Beauty: Zoya Phoebe

3/31/2011 09:51:00 AM Ashley 2 Comments

Well it looks like Phoebe won the chance to be the first polish I tried from my BOGO spree at Zoya! It's not easy to see, but the color is one of two matte polishes that I got. Zoya discribes this color as:

"Phoebe can be best described as: Bright azure with fine electric blue and violet shimmer with a velvety matte finish. The matte finish amplifies the bright color; this is a matte that positively glows"

The shimmer can be very hard to see in certain lights, but when it hits just right it almost has a metal look too it. Get even closer to the nail and you can see the very small glittery shimmer. And it is, in every sense of the word, electric blue. I constantly catch myself looking at and petting my nails.

For this color I did some layering in hopes of making it last longer (as I've read that this can help), because mattes are notorious for chipping quickly. Sadly it's just the nature of the beast. I started with a base coat of CND's Stickey base coat. I then did two layers of the color and followed it with a OPI top coat. This is why I was able to get pictures of what this color would look like if it wasn't matte. Then I finished everything off with one last coat of the color. All in all I did 3 coats to get it opaque, with 3 nails needing a 4th coat, but that was because of user error.

In the first batch of photos I am showing the polish with a top coat, which completely blocks out any hint of matte.

Top coat with flash.

Close up, top coat with flash. Here you can really see the shimmer.

Top coat natural light.

Close up, top coat in natural light.

Now to show you the polish in all of it's full matte glory...

With flash.

Up close with flash.

Natural light.

Up close with natural light.

Nate made a comment that the matte has the look and feel of a chalkboard and I definitely would agree with that comment. I also notice that it picks up body oils and lotions, which makes it almost glow and takes away that chalky look. Which I don't mind.

Now lets get down to business. This is not the easiest color in the world to put on (minus the fact that I always paint my cuticles). This is simply because it is matte, and much like their chipping issues, mattes dry fast. While that might seem like a great polish to use if you need a quick mani, I can say that thought process is totally wrong. I actually tried applying this color on Tuesday, quickly, with a very bad outcome. Because it dries so quickly, if you don't get good solid coats down, you are left with a gloppy, lumpy mess. The key is to rush, but not rush. Load up your brush and try to only do only two swipes per nail (three for thumbs). Don't worry too much if the first coat is streaky, it usually fixes itself after the second coat.

Mattes can take a little work to master, but once you have they are totally worth it. My nails were totally dry in 10 minutes. As in I could press down on my nail and not leave a finger print behind. I am very interested to see how this sandwiching of color and top coat works out. I'll definitely have to do an update on how long the color actually lasts.

All in all though, I am totally smitten with this color. I have nothing like it in my collection. It's such a eye catching color and I really really love how it feels (cause I need another reason to pet myself). I can easily see myself using this as a matte as well as adding a top coat to it, because the top coat totally changes the look of it. It almost glows from within.

So what do you think? Would you ever do bright blue nails? Have you played around with mattes? If so do you like them? And how do you apply them?


Beauty: A little mail box love from Target

3/30/2011 04:05:00 PM Ashley 2 Comments

A month or so back, someone posted on Facebook that Target was giving away a free bag full of beauty goodies if you answered some questions on a survey that Target had up on their website. Me being me, and loving beauty things as well as all free things, headed over to the site. They had a picture of what you would get, which of course always looks a million times better then what you usually get...that is if you ever get it. And honestly after awhile I forgot about the goodie bag entirely.

Fast forward to today when I saw a box in the mail! I love unexpected packages!


After giddily having Nate rip it open (hello freshly painted nails!), I was greeted with tiny cosmetic bag that I instantly knew was one of Sonia Kashuk's patterns!


Inside of the cosmetic bag was one full sized lip balm (Neutrogena Naturals), two sample sized bottles (Pantine Curly Hair Series shampoo and Nivea Express Hydration Daily Lotion), three single use samples (Fekkai Shea Butter shampoo and conditioner and Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in Hot Pink) and a coupon booklet with $25 in savings!


Thanks Target for actually sending these out! It's always nice to get something unexpected in the mail. It's even better when it gives you the chance to try new things (you can bet I've already put the lip balm to use).

Oh and in case you noticed...that's Phoebe on my nails. Keep an eye out for a full post about the color!


Beauty: Zoya made me do it

3/29/2011 06:00:00 AM Ashley 4 Comments

I may have an addiction y'all.

Yesterday I just got in my 3rd order in three months from Zoya. They've been running amazing promos and have drool worthy nail colors that keep me coming back for more.

I snagged eight polishes from their three new summer lines (Sunshine, Summertime and Mod Matte), for the price of four. Can we say awesome BOGO offer!? Seriously, they are an awesome company who is really involved in their Facebook page. If you don't already like them, you should! They do fun giveaways all the time and it's the best place to find out about all of their offers!

I grabbed two of the three matte polishes and three colors from each of the other two. From top to bottom and left to right, they are: Mitzi, Apple, Phoebe, Rica, Reva, Areej, Kieko and Mira.

My addiction goes even further then all started with their three free deal and kept going when they had an awesome deal on the whole Intimate Collection (six polishes). Which means that in total I have gotten 17 polishes from them...and all at a discount. Excuse me while I do my "I'm batso, but so very happy" dance.

I'll work on getting up some swatches of the colors sometime this week. Now I just have to figure out which color to start with. Is there a color that you might want to see first?


Life: Last week

3/28/2011 09:23:00 AM Ashley 6 Comments

I wanted to thank the few people who gave feedback on what they liked and what they wanted to see on this blog. Though I was a little sad that I didn't get more input, as I really wanted to see what might make this a more readable and enjoyable blog. So here is me begging...please give me some insight and feedback!

Anywho, moving on.

This past week was Nate's spring break. It was a much needed break after a long, hard, quarter of classes. We kicked off the break with our St. Patrick's Day/finals are over party...which was awesome! So awesome that we didn't get any pictures. I will say that there was great food, laughter, friends, games and a lot of beer. Lets just say that our recycling bin was brimming with bottles.

The rest of the week was spent hanging out with friends, going to a dance and 2 full days of exploring new restaurants. Nate and I had realized that we hadn't been finding new places to eat and hang out at. So we changed that and ending up finding a great pizza and beer place, where they change out the beers on tap every few weeks. An ice cream shop with yummy custard! Two great places for beer, one of which we need to go back to for their sandwiches. A Mexican restaurant with great prices and amazingly flavorful meats and sauces. And a bar that has amazing french fries and lets you take home growlers of any of the beer they have on tap! We also tried to go to another bar that is supposed to have amazing prime rib, but when we got there it was packed and there was an hour and a half wait just for food. So we'll be going back, perhaps this weekend. I will say that the wait was a little annoying (hey I was hungry), but at the same time it makes it seem as though the good food rumor just might be true!

Of course, though, we can't have a great weekend without issues. Sadly yesterday, Emmett twisted his leg oddly while on the sofa which sent him into a screaming fit. It was a wakeup call that we needed to remind us that Emmett has bad hips. So all of yesterday was spent trying to get his pain back under control.


This of course also meant trying to make him eat. Which he did not want to do.


And also making him as comfortable as possible.

He did start feeling better last night, but this morning I woke up to him throwing up on the bed. After he was done, he started coughing/gagging for a little too long for comfort. Awesome way to start the day. I"m keeping a close eye on him, but it's most likely because of the pain medication he takes when he has a flair up.

Currently he's being a butthead and climbing up onto the sofa when I have my back turned for 2 seconds and then jumping off when he feels like it. Sometimes I think that he's trying to send me to an early stressed out grave. But man do I love that little fuzz-butt!

Hopefully he'll start feeling better, because I need to get back to the gym. I mean I did eat my way through Dayton in two days...and perhaps had a stress fest at Taco Bell (damn crappy food being all I want when stressed). Lets just say that I am dreading the scale.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


Life: blog ideas

3/23/2011 08:39:00 AM Ashley 7 Comments

I'm stumped y'all. I just don't know what to blog about. While I do blog for myself, I do like knowing what you think about my posts.

So this post is a call out to all of you lovely readers. What is it that you like me blogging about? What do you want to see more of? Less of? The same amount of? If I gave my blog a facelift, wht would you like to see changed?

I really need your feedback, because as of this point I just don't know what to do. My idea well is running dry!

So leave those comments! And know that I look forward to hearing from you all!


Life: St. Patties

3/17/2011 12:38:00 PM Ashley 3 Comments

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Hope everyone is enjoying this very green holiday! I'm busy getting the house ready for a St. Patties/Yay finals are over party. I should be able to do a quick post about it tomorrow. Though there isn't that much decorating going on for this one, as we're going fot a more relaxed (read getting drunk) party. But don't you worry, there is green in the house and you can be sure people will be harassed if they are lacking green in their wardrobe!

While I am very excited about this gathering and getting to spend time with friends, it's also bitter sweet for me. Today was my mom's birthday. She would have been 63. Green was her favorite color, so it was fitting that she was born on the greenest holiday of them all. She was a stickler for wearing green today...with a pinch waiting for those who did not abide. And no, green underwear did not count because you can't see them. Or at least that is what she would tell me as she came after me for not wearing green (I may or may not have been rebelling against the color...hello goth phase).

Now a days you can't keep me from wearing green. I've got my green shirt all picked out, green nail polish to be applied to the nails and yes...even green underwear. So while I eat one of my husband's Irish car bomb cupcakes and laugh with friends, my mom won't be far from my mind.


Life: Just a little update

3/14/2011 05:17:00 PM Ashley 0 Comments

Hello my lovelies! I'm busy trying to get back into the swing of things after being sick for a week. Of course that means catching up on the ever growing pile of dishes and cleaning chores. But it's all worth it, because we are having a St. Patrick's Day/end of finals party on Thursday! It should be a great gathering as well as a chance for our busy students to unwind after finals.

I'm not going too over the top with the decorating. Just little pops of green here and there, with a focus on beer and food. Everyone was asked to bring a snack/bar food and their choice of beer. While we'll be supplying our beloved black bean chili.

Other than that, I don't have much to post about. In fact I am running a little dry. Any ideas or topics that you would be interested in seeing on here? Comment to let me know!


Decor: The dining room...finally!

3/10/2011 06:00:00 AM Ashley 0 Comments

Many many months ago I teased you with a almost finished dining room post. Then I never really did an update on it. Though you kind of got a look at it when I did a post about a baby shower I helped throw. But I am trying to be a better blogger and actually post about things I talk about.

So here we go...a proper look into my dining room (again these photos were taken right after our wine tasting party, thus all the red).

Looking into the dining room from the living room.

Looking in from the kitchen.

Our buffet.

Candle holder wall art.

Again, we were lucky that all of our stuff somehow fit into the dining room! Somehow as were were setting up our house, furniture just kept finding homes. Which is such a relief. The leaf rug was originally in our living room back in Albuquerque, but we didn't need it here because of the carpeting. Our repainted china cabinet also makes a reappearance.

Of course the biggest thing is the stripes on the wall. After swearing off doing stripes ever again...
I went and did them again anyway! I even used paint from Ralph Lauren's Regent Metallic line, which I already had. I again have sworn off stripes, which should last for awhile, because if we move back to Colorado my house there already has stripes!


Decor: Living room

3/09/2011 08:25:00 AM Ashley 0 Comments

I'm officially sick. Three days ago I had a tickle in my throat. Two days ago it was a cough. Yesterday it was a full blown cough and today I'm for sure sick as it has now moved into my nose. I'm writing this one off as a head cold. Lucky me.

This means that I am not getting a lot done. I had to pass on a trip to IKEA (boo) which could have lead to possible yellow fabric for the living room. Of course nothing would have been made since I have been sitting on my butt doing nothing. But lets ignore that part.

Since I have nothing done and I'm not planning on anything getting done today, I figured I'd show you my living room. It has been a topic of some of my recent posts after all. Plus you finally get to see the sofa we loved, but had a few issues with (read about it here, here and here). All of the troubles with it were totally worth it, because I am in love with this sofa!

Keep in mind, all of these pictures were taken after our Valentine's wine tasting party, so there is a lot of red. All of the red can go away, minus our wonderful carpet.

View from standing at our front door.

View from stairs.


View from dining room.

Our secondary "living" area behind our sofa. Also where we house our kitchen table.

When we moved into the house we had to finagle some furniture around to make it fit. After all we do have a lot of furniture. But somehow we managed to get everything we needed into this very long living room.

Our very empty "before".

It may not be the most desirable living space ever, but I like what we did with it. It's comfortable and hopefully inviting. I always strive to have a house that looks good, but also feels lived in. I want people to be able to come in and feel like they can sit down and just relax. It helps that the sofa is really comfortable! Totally worth all of the last minute stress.

All I need now is some bright fresh colors to help make if feel like spring! Now while I am drooling over yellow, if you have color ideas I'd live to hear them! So comment with links and ideas! I love hearing from you! Also, if you have any questions about our living room I'd be happy to answer them!


Decor: Yellow fabric for pillows

3/07/2011 08:16:00 AM Ashley 4 Comments

I know I just did a post about yellow not even three weeks ago, but we can ignore that right?

I'm still jonesing for the color and it's bad.

Bad enough that I am actually willing going to try to sew something other than paper. Yep, that's right I'm going to try my hand at sewing fabric (I say this as if I haven't sewn fabric before). But the fabric is going to be for throw pillows for our living room. I mean what better way to add color then something that you can change out when you are tired of it!?

Now I just need to find the perfect fabric with yellow in it. Care to help me pick one out!? Great...I knew you would!

Of course today Joann's website is down, so I can't post a picture of one of the fabrics I've been eyeing there. Oh well. These are just a few of the fabrics that have caught my eye. If you can think of any other fabrics that might work, or that you love...share those links with me!