The Cure for My Disease

My “disease” plagues me all Spring long. It tortures me for most of the Summer and into the Fall. It even hangs around in Winter, if the weather doesn’t get cold enough and things don’t freeze enough. Yep. My allergies. I’m being a bit dramatic about the whole thing, but I really do suffer with them. It’s a relentless, year-round slog full of allergy meds, inhalers, antihistamines, watery eyes, stuffed-up nose, achy lungs, and mounds and mounds of used-up Kleenex. Seriously, I should own stock in Kimberly-Clark. I could become a rich woman, just off of my own usage during my non-stop allergy roller coaster.

I am, literally, allergic to everything. If it grows from the ground, flies around in the sky, blows on the wind, or has furry dander, I’m allergic to it. (Except for dogs. Thank goodness for small mercies!) When I got tested a couple of years ago, the allergist didn’t even bother telling me the list of what I was allergic to. She just looked at my red, hive-covered arms, checked the test results, and said, “Well, you’re allergic to everything.” Which is why I now feel completely justified in engaging in hyperbole by saying that I’m allergic to everything. Although, is it hyperbole if it’s actually true? Hmmm …

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My allergist has been telling me, ever since I first started seeing her a couple of years ago, that I need to do the allergy shots. I have, historically, been resistant to the idea. I’m needle phobic to an extreme degree. Just the thought of needles makes me want to curl up in a little ball on the floor and cry my heart out. My husband thinks I’m ridiculous about it. He’s always like, “It’s no big deal. Why are you carrying on like this?” He doesn’t get it. It’s terrifying to me. TERRIFYING. Deep in my heart, there is true and gibbering fear. I can’t explain it any other way. Plus, I felt like I was doing OK on my allergy meds. It wasn’t ideal, but I could mostly breathe through my nose. I could walk around outside without wheezing too much. Life was pretty much normal.

Until this year. This  year, Winter never happened. Well, it “happened”, but it didn’t hang around long enough to kill off all the pesky pollen producers in my neck of the woods. So, when Spring came around, it took me about half a second to catch a cold. It took about two seconds for my cold to turn into bronchitis. And my bronchitis hung around for FOREVER. I was sick for about three and a half weeks. I thought I was going to end up wheezing my way into my sunset years. I guess it was a combination of already being run down and the higher-than-usual pollen counts. I thought I was never going to get well.

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Once my lungs were clear, I decided to raise the white flag and admit that my allergies had won. I headed back to my allergist and agreed to do the shots. I started them last week. I was supposed to get my whole first series at one appointment: 2 hours of needly fun. Ugh. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. My breathing wasn’t as good as the allergist wanted, which is a little silly because I pretty much can’t ever breathe well — not really. But I ended up doing an albuterol inhaler for the first 45 minutes of my visit. I hate albuterol. It leaves me feeling shaky, jittery, and hella nervous. I was already nervous, so it pushed me right to the edge of a little panic attack right there in the allergist’s office. And, in the end, it didn’t improve my breathing at all. Fun times. Because of all that, my appointment ran late. So now I have to go and get pricked and poked two times a week instead of one. I’m not thrilled with this. It’s hard enough to psych myself up for one shot visit per week.

And I’m beginning to think the cure may be worse than the disease. I had my first round last Thursday — four shots, total. I was exhausted and feeling crappy all weekend long. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I pretty much felt like something the cat had dragged in … eaten … barfed up … and dragged around once more. I wasn’t good for anything. I didn’t have the energy to work out. I didn’t have the energy to do family stuff. I nearly fell asleep in church! Plus, my mouth and face were itchy, and I ended up with hard little knots at all of my injection sites on my arms. Oh, and bruises, too. I look like I was on the losing end of a very unfriendly discussion. Today was the first day since my shots that I woke up feeling even vaguely human.

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I go back for Round 2 tomorrow. Honestly, I’m already dreading it. The actual shots themselves didn’t hurt, so I feel pretty much okay with the needle aspect of everything. I think. It did hurt, but only a teeny bit. It’s probably lucky I have fat arms. I’m sure that helps with the whole pain aspect. But the side effects. Just … ugh. I don’t think there is any better way to describe it. Yeah. Just … ugh.

So, tomorrow at around 1:30 PM, if you think about it … stop and send a good thought my way. I’m gonna need it!

Weekly Nail Wrap-Up

Not sure if this week qualifies as a “nutso” nail week or not. I almost want to say that it does, but I changed my polish five times this week. This seems to be about standard for me, especially since I still have so many polishes that I haven’t yet tried.

Anyhow, this week, I wore …

 

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Essie, “Viva Antigua!” Okay, so, for a long time, Essie was a brand that I avoided. When I first started getting back into nail polish several years ago, I heard a lot about how great Essie was. I wasn’t familiar with the brand, but a few of my friends really liked it. I thought I would give it a try. But … I dunno. Maybe I had the bad luck to run across polishes that had a bad or tricky formula. I had a lot of trouble with the polish applying evenly. Also, it tended to bubble up on me. Considering I’m a huge OPI fan girl — and I had just discovered my love for China Glaze — I figured it wouldn’t be such a big deal to take a pass on Essie polishes. I thought that, maybe, they just didn’t agree with my body chemistry or something.

So, this was my status quo for at least a couple of years. Maybe three (?) … Until recently, when Essie came out with their 1,000th shade of polish. It was such a pretty yellow/gold that I felt it was right up my alley, color-wise. I decided to give it a try and LOVED the way it applied. This kind of encouraged me to try out Essie again. Heaven help us all.

Anyhow … “Viva Antigua!” I have to say I really loved this polish. I love the color. It is such a pretty blue with just a hint of green to it. It reminds me of the ocean, which feels really perfect for a Spring and into Summer polish. It has such a pretty shimmer to it, although I don’t feel it showed up very well in my photo. And it applied like a dream. Two easy coats and “boom!”, I was done. Looks like I’m going to have to add a new brand to my polish hoarding ways.

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This is Essie, “Jazzy Jubilant” over China Glaze, “Pinking Out the Window”.  When my nails are longer, I’m not a big fan of pinky corals on them. But, I love this type of color when my nails are a bit shorter. Right now, I’m in nubbin territory with my nail length. This is partly because I had a couple of breaks, but also partly because I’m just enjoying this very short length. It’s fun to change things up every now and again. Anyhow, “Pinking” caught my eye recently at my local Sally’s. I had thought about picking it up months ago, when the collection first came out, but had passed on it. I thought I might love it on my shorter nails.

Eh. I didn’t. I think it’s maybe not a dark enough or a strong enough color to hit my buttons. I didn’t hate it on its own. But I didn’t love it, either. I felt like, overall, the color was just a little bit “meh”. It felt kind of blah and hum-drum, like it was missing something.

So I decided to try out a new Essie glitter, and I put “Jazzy Jubilant” over the top. Wham-o! I loved the combination. I particularly loved how the little teal glitters in “Jazzy” coordinated with the pinky coral in “Pinking”. The only thing I didn’t love was that I had a little bit of trouble, at first, with getting enough glitter positioned on my nails in just one coat. I shook up my bottle, and, as you can see from my pinky nail in the photo, I ended up with almost TOO MUCH glitter. Ah well. In for a penny, in for a pound, right?

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This is Zoya, “Chyna”. Reds are another color I don’t love on my nails when they are longer. It’s not a color I wear often. I have very fair skin, and I find red to feel a little bit too “shocking” to me against my skin tone. I think this is my own weirdness, because I tend to get a lot of compliments when I wear reds. On shorter nails, I find red a bit more bearable. And, earlier this week, I found myself thinking that a dark/bright red might be fun on my shorter little shorties.

This is my first time wearing a Zoya Pixie Dust polish. And I thought this polish was beautiful! I really love shiny/glossy nail polish, so I topped this one with a thick top coat. I thought it was gorgeous with a topper. It looks so different, kind of like slick glass on my nails. And I love the depth the top coat gave to this color.

I have to say, though, that this polish is also gorgeous matte and textured. The red parts are rather matte, but it has these beautiful, beautiful glitters that really pop off the nail. And it sparkles like mad! Like a disco ball. I think I might try it without a topper next time.

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This is China Glaze, “Point Me to the Party” over China Glaze, “Re-Fresh Mint”. I found both of these in the clearance rack at my local Sally’s. Actually, the Sally’s near my house has the most fantastic clearance section. It’s always a bonanza of nail polish goodness when I shop there. I love it!

Originally, I had planned on wearing “Point Me to the Party” over “Pinking Out the Window”. When I put the bottles next to each other, I thought they would be perfect together. But, when I tried them out in real life, I didn’t love the combination. That’s when I thought about putting the topper over this light, mint green. I thought about doing this manicure for, like, three days, and I was so excited about it. And it turned out exactly how I had hoped!!

I love these two polishes together. I don’t feel like I have a lot of light/mint greens in my stash, but this one is a lovely color. It’s the perfect minty green. It was a little bit streaky, and it tended to pull if I pushed too hard on the brush or overworked my nails. And I had a little trouble getting it to even out and not be all ridgy. I didn’t much care because I had planned to put a glitter over it. But, I don’t know if I would love this polish on its own.

The glitter topper, though … Man! I love this topper. It has such a wonderful variety of color, and it came out of the bottle and onto my nails pretty much perfectly with just one coat. I didn’t have to work at getting the glitter out of the bottle and onto my nails. I’m looking forward to seeing this one over different colors in the future: maybe a light blue, a white, or even a light grey.

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And, to round out my week, here is Zoya, “Payton”. I decided I wanted something kind of dark and a bit moody, and this one fit the ticket nicely. This is a beautiful color. I love the depth and dimension to it. It’s a perfect and perfectly gorgeous deep dark, plum-y purple. And the glitters floating inside this polish are stunning. It’s beautiful and flashy in direct sunlight. But it’s also stunning — showing a lot of depth — in indirect light. I don’t love this one as much as “Dream”, just because “Dream” is blue. But this one has to be a close runner-up. It truly is gorgeous, gorgeous perfection.

The Weekend that Wasn’t

Man, I’m telling ‘ya … This past weekend just FLEW by. I felt like I blinked and *BAM!* it was gone, almost before it even got started. It’s Wednesday now, and I’m still sitting here, feeling confused and trying to figure out exactly what happened to this mysterious “week end” I had been looking forward to over the past week.

Because last week was a week of pain and suck. My daughter had this ridiculous, crazy assignment for English and History, which ended up being stressful and painful for both of us. We put in late nights to get it all done. There were tears (mostly mine). I even had stress dreams about this assignment! You know, the ones where you dash into class late, only to discover there’s a final exam in progress; everyone around you knows all about the exam, but it’s a complete surprise to you. And, you realize you’ve come to class without any paper or a pen. You try to borrow a pen, but, of course, everyone around you just stares at you blankly, as if you’re speaking a completely different language. And then, you look down and realize you’ve come to class naked. Oh yeah. It’s the stress dream trifecta: surprise exam, no pen, and naked. Doesn’t get any better than that! Seriously, it’s ridiculous for me to be so stressed out about a 7th grade assignment. I’m grown, for crying out loud! I’m all done with school!! Ha. Tell it to my subconscious.

So the project (a research paper, in which my daughter had to discuss her arguments for why the United States should never have gotten involved in the Vietnam War — in five pages or less, which is just insanity) was due last Thursday. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were spent editing and editing and editing this poor paper to within an inch of its life. The whole time, I kept telling myself we would be all right if we could just make it to Thursday. Because, after Thursday, the paper didn’t matter any longer. It would be turned in. Done. Finished. A blip on the radar of my life. And so on.

We made it to Thursday. (Still alive, by the way. And with my sanity mostly intact. Just in case you were wondering.) But did I get to breathe a sigh of relief and collapse into a little, sleep-deprived puddle of mush in the middle of my upstairs hallway? Nope. Because Friday started the Weekend of CrAzY.

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Friday was my daughter’s band trip. Her band was all set to attend a music festival and then visit a large amusement park about two hours away from where we live. All the kids were supposed to arrive at school, packed and ready to go, by 4:15 AM. 4:15! In the blessed AM!!! This meant we actually had to get up at around 3:15. Even though we live fairly close to my daughter’s school, we are not the speediest people in the morning. And even less so when “morning” actually begins in the middle of the night.

My husband and I were supposed to chaperone for the trip, but that fell through at the last minute. Truthfully, I was relieved. I shouldn’t admit this out loud because it probably makes me sound like a horrible person, but I don’t love kids. I don’t hate kids. I just don’t love them in a blanket way. There are some kids I love very much, and really enjoy spending time with. There are others that … well, not so much. And I don’t enjoy large groups of children. Truthfully, I never really wanted to chaperone. I really just wanted to go to the amusement park so that I could, ever-so-stealthily, follow my own kid around to make sure she got home alive.

Anyhow, the hubs and I decided we would drive to watch our daughter’s performance. And then, we would just kind of make a day of it by sight seeing and doing a little outlet mall shopping. Yes, we drove 2 hours to see a performance that lasted all of about twenty minutes, if that long. Yes, this is a bit insane. Yes, our daughter is an only child. Is it that obvious? *ahem*

It was a fun day, overall. But exhausting. I dealt with all the early morning stuff so the hubs could sleep in a bit. Since we were driving, we didn’t have to leave our house until around 7 AM. I was up at 3:15, packing my daughter’s lunch, helping her get her last few things together, nagging at her to hurry … you know, “mom stuff”. Then, I took her to school, where I ended up following the band director around and helping him with his last-minute stuff for about another hour and a half. And then, two hours in the car to the performance, topped by another hour or two in the car after the  performance as we drove around to sight see. And, of course, we had to drive five or so hours back home at the end of it all.

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Saturday, we had to attend a business function for my husband’s work. The party was an hour or hour and a half from our house — all highway driving. I think highway driving is pretty challenging, no matter where a person lives. But, in our part of the world, it’s downright INSANE. I avoid the highway at all costs. I am certain that I will end up being one of those little, old ladies who can only drive on surface streets and refuses to make left turns, but … whatever. The highway strikes fear deep, deep into my heart. However, I told myself it would be fine because my husband was driving. He is quite good at driving on the highway. He has no fear whatsoever, mainly because I’m the one who hangs on to all that stuff when we are in the car.

I was wrong. Oh, so very, very wrong! We almost died on our way to this party. Consider that I’m not much of a drama queen, in general, and I’m sitting here typing that I almost died on the highway on the way to this stupid office party that I didn’t even want to attend, in the first place. Yeah, it was nuts.

Traffic was horrible. Actually, it was whatever word is beyond horrible. It was bumper-to-bumper and barely moving. And there was a semi in front of us, hauling cars. The driver of this huge truck was weaving in and out of the traffic lanes, with no regard at all for the cars around him. Once it seemed that he had settled on a lane, my husband, following the traffic flow, pulled up beside the truck. We were not in the driver’s blind spot. I could see him in his side-view mirror. As we pulled closer, the driver looked right at us in his mirror, and then began to pull over into our lane of traffic. But we were right there! Right next to him! Almost even with the cab of his truck! We had no where to go, and my husband slammed on the brakes and swerved to the side a bit in order to avoid getting hit. This crazy driver nearly pushed us into the retaining wall that divides the two sections of highway. My husband honked, letting the driver know we were there, but the guy just flipped us off and kept on coming into our lane.

After that, we followed the truck for a bit, until a spot in the next lane over opened up. We moved over and my husband, realizing the traffic was moving a bit faster, decided to pass up the truck. I think both of us just wanted to get away from that crazy driver before he decided to try and hit us again by switching lanes. The truck driver saw us starting to pass … and he decided he was NOT going to let us go past him! He started speeding up. He tried to swerve over into our lane, to get in front of us and block us from passing. This didn’t work, because he didn’t have quite enough maneuvering room. And so, we finally got past him. But then, he started following us. He got right up onto our bumper, so that all we could see in the rearview mirror was the grill of this enormous truck nearly touching our car, and he followed us. Traffic had spread out a bit, and we were going crazy fast at this point. Crazy fast, with this gigantic vehicle less than a foot away from our car. The truck driver started honking his horn at us. It was so loud and booming. And he kept honking, honking, honking. If you looked up the term “road rage” in the urban dictionary, I’m fairly certain that truck driver’s picture will be right there. It was terrifying.

Eventually, we got away. Our car was smaller and could maneuver more easily through the traffic. Plus, I honestly think some of the other drivers on the road figured out what was happening and got in front of the truck, cutting him off. Even a couple of other trucks did this. Once we got ten or so cars between us, I felt a little safer. If the other people on the highway hadn’t intervened, I feel like that crazy truck driver would have followed us all the way to our party location. Of course, he would have found himself surrounded by about a hundred lawyers,  so … Yeah. The joke would be on him.

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I also spent all day Sunday in the car. (Surface streets only, thank goodness!) I had to drive my daughter here and there for various activities. And I had some errands to run, too.

I have to say I was actually looking forward to Monday this week. Because I needed a chance to recover from my crazy weekend! And, also, I decided I would have to walk everywhere during the coming week. Because I was sick and tired of being in the car.

Of course, that, like all of the universe’s best-laid plans, didn’t work out. At all. But it was a nice dream.

Happy Dog

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Wet shoes and
Wrinkled toes …
Crazy hair and
Soggy clothes …
Drippy face and
Runny nose …

Nose to the ground and
Tail in the air …
Exploring here and
There and everywhere …
Through rainy days and
Weather fair …

I will come and
Stay a while …
Follow you and
Not count the miles …
Just be with you and
See you smile.

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Weekly Nail Wrap-Up

Two posts in one night! Yikes! What is the universe coming to? What madness is this? No, really …

Yeah, well, this is what happens when a week of suck combines with a busy Friday. The nails post happens a day early. Aaaand, since I was a bit stressed out this week, it kind of looks like there was some nail madness going on. I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to see on my nails this week. It was nutso. But in a good way.

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So, first up this week was Essie, “Aim to Misbehave”. This is Essie’s 1,000th color, which is the main reason I felt I NEEDED it. Plus, it’s kind of a gold-ish yellow. I’m a sucker for both yellow and gold, so this one felt like it would be right up my alley. It is truly a beautiful polish, and it has beautiful sparkle to it, too. I like that it’s a strong color. And that the yellow is darker and saturated. It kind of reminds me of a mustardy sort of gold because of the shimmer. But I didn’t see the brown undertones to it that you often see in a mustard yellow or “old” gold.

I have to say that I haven’t been crazy about Essie in the past. I know it’s a popular brand, and they have a huge range of colors. But, overall, I hadn’t had good luck with them. This polish might cause me to change my mind. It applied like a dream. Just such an easy and flawless application. And I thought it looked great on my nails, too. Today, I was browsing at Target and ended up coming home with three new Essie polishes. Heaven help us all. Yikes!

But … I dunno. I can’t decide if I love this color or not. I think one of the reasons I’m waffling on it is that I still have some green staining on the nails on my right hand. And I felt like those stains made the polish take on a green tinge in certain lights. I definitely want to try this one again once the stains have worn off or grown out. I’m not ready to give up on it, because it’s so, so, so pretty.

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This is Sinful Colors, “Kurtain Kall”. This is a really pretty sky blue. It has a nice shimmer to it, and it dries matte. I put a glossy topper with it because, you know: magpie. This is from one of the new Kylie Jenner collections that Sinful Colors has been putting out recently. I had seen most of the collection swatched online, and I thought many of the colors were fabulous. And, of course, I’m a sucker for the blues in any shape or form. Sadly, I could not find these polishes at any of my local stores. I finally hit the mother lode when I ran across a Walgreen’s in a different town. Score!

Of course, I had to try this one immediately. I thought the polish felt a little bit thick going onto my nail, but it wasn’t too bad. In spite of feeling thick (probably because of the shimmer), it went on smoothly and easily. And the color — *dreamy sigh*. What can I say? I love, love, love this color. I felt like I could wear this polish for a whole week, just by itself. And, maybe I would have, but I ended up breaking two nails — one on each hand. I had to file all my nails off into little nubbins, and my polish was ruined. I thought about putting this color back on, but then I took a long look at my gigantic “to be worn” pile. And ended up moving on to something new. But I’m looking forward to wearing this one again.

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OPI, “Mod About You”. This is such a classic and perfect pink. Everyone loves this color. There are so many reviews online saying how wonderful this polish is and how perfect and how much the person writing the review loves this polish. I have a dear friend who loves this polish. I thought, for sure, I would love this polish. I was completely expecting to love this polish.

Sigh. I … don’t love this polish. Why? Why, Mod About You? Why don’t I love you? I don’t know. You look so beautiful on everyone else. But, on me,  you are just kind of “meh”. It’s not meant to be between us. And that makes me sad. So, so, so very sad.

Needless to say, I’m still searching for my “perfect” baby pink color. It’s gotta be out there somewhere.

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This is Sinful Colors, “Rocket On” over Mod About You. Rocket On is this really pretty glitter topper. It has small silver glitters, along with red, white, and blue stars. When I picked it up, I imagined wearing it over a white or maybe a light blue. I think it would also be pretty over a darker blue.

So why did I end up wearing it over Mod About You? Well, when I realized I really didn’t like this pink, I decided it could at least serve as a neutral background so that I could knock another polish off of my “need to wear this” list.

Overall, I like Rocket On. It’s packed with the little, silver glitters. I had to fish a little bit for the stars, but not too much. One of my stars didn’t lie down all the way, so I kept catching the edge of it on things. That was annoying, but I think it happened because I did a bad job of positioning it onto my nail. I’m looking forward to seeing this one over a white, as originally planned.

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Finally, we come to the color I’m wearing on my nails right now — even as I type this. I know. It’s super exciting, right? Right?!?

This is Zoya, “Amy”. I don’t have anything even remotely like this in my polish collection. It’s not a color I would have expected to like. And definitely NOT a color I would have ever expected to want in my collection.  I mean, it’s ORANGE. I’ve always shied away from orange. And yet … Yep. Here it is.

I saw this polish a couple of weeks ago at my local Ulta. I came super close to buying it the first time I saw it. I carried it all around the store with me before finally deciding to pass on it. But I could NOT get it out of my mind. And so, two weeks later, I was back at my Ulta trying to chase down this bottle of polish. Luckily for me, it was still there on the shelves. I wasted no time at all, because this pretty lady was destined to be mine!

I. Love. This. Polish. LOVE IT!!! It is so vibrant and gorgeous and perfect. It is exactly the type of fun, zany color I needed to see on my newly-short nail nubbins.  It’s this shiny, dark, tangerine orange with gold flecking running through it. It was perfect in two easy, thin coats. And it looks like glass on my nails. Glass!!! I’ve been sitting here tonight thinking that this one needs to go on my toes, too. I think it could probably stay there all summer long.

The Week of Suck

We all have them from time to time, right? I mean, I’m not alone on this one, am I? Please tell me I’m not alone on this one. Because, you know, misery loves company and all that jazz. And also because the idea that it might just be me sometimes feels like too much to bear.

So, yeah. This week has pretty much been a suck-fest at my house. I had all these plans for the week, and you know what “they” say about plans. Honestly, I’m beginning to think my biggest mistake is making any sort of plan for my week. It’s the kiss of death. Each time I come up with a plan or even ideas of what I might want to do during the week, everything seems to go to hell in a hand basket. I swear my future week sits around watching me plan and laughs to itself. I KNOW Monday does that. Because Monday is a jerk.

This week, I found my plans derailed by my daughter’s insane history assignment. She’s in the seventh grade, and they are writing a research paper. In and of itself, that’s not insane. I mean, people write papers all the time. What’s insane is that my daughter’s topic dealt with the reasons why the US should not have become involved in the Vietnam War. It’s a HUGE topic. There’s almost too much information out there on this topic. And my daughter’s paper had a five page limit. Five Pages — ugh.

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So my daughter worked on this paper. She researched and wrote her little heart out. But she could not get it down to any less than seven pages. In case you forgot, that’s two pages over the required maximum. And, of course, my kiddo left things until virtually the last minute, so there’s no help to be had from either of her teachers. This doesn’t make me the happiest Mama in the world. I wish she had gone to her teachers a week ago to ask them for help. But what can I do? She’s twelve. She makes bad decisions, and I end up hoping she learns something from them. Finally, she comes to me and asks for my help with it.

I edited the hell out of that paper. I edited it to within an inch of its life. I read and re-read and deleted sentences and minced words until I thought I would lose what’s left of my very frazzled mind. We worked on that stupid paper until 11 PM on Sunday night, 11 PM on Monday night, and 11:30 PM on Tuesday night. At the end, I was down to two sentences over the five page limit. I was sitting at my desk counting letters in words and looking in the online thesaurus to see if there were shorter alternatives. True story.

It felt like I was back in school, pushed up against an impossible deadline. It’s completely ridiculous, but I’ve been stressed out about this silly paper all week. I even had those stupid “stress” dreams — you know, the ones where you’re running across your college campus, late for class, but you look down and realize there’s no actual classroom number printed on your schedule. I hate those dreams. Finally, finally, at around 11:30 Tuesday night, we got down to our required five pages. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see the end of a project in my whole life.

I would fall back on the old saying about tomorrow being a new day with a  new beginning and all that. But tomorrow is kiddo’s big band trip, which requires us to get up at 3 in the blessed AM in order to get dressed and be at school so she can get on the bus by 4:15. So the idea of tomorrow being a new day doesn’t exactly thrill me right now.

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But Saturday has to come eventually, right? By Saturday, the paper will be a not-so-fond memory. And the band trip will be done.

So maybe, just maybe, Saturday can be a brand new day. That might be all right.

Weekly Nail Wrap-Up

I am so, so glad it’s Friday. Every morning this week, I found myself thinking, “I wish it was Friday.” And now, here it is! Friday at last! Yay! I don’t know why, but this week has felt particularly pesky to me. There wasn’t any drama or anything like that, but … I dunno. I guess I just kind of felt “off” this week. Lots of little things annoyed me from day to day, and I basically felt like I wanted to crawl out of my skin. Not a fun feeling. But (!!) it’s Friday now, and time to look at some pretty nail polish. Pretty nail polish always makes me happy. I definitely have a little addiction going here. I’m definitely not sorry about it.

My selections this week weren’t very “Spring-like”. I was leaning quite a bit to the darker, kind of jewel-toned shades. Partially, this was because the weather has been chilly, gray, and rainy in my corner of the universe. Partially, these were the colors I felt drawn to over the week. I don’t always feel like wearing seasonally appropriate polishes, and this was definitely one of those weeks when I was feeling completely inappropriate. (In so many ways! Ha!)

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First up for the week is “Honor”, from Zoya. This is one of their matte velvet colors. It dries to a matte finish, as implied by the name. The matte finish is very pretty, but you know me: I’m a magpie, and I NEED the shiny. So I topped it with a glossy top coat. I love how the gloss brings out different flecks and depth in the color that I couldn’t see when the polish was matte. I don’t think the color looks very velvety like this, though, so that might be a draw-back for some people.

Overall, I’m not usually one for green polish. I say this, but I’m sitting here thinking that I’ve purchased several greens in recent months. Maybe I’m becoming more of a fan of this color. Anyhow, I saw swatches of this polish online and just fell in love. It’s so deep, rich, and gorgeous, especially when paired with a shiny topper. I immediately put it on my list of Zoyas I wanted to get during the recent Earth Day sale/swap. I’m ever-so-glad I did, too. I really love it, and can see myself wearing it again (quite a lot) in the future. This little tidbit will seem even more amazing once you find out …

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That this color is the final reason why I gravitated toward the dark and jewel-toned polishes this week. Yep, it stained! It stained like … well, something that really stains a lot. This is a picture of my poor, little naked (eek!) nails from my right hand. I didn’t have as much staining on my left, so I’m not sure what’s up with that. This picture is after I washed my nails twice with whitening toothpaste, so you can see the staining was pretty bad. Also, I wore 2 (TWO!!) coats of base coat under this polish. *sigh* The staining will not keep me from wearing this polish again, though. I’m going to experiment next time with a different top coat to see if, maybe, that makes a difference.

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My next polish was China Glaze, “Ugly Sweater Party”. I realize this is a fairly old shade, but it’s new to me. I picked this one up on a whim with a recent online order. I thought the photos of it I had seen online looked interesting. And who doesn’t love glitter? Am I right?

I LOVE this polish. Love it!! It had so many different glitters inside it. Not a lot of variety in shape, but colors galore. And it was absolutely packed with glitter. I had no trouble at all getting it opaque on my nails in 2-3 coats. (A couple of nails needed 3 coats because I was a bit heavy with my brush strokes.) My favorite part was the larger blue glitters. I feel like they add so much interest to the polish. I’m looking forward to wearing this one again during the Christmas season. Next time, I think I’m going to try layering it over either a black or a dark blue (I’m thinking about China Glaze, “Up All Night”, which is one of my all-time favorite polishes.) It doesn’t need to be layered, but I feel like a darker base underneath will make the color a bit deeper. I could be totally wrong about this, but it looks so pretty in my mind.

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This is Finger Paints, “Beverly’s Touch”. I think this one feels a bit like Spring or Summer, but it could also easily go for Fall/Winter. I think it would be especially pretty during the holiday season.

I love me some gold polish. Love it. I can’t explain it, but I tend to head right for gold shades in pretty much every brand. At the same time, I’m kind of picky about my golds. I like a rich, buttery, yellow-looking gold. There are some darker, more brown/black-tinted golds that I like, but, generally, the lighter ones are my preference. It’s not always easy to tell when the paint is in the bottle. There are a couple of golds I can think of that I loved in the bottle, but felt hugely disappointed with once I put them on my nail. (I’m looking at you, Zoya, “Aggie”!)

This gold was perfection to me. It was so beautiful and buttery, both in the bottle and on my nails. I love the finish: shiny but not mirror-smooth. I’m weird, I think, but I like a little bit of texture to the finish with a gold or a silver. I love the look of those mirror-smooth colors on other people, but I kind of freak out (not in a good way) when I see them on my own nails. Anyhow, this polish was rich and beautiful in color. It applied wonderfully, and was easily opaque in two coats. Truthfully, it could have been a one-coater. I love it.

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Okay, the one truly “Spring” looking color I wore this week! This one is OPI, “Mad for Madness Sake”. It’s from the Alice in Wonderland Through the Looking Glass collection. I feel like it photographed with a more “red” sort of look to it, but this color is a beautiful hot pink with slightly blue undertones.

Honestly, it’s not super exciting. It’s a dark pink … Been there, done that. But, I am also pretty picky with dark pinks. It’s not a color I tend to love seeing on my nails. I found I quite liked this one. I can see myself wearing it a lot, and it might even become my “go to” dark pink. I know. I’m going out on a limb there. But, yeah, I can see it happening.

Sadly, I didn’t wear this color for very long because the green stains on my nails showed through. Not enough for most people to notice them, but I could see them. This bothered me too much. Plus, I felt like I wasn’t getting to see this color in its truest form, since the green was skewing the color a bit. I’m looking forward to wearing this one again once my nails are stain-free.

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Rounding out the week, here is Zoya, “Dream”.

Happy sigh. What can I say about this polish? I love everything about it. I had had this one on my “I need to purchase this!” list for quite a while, just waiting for the recent Earth Day sale/swap. It was the first thing that went into my shopping cart. And, honestly, it should have been the first color I wore once I got my order. Because it is my absolute favorite out of the six that I purchased. But, I was savoring it for a bit. You know, building up to wearing it while occasionally pulling out the bottle to look at all the prettiness and whisper sweet nothings to it. What? I know I’m not the only one who does this … *ahem*

If you’re a blue lover like me, you NEED this color. I can’t figure out how I went this long in my life without having this color. Seriously. It is perfection. The blue is so rich and deep, and I adore the sparkles inside it. They are visible in every kind of light, but they are not completely in-your-face glittery/shiny. It’s almost like this polish glows from inside. It makes me feel like I’m wearing the entire Universe on my nails.

I don’t think I could ever live with just one polish. But, if I had to pick just one … this one would be a strong contender. I love it that much. In fact, I purchased new polish today … and I still have quite a few things sitting in my “not yet worn” pile … but I don’t even want to do my nails again because I don’t want to take this polish off. Ever.

I Am Not a Slug-Beast

I intended to write my post last night, so that it would be ready to go first thing this morning. I’ve been trying hard to stick with my newly self-imposed schedule of posting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And I particularly wanted to stick to the schedule this week because last week was a bit of a “fail” on my part. Anyhow, I love it when I can get my posts written up a day or so ahead of time so that I can get them up on my blog first thing in the morning. It makes me feel really accomplished for the whole day, even though it’s such a little thing. But hey, bricks are little things, right? And they can build huge buildings if you stack them all together.

But … I thought and thought and thought yesterday … and then, thought some more … and could not come up with anything I wanted to write about for my blog post today. I know — unbelievable! On any given day, there are gazillions of ideas floating around in my brain. Okay, so maybe not “gazillions”, but, you know, at least three or four at a time. Maybe five, if I’m feeling particularly productive or lucky. However, on the day I actually want to sit down and take time to write my post … Yeah. Nothing. Big, fat GOOSE EGG of ideas. Ugh. My brain is so annoying. I swear, if I didn’t need her for stuff like breathing and keeping my heart beating, I would break up with her. She’s a diva and a half.

Anyhow, I thought about it again today and still had nothing. So I am going to write about my exercise struggles. I know, I know: BORING! But it’s all I’ve got. I guess you can direct your complaints to my brain, although I can tell you right now that she will just ignore them.

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I’ve been quite the slug-beast lately with my exercise routine. Over the past several weeks, I’ve been struggling to get in just three days a week of working out. Also, I think I walked my dogs maybe three times in the last two weeks. (Bad dog owner! Bad!) So, I told myself this past weekend that I needed to make some changes. I needed to kick myself in the butt and get moving once again. And, by “moving”, I mean consistently doing some form of exercise for around an hour to hour and a half at least five times a week. Before the post-holiday doldrums, I had been pretty consistent with working out six days a week. I had been hoarding my steps and counting them at the end of every day like a rich man counts his money bags. I felt so good about this, too. I felt accomplished and healthier and just overall great about myself.

What can I say? When I fall off the wagon, I fall HARD.

But I told myself there were no more excuses. I told myself over the weekend that it was one last weekend of “fun” and not working out, and then we were going to hit the week on a more positive note and make some great changes. I felt pretty terrific about this. (What can I say? It was a really good mental pep talk.) I just knew I was going to hit the ground running once Monday morning rolled around and my family was back to our normal school day schedule. Heart, body, and brain, I was all in on this plan. It was going to be GREAT!!!

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Yeah. It totally didn’t happen. I think my brain conveniently forgot that she had also signed up for the new and improved “let’s not be a slug-beast” program. Monday morning rolled around, bright and early. The alarm clock went off, like it always does. And my brain said, “Meh. I didn’t sleep well last night. Let’s stay in bed.” And so we did. Not super late, but until around 9 AM, at which point I had to get moving on all the errands I had to do before my kiddo got out of school. My brain pretended to be all upset and sad about the fact that, suddenly, there was no time left for exercise. Honestly, it wasn’t very convincing. Looking back on it now, I can definitely feel the smug condescension that was happening at the time.

Tuesday happened. And my brain said she had a sinus headache. Well, this was true. There’s been a lot of thunderstorm activity lately, and that stuff is hell on the sinuses. And so, my brain and I, once again, stayed in bed until the ripe hour of 9AM. We swore (swore!!) we were going to exercise in the evening. We had it all planned out that we would spend at least 40 minutes running on the Precor. Did this happen? Of course not. Because my brain started watching Miami Vice. And she didn’t want to stop until it was time to go to bed. My brain can be pesky like that.

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Today is Wednesday — WEDNESDAY!!. I went to bed last night with the sinking realization that we were quickly approaching “hump day”, and we had not exercised at all. I already felt like a failure for the week. My brain didn’t seem to care much. She hummed along as usual, blissfully in denial over how we had failed to conquer this week and vault out of our sluggish habits.

But today, I wasn’t taking any crap from my brain. I let her sleep in until 8 AM, and then made her get up, even though she was terribly unhappy about it. I let her surf a forum and watch a nail video on YouTube. After that, she was all, “Oh, I’m hungry. It’s time for breakfast.” But did I give in to this? NO!!

I told my brain that it was put up or shut up time. If we didn’t go for our walk today, we were basically never getting out of our rut. My brain is actually fine with this, but I am not. And so, we headed out for our walk. A bit later than I would have liked … and we weren’t happy about it … but we made it out the door.

Truthfully, it was a pretty terrible walk. I was in a pissy mood pretty much the whole way. Plus, I was starving by the time we got back to my house. Neither my brain nor I had any fun, in spite of the weather being a bit chilly and wet, which is my favorite. By the time we got home, my brain and I had decided we would have to co-exist silently. She’s still not speaking to me. But, underneath it all, I think she feels pretty darn accomplished. I know I do. I haven’t yet told her we have to do the whole thing all over again tomorrow. I’m a bit afraid of what she might do, so I’ll wait until morning to break it to her.

Oh, and the dogs had a good time, too. Really, isn’t that all that matters? Happy dogs … happy life. Or something like that.

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Falling Down the Book Hole

Is there any feeling quite as sad as coming to the end of a book that you really enjoyed? It’s such a mixed bag of emotions. On the one hand, there’s a sense of accomplishment at completing a monumental (well, if the book is quite long) task. On the other hand, there’s sadness at knowing that, once you turn the last page, you will have to leave a world you’ve come to love and return to your own very hum-drum life. I think a beloved book leaves a mark on a person’s soul — a little spot where characters we have come to know and love continue to hang out and make us wonder what’s going on in their lives. Or, maybe we can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen next, and our beloved characters whisper all kinds of possibilities in the backs of our minds. You know, behind the spot where we keep our grocery list but in front of the place used for remembering to pick up the dry-cleaning.

Seriously, does it make me crazy that my favorite characters seem so incredibly real to me? That I might want to be friends with them in real life? Or maybe not, because many of the characters I love seem to get into an awful lot of trouble on a pretty regular basis. And no one has time for that kind of mess, am I right? If it does make me crazy, do I even care? Hint: The answer to that one is a big, fat “NO!”.

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I’m currently suffering from that brand of nostalgic, bittersweet sadness that comes from turning the last page on a great book. I delayed it for as long as I could. I lingered over the fast-paced aerial battles toward the end. I went back and re-read favorite passages. I took the time to ponder over the characters I had come to know and love during the course of almost 700 pages of story and plot and description and all that other stuff which makes a book oh-so-wonderful. As I got down to the end, I tried hard to savor every single word on every single page. I even thought about going back and reading the whole thing all over again. I liked this book that much! I might have done it, too, but my daughter had decided she wanted to read it when I was done. I got tired of her popping her head into my room and asking, “Are you done yet?”

And so, with a happy sigh, I read the last page. I savored the final sentence and dawdled over the last few words, until I could no longer put off the inevitable. I closed the back cover with a happy sigh and hugged this book close to my heart. I could already feel the little hole shaped by these characters forming in my soul. As I handed the book over to my daughter, I thought to myself, “I can’t wait for the next one.”

Oh yeah. I’m a glutton for punishment. But the book-shaped hole demands to be fed and filled. Who am I to argue?

My Week in Nails

So, with all the stress and drama behind me, I’m happy to report that I was back to my crazy, nail polish magpie ways this week. I’ve been putting a pretty good dent in my “never before worn” pile, although I seem to continue adding new polishes to it. I’m not sure I’ll ever reach the end. I just got in ten new polishes today (6 Zoyas from the Earth Day exchange/sale and 4 China Glazes from an e-tailer).

Clearly, I have a problem. Clearly, I love having this problem. Oh yeah … Denial: not just a river in Egypt.

Here’s what I wore this week:

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First up this week was Glam Polish, “Bad Hair Day”. Glam Polish designated this as their “alopecia awareness” polish. The moment I saw that, I HAD to get this one. I would have purchased it even if it had been a horrible, ugly color that I hated (not that such a thing is even possible with Glam Polish, as everything on their website is AMAZING and beautiful!!). I know the emotional and mental struggle that comes with losing your hair, as I have had to deal with this in my own life. I don’t have alopecia, but I do have PCOS. And, one of the things PCOS likes to take from you is your hair. I think losing one’s hair would be horrible and traumatic for anyone, man or woman. But, as a woman, I have to say I found it particularly difficult because society puts so much pressure on us ladies to have gorgeous, perfect hair. If, for some reason, you don’t have those full and flowing locks, it’s like the people around you seem to feel you are less of a woman. Or less of a person. Or something. It was awful. Not just the losing my hair part, but the comments, criticisms, and “helpful” (not) advice about it. I think the “helpful” advice was the worst part, because, basically, unless someone can figure out a way to make my ovaries work the way they are supposed to, my hair is never going to be society’s idea of perfection. I’m lucky, because my hair has started to come back in. My little bald patch is shrinking. But I know there are other people, both my PCOS “cysters” and people who suffer from alopecia, who are not as lucky. So I had to show my solidarity with them. Also, huge, huge props to Glam Polish for putting this polish out there and calling attention to this devastating condition.

Okay, now that my whole soapbox thing is done … Look at this polish! LOOK AT IT!!! Oh my googley-gosh, but it is so freaking beautiful. Can you see the rainbows in there from the holographic micro glitter? Can you? Can you? Plus, I adore the deep, rich, dark blue base on this one. Seriously … I can’t even. Can’t even. This polish makes me want to scream in joy and flail on the floor in polish junkie abandon. I waited a while before wearing this, just because it is kind of dark and I was in “spring colors” mode. But, it is definitely my favorite out of my order. I could not stop staring at my nails when I wore this, and I can’t wait to wear it again. Love, love, love, love … so much love!!!

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Sinful Colors, “Butter Kup”. This is one of the new Kylie Jenner “Trend Matters” colors. I actually have no thoughts on Kylie Jenner one way or the other, meaning I’m not a fan but also I’m not “not” a fan. (Did that even make sense? Am I still typing English here?) Her name being associated with this polish isn’t what made me go out and get it. (And I actually had to search through two Targets before I found it, believe it or not.) I saw an online review of this entire line, and the colors looked so beautiful and unique because of the little bits of shimmer running through them. I thought most of the pastels were very pretty and feminine looking, and perfect for Spring. Plus, I love me some Sinful Colors. So, off I went in search of the collection. I think I managed to find 3 or 4 of them. So far, I’ve worn this one and one other (“Kool as a Kukumber”), and I only bothered to take pictures of this one.

What can I say? I was really disappointed in this polish. In fact, this one kind of made me want to cry in sadness and frustration. I love the color. I don’t think it shows up well in my picture, but the shimmer in this polish is really pretty. I also like how delicate the color is on the nail. But … but, but, but … This polish was a booger-bear to apply. I am not a manicure noob, and I struggled with this polish. I had to take it off my nails and start over again at least twice. It went on really chunky and streaky, all at the same time. If I did thin coats, it wasn’t as chunky, but it also wasn’t nearly opaque even at four coats. If I did thicker coats, the shimmer chunked everything up. I wasn’t happy with how it ended up for this picture, but I was too tired of it to keep trying. Sadly, the light green “Kukumber” one was the same way for me. I’m not sure if it’s me or if I just got a bad bottle or something, but it really put me off the whole line. Bummer.

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Next up was OPI, “Gargantuan Green Grape“. This is an oldie but a goodie, although it’s a new one for me. I was so excited when I finally found a bottle of this color that was actually green! Believe it or not, I had been looking for it for quite some time. Originally, I had a bottle of this color that was the mint blue shade. And, in spite of my love of all things blue, I really didn’t like it. There was something about the color and the way it looked on my nails that put me off. I’m not sure I even have the bottle any more. I might have given it away or donated it or something.

This one, though, I really like. I was a bit surprised at the final color after this had dried, because the online swatches I had seen looked more “green”. I feel like my bottle has a more yellow undertone to it. It’s okay, though. I enjoyed the kind of yellow-toned green. It felt very fresh and spring-like on my nails. It had a great formula, too. Not that this comes as any big surprise. This is OPI, after all, and they are usually pretty awesome.

 

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Sadly, shortly after putting this color on my nails, I had a little bit of an incident with some blue dye. It ended up getting in around the edges of my fingernails and a couple of places where I hadn’t realized my topcoat had missed. And, in general, it made my pretty green look kind of dull and drab. I was so bummed.

Seeing as how my manicure was ruined anyhow, I decided to experiment with a little nail art. So I did some designs on my nails with Sharpie markers. Then put a topcoat over it. I didn’t wear this super long (maybe a day), as I’m not much of a nail art person, overall. But it was fun. I think it turned out okay for my first try.

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Next up was China Glaze, “Papa Don’t Peach”. This is from the Lite Brites Collection for 2016, and man-oh-man … It is BRIGHT!!! I think this might be the brightest nail color in the universe. Also, please ignore the fact that there is an eeeeeny-teeeeeny bottle clutched in my gigantic man hands in this picture. I got this one, along with a few others from the collection, in a set of minis.

This is not a color I would have expected to wear or like. It doesn’t photograph particularly well, but it’s kind of a coral-peach-orange color with golden shimmer running through it. I tried to get the shimmer in my picture, but it didn’t show up as much as I had hoped. The shimmer really, really shows up on your nails, though. I pretty  much never wear peaches or oranges or corals, so I have no idea what came over me with this color. I loved it the moment I pulled it out of the little mini package. I still think it’s gorgeous, and I got quite a few compliments on it when I wore it. I went on to order a few China Glaze polishes online, and I really debated over whether or not to get a full-sized bottle of this one. In the end, I didn’t because I thought I wouldn’t wear it that much. Now, though, I’m kind of regretting that.

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After the crazy brightness of that China Glaze color, I needed a little bit of “calm”. I realized I hadn’t  yet tried out my bottle of Zoya’s “Lake”, so I pulled that one out. It was the perfect little palate cleanser that I needed after all that coral craziness.

This one is from the 2016 “Whispers” collection, and I do love this color. It’s very grayed out, but it has definite blue undertones. It’s soft and pretty. And I think it would go with pretty much everything. It does remind me of a deep and still lake very early in the spring, when the water still has a little bit of that gray color from the winter sky mixed in. I do wish it had a touch more blue color in it, though. If it did, I think it would be pretty close to perfect. Even so, I would have worn this color longer, except I got a huge chip on the middle nail on my right hand. Not a chip in the polish — a chip in my actual  nail! So, the polish couldn’t be saved. And my nails couldn’t be saved. I had to file them back down a bit. It’s okay, though. It was time.

As with all the polishes in the  Whispers collection (at least all the ones I purchased), this didn’t have the greatest formula. It went on kind of streaky, and it was easy to pull polish off of the nail if I accidentally overworked the color. I ended up having to do three coats. I love the color a lot, so it’s not a deal breaker for me with this one. But it did make me feel like things looked a bit “thick” on my nails once I was all done.

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Finally, we have China Glaze, “Let’s Jam!”. I’m not much for purples, but this one is pretty great. I like it a lot, and I can see myself wearing it often. It has a blue shimmer to it, so the color kind of shifts from purple to blue depending on the light. It’s not a strong shift; it’s very subtle. I think it shows up a little bit in the bottle in my picture. But, on my nails in real life, that blue undertone and shimmer was definitely there. I love it! The only thing I don’t love about it is that this color really, really pulled back with my beloved Seche Vite topcoat. So much so that I’m going to end up taking this off in just a little while because part of the color on one of my thumbnails is in danger of lifting right up off the nail. Ugh. I will have to try and remember to wear a different topper with this one next time.

Someone commented today that the color was very bright. I guess it is a little bit of a bright color. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be worthy of being in the “Lite Brites” collection, right? Still, I don’t feel like this is an eye-searing, in-your-face kind of bright. It feels a little bit subdued, but still very fun for Summer.