an extra step. Do you really need it?
Yada, yada yada.  Lush's Tea Tree Oil Toner Water(3.30z as pictured) has completely changed my mind. The first ingredients are melaleuca alternifolia, grapefruit water and juniper berry water. I keep mine in the refrigerator and it is like spritzing a little bit of heaven on my face every time I use it. It is so soothing and calming. I get what they were going for with the name Tea Tree Oil Toner but if you ask me they could have also called it the Barry White Heaven Spritz.

Lush's Cupcake Facial Mask(2.1oz as pictured) is promoted as a calming and soothing mask for spotty skin and I agree. The first ingredients are rhassoul mud, glycerine, linseed infusion, talc cocoa powder/butter and mint. It is reportedly vegan, has to be kept in the fridge and has an expiration date.  Just about all of the Lush products that I've tried have a sticker with a picture of the person that made it, the date they made it and an expiration date. The masks usually have about a 20 day expiration window per the label. I generally push it to about 28days...shhh I feel fine. I have a good fridge ☺

Have you tried anything from Lush? 



Stardate :15027.02


 

Estee Lauder Nail Laquer and Lipstick- Insolent Plum & Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Creme- Magenta



The plan was for this post just to be about the Estee Lauder products but I grabbed the wrong lipstick when I was taking the photo above so my darling duos post became a trio. These things happen but the show must go on folks.☺

 
Estee Lauder 'Vivid Shine- Pure Color' Long Lasting Nail Lacquer- Insolent Plum($21/.3fl. oz.)

First up we have the Estee Lauder Nail Lacquer in Insolent Plum. I'm wearing two coats plus a salon top coat in the pictures above. This could definitely be a one coater though as the first coat was completely opaque. I love crème polishes and I thought the color on this one was so rich and deep. I can attest to it being long lasting as well. These pictures were taken on day two of my manicure and I was able to get about 6 days before my first major chip. And yes, I do all my own household stunts.


 Marc Jacobs Lip Crème- Magenta($30/.12oz)

 I have some nail polishes from the Marc Jacobs Beauty line that I was very pleased with so I decided to test out some colors from his new Lip Cremes at my local Sephora. I tested some reds which were great, a brown which was a little too nude for me and ended up leaving with Magenta because clearly I'm having a shades of purple moment.  From the Marc Jacobs Beauty website:

Indulge your pout with Marc’s new revolutionary 10-hour lipstick that covers your lips with buttery, creamy vibrant pigment with one pigment-saturated swipe. Experience unprecedented color payoff from concentrated color-boost pigments that are triple-milled and steeped in hydrating ingredients, so your lips experience ultimate long-lasting color and moisture.

I just got Magenta so I've only worn it twice so far. I will say that the first day I wore it I had a 10 hour day and I remember looking in the mirror at around 3 in the afternoon after having tea in the morning, an apple, lunch(Starbucks brown rice salad) a second apple and being impressed that my lipstick was still on. This one is definitely long lasting and highly pigmented. I do agree with it being creamy but I didn't find it especially hydrating. I think if you are prone to dry lips you would definitely need some type of balm before applying this one.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting  Lipstick- Insolent Plum($30/.12 oz)



Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick- Insolent Plum

Last but definitely not least we have the Estee Lauder lipstick in Insolent Plum. I think this is such a beautiful color. The formula is creamy, moisturizing perfection. I'm wearing Insolent Plum with no balm or gloss under or over it in the pictures above. I love it. Don't my lips look happy? I also appreciate that the nail polish of the same name actually matches the color of the lipstick. I get slightly annoyed when a brand has a lipstick and a nail polish with the same name and instead of being in the same color family they look like total strangers to each other. If I had to compare the Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick to the Marc Jacobs Lip Crème I would say the Estee Lauder isn't as long lasting. You will need to reapply the Estee Lauder lipstick after lunch.

So to recap all three products worked well for me but I am totally smitten with the Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick. You can find more colors here. I have my eye on "Thrilling."

Have you tried anything from Estee Lauder or Marc Jacobs lately?



Stardate :15016.02