Wednesday, August 17, 2011

...I'm moving in a week, don't judge me

So, I haven't really had time to put together anything informative, interesting or funny this week, because I'm going out of town tomorrow, returning Sunday, and moving next Tuesday. For those who might be mathematically disinclined, like myself, that leaves one day for me to finish [start? no, finish, I guess I've sort of started] sorting through my belongings and shoehorning them into a van.

Instead of a thoughtful post, please enjoy this link to the giant slide installed in a Utrecht subway station. The Netherlands' city planners are clearly more fun than whoever's in charge of East Coast transit.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The ultimate nail polish test: eating crabs at my Dad's birthday dinner

Time for a true confession: I am overly concerned with the appearance of my nails.

I can wake up late, roll out of bed, wash my face, brush my teeth and race out the door wearing an almost-clashing outfit and feel okay, but God forbid I wear chipped nail polish. If there is a small chip, I fix it ASAP. If there are multiple or large chips, off it goes until I have time to do them over.  So naturally, I'm always on the lookout for nail polish that doesn't chip.

I also favor opaque polish in bright or dark colors. I think they work because I keep my nails short because I type a lot and work with jewelry - long nails are a hindrance. My outfits tend to be very feminine, classic and conservative as a rule, so I like bold nails to add a little edge. But my policy on bold nails is: they have to be neat. If there's a week where I know I won't have time to keep up my manicure, I'll do natural nails or something pale and sheer to hide the inevitable chipping. Tonight, I put my Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure to the ultimate test - and it passed with flying colors!

I ate crabs tonight, you guys. And emerged with my manicure fully intact. I know that eating Maryland crab is one of those weird regional things like a New England clambake or anything to do with wearing a cowboy hat in the Midwest, so if you're not familiar, allow me to explain. Basically, those of us who are fortunate enough to have access to these delicious crustaceans enjoy sitting around picking the meat out of them for hours on end. Any excuse will do. Tonight? My dad's birthday.

Here's what happens: you pull a crab out of the barrel. It will be covered in piles of Old Bay and possibly cooking water. You rip the legs off the crab's body one by one, sucking the meat out of them. You may also snap each leg in half to facilitate this endeavor. Then you will reach the front claws. You take a wooden mallet and whack the claws until they break, enabling you to pull out the crabmeat. Watch out for flying crab shell shrapnel. Next you pry part of the crab's belly shell off, splitting it in half lengthwise. You scrape the lungs and other... stuff, don't think too hard about what it is exactly, off. You snap the crab's body in two, then squeeze each half together, then force them open. (For some reason visitors often find this practice barbaric. I don't see it, do you?) Finally, you pull out the crabmeat! It can be enjoyed with butter, cider vinegar, and more Old Bay.

My point here is, of course, that eating crabs is absolute hell on your nails. It is worse than my job messing around with pliers/wire/glue at the bead store. I fully expected to have to redo my nails before work on Friday after this shindig.

And yet... for the first time EVER, my nails were perfect after picking crabmeat. Perfect, I tell you. Not even a touch up was necessary. Since I used the same old top and base coat as usual, I have to conclude that the new nail polish was the reason for this. Way to go, Sally Hansen!

The bottle looks like this:
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Navy Baby. Image from

It's pricey for drugstore nail polish at around eight dollars a bottle. However, it's a generously sized bottle, the colors are solid and saturated, and you need two coats max to get good coverage. So far I've liked the colors Choco-latte and Pat on the Black. Choco-latte is  a nice nude for my medium skin tone, and Pat on the Black (which I borrowed - thanks Mom!) is a deep purple. 

OPI is nice and Essie is too, but living in neighborhood where these brands are hard to come by ten months out of the year, it's nice to find a quality nail color you can pick up at your local Walgreens. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Is it ridiculous to have a color scheme in a living space the size of a postage stamp?

The other day I was on my way to a new hair salon (to scope it out before deciding to trust them with my very difficult hair, but I digress) and naturally, my cell started ringing the second I began driving.

On a whim, I answered. Usually I let calls go to voicemail since I'm not the most experienced driver on the planet, but I thought it might be important for some reason - and it was! (Maybe I'm psychic?). My roommate was perusing her local Bed, Bath and Beyond and needed to discuss storage options. We're thinking an ottoman might be nice. And just in case any officers of the law are reading, I was using my hands-free setting the entire time.

This brings me to the topic of this post: decorating schemes. I'm wondering if there's a point on the small-living-space scale where trying to coordinate things simply becomes farcical. I mean, we're one step above Genie's living situation in Aladdin (quick refresher for anyone who hasn't Disneyed it up in a while: he lives in a very small but classy lamp.)

And that's what we're going for with our subtle, vintage-inspired color scheme, illustrated here:
color scheme 1

Small but classy. How do you incorporate color into small spaces?