The doggie harness and backpack my aunt bought Lilly for Christmas is way unstable. It was the correct size and it was as tight as it would go. It stretches quite a bit when tension is applied via the dog walking on a leash. I had to pick her up and come right home because I was worried she’d finagle her way out of it and escape. I wonder how many pet owners with this device have lost their precious pups?

More skin and beauty posts will be coming up soon. Until then, here’s a photo of my chi-weiner, Lilly, on Halloween in her costume:

Just arrived!

January 8, 2009

My new TV stand:


The one that I originally wanted wasn’t available anymore when I went to order it. This one is OK, but I wish it had another cupboard instead of the drawers. It’ll do since it’s the perfect height and has concealed storage. I dislike having my DVDs and Cd’s out in the open and prefer things to be hidden.

*EDIT 1/13/09* This is GORGEOUS in person and such great quality. I highly recommend!  My stand came from the outlet and was super discounted from the original price.

This is the one I originally wanted:


Happy New Year!

January 2, 2009

I hope everyone had a fantastic NYE. I spent it in SF with BFF and two other close friends. The coming new year may be a great time to reflect on the good and bad of the previous year but I don’t do resolutions. I believe that if you want to change something, do it now instead of waiting for January 1st. That said, in 2009 I vow to walk my dog, Lilly (my “chi-weiner”), more often.  She tends to chew on things more when she hasn’t been walked enough. For Christmas, my aunt bought her a handy harness that has a little backpack attached from Lovabledog. It will be the perfect place to store her poopy bags and treats. It is the same one as featured below, only hers is pink.


Fantastic idea, indeed! She is not used to it yet but it’s much easier to use then her previous harness. For being such a good girl, I bought her a new lobster toy while I was at Target today. She is such an unspoilt dog. <==Sarcasm.


While at Target, I checked out the new collection that is taking the place of their previous “Global Bazaar” collections. Most of it was still in the process of being put out on the shelves. I am very unimpressed. For the most part, it’s a “safe” collection with more neutrals and slight pops of color. The decor and furniture is just so-so. One item, “wood stick on a stand,” is rather humerous. It’s basically a stick on a stick for $30. There were a few items I liked, but unfortunately they aren’t coming up on the Target site yet. I did see a few pictures online that are noteworthy (above), but all in all this collection is rather bland.


The bedroom redesign project that I started several months ago is nearly complete. I am contemplating repainting my blue accent wall because the color is a few shades off from what I expected. It was supposed to be a light aqua-blue and instead it was mixed as a light blue with no traces of aqua.  I am love, love, loving the shape wall applications (above) from and will probably purchase two sets, though I’m not certain which to choose. They come primed white and you can either leave them that way or paint them. Decisions, decisions.

New chair and Skyn Iceland

December 19, 2008


I am excited because my new chair should be arriving any moment. According to UPS package tracker, it was in Oakland yesterday, which means it should be here TODAY!


Skyn Iceland is hands down one of my favorite skin care lines. Right now, Sephora has the Fundamentals Kit at a fantastic price-only $70 for three full sized products (which basically equals getting one item free). The kit includes Glacial Face Wash, a fantastic cleanser for everyone, especially those with irritated, congested, or oily skin (I have all three). I use it with my Clarisonic brush and my skin feels super clean without being stripped, dry, or tight. The Antidote moisturizer helps to prevent redness, irritation, is light weight and oil free, features a mild cooling sensation and helps prevent breakouts. And the Iceland Relief eye cream is my number 1 all time favorite eye cream (I used to be loyal to Perricone’s Advanced Eye Area Therapy…but no more). It hydrates, de-puffs, helps with dark circles, and even helps with fine lines and wrinkles. It’s light weight and is great under concealer as a primer because it has subtle light reflecting properties. My skin has been misbehaving more this winter then in past years so I recently incorporated Skyn Iceland Pure Cloud Cream in my routine at night for a little more hydration and so far my skin feels better. No more irritation, redness or occasional dry patches.

Organization equals sanity

December 8, 2008


I try to live by “there’s a place for everything and everything in its place.” Lately I’ve been slacking a bit lot and had gotten behind thanks to a busy November. I’m usually super organized, although last month I found myself mindlessly stashing bagfuls of random items under my bed and had piles of laundry hiding in my closet. If I can’t keep my personal spaces tidy and organized at least I try to feignez-le  (my slightly off French translation for “fake it.”)

I feel the most stressed out when my personal space is in disarray. For me, stress and clutter go hand in hand.  Last week I decided enough was enough and my secret clutter would build up no more! After taking a quick trip to Ikea, I came home with the Antonius storage system (the pull out bins on the right in the above photo.) So far so good. I have labeled each “drawer” and plan on returning for more Antonius components soon and will devote it to organizing my beauty stash.

I also picked up inexpensive wooden hangers. They make such a difference in how organized and clean my closet looks. So now that I’m back on track and life continues as usual, I need to go shopping to fill said new hangers.

Here are a few of my tips to faking a clutter free space if it drives you insane or company is coming over:

  • Inexpensive boxes (preferably with a decorative print or added flair) will always be your friend. You can hide anything in them, stack them neatly in a closet, and get back to them later. I love these for paperwork I can’t file or shred immediately. Boxes also work great for pet and kid toys, things that build up on the counter, desk clutter, shoes, etc.
  • Do away with the open laundry basket and find one with a lid, especially if you have snoopy guests. Nobody will ever know it’s been building up for a while. If your significant other, spouse, or kids shares one with you, banish their smelly socks to the laundry pronto! There’s nothing worse then the tell-tale sign of smelly laundry to ruin the facade. Don’t have a washer/drier? Try zip-lock baggies. Gross, I know, so make sure to get them in the wash ASAP.
  • If your bed is high enough, buy a plastic box you can store underneath and hide things there. Nobody will ever know. Bonus points if you have a bed skirt.
  • Dust is often a dead give away that your space needs a little TLC. No time to dust? Only dust where people can see. This can easily be done quickly between television commercials, while you’re on the phone, after you pop dinner in the oven, etc.

These are only temporary solutions so make sure to complete the full task correctly when you finally get a moment to breathe. And maybe get a mani-pedi or take a relaxing bath as a reward.

Want to avoid having to feignez-le? My dear Papa (grandfather) always says, “Pick it up and put it away.”


Between my long showers and getting ready for work, I log a lot of time in my tiny bathroom. In a perfect world I’d have a large room with plenty of counter space, spa tub, and steam shower. Unfortunately, in real life I have a pretty basic bathroom.

So what’s one to do when you’re strapped for remodeling cash or can’t remodel because your current digs are a rental? Little touches can make a huge difference.

  • If your cabinets have seen better days and you have the OK to paint, sand them down and put a fresh coat of white paint on. Or better yet, choose a deep stain if you have the patience.
  • Luxe rugs can make a big difference if you have ugly tile.
  • New shower curtains can spice up your space.
  • Hang art that you love.
  • Can you paint your walls? If so, choose a color you love.
  • New fixtures can create an impact.
  • Simple, neutral towels can also do the trick.
  • Simple shelving with decorative accents and bath goodies (colorful bath beads, soaps, and scrubs) looks pretty and is a simple way to add personality to a bland bathroom.

PSA: because Mervyns is going out of business you can find new bathroom goodies on the cheap! Also, check out holiday sales and home discount stores. If you’re after a spa-inspired bath and are on a budget, you’re sure to find great touches that won’t leave you for broke.

I lied. One more before chaos

November 18, 2008

I love nice, long, hot showers. Bad for the skin, I know, but so relaxing. Last night when I came home from a long day at work I hopped in the shower and used my new Lush Emotibomb in Up the Wooden Hill. It features lavender, chamomile, and neroli, all very calming and soothing. It’s a rather large tab that you lay on your shower floor under the water. Your shower water mixes with the Emotibomb’s essential oils to create fabulous scented steam.

While I can’t justify spending $4 on a one time use product all the time, it’s great for occasional nights when you seriously need to unwind. It’s also great for those who don’t have bathtubs or who don’t have time for a relaxing bath. It’s definitely a must try. I recommend using the entire tab because you probably won’t get the same effect if you break it in half to save for later. If you take long showers like me, save it until you’re almost ready to get out. The tab is by no means cute like Lush’s bath bombs but it gets the job done and made me feel relaxed and ready for bed.

I can’t wait for my shower tonight. I’m going to use my Bath and Body Works Lavender and Chamomile body wash and my beloved Bliss Rosemary and Eucalyptus Hot Salt Scrub. Only eight more hours until shower euphoria.

Tomorrow starts a week and a half of total chaos, coffee drinking, no sleep, and ending the day covered in powder. I’ll be back soon to give you reviews of some new and old faves. Until then, I leave you with photos of things I want from my fave home store, West Elm:


To-do list

November 11, 2008

Starting at the end of this week until the week of Thanksgiving, an opera I’m working on will begin its run and my blogs may become few and far between until closing night. In preparation, I have a million things that need to get done before we start dress rehearsals.

-Finish my holiday shopping and wrap everything.

-Clean, clean clean.

-Find white elephant gift for 6th annual holiday party with friends.

-Organize my train cases, make sure my brushes are ready to go, and take inventory of my makeup. Current mascara tube count: 21.

-Pick up a few unisex gifts to have on hand just in case.

-Go grocery shopping and pick up fruit/veggies, food I don’t need a microwave for and non-perishable food for the 9am-11pm days I have ahead. There’s a fridge at the theatre but no microwave. Luckily there’s Chinese food and a little cafe around the corner.

-Try to enjoy my last weekend of freedom until January. My BFF is visiting this weekend and we shall have a fantastic time.