Pink and Gray

This post is really about my – all of a sudden – interest in coordinating my manicure nail polish color with my pedicure nail polish color.  Pink on my nails and gray on my toes is a nice combination, but trying to take photo’s of my hand on my foot proved to be just plain awkward so I decided to put together a Pink and Gray set.

Pink and Gray


What are your favorite finger & toe nail polish combinations?

Cheers,
Monica

Splurge or Save: Cleansing Conditioners

As the popularity of a new product grows, so does the knock off versions.  Sometimes the knock-off products are great and sometimes they barely compare to the original.

I’ve been using Wen Cleansing Conditioner for years.  In fact, I wrote a blog post in 2012, When to use Wen Cleansing Conditioner,  so I’m fairly familiar with the product. I think I’m on my fifth bottle of Wen so I do indeed like this product.

While flipping through a magazine, I discovered that Herbal Essences has a cleansing conditioner as part of their “Naked” line so I decided to try it out.

HerbalEssences_vs_Wen

Cleansing Conditioners:  Herbal Essences Naked vs. Wen by Chaz Dean

Currently, I use a cleansing conditioner as a way to refresh my hairstyle in between shampoo’s. I have tried to use Wen as my only hair cleansing product, but I do find that it eventually weighs my hair down.  For my shoulder length hair, I used 4 pumps to cleans and 4 pumps to condition.  The amount of pumps that you need depends on the length and thickness of your hair.  The Wen.com web site suggests 16-24 pumps for medium length hair and I just find that amount wasteful.

I’d say that my hair feels clean and fresh after using both products. I do love the sweet almond mint scent of Wen and although I’ve also tried the lavender and pomegranate scent, I always return to the sweet almond mint scent.

The Herbal Essences product claims to have a mint scent as well, but it really smells like a sandalwood scent to me which is not a scent I’m overly fond of.

So that brings us to the cost comparison:
Herbal Essences cost is approximately $6.99 for 16.9 fl oz
Wen  is $32.00 for 16 fl oz.

So Herbal Essences is quite the bargain, especially if you want to try out a cleansing conditioner.

In general, both products are quite good so if scent is not an issue for you, the Herbal Essences cleansing conditioner is a great deal.  However, my preference will be to continue to purchase the Sweet Almond Mint from Wen.

Do you use cleansing conditioners?  Which one(s)?

Cheers,
Monica

Simple navy knit dress

Over the Labor Day weekend I slipped on a simple navy knit dress from LL Bean.  This dress is a flattering option for the pear shaped gal as there is a band of material just under the bust line which enhances a small waist while the skirt portion flows over the hips.  The soft jersey knit material was cool and wrinkle free – even in the desert heat.

LLBean_knit_dress

Navy knit dress from LL Bean

To style a very plain dress, I selected orange, gold, and turquoise accessories from Charming Charlie.  I shop best at Charming Charlie when I know what I’m looking for; otherwise, I wander around the store picking up and purchasing miscellaneous items that I don’t end up wearing.

Accessories_Charming_Charlie

Accessories from Charming Charlie

The Starfish and Seashell orange bracelet has a magnetic clasp so it’s quite easy to put on and the faux leather strap is comfortable around the wrist.  The necklace and earrings were a set called Petal to the Metal (similar set in white and orange).

Sea_Charm_Bracelet_Charming_Charlie

Sea Charm Bracelet by Charming Charlie

I purchased the sea charm bracelet last year and just got around to wearing it this summer.  It’s an easy pull on bracelet as the charms are held in place with an elastic band.

Although the spouse and I had a nice evening out, the restaurant was .. ok.  It’s probably not a place we would go running back to again. We ordered their version of lobster mac & cheese and we kept saying that we need Deborah Scott (a famous chef in San Diego) to teach these folks how to make real lobster mac and cheese!  If you’re ever in San Diego, visit C Level on Harbor drive and order their Lobster Truffle Mac & Cheese – a to die for dish!

Cheers,
Monica

Linking up with Patti at Not Dead Yet Style

The healing of hands

CathedralHands_Rodin

Cathedral Hands, Auguste Rodin.  Photo: http://airfirewaterearth.blogspot.com/

Whenever I think of hands, I think of the beautiful sculpture by Auguste Rodin called Cathedral hands.  Observers of this sculpture are often surprised that although this looks like a left and right hand, it is actually two right hands.

After attending a few aerial silk classes, I noticed that my hands were stiff and falling asleep at night.  My doctor referred me to a hand specialist and after a few not so fun tests, I was diagnosed with two different issues:  carpal tunnel and trigger finger.   I am experiencing very mild carpal tunnel issues and the nerve damage is minimal.  The trigger finger is a type of tendinitis which stops my fingers from moving smoothly when I bend my fingers.  This is causing swelling and stiffness in my hands when I make a fist.

The current treatment for trigger finger is a shot of cortisone.  I received a lovely needle in the pad of my right hand just below my index finger .. yeah, it @#% hurt.  The doctor injected my right hand only because cortisone doesn’t often work for most people and there’s no point in doing both hands if it doesn’t work.  I’d say the cortisone shot helped a bit, but I’m not sure if this will resolve the issue.

In four weeks, I have another appointment with the hand specialist and I’ll see what my next option will be.

Thank so much for asking and sharing good thoughts for my recovery.

Cheers,
Monica.

Ruffled sleeveless top from H&M

I purchased the ruffled sleeveless top from H&M with fall on my mind.  On the west coast, fall is like our second summer.  It may be cool in the morning, but the warm afternoon has everyone removing those morning layers.

This sleeveless v-neck is a nice form fitting top with chiffon ruffles that cascade down the front.  I bought the top in maroon which is a great color for fall.  The top also comes in a light powder pink which would look great with a gray blazer.

HM_Ruffled_Top

Transition to fall with a sleeveless top in a deep maroon

I kept my outfit simple with a white pair of pants and a leopard sweater that is also from H&M.  The outfit above is almost identical to my White Pants for Easter post.  However, the orange tank that I’m wearing in that post isn’t appropriate for the corporate work place.  The ruffled sleeveless top is more conservative.   I can take off my sweater if I get warm with out worrying that I may get called into Human Resources for a dress code violation.

Leopard Sweater_ HM

Leopard Sweater from H&M

 What are your favorite transition pieces to wear from summer to fall?

Cheers,
Monica

Linking up with:  Patti over at Not Dead Yet Style

 

Sat Aug 16th Haul

Sat Aug 16 Target Haul

Sat Aug 16 Target Haul

I must be out of my mind to go to Target on a Saturday afternoon right at the end of summer and the start of school, but I needed to pick up a CO2 cartridge for the Soda Stream that I purchased for my brother’s birthday.  The starter kit that I purchased from Amazon only came with a small cartridge, so I at least wanted to add to the gift.

I also purchased a light bra from Champion so I can strip off my under-wire bra and put on something comfortable for my evening yoga practice at home.  I usually do the AM section of the AM-PM Yoga (Rodney Yee) or the hip flexor section of the AM Yoga for your week (Rodney Yee) DVD when I get home from work.

The Pond’s facial cleansing wipes are my favorite makeup removing wipes and the “Evening Soothe” scent was on sale (yeah!).  I also LOVE Bodycology body washes.  The Bodycology line is a knock off of Bath & Body Works products, but .. much cheaper.  Here’s a body wash cost comparison:

Bodycology body wash, 16 fl oz, $3.99
Bath & Body Works body wash, 10 fl oz, $12.50

Unless you’re completely devoted to a particular scent at Bath & Body Works, I say give Bodycology products a try.  Bodycology also has body lotions and fragrance mists in the same scent as the body washes.  Bodycology is also available at Walgreens and Walmart.

Sat Aug 16 Ulta Haul

Sat Aug 16 Ulta Haul

Next stop: Ulta.  I received their mail flyer and I immediately wanted to pick up the It Cosmetics, My Sculpted Face.  I’ve tried to contour my face, but it never quite looks like I’ve done anything so here’s hoping this kit will help.

The nail polish is Essie in Blanc which is a nice soft white and of course I love the convenience of nail polish remover pads.

The Alterna Replenish shampoo and conditioner are both a luxury purchase.  While at Sephora, I selected the Alterna sample kit for my 500 points gift and I loved how soft my hair was after using these products.  However, at $36.00 per bottle for 8.5 fl oz, I don’t think this will be a regular purchase for me, plus the Pantene Repair & Protect shampoo and conditioner products are quite similar to Alterna Replenish at a fraction of the price.

So that was my weekend haul.  Sunday’s are mostly grocery shopping and getting ready for the work week .. so I better get busy :-)

Cheers,
Monica

 

Zara dress with necklace – Return

Ever see a cute dress in a store, try it on, think it looks good on, get it home (iron it) then take blog photos only to find out that the cute dress looks like a maternity dress on you?

I’ve been dressing my pear shape for quite some time and I know what looks good, but once in a while I like to step out of the box and try a new shape.  Sometimes it works and .. sometimes it doesn’t.  This panel dress doesn’t work at all for me, but it’s important to see that what looks good in front of the mirror, may not look good in front of the camera.

Zara_Dress_1

Looks a bit maternity-ish

Although I do like the narrow cut of the shoulders, the panel dress is too voluminous for my figure type. Pear shaped gals should really stick with dresses that are more fitted on top with a skirt that flows over the hips like the Fit and Flare dress that I purchased from Lands End.

Zara_Dress_2

The dress looks slightly better as I was walking into a breeze; however, the dress must be returned.  I am slightly distraught that I can’t seem to locate the dress receipt.  Initially, I was so in love with the dress that I probably threw away the receipt thinking the dress was ultimately perfect.  I’m sure the dress is perfect for someone, just not me.

SamLibby_Wedge_Sandals_Target

Comfortable wedge sandals from Target

I purchased the Sam and Libby “Natalie” wedge sandals this weekend on clearance from Target. The sandals have a cushioned insole and the perforated strap has a soft lining which makes these sandals comfortable against the top of your foot.  Definitely a good buy.

How do you keep track of your receipts?  Clearly, I need some assistance in this area of my life ;-)

Cheers,
Monica

Milani Color Statement Nail Lacquer in Pink Beige

I’m not a super fan of Milani products.  I love their gold packaging, but I don’t seem to buy too many of their products.  However, the display at CVS drew me in and I decided to try Milani’s new Color Statement polish line.  The polish is described as long wearing and chip resistant with a color saturated formula.  I have to say that all these statements are fairly true – this is a fabulous nail polish.

Milani_Color_Statement_Pink_Beige

Milani Color Statement Nail Lacquer in Pink Beige

I’ve had this polish on for five days and there is just a bit of wear at the tips on my nails.  So the polish doesn’t wear super long (like 7 days), but much better than any polish in my current collection. I really like that this creamy polish is opaque with one coat, no streaking.

Milani_Pink_Beige

Milani Pink Beige on my nails

All I can say is that I’m definitely going to pick up a few more colors!

Cheers,
Monica.

Check out my nail polish storage here.

Zara linen dress with necklace

As you can tell from the lack of blog posts, my camera man (spouse) has been out of town. So no outfit photo’s today.  I’m rather glad and I’ll tell you why in a moment.

I took the day off last Friday to see a hand specialist.  My hands started hurting after my 3rd aerial silk class and I thought I just over-did-it.  However, I knew the burning in my hands and the fact that my hands were ‘falling asleep’ at night wasn’t quite right.  Anyway, turns out that I have carpel tunnel syndrome.  Hopefully, this ordeal won’t require surgery.

Anyway, after that disappointing diagnosis, I needed some retail therapy and bought this cute linen dress decorated with a necklace from Zara.

Zara_Linen_dress_with_necklace

Linen dress with necklace, Zara

I purchased this dress as you see it in the above picture .. all wrinkled.  The material of the dress is a denim linen so I thought that this is how you are suppose to wear this dress and so I didn’t bother to iron it. Except when I looked up the dress online .. it’s perfectly pressed, so I’m glad I didn’t take photo’s today as I would have worn the dress .. as is.  A wrinkled mess is not quite the look I’m going for.

Zara_Linen_dress1

Perfectly pressed linen dress (photo from www. zara.com)

I really love that this dress has this ‘built in’ necklace.  It’s a really cute detail and makes this dress a “throw it on and go” garment.  Only problem is that I can’t detach the necklace from the dress so I’m not too sure how long the necklace will last after a few rounds of laundering.

As for shoes, this type of casual dress can handle anything from flip flops or the Target leather sandals that I mentioned in a recent post.  I decided to get a pair of Jack Purcell, Converse sneakers to go with the dress.  I’m not familiar with Jack Purcell, but apparently he was a Canadian world champion badminton player in 1933 and he designed the sneakers in the photo below.   Cool eh?

Jack_Purcell_Converse

Jack Purcell sneakers by Converse

As for my hands, I need to go for an electrodiagnostic test to determine the extent of the nerve damage.  I asked the doctor if the test is painful, similar to getting snapped by a rubber band and she said “something like that”.  Hmm, I can’t imagine what I’m in for :-P

Cheers,
Monica.

Juice for energy on a cloudy day

fruit

2 Oranges, 2 Apples, 1 Peach, 1 Knob of Ginger

It has been over cast for a few days at the San Diego coast and this type of weather really drags me down.  By 3 pm, I’m ready for a nap.  To avoid snoozing during the day, I usually run to Starbucks and order a latte, but today I thought I’d make an Energy Juice!

This sweet pick-me-up juice has the following ingredients:
2 oranges (recipe calls for 1 orange, but I added 2 small oranges)
2 apples
1 peach
1 knob of ginger

I also add about a cup or so of water to dilute the concentrated sweetness of the blended juices.

Energy Juice

Energy Juice

The recipe above is from a book called Detox Solutions by Helen Foster.  The book is divided into fourteen plans to help you get back on track if you’ve over indulged in caffeine, sugar, alcohol .. whatever, there is a plan for you.  The book was published in 2013, so I’ve at least had this book 10+ years.  When I’ve over indulged during a three day weekend, I usually do the Lighten Up Plan the following weekend, so I can get back to eating a clean diet.  All the plans are easy and the food is simple to prepare.

Detox Solutions by Helen Foster

Detox Solutions by Helen Foster

I’m off to drink my energy drink!  Here’s hoping the sun is shinning where ever you are.

Cheers,
Monica.