Wednesday, August 11, 2010

deal o' the day: is one of those sites that seems too good to be true. I mean, who offers meals at great restaurants for less than half off? The first time I used it I was totally convinced that the gourmet restaurant I used it for was going to laugh at me when I presented the certificate. However, it's totally legit and a great bargain. The boy and I have purchased several gift certs from them now and never have had an issue. They have phenomenal sales periodically and are having one now.

How it works is you enter your zip, choose from a list of restaurants, and purchase (simple, no?). Typically, the deal is about half off ($4.50 for $10 worth of food), but when they have sales like the one below, it's even cheaper.

Use coupon code BIG to receive 80% off at and purchase $25 gift certificates for as low as $2.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

for shame, tar-zhay

So, I didn’t really anticipate that this blog would be political in nature, but sometimes you have to talk about more than nail polish and good food. Target has donated $150,000 to a PAC, Minnesota Forward, who runs TV ads on behalf of Tom Emmer, a Republican who is vocally anti-gay and running for Governor.


I love Target, but I love my gay friends, my gay family, and human rights more.

What can you do to send a message to Target?

  • Join the rapidly growing group on Facebook.
  • Stop shopping at Target and then email, mail or call Target’s corporate offices and let them know that until they take some sort of corrective action, you will not patronize their stores (contact info on the Facebook page link above).
  • If you are a fan or “like” Target on Facebook, comment on a thread showing your disgust for their actions, then unlike the page.

Read more here

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I love my poo!

I have been thinking of going sulfate-free with my shampoo as I keep hearing it’s better for both my hair and the environment (reasons why are below), but I have had some not so great experiences in the past with sulfate-free offerings and have abandoned them quickly. I typically would purchase the “natural” shampoos that they sell at Whole Foods and the like. No suds and I was left feeling greasy after with really dry hair.

It was one night last week, in somewhat of a sleep-deprived haze, I went to Walgreens and stumbled across a line called Renpure Organics. The bottle was cute and red and I loved seeing the “no sulfates” label. What I also really loved was seeing the “buy one get one free” offer from Walgreens as well as the $6.99 rebate on the bottles. Knowing nothing about the product or brand, I was dubious, but you can’t beat free, right? Worst case scenario, it becomes something I donate to someone else.

I purchased the “My Pretty Hair is Parched” versions of the shampoo and conditioner. I was VERY happy to find that this non-sulfate shampoo actually lathered. It actually lathered quite a bit. The conditioner was thick and spread well and rinsed really easily – no standing in the shower for 10 minutes trying to wash the residue off my back. Best of all, my hair looked and felt fabulous after! Soft, shiny and my halo frizzies were all gone – something that not even extra moisturizing conditioners have managed to get rid of in the past.

98% of shampoo (even the expensive brands) on the market contain sulfates. Sulfates are, essentially, detergents. SLS (sodium laurel sulfate) is used in dish-washing detergents and degreasers. It’s cheap and it gets really foamy so it’s a very common ingredient in shampoo because people like that squeaky-clean feeling. Unfortunately, as you might imagine, that squeaky-clean feeling comes at the expense of the condition of your hair. Additionally, shampoo companies will add silicone ingredients back into shampoo or conditioner so you don’t actually realize how damaging the shampoo has been. Silicone coats your hair to make it feel smoother, but it also can build up easily and actually causes more frizz in some hair types.

As it turns out, Renpure is owned and was created by the Redmond family who originated the Aussie line. If you can’t find the products at Walgreen’s, it’s also available online at and Amazon.

Bottom line: I am VERY happy with my Renpure and would totally buy again!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

stuff I want, but can't bring myself to buy

Desire is an odd thing. Sometimes wanting something is almost better than how you feel when you actually get what you want. Does this mean I have a shopping addiction or am I merely your typical consumer? Eh, who cares. I’m not up for a deep psychological exploration of my purchasing habits this early on a Saturday.

Coastal Scents 88 Metal Mania Palette

88 Metal Mania Palette

88 Metal Mania Palette

I have the other three 88 palettes from Coastal Scents and the Metal Mania palette is their latest. I love the neutral colors and I hear that the finish is really nice – not glittery, not a shimmer, but a true metallic finish. That said, I have yet to bring myself to order. Do I need MORE eyeshadow? If I add together the three palettes I already have, I own 264 shades. And, I am approaching “that age” where I am supposed to stick with matte eyeshadow… Ah hell, you can never have too many eyeshadow colors, right? And who cares what “they” say.

Bargain Tip: This palette (and the other 88s) are not actually manufactured by Coastal Scents. I have, in fact, purchased all three of mine brand new on eBay. Granted, they are shipped from China and the shipping time can be lengthy, but I saved about $10 each. Just do a search on “88 palette” if you want to check them out.

Glowing Vieques Ring with Gold

Glowing Vieques Ring with Gold

Glowing Vieques Ring with Gold

Well, it looks like this beauty sold (which is why I couldn’t say exactly what the price was). I am not surprised. At least I can stare at the photo, right? If you want to check out EsotericaBazaar‘s other Etsy items, you can view her shop here.

Edit: Ah… she has another for sale! Or perhaps someone bought the first and changed their mind?

Leopard-Print Handkerchief-Hem Halter Dress

Leopard-Print Handkerchief-Hem Halter Dress

This dress is so me… yet so not me. I suppose my hesitation was that I’ve not had great luck with halter tops in the past, but the style of this one is different. I’ve also had some sizing issues with Newport News. I’ve followed their size charts in the past and typically, I find they are way too large.

Note: I decided to bite the bullet and buy this. Of course, by the time I decided to purchase, my size was out of stock.

Essie Vermillionaire & Essie Haute As Hello

$8 ea.

Essie Vermillionaire via Temptalia

Essie Vermillionaire (pic. via Temptalia)

Essie Haute As Hello

Essie Haute As Hello (pic. via Temptalia)

UPDATE: I bought Vermillionaire (bargain price on eBay, thank you very much) and it's almost identical to a shade I already own. C'est la vie.

Those who know me know that I have a serious thing for anything coral, salmon, melon, or orange in color (I shall refer to these shades as “corsameor” from now on). It’s the color I always gravitate to when I shop for clothing, am making jewelry, or shopping for nail polish. Unfortunately, in the polish realm, a really good non-neon corsameor is really hard to find, so unless it’s cheap, I am reluctant to buy. While these Essie shades are lovely, at $8 per bottle, I have yet to overcome my fear of the dreaded surprise neon nail.

Note: These photos are from Temptalia’s blog. I LOVE her reviews and her eye makeup looks!

Friday, July 23, 2010

my serious nail addiction

Ever since I had a manicure and realized my nails actually can grow long if I take care of them, I have become a polish addict. Thankfully, it’s a relatively cheap addiction though I might grow an extra eyeball from all of the chemicals I am surely absorbing into my system.

For my fellow polish lovers, here is a list of my favorite blogs to that feed my newest obsession:

  • Polish Mayhem: This nail diva has tried (and photographed) more polish than I could have ever imagined was possible. She gives great reviews, takes amazing photos, and gives good advice. She also posts about sales and specials. She goes by the user name MollyHell on Flickr and you can browse her extensive gallery of nail polish swatches. or you can view her Flickr gallery here
  • The Nailphile: Again, lots of swatches and great information on new polish releases before they are released to stores.
  • Short and Sweet Nails: If you have shorter fingernails, this is the blog for you. All polish is swatched on short fingernails which can give you a better sense of how different colors and finishes will look on your own nails.
  • Steph’s Closet Photo Gallery: She swatches polish colors you can find at most drugstores (which I LOVE). She also has short nails, so again, a good representation for the shorties!
  • Lastly, though not really a blog, Community Nail Polish Gallery is a huge gallery of reader-contributed photos of nail polish swatches. Search by color, brand, finish, and polish name. There are also galleries of nail art and layering experiments. If you wonder what’s available from Essie or need to find the perfect purple for your bridesmaid gown, this is the spot!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

yummy! it's soup time!

When a co-worker (the fabulous Molly of Fat Bottom Boudoir) told me about Nana’s a few months ago, my first reaction was “Why are we going to eat at a soup kitchen?” What I discovered is that A) I need to listen more carefully to what people say, and B) Nana’s makes awesome soup.

Nana’s is in an old house in Fremont that feels like one of those places I would have hung out in during college – it’s funky, earthy, small, crowded, and has that distinct Seattle nouveau-hippie vibe. Thankfully it does not smell like patchouli or clove cigarettes.

They serve wraps, salads, paninis, wraps, microbrews, espresso, and (you guessed it) soup. I opted for the soup/salad combo – creamy tomato basil, spinach salad with almonds and mandarin slices, and a cornbread muffin. It’s not cheap, but the food is good and you get a lot for your money.

Visit Nana’s Soup House

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

nails today: private viewing

I haven’t used Wet n’ Wild nail polish since junior high when we’d have slumber parties and paint each others’ nails bright metallic blue while munching Cheetos and watching Duran Duran videos. Of course, going to Catholic school, I’d have to remove the lovely blue polish before Monday morning since anything other than clear was forbidden. It’s a shame too since that color would have coordinated well with my royal blue uniform cardigan.

Back to the 21st century… Amazingly, this $1.99 wonder goes on exceptionally well. This is one of their fancier formulas, so it costs $1 more than their base line. While I’m not opposed to paying $8+ for quality polish, I love a bargain (have I mentioned I love a bargain?) and was so pleasantly surprised by this one. The Megalast formula is supposed to last a long time. I, however, like to change polish frequently, so will probably never get to truly test this.

The color gives me what I’ve seen referred to as “mannequin hands” meaning it’s in the same family as my skin tone and blends right in with my skin. Obviously, this will depend on your own skin tone to see if it provides the same effect. I’d call it a medium neutral beige with a hint of pink. It’s a creme formula (no shimmer, glitter, or metallic tones).