Thursday, May 30, 2013

Birchbox Vs. Ipsy: May 13

Inside My Birchbox:

Isaac Mizrahi Fabulous Eau de Parfum: I was not a fan of this scent.  To me, it was very musky and had a distinct patchouli odor to it, neither of which are scents that appeal to me.  There are supposed to be fruity notes in there too (the description talks about citrus,  mandarin, and nectarine), but they were lost on me.  

Marvis Classic Mint Toothpaste: I LOVED THIS STUFF!!  Confession:  I spent $36 on toothpaste after using this tube.  My husband was completely enamored of it as well.  It has a strong mint flavor and leaves your teeth feeling very clean.  I can't wait to try all of the other flavors.

CoTZ Natural Skin Tone SPF 40: I wasn't impressed with the application of this.  It doesn't really apply smoothly.  However, I wore it and spent a great deal of time outside sweating, and I didn't even get a hint of burn.

Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner: My sample was in Jamun, which is a black color.  I have mentioned before that black eyeliner is a bit too severe on me, so I will be gifting this to a friend.

amika Obliphica Nourishing Mask and Hair Treatment:   I loved the smell and the shine that my hair had after using both of these products.  Very nice!  I would recommend this to a friend.

One of my big complaints about the last Ipsy bag I received was that I got a duplicate bag (of one they sent me last year).  They sent me the bag I missed out on last month along with the May bag.  I was very happy about this.  Redemption achieved.

Inside My Ipsy Bag:

Chevron Glam Bag:  Love at first sight.  

Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss in fig:  The is a smooth shiny gloss that looks very pretty when I apply it, but doesn't last very long.  It also smells like berries, which is very pleasant.

Zoya Nail Pplish in Neely: A pretty light green color.  Very summery.  Bonus points for it being full sized.

Pacifica Luminizing Body Butter in Coconut Crushed Pearl:  This smells like cake batter and gives my skin a slight shimmer. It is also very moisturizing.  I love all things Pacifica, and this is no exception.  

yaby Concealer Refills:  I felt very meh about this.  I am not really sure this shade worked on me (it left me with kind of a raccoon effect).  

Pacifica Island Vanilla Perfume Roll-On:  Sweet, warm, and inviting.  This scent is beautiful, and goes well when paired with the body butter mentioned above.

Overall, I would give my ipsy bag a A and the Birchbox a solid B.  I am really liking the products I am seeing here, and I even made my first Birchbox purchase.  I can't wait until it arrives!!  Would it be weird to do a review on different flavors of premium toothpaste?

Have you ever purchased anything after trying it in one of your boxes?  Did you have any favorites this month?

Monday, May 27, 2013

My So-Called Instagram Life

This edition is complete pup overload.  

Petunia is a complete chewie addict.

Word!!  Another day of sage advice, brought to you by Life's Little Instruction Calendar.

Snug as a pug in a rug.

Meatball is truly her dog.  (Sidenote:  Anyone know a good iPhone app for reducing pet-eye?)

A photo of San Francisco from the 14th floor in Oakland.

I found these at Sprouts.  Made an interesting addition to celery.

Bulldog in the garden.

Harriet always makes it to bed before I do.  

I bought this new bedding during the Macy's F&F sale.  The girls got to try it out way before I did (about five minutes after taking the duvet out of the dryer).

Follow me on Instagram:  @iluvpugz

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Miette Patisserie & Boccalone

I recently did a post about the Ferry Building,  one of my favorite buildings in San Francisco.  It is full of gourmet shops, filled with exotic ingredients for the cook, and ready made delights for the foodie.  Husband and I each have a favorite shop here, and I felt that they are so noteworthy that they needed their own post.

You may have heard of Miette Patisserie.  It is a famous bakery, closely associated with the city.  It has four locations in the Bay Area, with the one I frequent located in the Ferry Building.

The first thing you may think of when you hear the name is its delicious cupcakes (or maybe I am just a cupcake fiend).  They also make amazing macarons, homemade marshmallows, and delectable cakes, cookies, and candies.  They sell supplies and a cookbook to boot, which conveniently allow the home bakers to recreate these tasty treats at home.  Their offerings are extensive and I haven't yet sampled everything on the menu.  However, anything I have tried seems to become an instant favorite.  

Husband and I watch a lot of the Food Network.  If you do as well, you may already know who Chris Cosentino is.  He has a store call Boccalone in the Ferry Building that sells tasty salted pig parts.  I am not much of a pig part connoisseur (with the exception of bacon.  No one can come between me and bacon.), but my husband is.  This place is a must stop for him every time we visit the building.   

They make fresh salumi, which can be purchased a la carte, or in a sandwich.  Husband usually leaves with a tube (or two) of  some type of salami, which will make appearances with cheese and crackers throughout the week.  Husband recommends their soppresatta.

If you stop by the Ferry Building, these purveyors are worth a visit.  If you have been, do you have a favorite shop?  There are so many places to check out, I haven't tried them all yet.  I always love your suggestions.

*Note:  This is not a sponsored post. These ideas are my own.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

On Being Low-Maintenance

I have always tried to keep my beauty routine to a minimum.  I am not the kind of girl that won't leave the house unless she has a full face of make-up on.  In fact, on the weekend, if I am just running local errands and hanging around the house, you will probably find me in yoga pants with a t-shirt and/or hoodie.  My hair will be thrown up in a messy bun.  I am probably not wearing a stitch of make-up.  Aside from my wedding ring, there is probably no jewelry.  There may be some dog hair on me.  I consider it a win if the flip flops I pull out of the closet don't clash my my top.  This is completely the opposite of my everyday, I-have-places-to-be look, and maybe a little too low-maintenance.

I didn't think my effortless look was getting out of hand until recently.  I was at the local nail spa where I am a regular.  It is a place I usually visit on the weekends, but I was in desperate need of an eyebrow wax.  It was a Thursday.  I stopped by after work.  My hair was blown out.  My work clothing was cute.  I had on heels and makeup.  I was accessorized.  I was also about to get proverbially slapped.

My usual warm greeting was replaced by a blank stare.  There wasn't so much as a note of recognition on anyone's face.  I asked for an eyebrow wax.  And then I heard it.

Me:  "Do you have someone available to do an eyebrow wax?"

Her:  "I didn't recognize you.  You have on nice clothes."

Me:  "Yeah, I just came from work."

Her:  "Your hair looks good.  It's nice like that.  Why don't you wear it like that?"

Me:  Awkwardly trying to explain that I usually just pop in on the weekends.  On my low-maintenance weekends.

Her:  "You look pretty today.  You should dress up more often"

Me:  Laying there completely mortified, wishing the wax was over

Regardless of the appropriateness of the conversation, it made me start thinking.  Have I become too low-maintenance?  Have I been confusing trying to be low-maintenance with becoming a complete slob?  I don't want to be the married girl who lets herself go.  I didn't think it was so bad until this little interaction, but maybe it was. Maybe I needed to put a little more effort into my lazy days.

So I have decided that a little tinted moisturizer on a Saturday won't hurt.  That I can spend the little bit of effort it takes to change into completely doghair-free clothing before I leave the house, even if I am just running to CVS for some toothpaste.  It isn't a complete waste of time to blow-dry my hair, even if I have absolutely no plans that day (and even if my sweet husband tells me that I look completely fine either way).

So I ask, have you ever had one of these life-changing moments?  A small interaction that makes you rethink how you have been going about something in your life, no matter how insignificant it seems?  Did it encourage you to make a positive change?

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Few Garden Updates

Our garden is coming along nicely.  Right now we are in a maintenance mode, which includes weeding and fertilizing throughout the growing season.  Here are a few noteworthy happenings.

I gave a tutorial on how to plant onions a few months back.  This is what they look like today.  You can see the bulbs are forming.  They will continue to get bigger until the green stalks fall over and die.  Then they will be ready to be picked.

We recently planted a few varieties of corn.  Before I know it, they will be 6 feet tall (and hopefully not covered in aphids).  Fresh corn is definitely one of the highlights of summer for me.

Berry season has arrived in the garden.  I wasn't able to get a good pic of the blackberries, because I have been eating them faster than I can grab my camera.  However, my blueberry cup runneth over.

Are you growing anything this year?  Let me know if you have any gardening questions or if there is anything you would like to hear more about on the blog.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Things to Do in San Francsico: The Ferry Building

The Ferry Building is one of my favorite buildings in the city.  Aside from being aesthetically striking, it has a fascinating history, beginning with its completion in 1898.  It survived two major earthquakes with little damage, and was once one of the busiest transit terminals in the world.  Today it is a large marketplace, that houses stores, restaurants, and offices. It is a great place to meet up with friends for dinner, shop for gourmet ingredients, or peoplewatch.  There is also an acclaimed farmer's market here three days a week.  

Once inside, you can read about the history of the clock tower.

One of the original clock dials.

 There is a 660 foot long corridor that cuts through the center of the building.  It is where all of the stores are located, including two of our favorites, Miette and Boccalone (but more on that in another post).  

This is what you see when you look up.

The back side of the building overlooks the San Francisco Bay and the Bay Bridge. It still serves as a working terminal with daily ferry service in and out of the city.  There are also several restaurants on this side of the building that share this incredible view.

Some stats:  The clock tower stand 245 feet tall.  The clock is 22 feet in diameter.  This is the largest wind-up mechanical clock in the world.

The clock tower at night.

Have you ever visited the Ferry Building (and if you have, what is your favorite place to visit inside)?  If you are in the city, it should definitely make your short list.  Do you have a favorite building where your live?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Recent Purchases: Macy's Friends and Family Sale

There are certain sales that I count on every year:  Sephora Friends and Family, Nordstrom's Anniversary, and Macy's Friends and Family.  Macy's sale usually happens twice a year, once around April or May and then once in December. This year I knew I wanted to look at summer bedding and watches (I am a bit of a watchaholic).  Everything I purchased was at least 25% off.  

I had been searching for a white watch for a few months now.  I knew I didn't really want to spend more than $100.  It had to be simple and made out of material that wouldn't show dirt.  It was not easy to find.  

This watch was a case of love at first sight.  It also comes in a version with silver hardware (mine has rose gold).  

Anne Klein White Ceramic Watch  $110

Having dogs on the bed can be very hard on sheets (especially when one of them is 100 lbs.)  Our summer sheets were a mishmash of several old sets and looking a little worn out. The duvet was missing several buttons.  Our bedroom was not looking like the peaceful sanctuary I wanted it to be.

 I love this set because it is a nice combination of feminine and masculine.  Our bedroom is painted a light grey, so the colors were spot on.  Husband agreed to these almost immediately.  I stalked them until they went on sale, and then got them for an additional 25% off (which was a complete score).  

Lacoste Bedding Sirius and Paloma Grey Sheets, prices vary

I had listed these Kate Spade bow earrings on my last What I Need Now post in April.  I missed the Kate Spade F&F sale a few weeks ago, so I knew this was my chance to get these at a discount.  They are absolutely adorable in person, and now I kind of want the matching bracelet.  
Kate Spade Bow Earrings  $48

Did you shop this sale?  Any sales you are waiting for?

Monday, May 6, 2013

My So-Called Instagram Life

I have mentioned that husband and I have been planning a summer vacation to Europe this year.  If you have any recommendations for things to see in London or Ireland, I would love to hear them.

I have already shown you the video demonstrating Petunia's exuberance for a good game of laser.  Here are all three of them chasing it around the hall.  

I love the latest piece of wisdom from my Life's Little Instruction Calendar

There is a local nook where the jasmine goes on forever.  It smells like pure heaven.

I found this on Joss & Main, one of my favorite places to buy home goods at a discount.  Here is an invite, if you haven't joined already (it is free).  

 These two knuckleheads are sitting in the hallway, waiting for a new game of laser to begin.  Harriet doesn't find it as amusing.

I finally decided on a white watch (and got it for a great price).  More to come on that this week. 

I found  these pretty tops for 40% off at Loft.  Also, I need to figure out how to take better clothing pictures.  This doesn't really do them justice.

I don't think I have ever seen my named spell quite this phonetically- Airon

Thursday, May 2, 2013

April Favorites

Vikings:  I am OBSESSED with this tv show.  It is a bit like Game of Thrones, except without the nudity and based (loosely) on history.  The first season just completed, but if you are a GOT fan, it is worth checking out on demand (or on the History Channel website linked above).  If you already watch the show, let me know what you think.

Clinique Redness Solutions Foundation:  Truth- I have never worn foundation before.  I always preferred the lighter tinted moisturizer.  However, as I have gotten older, my rosacea has become more pronounced, and my skin tone needed to be evened out.  This stuff really works.  It completely camouflages the redness of my face, and gives my complexion a smooth and even look.  I even had a co-worker ask me what I was doing differently (which to me means the change was noticeable).  

Liebskind Bags:  I found these during a trip to Nordstrom, and I became a huge fan of this brand.  The styles have a little edge to them, and the leather is soft and supple.  The price point is in the $150-$300 range, which is great for a nice lather bag.  I already have one picked out for myself.

Soap and Glory Products: I had received a few samples from this brand before, and wanted to try out larger sized products.  I purchased The Righteous Butter and Clean On Me during the VIB sale at Sephora a few weeks back.  I love the smell of these products, which they refer to as their signature Pink Fragrance.  Now I really want to try more from this brand.  Does anyone have any recommendations?

M&M's Chocolate Bars:  Last (but certainly not least) I have to mention these M&M chocolate bars.  I can't find them anywhere online, but I have purchased them at my local grocery store on occasion.  I highly recommend picking up a few the next time you are out.  If if you know where else they sell them, let me know, because I have the hardest time finding them.

That wraps up my April favorites.  Have you seen anything here that you are dying to try or have an opinion about?  What is on your current favorites list (I am always looking to try new things)?

I'm Erin

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Hi, I'm Erin. I am living back on the east coast after 15 years out west. Currently readjusting to humidity and mosquitos. I love to take pictures and read fashion magazines.... and to talk about nothing in particular (ok, and my dogs).

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