31 August 2010

Happy Birthday, Hartley!

Today is Hartley's 1st birthday!!!

There was cake...

 and presents...

 Oh, and a lot of hat wrestling.

What a spazz.

30 August 2010

Lacquer Lundi

When I was in high school, my Mom would bring home catalogues from an Avon lady with which she worked.  I loved thumbing through the many glossy pages, taking in the colourful offerings of eye shadows, lipsticks and blushes.  I was allowed to choose a few items from the catalogue and I always delighted in the task.  My transition from adolescence into womanhood owes a partial debt of gratitude to the transformative powers of Avon cosmetics.  Then came university and long hours in classes and in the chem lab replaced cosmetic frivolity, so Avon and I became estranged.

Happily, I rediscovered Avon about a year and a half ago and the products are as shiny and pretty as ever. One of my favourite finds is the nail polish offerings.  I have become a huge fan of the Nailwear Pro line.  What drew me in was the gorgeous colours - ranging from the typical pinks and corals to fashion forward shades like pastels, greens, blues and vamps.  The formula is also excellent - nice consistency, great pigmentation and easy application.  The polishes dry fairly fast and they wear quite well (I only have tip wear after two or three days).  Also, I am smitten with the bottle - it is a great rectangular shape that nests nicely with all its brethren in my polish drawers.  I love a good bottle shape - I have been known to pass on entire lines of polishes because of ugly bottles (Nicole by OPI, I'm lookin' at you).

Below are my latest Avon purchases.  They all conform to the description above, so I will let the pictures do most of the talking.

On to the pretties:

Avon Nailwear Pro - Luxe Lavender & Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure - Hidden Treasure
- Avon purchased from avon.ca for $2.99 CDN
- Sally Hansen purchased at Shoppers (chain drug store) for $7.99 CDN

Luxe Lavender is a beautiful pastel purple.  I absolutely love this colour.  It changes a bit in depth depending on the lighting - it's a bit softer in natural light (left photo) and a bit darker in low light (right photo).

Over top of Luxe Lavender, I applied one coat of Hidden Treasure.  This polish is a a colourless base packed with iridescent flakies that flash green or orange depending on the angle of viewing.  Hidden Treasure is a great polish to use when you want to give a simple base polish a bit of added interest.

Avon Nailwear Pro - Vintage Blue
- purchased from avon.ca for $2.99 CDN

 Vintage Blue is a light blue pastel.  In some light conditions, it reads as a cool white colour.  It reminds me of a clear, cloudless summer sky - so soothing.


Avon Nailwear Pro - Urban Grey
- purchased from avon.ca for $2.99 CDN

Urban Grey is my least favourite of the three Avon polishes presented today.  It is a light grey colour that unfortunately reads as "dirty" on me, but I think it's mainly because of my skin tone.  I find that I look better in deeper, darker greys.

ETA: I am in no way affiliated with Avon - I just like 'em.

28 August 2010

I Am Too Doing Stuff! Really.

Contrary to popular belief, I have not (a) fallen off the face of the Earth or (b) given up on my blog or (c) stopped sewing altogether.  I have actually been spending some quality time behind my machine for the past couple of weeks and I have much to show you.

I just haven't had the gumption to get my ass in gear, set up the tripod, fix my hair, slap on some makeup, pick out the proper accessories and climb into my latest creations.  I love you all, but apparently not enough to expend any energy on your behalves. 

A few weeks back, I had all but lost my sewing mojo.  Most of this 'creatus interuptus' stemmed from my overwhelming anxiety.  After pulling out all my transition/fall/winter wardrobe and doing the big purge (bye-bye worn-out, out-of-style or I-have-grown-weary-of-you garments), I was left with a sad state of affairs.  I had very few remaining cool weather clothing choices.  I quickly came to realize that if I didn't start putting in some major Kenmore time, I was going to be standing at the front of my classroom naked.  That's bad.

And so the anxiety set in.  How in the heck was I going to sew up an entire fall wardrobe in less than a month?  That's when I made a startling decision.

I prefer to make the lion's share of my clothing, but sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  So, I went shopping with my best friend.  I didn't expect to find much at the mall, but I was desperate to shore up my waning wardrobe.

And, much to my surprise, I hit the mother lode.  Almost every T-shirt, blouse, tank and tunic I tried on was perfect - good colours, good fit, good prices.  I came home with 19 tops (yep, 9 + 10 = 19, nineteen) and a much better attitude about my fall prospects.  All of a sudden my desire to sew returned and I have been on a roll.  I have been focusing mainly on skirts, pants and jackets to turn all my purchases into ensembles that are very Emma Pilsbury/J. Crew-like in vibe. So, stay tuned, when I finally feel like stepping in front of a camera again, I will have much to share.

And just because I hate to put up a picture-less post, check out this absolutely, fabulously, awesomely scrumptious colour-blocked coat (photo at right).  As soon as I got  the latest Boden catalogue (Autumn 2010), I was instantly smitten with this lovely garment.  If I can find three pieces of wool in my stash that are complementary in colour and weight, I will be knocking off this beauty.  Oddly enough, prior to receiving the Boden catalogue in the mail, I ordered the Pure & Simple pattern from Cutting Line Designs (photo at left).  Coincidence?  More like fate...cue Twilight Zone music...

23 August 2010

Lacquer Lundi

Hmm, it seems that polishing one's nails on a somewhat regular basis and having a new puppy in the house are two mutually exclusive things.  A certain Mr. Hartley Dog is not a big fan of the drying time required for a manicure.  He believes that all waking hours should be filled with walks, belly rubs and games of fetch and chase the puppy.  And I tend to agree, so the nail polish selection is quite limited this week (but, they're both very pretty purples, so check 'em out).

On to the pretties:

Zoya - Adina
- purchased at spaboutique.ca for $9.00 CDN

Adina, from Zoya's Spring 2010 Reverie collection, is a medium dusty purple base with awesome teal (and sometimes gold at the right angles) shimmer.  It is such a pretty duochrome - the finish reminds me of the inside of an oyster shell.  This polish really needs to be experienced in person - it is such a pretty and interesting colour - it is one of my favourites from this year's offerings.

Adina applied wonderfully and covered completely in two coats.  It wore well with only minor tip wear after two days.  This polish is very unique in my collection - I don't have anything else like it. 

New York Color - Irresistible Indigo
- purchased at Rexall (chain drug store) for $1.36 CDN

Irresistible Indigo is an older offering from New York Color, but you may still be able to find it in drug stores that don't clear out stock well or at a local dollar store.  If you can find it, it's worth it.  Irresistible Indigo is a gorgeous medium purple, with a very subtle silver microshimmer.  For some reason, it makes me crave grape pop.

Irresistible Indigo applied fairly well, although it is prone to bald spots.  I was able to get adequate coverage with two coats, but I did have to go back and even out some streakiness on a few nails.  It wore well, with tip wear after two days.  All in all, a decent polish at an extremely affordable price.

12 August 2010

A New Man in my Life

There's a new member of the HZC family that I want to introduce to you:

This is Hartley.  He is an 11 month old Vizsla and he is responsible for the return of joy into our home. 

Since he has taken up residence with us, he has been doing all the things a sweet puppy should do.

Like rolling in the grass:

Getting up close and personal with bugs:

Trying to balance on the windowsill (okay, maybe that's something puppies shouldn't do - oy!):

Eating spaghetti:

 Cruising around at the dog park:

And napping in the warm afternoon sun:

Each day with him is an experience.

11 August 2010

Lacquer Lundi

Okay, so I forgot to publish this post on Monday.  Oops!  Well, better late than never.  I'm still going to call it "Laquer Lundi" though, 'cause "Lacqur Mercredi" just sounds weird.

On to the pretties:

NARS - Purple Rain
- purchased at Sephora for $23.00 CDN

Purple Rain was a splurge on my part - I don't normally shell out $23 on nail enamel, but the colour drew me in and I laid down the money.  Purple Rain is a reddish purple base with copper shimmer that gives the polish a gorgeous beetle shell look.

Purple Rain applied well and covered completely in two coats.  However, it did not wear really well on me.  The day after I put it on, I was doing some (gloveless)  housework and after having my hand in or around water for half an hour, the polish started to peel off in sheets.  I know I was a bit harsh on the polish, but I have never had this happen before.  To say I expected more from a $23 polish is an understatement.  I will give this polish another shot on a non-housekeeping day and hopefully it will hold up better.

Orly - Purple Crush
- purchased at Sally Beauty Supply for $5.99 CDN

Purple Crush is not normally a colour to which I am drawn.  But, sometimes I crave something different and on one particular day, while browsing at Sally, this polish insisted that it had to come home with me.  Well, I'm glad it did.  Let's get one thing straight, though - Purple Crush is in no way, shape or form a purple colour.  Rather, it is a neon hot pink.  Talk about a perfect summer colour.

Purple Crush applied nicely.  It did require three coats for opacity (although if you click on the photo, you can see that it is still a little sheer in places) and this slowed down the dry time.  It wore well - only tip wear after two days.

Sally Hansen Nail Prisms - Pink Rose Diamond
- purchased at eBay for $3.99 US

Pink Rose Diamond is from a now defunct line of Sally Hansen polishes called Nail Prisms.  I think ol' Sally really needs to consider re-issuing these babies - many of them are amazing.  Take Pink Rose Diamond for instance.  It is a gorgeous medium pink holographic polish that is so pretty (and this is high praise coming from a self professed pink hater).

Pink Rose Diamond applied wonderfully and covered opaquely in two coats.  It had decent wear - I had tip wear after two days.

Sally Hansen Nail Prisms - Golden Tourmaline
- purchased at eBay for $3.99 US

Golden Tourmaline is the sister of the above polish that leans more toward coral-pink.  However, it is still jam packed with holographic goodness.  You should see this polish in the Sun - it is breathtakingly gorgeous.

Golden Tourmaline performed the same as the above polish.  Great application, two coat coverage, tip wear after two days.