Put An Arrow on It

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Hello :)  How are you?  I've been at the beach and am slowly starting to come back to a regular routine. That, of course, includes getting back on the blogging horse.  I've been meaning to do a little roundup of all things arrows since they seem to be EVERYWHERE (anyone remember the "Put a Bird On It" episode from Portlandia?).  Arrows are such a classic, happy image that invoke in me feelings of freedom, soaring to new heights, and endless possibilities.  They really are timeless--I love the look.

I was going to make this one of my 'design trend' columns, but the only column I've done in that category gets a crazy amount of spam (page views and unpublished comments).  So I hesitate to use the same terminology.  We're just going to keep things loosey goosey and relaxed.  Here are just a few things I've found with the kind of rustic arrows I like:


arrow print for boys
Artwork by Printable Wisdom via Etsy

blue arrow onesie
Onesie from eleventyfive via etsy

Toddler "Wild" shirt from Feather 4 Arrow via Shoppe


sliver arrow ring
Silver arrow ring from SterlingSilverJewels via etsy

Arrow earrings from Barberryandlace via Etsy

Arrow bracelet from LayeredWithLove via Etsy

Home Accessories

Wall Decals from SignHereVinyl via Etsy

orange arrow sheets
Land of Nod Sheet Set

Pottery Barn Teen Jewelry Stand 

urban outfitters home accessories arrows

Clockwise from top left via Urban Outfitters: throw || wall decals || bathmat || decorative box


purple arrow scarf
Arrow scarf from Target

Arrow boxers from Gap

Scalloped tap shorts from Anthropologie

Arrow sweater from JCrew

Phone cases

iPhone case from uncovet

iPhone case from Zazzle


Arrow dog collar from Shelleycreations via etsy

cool design dog bed accessories
Arrow dog bed via Amazon

Have you been noticing arrows a lot lately, too?

More Ways to Waste Time: Happy Friday!

Friday, July 11, 2014
It's Friday!  Here are a few things to keep you from doing what you're supposed to be doing today. You're welcome.

1.  I ordered this rash guard for our beach trip and it looks like it'll arrive in time.  My kids live in the water at the beach and rash guards are the easiest way to protect us all from getting fried.

(Lands' End ON SALE! $19.50)

2.  The second trailer for Gone Girl is out.  I can't wait for October 3rd.  Movies based on books are rarely as good as the book, but this trailer looks really good!

3.  My kids would love to make these fudge pops from Against All Grain.  It would give us a chance to use these new BPA-free popscle molds.  We have other molds that sit in a tray to freeze (who has a flat open space in their freezer at a moments notice?), but these individual tubes give us the freedom to just stuff them anywhere they'll fit.

4.  In case you were living under a rock, Eva Medes and Ryan Gosling are expecting a child together and the news almost broke the Internet this week.  People.com has a funny roundup of the reactions of fans on twitter..really worth the click.

5.  We don't have an ant problem at our current house (knock on wood), but we did at our last house.  They were those tiny little ants that came out of nowhere if you left even the tiniest of crumbs, or missed a bit of honey on the counter while cleaning up.  Here are 13 natural remedies to get rid of ants that I wish we'd tried while we were there.  Eventually, we just got used to them ;)

6.  I have super fine, thin hair and I have my eye on this thickening "dryspun" shampoo from Bumble and Bumble.  Usually dry shampoo builds up in my hair with unpleasant results, but the reviewers with similar hair to mine are raving about it.  I think I'll buy it at Sephora, just in case ;)

7.  Finally, an airline with humans running the show.  Great story!

8.  I was returning a few things at the mall the other day and popped into GapKids on a whim.  They were having a 40% off sale items promotion.  I cleaned up on summer stuff that the kids can wear this fall for school.  She said they were getting in their fall collection the next day.  What?!  I thought we just got out of school?  (It looks like they are having a bigger clearance today if you're in the market!)

Have a great weekend :)

Budget Beauty: Hits and Misses

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
I'm not against spending money on products for my skin and beauty routine (especially products that live up to their claims), but if I can find something that works just as well at Target or my local drug store, why wouldn't I spend less?  I don't wear a lot of color on my eyes and lips, so when I feel like experimenting, I'd rather spend under $10 instead of $50.  Especially if it's $50 on the latest eye shadow palette that I will probably end up never using.

drugstore beauty budget maybelline color tatoo age rewind lip balm loreal self tanner bronze

Here's what I've tried lately:

Maybelline NY Green Cover Stick Corrector Concealer

Claims: Corrects redness and covers under eye circles and blemishes.
Results:  It worked well to cover both my under eye circles, a red area on my forehead (that I've always had) and the redness around my nose.  However, under my eyes it ended up looking too bright (even with concealer on top).  Also, it caked around my nose.  I exfoliate every other day, but it still just wouldn't blend into that area.
Verdict:  Miss: I didn't love it, but for under $5 it could work in a pinch.

Maybelline NY Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Spot Treatment Corrector

Claims:  Covers imperfections instantly, evens skin tone with Vitamin C to fade spots over time.  Also: "precision eraser applicator".
Results:  Unfortunately, I really didn't like this product.  The sponge-tipped applicator made for an awkward application--the product needs to be coaxed out by pressing the sponge down on your skin.  Plus, it has a slight scent that doesn't appeal to me.  It seriously smells like fruity spray paint.
Verdict: Miss

L'OREAL Paris Colour Riche Balm in #418 "Caring Coral"

Claims: Hydrating, sheer lip color.
Results: I love the formula--it is buttery and silky, but it's a bit too sheer for my liking.  I have a lot of pigment in my lips, so it barely showed up.  But I'll probably try to find a deeper shade because it felt so good on my lips and it smells like chocolate!  (The scent fades soon after you put it on.)
Verdict: Hit: if I can find it in a better color

drugstore beauty budget maybelline color tatoo age rewind lip balm loreal self tanner bronze

L'OREAL Paris Sublime Bronze Self Tanner in Medium/Natural Tan

Claims: No rub, quick dry, streak-free color with a fresh citrus scent.  Also: a 360 degree angle applicator.
Results: The color was nice--not too dark for my very pale skin, but it was very streaky and I had several dark droplets where the spray dripped on the skin.  It looked like I had a bunch of weird birthmarks on my legs.  Maybe if I had Joe spray me down it would have been applied more evenly.   I also didn't like the idea of the over-spray landing on my rug and floors.  (It's a very fine mist, but still.) On the plus side: the scent was nice--nothing like I'm used to with self tanners.  And it definitely faded once it was dry.  I also picked up some tanning 'towelettes' that I'm going to give a go once this product finally wears off (that's another plus, it's been three days and it's still hanging on!)
Verdict: Miss for me, but maybe a Hit for you if you have someone who can carefully spray you down once a week.

Maybelline NY Color Tatoo by EYESTUDIO 24 Hour eye shadow (#35 "Tough as Taupe" and #70 "Barely Branded")

Claims:  The gel formula will glide on with no creasing and will last 24 hours.
Results:  I like this formula.  It's not as creamy as some, and I had to kind of warm up my fingers to get it to "melt" enough to easily apply it.  It does crease a little, but not enough to deter me--especially since it lasts all day.  My only complaint is that the color wasn't blended very well in the pot.  Sometimes I'd get these streaks of shimmer on my lids when I applied it.  For the most part, the color was consistent.  I love the the "Tough as Taupe" and usually wear it alone with liner and mascara.  Sometimes I use it as a base/primer for other shadows.  The "Barely Branded" color was a bit dark and matte for me.  I'm a beginner level, at best, when applying eye shadow and this dark, intense shade left no room for error.  Plus, the color was dull on me (there is no shimmer in the pot, so this shouldn't have been a surprise).
Verdict: Hit:  give these a try.  Finding the perfect colors may take some effort, but overall the formula does what it says.

That's what I've been dabbling in lately.  Do you have any inexpensive "hits" to share?

Ugly Sandals to the Rescue?

Monday, July 7, 2014
Have you guys been seeing the popularity of what I call, "ugly sandals" this spring/summer?  I'm no runway model, but I was shocked at how many retailers were carrying Birkenstocks and Birkenstock-ish sandals from any number of fashionable designers.  Anthropologie, Madewell and the like had Birk's and there are plenty of knock offs at department stores (I just spotted them at Wal-Mart), etc.

I've never understood how someone could wear something so hideous.  But alas, with back problems last fall and recently being on crutches for a sprained foot tendon (due to running errands in non-supportive flip flops), I put my harsh judgments aside to give them a try.  Plus, I had never seen the Birkenstock Gizeh version before.

(Birkenstock Gizeh via Amazon $90)

They're actually kind of doable.  Or so I thought.  I went to a local store store and tried them on.  Wow--they are HARD.  As in: no flexibility.  I've heard that you eventually break them in as you wear them, but I found them to be super stiff and not supportive.  I just didn't find them comfortable, at all.  What am I missing?

Plus, I was in between sizes.  AND they were as hideous as I expected.  Really bad.  Maybe that's because I have largish feet?  (I'm a size 9.)  I saw another mom at a local fair wearing them with shorts recently and she looked so cute.  Chic, even.  I'm happy for people who can pull them off and who find them comfortable.

Click on this google search link to check out celebrities (mostly) pulling them off!  More power to them.

The salesperson brought me a different pair of sandals that were a bit more visually appealing and were so comfortable.

(Aetrex Lena via Amazon $99)

I did say a bit more appealing.  Man, why does comfort usually mean sacrificing aesthetics?  Yes, I bought them (out of desperation) figuring that no one would really notice them if I wear them with pants/jeans.  Spoiler alert: they ended up being too heavy for my (apparently) delicate feet. Unfortunately, I can't return them now!  (When will I learn to spend some quality time in any new shoes, doing my daily chores before wearing them outside rendering them nonreturnable?  Apparently, never.)  I'm hoping I can sell them on eBay to recoup some of the cost.

So my problem isn't solved and I feel like it is this endless search for shoes!  In the winter, I can look halfway cute in wide legged jeans and fashionable sneakers to run around and do errands.  It's harder to look cute in a summer dress or skirt with sneakers on.  Or, at least comfortable sneakers.

None of the cute sneakers I've seen (Converse, Sketchers, Keds, etc) have any arch support.  Plus, I have sweaty feet that swell in this hot/humid climate (and my hair looks gross, to boot!  Thanks northern VA), so sneakers aren't my best option.  

The sandals I saw at DSW with more supportive straps were all 3-4 inches high.  Macy's had some more "down to earth" options, but they were so ugly, I wouldn't be caught dead in them.  L.L. Bean had  plenty of outdoorsy types, but nothing appealing.  By the time I find something, it'll be fall ;)

What do you wear to run errands or take care of the day to day house stuff in the dog days of summer?  Do you wear Birkenstocks?

More Ways to Waste Time: Long Weekend Reading

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I hope if you're in America you are already enjoying your 4th of July long weekend.  We have a quiet plan of relaxing at my sister's pool, golfing and eating some good grub.  If you're killing time, here are a few links for you to check out:

If you're a local, you should be following Capital Area Weather Gang on their Washington Post blog or on Twitter.  They are awesome.  They are logging updates regarding "Arthur" who is the earliest first named hurricane since 1995!  I'm so glad my siblings opted to buy the travel insurance for our upcoming trip to North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Dana from House*Tweaking finally got her house tour(s) updated on her blog.  There's some really good eye candy in both homes.  You have to see the before pictures--what she's done in her home in three years is unbelievable!

(House*Tweaking Living Room)

This week is the 25th anniversary of Seinfeld's premiere and Vulture has a quiz to test your knowledge.  I was disappointed to only get 10 right!

Irony from the Washington Post: "An American Fourth of July, made in China".  Depressing.

And because I love Seinfeld...have you caught his fourth season of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee?  It's so good.  Take some time and go back through all of the seasons...totally worth your time :)

Finally, I really want to see the documentary, "112 Weddings".  A filmmaker videoed 112 weddings as a side business over the course of 20 years and he circles back to interview some of the couples he taped.  I can only imagine the lessons and insight we'll learn from it.  I believe HBO has picked it up and it was scheduled to start airing on June 30th.  Hopefully I can catch it on Netflix soon!

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