Monday, April 29, 2013

Contrary Polish's Purple Smoke

I've already talked about how much I love Contrary Polish, but seriously, I am in love with all the colors!  I especially like how many of the polishes are work appropriate but have a slight fun edge to them.  Here is Purple Smoke, a blue/purple/grey with purple shimmer.  This is two coats with base and top coats.  I got lots of compliments on this one!  It's a beautiful polish that I can see myself returning to over and over again.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Contrary Polish's Better Together

I  love every single one of Contrary Polish's spring 2013 line.  Here is Better Together, a dark blue/grey with turquoise shimmer.  This is two coats, with base and top coats.  And Rosy's helping me to model the polish.
She's such a ham.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

2013 Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon, Virginia Beach

When I first started running I signed up for three half marathon's in a giddy rush as a result of my sister's encouragement and hype.  I ran Baltimore and Philly in fall 2012 and all I had left was the Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon in March 2013.  By the time I ran Philly I was ready for a break from races and training.  I fully enjoyed the holidays, sat around on my butt too much, and gorged on yummy food.  As January rolled around I started to regret signing up for the Shamrock race.  Training during the winter months is hard!  But if I hadn't signed up for this race, I probably would have spent the rest of the winter hibernating.  And any race that rewards winners at the end with beer (and especially Yuengling - my college beer) is a good race!  

First thing I had to do was drop off Sunny and Rosy at my parents.  They were terribly sad to see me go, but don't worry they were pampered very well at the grandparents (my mom even hand feeds Sunny when she's acting mopey).  But seeing their sad faces as I drove away broke my heart!
I was originally going to do this race with a friend but due to personal circumstances she ended up having to defer.  My sister was still going to run the full marathon but I ended up driving separately because they left a day earlier than me.  I actually really enjoyed the drive down (I love driving fast on highways!) and finished The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on the drive to and from and enjoyed the food/pee stops (McDonald's is totally appropriate pre and post race food!).  

It was super cold that weekend so not exactly beach weather.  But I love being near the beach.
My hotel was right by the finish line for both the half and the full marathon.  Seeing the finishing area made me excited/nervous.
I only realized the night before that this would be the first race I'd start by myself.  And it was so early!  I walked in the freezing cold to the starting area which was only a few blocks away.  I huddled against a brick wall as I did the daily crossword puzzles on my phone (whenever I'm nervous, crossword puzzles always help calm me).

The half started kinda late, about 15 minutes, and then we were off!  This course is super easy and flat but also very boring!  The only fun part is at the very end when you run along the beach.  If this race wasn't so easy/flat and didn't have such awesome gear and post-race stuff, I wouldn't love it as much as I did.

There were some pretty spots but they were rare.
I totally didn't train that well for this race but because the course was relatively flat and I'm secretly competitive, I ended up PRing!  I didn't feel terribly busted after finishing so I decided to fully enjoy the post-race stuff.  This race had the best post-race stuff I've ever seen.  Right after you finish they have a long stretch along the beach that you walk along as you collect your medal, food, water, Gatorade, the finisher's item hat (you get the shirt when you pick up your bib before the race) and a bonus finisher's item (this year it was an awesome fleece blanket).  This was great because it spreads out the runners so there's no sudden stops.  I like the long walk after finishing a race because it helps my legs loosen up a bit.  Then you can either go back to your hotel, or you can veer off onto the beach where they set up the party tent.
This year the tent was packed because it was so cold and windy outside, everyone was huddled inside the heated tent.  My sister said that in past years when she's run this and it's been warmer, a lot of runners just lay on the sand as they drink their beer and relax.  

The full marathon is sponsored by Yuengling and so the finisher's tent was filled with kegs of Yuengling and a surprisingly delicious Irish stew station.  Nothing tastes as good after finishing a cold race as a hot and salty brothy soup.  I got my broth and then I immediately went to the beer stations.  All finishers get four free beers.  I am proud to say that I got all four!  Ok I only got two when I finished but then I went back when my sister finished the marathon and got two more.  Apparently they go through 200-300 kegs each year.  They also have the keg lines go through coolers packed with ice so you get a wonderfully icy cold beer.  
Having gone to college in Philadelphia, I was basically raised on Yuengling.  So even though I was tired, cold, and by myself, I had a blast sipping away at my soup and drinking my Yuengling!  I also went outside wrapped in my finisher's fleece blanket, enjoying the cold beach.
In case you didn't notice, yes I painted my nails green in honor of the race.  There are tons of people dressed up in green and fun outfits!  I wore a green shirt but it was so cold I spent most of the race with my blue jacket on top.  My sister said she didn't see as many fun green outfits because she was in the first corral of the marathon with the hard core runners.  I watched her cross the finish line from my hotel room's balcony!  It was awesome seeing her finish, especially because I was freshly showered, dressed warmly, and slightly tipsy from the beer.

Despite the boring course, I think this was my favorite race.  Everything about it was just so much fun!  The race itself with so many participants dressed in green and/or crazy outfits, the awesome free finisher's stuff (t-shirt and fleece blanket!), the unique medal which also is a bottle opener, the finisher's tent with music, beer, and food, and the beach.
I also had a great time because my niece and nephew were there for the kid's run and we had a blast both before and after the race.  I think it would've been nicer if it was slightly warmer, but then I might not have PR-ed because I run terribly in warm weather.  I think I like the smaller, quirkier races, than the big ones.  Since my friend deferred I'll be running this again next year and I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Contrary Polish's Mystery

I am in love with Contrary Polish.  The polish is smooth and easy to apply, comes in great colors, and always has shimmer that adds a little punch to the polish.  Here is Contrary Polish's Mystery - two coats, with a base and top coat.  This is a beautiful smoky purplish brown with bronze shimmer.

Shhhh!  Don't speak!  Just enjoy the polish.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Contrary Polish's Bonfire and piCture pOlish's Festival

Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  I always have good intentions to post regularly but what ends up happening is I go crazy posting stuff for like a month and then start slacking off.  I also got busy with work and other stuff and haven't been wearing any polish for the past month or so.  I have super sensitive skin (can only wear gold around my neck and in my ears) and apparently I have sensitive nails.  They hold up to polish pretty well at first and then they go from looking like normal to looking like crap so quickly.  If I wear polish too long (even when I take short breaks between polishes) nails start to get discolored, uneven, and just look terrible.  And the white parts of my nails start to get uneven borders, ranging from slightly wiggly, to crazy dips, which is the nail plate lifting off the bed.  So whenever I start to see the early signs of this I take a long break from polish.  Yet much like alcohol (you don't even want to know how red I turn when drinking red wine), even though my body sometimes hates it, I can't resist polish!

Luckily while I take this break from polish I have some old photos of polishes I meant to post and then completely forgot about.  Here is Contrary Polish's Bonfire with a layering of piCture pOlish's Festival on top.  Bonfire is a deep red with a slight orange tone to it and gold and red microshimmer.  Beautiful polish and applies evenly.  This is two coats with one coat of piCture pOlish's Festival which I was obsessed with at one point.
More polish posts to follow!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

March 2013 BarkBox

Oy, I meant to do a review post of my March BarkBox and then totally forgot!  Now it's almost time for the April BarkBox but I figured I might as well do my review post of last month's.  All three of us look forward to getting our monthly BarkBox, Sunny and Rosy especially.
This box contained the following:

  • Lollycadoodle wool mouse - 100% wool and made in Nepal.  It's supposed to be resilient but the wool has already started to pull off.  Rosy especially loves the ears.
  • Harry Barker hemp bone in light blue - This is supposed to be eco-friendly and is made of hemp and cotton.  There's no squeaker inside.  It's cute but neither Sunny nor Rosy seemed that intrigued by it.
  • Little Eatz peanut butter treats - These are cute and can be eaten by both dogs and humans!  Unfortunately since there's sugar in them I didn't give any to the girls. 
  • Feelgood's Teeny Treats, Liver Lover's Gourmet Mix - I get the small box so I got a different treat from the medium boxers I saw on the internets.  The packaging on this is super cute (I'm a sucker for nice packaging; the pugs don't care so much though). I like how these treats are so tiny!  They'd make great training treats.  They're wheat and corn free but they're not grain free.  The girls loooove these treats!
  • Angie's List poop bag holder - Great and convenient.  I already have similar bag holders that don't have Angie's List printed on them so I generally use those.  But it's always good to have a spare.
So now here comes the millions of photos!  The girls' favorite part of the BarkBox were the teeny treats.  Look at how happy Rosy looks!

As soon as I opened up the bag, Sunny started doing her treats dance.
Dance for me cross-eyed lil pug!
Oops Sunny tried stealing a lick!
I've been saving these treats for special occasions.  And by special occasions I mean bribery for nail trimmings and wrinkle cleanings.
The next favorite item was the wool mouse.

Sunny doesn't care much for most toys (she's dedicated to her berber baby stuffies).  At first she thought the mouse was food but then quickly backed away once she realized it was just a toy.
But Rosy really liked the mouse!
Rosy especially liked the ears.
This was a great box, but not as great as last month's.  Can't wait to see what's in store for April!