Monday, April 30, 2012

a two-fer

i'm totally cramming two pinteractivities in this post, because they were super fun and i don't really want to pick just one for this week.  and because i can.  so there.

first up:  a replacement for that peeps wreath i took down a couple of weeks ago.  our front door has been naked since then, and well, i felt sorry for it.  one of you suggested doing one using those little umbrellas you usually get in fruity cocktails, and that was actually something i had pinned a while ago.  i took a trip to party city to pick up a box of the mini parasols - $5 for 144 of those things! - and with the bean's help, got to work.


as you can tell, she was mucho fascinated by the idea of these things, and after i warned her that the ends were pointy and sharp, she was good to go.  she took her job very seriously.



this was about 2.5 minutes after she'd woken up from her nap, so please don't judge me for the state of her hair.

it really didn't take very long to put this together, and in about 10 minutes we were done.


the method i'd used to hang the last wreath kinda sucked - i used a length of tulle from a roll i've had for ages and wound it around a wreath hanger in a somewhat complicated way.  but the clump of material jammed at the top made it a little difficult to open and close the front door for the first few days.  so this time, i waited until i had a chance to get out and pick up some flathead thumbtacks.  i found a nice wide ribbon and plucked a hammer from the hub's toolbox.  scary, huh?


i pounded the thumbtacks into the ribbon at the top of the door, realized the wreath wasn't centered, and had to pry them off and start over.  sheesh.  i never get shit done right the first time.  but i managed to accomplish my goal the second time around.



the bean was very proud of the wreath that she had helped make.  so maybe it's more summer-y than spring-y.  whatever.

so the other day, i showed you what my current manicure looks like.  but before that, i'd tried some different nail art that i liked a lot and was as easy to do as the tutorial promised.  here's the lineup of products:


i really love these new colors from essie.  the pink is "lights" and the orange, "action."


i used the orange as my base color.


then i took a makeup wedge and painted stripes on it using both colors.


dab, bounce, dab, bounce, and repeat a few more times.  a quick swipe of that magical seche vite topcoat, and we have this:


ombre nails!  at first, i compared them to a sunset.  or a tequila sunrise.  and then one of my twirlies said my nail polish was making her crave a big stick popsicle.  haha!  that's exactly what they look like.

my current obsession with nail polish is contagious.  i leave you with this:


fabulousness has no age limits, people.


Nannersp

Friday, April 27, 2012

nailed it

i realized that i'd fallen into the habit of hitting the nail salon for a gel manicure/spa pedicure combo on a pretty regular basis - like every other week.  yikes.  so in an effort to cut back on the spending, i figured it was time to relearn how to do my own nails.  i've never been really good at mani/pedis aside from simple cuticle cleanup and basic polish, so i thought maybe if i scaled it back to once a month and DIY touchups in between, that would work.

the teen and i went for pedicures together last week.  and since i knew i wouldn't be back for a while, i decided to step outta my box and try something a little different from my typical french tips or neutral polish color:


cute, right?  oh, and please excuse the crusty flip-flop.  heh.  anyway, as the nail tech labored over that adorable work of art, i paid very close attention.  i took note of what tools she used, how she used them, and filed it all away in my peabrain for later use.  one trip to sally's beauty supply yielded everything i needed, and in a fabulous budget-minded twist, it was all on sale.  score!

while the bean was napping and i was getting caught up on "general hospital" (which is getting really good lately, by the way, you should totally watch), i caught a glimpse of my fingernails and realized that they needed a bit of work.  the polish had chipped and peeled a little and was basically not up to my standards for being seen in public.  and with an evening at disneyland ahead of us, i was inspired to do a little experiment.

the tools of the trade:


i started with a base coat, and then a couple of layers of orly's "haute red."  i thought i was going to get all cutesy and did my ring fingers in a plain white - but either that polish was too thick or the brush was shitty, because they ended up looking like i'd gotten bored in homeroom and painted them with some liquid paper.  i guess it's appropriate, considering that shade is sally hansen's "white out."

in another episode of "wan isn't as clever as she thinks she is," i busted out a pencil to see if i could use the eraserhead to paint a perfect circle on those white nails.  i dabbed a bit of orly's "liquid vinyl" on the first piece of cardstock within arm's reach, dipped it in, and it was a complete FAIL.  d-oh!  oh, well.


so i ended up replacing that white polish with the red and refiguring the design in my head.  i'd bought a double-ended tool along with my supplies that featured a dotting tool on one side and a superfine brush on the other.  but i wasn't entirely satisfied with it at that point and went into my stash of cardmaking supplies.  weird, i know.  but i knew i had an embossing tool that would do the trick, and after i fished it out of a box and tested it out with the white polish, i totally congratulated myself on how brilliant i was.  ha!


you can see what i did already, right?  i worked on both hands, added a little bit of flair with a dot of essie's "loophole", and voila:


when she woke up, the bean was completely enchanted with the results.  and i was pretty proud of myself when the teen gave it her stamp of approval too.  she's not easy to impress.  whee!

between my nails and the awesome tee i wore, it was a pretty happy trip to disneyland.


how could it be anything but?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

goody bags fix everything

a couple of weeks ago, the bean and i met up with lilcee and mini cee to attend maddy logelin's batman-themed party.  the evite encouraged folks to dress up in superhero gear, and a trip to old navy yielded a cute purple batman tee for the bean and a superman one for me.

the logelin home is really cool - there's a fun hill with big ol' rocks to climb, plus a pond.  after spying other kids around their ages, the bean and mini cee wasted no time in clambering up there together hand in hand.



there were no less than four piƱatas present, with two hanging as decorations, one full of candy for the kids, and this one.  according to matt, it was chock-full of miniature bottles of booze.  lilcee and i thought this was hilarious.


when we were finally successful in getting the girls to come back down, they happily accepted juice and sat down to color some superhero pictures.


the first game had the kids hunting for foam batman icons in the front yard.  the bean found just three, none of which featured the star that would've won her a prize:

 

snack time!  how cute are these batman PB&J sandwiches?  i took a big ol' bite out of one before i remembered to snap a photo.  oops.  and before you ask - the bean took it and handed it right to me when she realized there was jelly in there.  she's even worse at eating fruit than her mother.



when she discovered this fun race track, it was hard to pry the bean away from it.


but once she heard that there was cake, it was more like "cars?  what cars?"


do you have any idea how difficult it is to explain what this is to a 4-year-old?  pretty damn hard, lemme tell you.  "that's a big CD, mommy."  indeed, my love.


it was fun watching the kids go after that piƱata.  they were blindfolded for the first round, and when the thing proved to be far sturdier than originally thought, the kids got a second chance with eyes wide open.




lastly, the adults got a crack at it.  matt went after it with gusto.


finally!  the bean is rather cautious about this kind of stuff.  she kind of hangs back so as not to get trampled, content to pick up pieces of candy here and there that the others overlooked.  i'm cool with that, because it usually means that her bag isn't too full.



when "batman" arrived, i thought maddy was gonna lose her mind.  it was so much fun to watch her react to his arrival, and she lit up every time he spoke to her.  as for the bean - well, let's just say that i'm probably pretty safe from having to hire any characters to appear at her parties.



but that didn't stop her from joining in when there were fun prizes to be had.


a parting gift was the perfect thing for keeping the girls occupied in the car when the party was over.  none of them wanted to leave, but a goody bag sure helped.


the bean had just stopped talking about "my new best friend maddy" when we ran into her and her daddy at the mall just last night.  and with less people to distract her, maddy was adorably talkative and friendly with us.  and the bean thought it was fun to see her again.  

BFFs, yo.  can't ever have too many of 'em.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

best post office ever

on what was forecasted to be a 90+ degree day here at home, we hopped into the pri-YES bright and early (okay, it was 10:30, but it was a saturday) and headed down to the beach.  we were meeting up with my parents for brunch and had reservations at mb post, a restaurant i've been wanting to try forever.


it's housed in a space on busy manhattan beach boulevard that was formerly occupied by the city's post office, hence the name.  i didn't actually know this until my stepdad pointed it out to me.  i'm so smrt.  but as i looked around, the rustic interior and decor all clicked into place in my tiny peabrain and made total sense.




plus, our menu (which changes daily and also includes new specials handwritten in - chosen after the chefs have done the shopping at the local farmers market) was delivered in an envelope with our name on it.  clever.


there were so many delicious-sounding items to pick from.  our waiter explained that it was tapas-style, so the menu consisted of small plates meant for sharing.  i love eating meals this way.  it means i get to try a whole lot of different yummies without filling up too quickly.

the one thing i knew i had to try was the bacon cheddar buttermilk muffins, served with the most delicious maple butter.  ohhhhhh, so good.  totally worth the hype.  i could've eaten my body weight and more in these things.  and lemme tell you, that'd been a whole lotta biscuits.


my friend ashley, who lives in the area and loves this place, dug up the recipe as given to los angeles magazine by the restaurant for me.  i can't wait to give it a try.

the teen chose the benedict - pretty much what you'd expect, only here it was made with one of those heavenly biscuits and lovely paper-thin slices of prosciutto.


from the "breads" list, she decided to test out the apple hand pies, served with a fantastic salted caramel sauce.  obviously, i only sampled the latter.  heh.


the bean wanted a sticky bun.  it was pretty big, and definitely gooey.  and scrumptious.  mmmm.


i completely forgot to take a picture of my entree, but it was pretty simple - a poached egg on a bed of creamy polenta, served with the most delicious asparagus ever.  so good.  sometimes, simple is best.

there was also a really tasty (and slightly spicy) turkey sausage patty, and a breakfast staple (hell, who am i kidding - this is a life staple):



that bacon was coated in brown sugar, a little chili powder, and sprinkled with rosemary.  oh, it was delish.

we were definitely happy campers at the end of this meal.



the check came nestled between the pages of this:


and as i flipped through it, i came across some interesting entries, penned by previous diners.  um, okay.


the bean added a couple of smiley faces that i wasn't able to capture before it was taken away.  trust me, it was cute.

i don't think my folks enjoyed the restaurant nearly as much as we did, mostly due to the meat-centric menu (they're pescatarians).  but hopefully they liked trying something new that they probably wouldn't have had we not suggested it.

as for me, i would love to go back for dinner sometime.  and my friends are already talking about a possible brunch GTG so they can try everything for themselves.  hopefully we pull that together soon.  i miss those biscuits already.
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