MAC Obey Me, Ocean Dip and Hangin' Loose

From left to right
  1. Obey Me
  2. Hangin' Loose
  3. Ocean Dip

I got an email from MAC with a free shipping promotion and used it to pick up some polishes.  These colors have been out a while, but they're new to me. :)

Obey me is from the Wonder Woman collection and is described as a red cream. Hangin' Loose and Ocean Dip are from the Surf, Baby! collection. HL is described as a dirty pink nude and OD as a midtone creamy aqua. I realy like the packaging for these polishes, especially the Wonder Woman design. I'm sure MAC got a lot of sales just off of the packaging alone. I like the whole theme polish collection idea. If they ever came out with a Jem line I would *die*.

  1. Pointer:  Obey Me 2 coats
  2. Middle finger: Hangin' Loose 2 coats
  3. Ring Finger:  Ocean Dip 2 coats
  4. Pinky: Bare nail no polish
I found the MAC desriptions to be dead on. I don't do my own nails( due to my previously mentioned hand eye coordination issues) but I did apply the polish myself for the pic above.  Obey Me and Ocean Dip were pretty opaque with one coat which is always a good sign to me. Ocean Dip might be a wee bit too bright for the office. I'd file it under my vacation mani category. Hangin' Loose after two coats was still very close to my bare nail. It has a slight shimmer which would probably be more pronounced with a third coat, but with two it was a perfect nude. I'm always pleased when I find a good nude for darker skintones. It's not a look I do often but I like having options when I do feel like it.

Pointer: MAC Obey Me
Middle: OPI Vodkar & Caviar
Ring: DIOR Rouge Altesse
This picture was very interesting to me. I applied these myself on the way to get my manicure. I knew I wanted to wear Obey Me this week, but before I left I checked my stash to see if I had a similar color... umm yeahhh.. I had several similar colors. You can't really make it out from this pic without going cross eyed but the pinkie finger (RBL Chinoise) stands out a bit because it's more of a tomato red. I thought the MAC Obey Me and the OPI Vodkar & Caviar were virtually identical. My manicurist felt the DIOR Rouge Altesse was a match for Obey Me. She felt they both were more blue reds and the OPI was more a candy apple red.

This is what they look like in the bottle:

This is my manicure this week with MAC Obey Me

So take aways... probably a good thing I passed on the new DIOR Rouge polishes and MAC Obey Me is not unique but it is a nice red with great packaging.                           

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body ".*..I've been slipping

One of the great things about summer when I was much younger was all the extra time I was going to have  since school was out to read more books. Unfortunately as I got older it became harder and harder to find time to read for pleasure. In college I was too busy reading my textbooks.

Once I started working and really got beat down by life   I was reading manuals specific to my field and quite frankly after a long day at the office battling eye strain among other things, then going to an exercise class, by the time I get home the only thing I have the energy for is to go to bed. Well what about the weekends... well between the errands, more exercise,  the LAUNDRY, sometimes more work from the office, sleep and oh yes blog reading, no time there either.

I have a good friend at work who asked me to join a book club and I politely declined. Last thing I want is another deadline on my personal time. Don't get me wrong I am doing some reading(newspapers as I eat breakfast over the sink,  fitness magazines, Marie Claire, other people's personal blogs) just nothing I would be particularly proud to volunteer if stopped on the street by a camera crew and asked what's the last thing you read.

I still consider reading something I love to do. I still scan the book review section of the newspaper. I even make lists of books I want to read. Every now and then I'll have a good run and actually start and finish a book. I got a bug about reading Caribbean writers some time ago, and ended up reading several books by:
  •  Edwidge Danticat-Haiti ( Breath Eyes Memory, Krik Krak, Brother I'm Dying)
  •  Elizabeth Nunez-Trinidad ( Bruised Hibiscus, Grace, Prospero's Daughter)
  •  V.S. Naipaul- Trinidad ( A House for Mr. Biswas)
  •  Earl Lovelace-Trinidad (The Dragon Can't Dance)
  •  Junot Diaz-Dominican Republic ( The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao)  

My last multi book reading stretch was this year with the books pictured above. There was a good review for The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo in my local newspaper. I checked with my book club friend at work and she also gave it a thumbs up and told me there was more than one book. I'm about 2/3 through the last one. The thing is I've been at that point for the past 3 1/2 months. The first two books were good reads. They both dragged at certain points but then picked up. The Hornet's nest just hasn't pulled me in the way the other two have so far. I'm still grateful to Mr. Larsson for bringing me out of my reading slump.  I will finish the last one, but not now because I'm going to go work out.

* By Richard Steele( or so they say )

Ramblings- Laundry is not my master

Dang I overslept, Pilates already started
Maybe I can still go it just started, if I leave now I can get there in about 15 minutes
No I can't go I hate walking in to a class late and I still need to find something to wear,
and I'm out of sports bras which means I'll have to do laundry
I'm not doing laundry I hate doing laundry
I can't just lay here I have to get my workout in, won't have time this afternoon
I'm not doing laundry today
You know what, I'm gonna get up go to Target buy some sports bras then go to the gym and do some weight training and cardio. I'm not doing laundry

       Target and I:           1
       Laundry      :           0

Mani of the Week- Essie Braziliant

Today is the first day of summer.  Just about everyone in my little corner of the world has been complaining about how this year is gonna be a scorcher. Not me. I love summer. I am a child of the sun. In my mind summer is linked with cute sandals, breezy, flowy tops, cold drinks and bright mani pedis.... Yeah baby!! 

 Essie was a brand I used to think of as just having a million shades of pink. So I was somewhat surprised when I started seeing the ads for bright reds, blues and oranges. I checked online  and was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was DEAD wrong. They have tons of colors(where have i been?), and to paraphrase the website.....Color is her obsession, and she is a fellow summer lover. So basically she's my type of lady. I bought these to celebrate our bond.

From left to right
  1. Luxedo(not sure yet if i would use this one for summer..maybe as a pedi color)
  2. Haute as Hello
  3. Mucho Dinero
  4. Meet me at sunset
  5. Red Nouveau
  6. Braziliant 

I chose Braziliant as my mani for this week. I thought it was good fit to kick off the summer. I think most of these colors would be flattering on a wide range of skintones.


On nails Ulta- Orange you glad it's summer
I took this pic with my cell phone. I love this phone.
Last year this time I was coming back from hanging with my peeps in NYC. I think it was my second trip for that year. I like to travel. I like trying, seeing and doing new things or the same old fun things, and I don't mind travelling solo.  Usually I've decided on a new travel destination before I'm back from my current trip. When I run into people I haven't been in touch with for a while, the first thing they'll ask is about is where I've been for the year. At work they're always harrasing asking me about where I'm going next. One Christmas my boss even gave me a set of really nice luggage tags addressed to "The Traveller".

We are almost halfway through the year and I haven't gone anywhere.  I. am. just. not. feeling. it. And I don't know why. Earlier in the year I told myself that it was because of all the turmoil going on in the world. When things calmed down a bit I blamed it on my schedule. Work has been a whirlwind and it's probably because I haven't taken any breaks. I  got an email from management this week saying I needed to take some time off (yeah it's that serious) because I was accumulating too many vacation days. So for the past couple of days I've been procrastinating looking at pics I took in places I've visited to try to get my groove back. I also bought a new camera, because as super duper as my old faithful phone is it's not the best in low lighting. I'm shooting for sometime in July which means I need to firm up my plans ASAP. Up up and away.

She who needs no introduction

She who needs no introduction
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 Paris was someplace I always wanted to visit. At one point and time I thought it wold be cool to live there so I started taking French lessons. I never became fluent and I changed my mind about moving there, but still longed to visit. When I did I was not disappointed. I thought it was a beautiful city that was easy to get around. I took the photo above with my cell phone on my first day there. It was September, slightly overcast, and the camera in my phone had no flash, which is why I think the picture came out gray and shadowy. I LOVE this picture. When I see it I think about how excited, hopeful and nervous I was on that first day.

Père Lachaise Cemetery

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 I have a thing for cool cemeteries. I  had no plans to go to any cemeteries while in Paris but this was in my guide book ( as a cool somewhat off the beaten path thing to do. The grounds were magnificent. I spent hours just meandering, taking pictures, reading the different gravestones and observing the locals eating lunch and hanging out there. While I never found Jim Morrision's grave Pere Lachaise turned out to be one of the surprise highlights of my trip.

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The concierge in the hotel where I stayed was awesome. He spoke seven languages and was always available to help with directions or suggestions on restaurants. It was a smaller hotel a little ways outside of the city but very clean, quiet, comfortable and close to a metro line. I was meeting a friend in Pigalle one day and needed to confirm how to get there. I will always remember his face during our exchange that day. He knew it was my first time in Paris. It was hilarious.

          Him:  Your going there? Do you know what goes on there???
          Me:   I'm meeting a friend                   
          Him:  That is the red light district
          Me:   Really. Don't worry we only have window shopping money   
          Him:  Laughs

Chanel Intermezzo

When it comes to nail polish I usually wear deep very bright colors or deep very dark colors with some neutral colors thrown into the mix. Every now and then though I get the hankering for something a little lighter, but not quite a neutral. When I'm in that kind of a mood Chanel Intermezzo fits the bill. On me in person Intermezzo looks like a somewhat opaque muted opalesque color with a very subtle shimmer. I am wearing two coats in the pic above and although I wear my nails very short, I don't think there would be any visible nail line with two coats.

I pay attention to the types of people that compliment me on certain colors and this color is always a hit with the 40 and up female crowd. I would classify Intermezzo as a good bride/bridesmaid, interview, conservative office, first time meeting the boyfriend's parents type of color.

Workouts- June 2011 Goals

Exercise is very important to me. It's something I do regularly. I started tracking my workouts to keep a record of what I was doing, and identify any areas of opportunity. I use a Weekly/Monthly 3x6 Blue Sky ( Planner that I got at Target. I set a goal for the month and give myself a gold star when I meet them. I also code my workouts. Strength/resistance training workouts are highlighted yellow, cardio workouts are highlighted pink. In April my goal was to work out at least four times a week. For May my goal was to work out everyday of the month.  It  makes me feel good to look back over the months where I met my goals.

In reviewing the last two months I see an area of opportunity when it comes to weight training. In April I weight trained 11 days out of the month. In May it was only four times. My goals for June are to get in 9 weight training sessions and workout an average of 5 days out of the week. I missed some days early in the month due to travel, but should be fine for the rest of the month.

Deborah Lippmann

Deborah Lippmann- Bitches Brew

I probably spend too much time reading blogs. I justify it by considering it research. I was one of those on the online shopping bandwagon from day one. The hassle of parking, being jostled while walking through the mall, and the inattentive or overly aggressive salespeople were never my thing.  I like perusing at my own speed, in the comfort of my own home at whatever time I choose. The downside of online shopping is without trying something on in person you are taking a chance that it will work once you get it. So naturally I love blogs where products are tested and described in detail. While doing my "research" I was introduced to Deborah Lippmann polishes. 

I got the color above some time late last year. It was a great shade for the fall/winter season, but I think it's a color that could work year round.  I don't do my nails myself, but I found that the polish applied well and lasted the week. The color is a deep burgundy, deep enough to be opaque in two coats but no so dark that it looks black. Overall a good classic color that I am very glad I bought.


Pilates Reformer Machines

About two months ago I added Pilates classes to my fitness regimen. Core strength is an ongoing challenge for me. I will likely never have a six pack due to a combination of genetics and my refusal to give up bread, but there was a time when I had a taut, feminine fit middle. Back then I was regulary using the the Mari Winsor 20 minute DVD  ( ) and an AeroPilates machine (  from QVC which I've had for about five years. I got great results with the combo of the DVD and the AeroPilates machine but I started slacking on my consistency and eventually stopped using them both altogether and moved on to other types of exercises.  

In April of this year I set a goal to get more variety in my workouts and remembered my old faithful friend Pilates. This go round I decided to commit to classes which is something I had never done before. I am currently taking the Pilates reformer classes two times a week and a mat class once a week.  My gym offers the mat classes as part of the membership but the Reformer classes are at an additional cost. I really enjoy my classes. I had never used a Pilates Reformer machine before April. It has essentially the same base as the AeroPilates machine I got from QVC with the addition of the tower. My reformer classes have four people including myself. The mat class has about ten people. The classes start at 6 am and run for a little under an hour.  The videos below are very similar to what I do in my reformer classes.

I rate the Reformer and mat classes equally. If I had to differntiate between the two, I think with the Reformer the apparatus on the machine can guide/assist you, and allow you to go deeper with some of the upper body movements, which you won't get during mat Pilates.

The movements in Pilates are controlled and precise, and there is a lot of focus on breath and form so to the casual observer it might not seem like much of a workout. That is until one tries it. The simple, subtle controlled movements are the key and while I would never compare it to a cardio workout I find myself  "feeling the burn" a day after I've completed a class. I like the fact that Pilates is a low impact exercise that can be done by folks of all shapes and sizes and modified for those with injuries. I like the way it makes me feel toned and leaner. I also find the focus on the breath while doing the movements somewhat meditative and calming.