Last week, I hosted a Nail Polish Swap at Camelot Cellars in the Short North. Around 30 ladies showed up, wine was ordered and lots of polish was swapped. I will definitely be doing this again (maybe quarterly?). Planning fun, little events like this is a great way to meet new people and branch out of the usual networking, professional type events.
*The two photos of people taken on my iPhone. All the rest were taken by Halle!
I’ll be reviewing MyGlam’s January bag today! I found out about MyGlam a couple months after discovering Birchbox (which I really love). I thought I would cancel my Birchbox review to give MyGlam a chance for the month of January. MyGlam states on their site:
Every month, you receive a brand new Glam Bag with 4 to 5 of our top beauty finds! These full-sized products or deluxe-sized samples are selected by our stylists for you to enjoy.
A lot of the brands that they boast about on their site are brands like Urban Decay, Tarte, NYX, and Mai Couture. Here’s what was inside the January bag:
1. Cucumber Facial Peel-Off Masque by Freeman: This smells awful. In my opinion, the whole “cucumber” scent trend has passed. I didn’t even try this because I don’t really use anything but Clinique facial cleanser and lotion. This retails for $4.49 in any drugstore.
2. Cleansing Conditioner by Wen: I actually liked the scent of this conditioner. On Amazon, a 16 oz. bottle of this conditioner sells for $36.80. I’ll be interested in using it soon – a hairstylist I just talked to said that many of her clients use it in between shampooing.
3. Hot Ticket Nail Polish by The Balm: I have never heard of this brand…but that’s not saying much. I mostly stick to Essie, OPI, Deborah Lippman, and Zoya. I didn’t particularly enjoy the color and the formula seemed cheaper. A bottle of this polish sells for $10.00 on their website. That’s INSANE. I can buy a bottle of OPI for $8.50 and it’s 10x better.
4. Cover Duo Concealer by Sheer: I actually like this mineral concealer. I looked up Sheer Cover and it looks like you pay monthly for a kit. I don’t necessarily know how much the individual concealer sells for but Amazon has JUST the concealer for about $25. I used it and I really like it. It’s more of a dry concealer and I like that there are two shades (summer and winter).
Now that you know what was inside, I’ll share some thoughts about the whole experience.
- First of all, MyGlam’s website is lacking in many areas. I signed up for MyGlam back in December. They seemed to be adding features to their site every time I logged in to check on the status of my bag. Right now, they seem to display the current bag’s contents with links to the brands’ sites.
- They don’t award points for reviews or referrals. They also don’t allow you to purchase any products directly through their site.
- My MyGlam bag smelled like moth balls. Ew.
- The total value of the bag did end up being about $45. You get full size (or deluxe) samples and you pay $10/month. No matter how unhappy I was with the choices, I did get a deal.
In the end, I decided to cancel my MyGlam subscription. I tried to sign back up for Birchbox but they are actually sold out of subscriptions right now so in February, I will be trying Turntable Kitchen’s Pairings Box. It’s a a curated food and music discovery experience, delivered monthly! Check back late February for my thoughts. You can also read my reviews on my November & December Birchbox and Julep Maven!
Today’s City Guide is brought to you by Heather Zweig of San Francisco, California.
Each year, more than 16 million visitors make San Francisco their destination of choice. From the breathtaking scenery and the Golden Gate Bridge to the rolling hills of iconic Victorian architecture, it’s no wonder so many people flock to this incredibly unique city. With that said, I hardly ever see a wide-eyed visitor because they rarely venture into the backbone of SF culture, the neighborhoods outside of the tourist traps.
The easiest of these neighborhoods to boast about is Hayes Valley. Sandwiched between Laguna and Franklin Street, Hayes is beautiful, colorful (literally), lively and one of my favorite places to walk around.
1. When my family and I moved to the bay area six months ago, we learned a very quick and valuable lesson, a car is completely useless. Find decent parking, leave it at home, pay a garage for the day, do whatever it takes to ditch your automobile. Between the BART, the Muni and the fact that the entire city is only 7-miles wide, you will have a fuller and more enjoyable experience on foot. Hayes Valley is no exception, parking is rarely found and with all the amazing detail and color dotting the streets, simply driving past would be a crime. Plus, most in-phone maps and navigation systems come equipped with walking and bus directions, a handy tool for exploring.
2. Start your walk with a cup of coffee, tea, or whatever warm drink suits your fancy. You can select from the Blue Bottle stand, a personal favorite and the mini version of its famous big brother a few miles away; Ritual Coffee, another quaint outdoor coffee stand; Seesaw, family friendly with a play area for children; Mercury Cafe; Momi Toby’s Revolution Cafe & Art Bar; etc.
3. Once you have your beverage in hand, each and every passing retail store is worth checking out. A few of note: Bibliohead, new, used and rare books in a charming space; Room Service, the mecca of eclectic furniture; and Ver Unica, friendly staff with even better vintage clothing.
4. The most important aspect of Hayes Valley is the food. Several charming cafes and restaurants line the streets and although I have only personally tried a few, I have yet to be disappointed. La Boulange offers delicious soup, salads, sandwiches and the oh-so-important brunch; Hayes & Kebab has a wonderful assortment of organic Mediterranean dishes; Stacks specializes in breakfast; Zuni Cafe; Suppenkuche; and for pizza, Patxi’s Chicago Pizza.
5. A few other places of note: Absinthe, french food and wine bar; Two Sisters Bar & Books, delicious brunch, food and cocktails; Taste, a modern Chinese tea house and a must if you’re in the area; and Smitten Ice Cream, made to order treats in 60-seconds using liquid nitrogen.
If you ever find yourself wandering the streets of San Francisco, I hope you give Hayes Valley a look. I have only scratched the surface of what there is to do, see and eat in this quaint nook of town, go and discover for yourself!
Heather is a wife, mom and freelance photographer (all photos in this post taken by Heather). She can be found blogging at We Three Zweigs, on Twitter as @heatherzweig or on her personal favorite, Instagram as @HeatherZweig. She will also be judging my next photo challenge!
Featured image by Alain Picard.
I’m excited to announce my next photo challenge! This photo challenge will be an exclusive camera phone challenge. Lately, I’ve been extremely inspired by Instagram and everyone’s photos. Obviously, cameras on cell phones aren’t what they used to be and I’m excited to see the results of this challenge. As you can see above, I’ve chosen your judge and your prize! Your judge, Heather Lea Zweig, is a twenty-something aspiring photographer living in the foggier half of California. I swoon over her blog daily and I can’t get enough of her work. Heather participated in my last challenge and so I’m excited that she is involved in the #phonephoto challenge as well. Whoever is chosen as the winner will receive the 8×10 inch print above. It’s one of my favorite on Society6 and I’m excited to share it.
NOW ON TO THE DETAILS! This challenge will take place during the majority of February. You technically can begin taking photos on Monday, January 30th but you won’t submit anything until Sunday, February 5th. Instead of submitting ONE photo like last challenge, you will be submitting FOUR photos each Sunday. The four photos that you submit need to be unified as a set. Each week is defined by a theme but each theme is a certain color. Make sense? Are you a visual person? Okay, below is an example of what I mean. Week 1’s theme is “white.” I chose four photos from my iPhone that represented “white.” Obviously those photos aren’t LITERALLY white but I want to see you all take creative liberty and use the color themes to really think outside the norm. Perhaps in Week 2 when the theme is “red,” your four photos will only have elements of red that really pop out.
Got it? Awesome. Below is the schedule. Each week is defined by Monday through Friday. At the end of the week, you have a day or two to submit your four photos to me.
Wow, as I’m typing this all out…I feel like I just wrote a mini novel. I hope it all makes sense. To end this post, I’ll write the technical requirements for each photo and submission. I’ll probably write a reminder post next week before it officially starts. I’ll also be posting the submission button on my sidebar once the photo challenge begins. The button will take you to a page where you can upload & submit your photos as a .zip file. It will also list all of the technical requirements and the photo challenge schedule.
- Send your four photos in a .zip file. Crop them each as squares. If you do not, I will make the crop.
- Make sure your photos are at least 350 px wide, .JPG format, & include your website in the comment section if you want anything linked back to you.
- No nudity or weird crap. Sorry, my mom reads my blog…I think.
- Please save the photos under the following format: FIRSTNAME_PHOTO#.jpg (ie: ALLIE_PHOTO1.jpg, ALLIE_PHOTO2.jpg…etc)
- If you want your set arranged a certain way, name your photos according to the corners. Upper left should be named with #1. Upper right should be named with a #2. Lower left should be named with a #3. Lower right should be named with a #4.
- This is a camera phone challenge. That means: no DSLR or film photos.
- You must shoot within the week prior to the due date. That means starting Monday, January 30th you can start shooting for Week #1 (White).
- The photo must be submitted Sunday by 8pm EST.
If you have a question, leave a comment below! I will respond. Pshhh, and you thought a camera phone challenge would be easy. I’m excited!
Today’s ONE DAY feature is all about Josh and Sarah (both 28). They got married Friday, July 23, 2010 at in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Their ceremony and reception was held in the Riviera Ballroom and they held their cocktail hour on the Lady of the Lake! Sarah describes their wedding palette as “shades of green, pinch of yellow, white, and grey.” Learn more about their wedding day below:
1. What do you remember most about your wedding day? Our wedding day was one of the hottest days of the year and it rained, more like poured, the whole night before and right up to the start of our 5:00 ceremony. So, the one thing we remember the most about our wedding day was when the clouds parted, the rain stopped and a beautiful rainbow appeared over the lake. How many people can say they had a rainbow on their wedding day?
2. What was your vision for your wedding before you actually started planning? How did that vision change by the time you were finished? I am not the type of girl that thought about their dream wedding ever since they were little, so I didn’t have a vision to live up to. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to get married in Lake Geneva. Josh and I spent many nights while we were dating at Lake Geneva, making it a very special place for the two of us. Our vision became very clear once we stepped foot into the Riviera Ballroom. We immediately fell in love with it’s decor and amazing view. The green subway tiles at the four corners of the ballroom sparked the idea of shades of green in our color palette. The view of the lake and boats gave us the idea to do a boat cocktail hour instead of the traditional after ceremony drinks. From there everything just fell into place and it was perfect!
3. What was your favorite and least favorite part of wedding planning? We truly loved planning every detail but having 120+ people look at us (all day) was the hard part. We are not ones that like a lot of attention so it was really hard to be the main attraction. I cried a lot about this!
4. How did you go about finding your wedding photographer? Our photographer, Kelly Vanderploeg, went to the same high school as us. She was a few years older than us but had younger siblings Josh and I knew. Of course we loved that we knew Kelly but we also truly loved her work. Her pictures capture moments not poses and thank goodness for that! As part of our wedding day schedule we planned for “picture time” before the wedding and after the ceremony but with the heat and rain both were canceled. However, I knew I didn’t have to worry if our pictures would turn out or not because of Kelly’s specialty-capturing the moments not poses.
My sister is also learning about photography and has started a small business. She was so happy when I asked her to take a few of me on a beautiful sunny day. I loved getting all dressed up again! Those day after photo shoots should be more popular-I was so relaxed.
5. Did you have any favorite DIY wedding projects? I had a few DIY projects and the nice thing is other people took on the tasks!
- My favorite project, of course, was collaborating with you to create our beautiful, one-of-a-kind invitations, programs, place cards, table numbers, and guest book postcards. Your hand drawings of the Riviera and The Lady of the Lake were my favorite parts.
- My sister-in-law monogrammed each linen napkin with a “B”. She did all 120 by hand! The napkins added a wonderful personal touch to the dinner tables without breaking the bank.
- My mother-in-law bought four large urns and planted several different green vines and white flowers in them. We used these at the front and end of the aisle during the ceremony. She tended to these flowers all summer long so they would be perfect on our special day. We now use the urns on the front porch and back patio of our new home.
6. What advice do you have for newly engaged couples that are starting to plan? Spend money on what is important to you…not what is important to others. To us we wanted to get an amazing photographer and a sunset boat cocktail hour. Knowing that these two things were very important to us, we worked with our budget and cut things that weren’t as important (wedding favors for example). We are so happy we did this because we love our pictures and everyone still comments about how fun the boat ride was.
Sarah also shared where they purchased many of the wedding party’s attire:
- Bridesmaid Dresses
- Groomsmen Suits: Ralph Lauren Summer Collection
- Flower Girl Dresses
- Little Boy Shoes
- Cake Toppers: Vintage Pez (part of Josh’s large Pez collection)
Congratulations to Erica Gilliam for winning this amazing Bouquet Bobby Pin Gift Set from Emily Elizabeth Jewelry! Erica, I will be contacting you by email and we will get your bobby pins to you! For those that did not win, you can still head over to Emily Elizabeth Jewelry‘s website and enter promo code JANUARY25 for 25% off non-sale items!
Thank you to everyone that entered! There will be another fun giveaway here on Show+Tell next week (a fun Etsy paper shop)!
I have today off in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I’m a bit bummed because we were supposed to be up at our family’s lakehouse this weekend with all of our closets friends but there were furnace problems. Tomorrow I’ll be back to regular blogging. I have some wonderful posts lined up for the rest of this week including a Chicago wedding One Day post, a San Francisco City Guide, and my MyGlam review!
With all the talk of home buying in my post from earlier today, I thought I’d share some of my home decor inspiration. While my apartment pretty much looks nothing like any of this (Um, hello…I’m trying to pay off debt Internet. Stop tempting me with all of this amazing-ness!) I don’t know what my “style” is and I’m definitely NOT good at interior design. I do, however, know what I like when I see it. Essentially, I’ll probably use photos like these and copy them exactly when we finally own our own place. You can also follow my “For the Home” board on Pinterest. After looking at my board, I definitely DO have a particular style that I love but I don’t know what it’s called. Any takers?
I’m trying out a new series on my blog titled, “Hello, Adulthood.” I’m sure some of my friends and family clicked on this link thinking that Adam and I have bought a house. I’m sorry to disappoint you all but the Lehman’s are still renters! While it’s definitely on our mind, we aren’t at that point yet. I’m hoping that through this series, I can share more than just what nail polish I’m currently wearing or all my design & photography. My hope that this can also be a place where I can share my bigger, overarching goals (professionally, personally, financially, spiritually).
With all that being said, I’d like to introduce you to Shanna Lafontaine! Shanna is a Real Estate Consultant here in Columbus, Ohio and has just released her first eBook titled, “Buying Guide: Your First Home.” I was able to ask her a few questions as a sometime-to-be new homeowner. Enjoy!
1. How long have you been working in the real estate business? I have been in residential real estate since 2002, so I’m in my 10th year.
2. Explain what your book, “Buying Guide: Your First Home,” is about . The book goes through the step-by-step process of considering buying a home, finding a Realtor and lender, searching for a home and through closing. With added tips throughout, the eBook is sure to save many buyers stress, time and money as they move through the process of buying a home.
3. What inspired you to write this eBook? I love educating my clients because it makes them more comfortable and makes the process easier on everyone. Most clients have very similar questions so I thought putting the answers to all those questions and even more into an eBook would be a great concise way to answer the most commonly asked questions of home buyers.
4. What are 5 pieces of advice you’d give potential (and new) home buyers?
- Make sure you are comfortable with the real estate agent you want to use and find someone up front in the beginning of the process to be your advocate. If you aren’t comfortable with your Realtor, find someone else.
- Consider resale when you think about buying. Make sure you think about buying a home you love but that also meets criteria that fits are large section of potential buyers.
- Compare and contrast your loan options with a lender that has in-house underwriting. Make sure you are well educated on your choices and compare “apples to apples” to see the differences.
- When you go out looking at houses bring a notepad, pen and digital camera. Take good notes on the pros and cons of the house, anything special or out of the ordinary and rate it on a scale of 1-10 Also take pictures (if you are allowed), starting with the mailbox or house number to keep them in order on your camera. This will help you keep all the houses straight at the end of a day of seeing houses.
- Don’t put your notice in on your apartment until you are positive that you are going to be approved for your loan and have assurance that you are ready to close. The last thing you want is to have a last minute issue and end up without a place to live.