Ms. Independent


D.C. Basin

Washington Monument

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Scene @ Theodore Roosevelt Memorial

Scene @ Theodore Roosevelt Memorial



Martin Luther King Memorial


Korean War Memorial


Photo of artist Ousmane Sow at work
Smithsonian- National Museum of African Art


Face Mask -Igbo Peoples, Nigeria
Smithsonian- National Museum of African Art

Dinner @Founding Farmers

Brunch @ Ted's Bulletin

Instagramming at the White House :)



I spent the fourth of July with the family in Washington D.C. It was the first visit for me so I spent some time catching up on my American History in the sweltering heat. Having just come from Italy it was very interesting for me to note the Italian influences in the DC architecture. I also felt a strong French vibe, particularly around the basin which I later found out was designed by French- born architect Pierre Charles L'Enfant

So to sum it up, I saw, I ate, I took pictures, and I learned some stuff. It was a good trip. Extremely hot but good.

What's influencing you lately?




Things I'm happy about/looking forward to/grateful for this week:
- I did laundry!!!
- My pretty mani
- The Olympics
- It's still summer
- I have a job
- You guys




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Run and tell that


Bracelets from the Loft
Estee Lauder 'Beyond Black' Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Viper

Buenas Noches. I stopped by Nordstrom after work today and ended up at the Estee Lauder counter checking out their new Beyond Black nail polish collection. The only color that caught my eye was Viper. Per the sales associate Nordstrom is offering a gift with purchase when you spend $45 or more at Estee Lauder in store and online.



After Nordstrom I found myself at Loft. Is it Loft or The Loft? Anyhoo they were having 50% off of everything that ended in .99. The clothes were pretty much picked over but I did find some cute accessories which were even cuter with 50% off. The bracelet seems to be made really well. It has a really strong sliding magnetic closure with a tab lock at the end. I picked up two of the bracelets with the intention of putting one up to give as a Christmas gift....



but then the universe compelled me to try them both on together as seen in the pic above, and all of a sudden it was Christmas in July. For me. Don't even try to give me that look. You know you would keep them both for yourself too.


Three coats of Estee Lauder Pure Color Viper

The Estee Lauder Pure Color Viper nail polish was a little sheerer than I liked with the first coat but after three I was pleased. You could probably get the same effect with two thicker coats. I don't have anything close to this color in my collection. It certainly screams Fall. I'd describe it as a deep, dark, twinkling forest green. What say you?



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YSL La Laque Bleu Marjorelle(18) & Rose Pourpre(33)




Marjorelle Garden
Source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net




Yes I know I said I was all blue and tealed out. That was before I saw Bleu Marjorelle online. Look at it and try to tell me you would have been able to resist. 

 La Laque Bleu is reportedly inspired by the Marjorelle Garden in Marrakech, Morrocco.  My extensive research Wikipedia tells me that the garden was desgined by Frenchman Jacques Marjorelle and was later bought by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge. When he died Mr. Laurent's ashes were reportedly scattered in Marjorelle Garden. The garden is open to the public so I have now set a life goal(try not to judge me) of seeing the garden in person while wearing Bleu Marjorelle. As I have no idea where, when or how I will be getting to Morrocco, I will have to devise a way to keep nail polish in good condition for ever.

Application was a breeze(or so it seemed I didn't do it) and drying time was normal. I'm wearing two coats in the pics. It was a hit at the nail salon, so I would definitely say it is eye catching.  

Then there's the Rose Pourpre, which to my eye is a beautiful combination of red, pink and purple. I love how shiny and glossy it is. Look at how rich and luscious it looks in the bottle.  I think I'm going to use it for my next mani.

So there you have it pretty things, a little history, a new destination to add to the travel list. Yes, all is well with my soul.  Anybody have this color or something similar? (just in case my nail polish regeneration machine doesn't work out)


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"Real hot in the shade"




Jacket: The Loft
Dress: Target
Shoes: Coach Leticia seen here
Necklace: Eastern Market in D.C.


I haven't posted an outfit pic in a while so I thought I'd put this up to confirm I'm still wearing clothes and still trying to step outside my comfort zone by taking pics outside. I think this dress was one of the first that I posted on this blog. This time I added a jacket to make it work appropriate. A co-worker told me I looked very "festive" and asked if I was going to a party after work. I couldn't think of a response that was HR appropriate so I just smiled and kept it moving.

 I spent a couple of days in Washington D.C.(pics coming soon) recently and I picked up these pretties.





I've been on an accessories kick lately so I was happy to add them to my collection. It's so hot I don't want to wear anything fussy, and my theory is if I change up the accessories I can keep wearing that grey t-shirt over and over and over.

Has this extra hot summer affected your wardrobe?

Things I'm happy about/looking forward to/grateful for this week:     
 - A hot yoga class on Tuesday
 - My pretty mani
 - I made it to the grocery store
 - I have a job
- You guys


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Yummy, yummy, yummy I got love in my tummy



Chocolate in window of Venetian bakery


Pastries in window of Venetian bakery

Pastries in window of Venetian bakery


Sweets in window of Venetian Bakery

Lunch in Rome


I got a specific comment about the food in Italy( I didn't forget you @pVI). I'm not much of a foodie, but for the most part I thought the Italian cuisine was fresh, flavorful and reasonably priced. I found the best restaurants were away from the crowded tourist areas. We generally ate dinner late in the evening by US standards so it took my tummy a while to adjust once I returned home.

I'm not much of a sweet, pasta or pizza person, but as they say, when in Rome... so I may or may not have consumed ridculous amounts of the items pictured above.  I'm not saying and you can't make me.


Dessert at Venetian restaurant
And just because I was there a nose length away doesn't mean I had anything to do with it


Have a great weekend!

***Please note that we here at Of the Comely take NO responsibility and CANNOT be held liable for any chocolate, pizza, pastry, tomato, cheese, ice cream or any other dessert cravings this post might inspire. We just don't have that kind of insurance folks.



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Venice


Piazza San Marco


View of city and Grand Canal from bridge










Off the beaten path :)

I’ve had a mild obsession with Venice for quite some time. I spent my early years on an island so when I first heard about this beautiful floating European city, the combination of the familiar and the exotic blew my little mind. As I got older the stories about how romantic Venice was added even more to its appeal.
I made it to Venice for the first time on this trip to Italy and I loved it.  We arrived there by train and once I walked out of the station and stepped out on the platform that overlooks your first view of the city I was  thrilled. On the outside I was like, act like you’ve been somewhere before, descend the stairs gracefully, do not embarrass yourself or anyone else.  On the inside I was like yeahhh, yeahh, yeah, yEAH!!!! 

The city was simply enchanting.  We took a slow ride up the Grand Canal on a vapporetti. We stepped off the beaten tourist path and got blissfully lost strolling through the old winding streets. I took enough photos of gondolas to end up in the Guinness Book of Records. I ate the best lemon sorbet ever. I had a wonderful time. I'm so grateful that I was able to make this trip and cross Venice off my travel wish list.

What about you guys, what's on your list of places you always wanted to visit? 


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Rescue Beauty Lounge GOMM Collection


From left to right:
1. Donna
2. the Pulpit
3.  Road

From left to right:
1. Abiquiu
2. Poppy
3. Nearby



I fell hard for the concept behind the new RBL collection and the beautiful colors so I was happy to finally see them in person. For the most part I'm pleased.  My least favorite of the bunch was Donna which was a lot sheerer than I'd like with two coats. I think it would probably be nice as a layering color, but I'm still on the hunt for a great stand alone summer white.




My immediate favorite  of the group was Poppy.  It's a spicy red with shimmering flecks which are visible on the nail. Poppy is the only color I've worn as a full manicure so far. It applied easily, the drying time was normal and wear time was about a week. My go to colors for the summer have been corals, oranges and peaches. The fall nail colors have started to come out but I'm resisting.....so far. What about you guys?  






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Home is where the heart is


Before I take a trip I usually spend a good amount of time reviewing the travel sites for tips, deals and ratings on hotels. I took these pics of my hotel during my stay in Rome to upload on my Travelocity review. I use Travelocity a lot because I like to book my flights and hotels together and they usually have the best deals and really good excursions that you can add on when booking your trip. I think the expression a picture is worth a thousand words, is most appropriate when reviewing hotels. Descriptions can be embellished, and one person's palace could be another's pigsty, which is why I like a review with a clear photo of the four corners of the room.








Then there are the things that are oh so important that some reviewers gloss over or never mention. In those instances a picture can save the day for the potential traveller.





Yep that's how they roll in Roma

My top three things when considering a hotel are location, location and water pressure.* In Rome my hotel was a five- seven  minute walk from the major Termini station and within walking distance of many of the popular Roman sights. I've found that it works out better sometimes to stay slightly  outside the major city in an area with good access to a metro line, that way you avoid the crowds of the very touristy areas and get to see how the locals really live.


Whose travelling this summer? If you're not staying with family or friends what are your must haves for your hotel stay?


*I need a swift vigorous flush and a steady forceful stream of warm water from the shower.


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Bite Pomegranate Pencil / Covergirl blastflipstick-flashy & tease







I have christened this summer, the summer of the bright lip, and this Bite lip pencil in pomegranate surely fits the bill. This red is outside my comfort zone, but that's the point. I'm trying to shake things up a bit around here :).  I like lipstick pencils because they are easier for me to work with than regular lipstick or gloss, but they sometimes dry my already dry lips out even more. I didn't have that issue with this brand. The Bite lip pencil is actually moisturizing. I have about two swipes on in the pic above and I love it. I haven't actually worn it out of the house yet.... but I will.....one day.... soon.






Tease
Flipstick color on the right by itself


Both colors blended with the darker color on the right as the base




Flashy
Flipstick color on the right by itself

Both colors blended with the darker color on the right of the flipstick as the base


I got these Covergirl blastflipstick colors from my favorite place- Target. The top lip pics are the darker color on the right in the shots of the flipsticks, by itself. The bottom lip pics are the two colors combined with the darker color as the base. I like the individual darker colors, and don't really see any difference once blended. Flashy is my favorite of the two. They applied nicely and are very pigmented, so much so that they leave the lips with a nice stain, long after the actual lipstick has worn off.  

What lip colors are you guys wearing for the summer?



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