Monday, October 31, 2011

31 Before 31

On October 31, 1982 at 8:08am, the one Veronica, was born to a young man that had rushed to the hospital dressed in a sheet (He had been at a Halloween party) and a young woman that when her water broke, was merely in mid-act of closing the blinds at her window.  The full moon had shone so bright into her room making it seem as if it were early evening as opposed the middle of the night. She closed the blinds and I was in protest.  It's no wonder now my fascination with the moon.


Since I was a child, I always had in mind to do many things throughout my lifetime.  I never wanted to be that person saying "shoulda, coulda, woulda" at the end of my life.  Even the things that scare me the most I attempt at least once and I want to continue that trend.  And so, now, I've developed a list of things to conquer before my golden 31st birthday. This is what I've come up with so far.  I'll be hounding people I know to help me brainstorm.

1. Buy a Home
2. Get Married
3. Discover my true life's purpose (if it's not already what I think it is)
4. Learn Portugese
5. Compete in Run Amuck*
7. Compete in Metro Dash**
6. Do Mardi Gras in New Orleans
7. Learn to pole dance and achieve at least Int/Adv. level (for the married life only heh heh!)
8. Learn to actually play my guitar
9. Visit the Grand Canyon
10. Do Carnival in Rio
11. Develop my green thumb and grow a bonsai tree & an orchid
12. Take up Photography
13. Learn more than just the basics of crocheting
14. Learn how to use a sewing machine
15. Begin my journey to becoming a wine and cheese connoisseur
16. Read 100 books
17. Get Pregnant******
18. Redo my entire wardobe
19. Become a certified esthetician
20. Write a children's book series
21. Create a trust for MJ
22. Make a difference in someone's life
23. Learn how to bake and do it RIGHT everytime from scratch
24. Participate in a flash mob
25. Learn how to make sushi
26. Invest
27. Run the Maryland Double***
28. Complete the Fat Smash Diet
29. Complete Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred Program
30. ???
31. ????

*Seeing that all is well with my right knee because right now, it's on "E" I'll be visiting the doc soon to see what can be done about it. Depending on the results, this item may change.
**Again with the knee
***No really, I need to get my knee together
******How the HELL am I gonna do that and complete some of these physical items on the list. Am I crazy?!?!? maybe a little. :-p

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Masquerade

Saturday, family & friends got to together to celebrate my mom's 50th birthday party masquerade style at Mordeci's Booth at the D.C. Navy Yard.   My mom doesn't seem to be aging at al (people kept approaching her thinking that she was me so they could ask where she was..LOL) I can only hope to be as good looking as she when I make it to 50. To say the least, we had a blast and it'd been quite a while since Chief & I, along with my brother and sis-in-law had been out without the kiddies.


My Spider ring and web tights :-)

My Mom

After the party, a few of us went uptown to Kramerbooks for a night cap.

Surf & Turf &  Lobster Ravioli at 2AM



And on the way out, we spotted some good reads...




Monday, October 24, 2011

Music Love| The Weeknd

Chief says I like "weird" music. 

I say I just love music...and I may even be a bit of a hipster but heck, I'm just drawn to what I'm drawn to.

Two Saturdays ago, during my ritual of cleaning and jamming to the MusicChoice channel just as I belted out my own adlibs at the tail end of Angels by Dirty Money, there came an unfamiliar song, one I'd never heard before.  Upon first listen I was reminded a bit of Portishead & Sade--it had my full attention.  I immediately jumped on the computer--forget cleaning--to pull up more music by this artist.  I found over 15 songs.

TheWeeknd:  Hailing from Toronto with a definite DubStep vibe that I'm loving, TheWeeknd's music is sultry and provocative laced with references to sex and drug use.  I would say he pushes the envelope but I'm almost afraid there's no such thing anymore.  However, in terms of sound and delivery, it's love--slow like honey, heavy with mood.  I was a fast fan and have been listening nonstop since TheWeeknd.











Sunday, October 23, 2011

Product Review: Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream


Ingredients:

Purified Water, Extracts of Anthemis Noblis Flower (Camomile), Symphytum Officinal Leaf (Comfrey), Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail), Urtica Dioica (Nettle), Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) of Butyrospermum Parki (Shea Butter), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Natural Vitamin E, Glycerin, Propanediol, Poly-quaternuim-200, Citric Acid, Polyquaternium-37, Ceteareth 20, Phen-oxyethanol, Caprylyl, Glycol, Sorbic acid, Fragrance

This products does not contain: Parabens, Silicones or Sulfates


Product Description:


An all-natural product formulated to lengthen and define your natural curl pattern while drying to a soft, shiny, bouncy finish. Water soluble, Curl Defining Cream washes and dries clean without leaving any film, offering the true luxury of “wash and wear” hair!


My Experience:

The Good:  The Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream is of a yogurt consistency. The product did well with curl clumping and hindering shrinkage.  I was amazed at how defined but stretched my curls were.  I also used this product for a twist out and it helped my first day twist out to be less shrunken than usual--especially from soaking wet hair.  Huge plus. My hair had lots of movement as the product was very lightweight. No film and no flaking.

The Bad:  The scent was fresh but more like that of a freshly cleaned bathroom as opposed to freshly washed hair.  It really reminded me of lemon scented Mr. Clean or my Swiffer Wet cloths and the last thing I want to do is smell like a bathroom--clean or not.

Aside from hindering shrinkage with my first day twist out, the product had no slip so it made finger-combing difficult.  Each time I applied the Curl Defining Cream, my hair was very wet and when it dried, boy, did my hair feel dry--very hay-like.  I was disappointed because I would have thought that a cream product such as this would have provided at least a little moisture.

The dryness I experienced with this can be likened to what I would expect from a gel.  Also, my curls were defined but I experienced alot of frizzing and I absolutely could not achieve decent second day hair with this product.  I'd definitely have to use this product in conjunction with a moisturizer but I believe a product like this should be able to do double duty as a curl definer and moisturizer but it completely failed in that area. My hair wasn't shiny or soft as the product description claimed it would be.


Price & Rating:

1 out of 5 Stars
I paid $11.99 for 6oz. at Target

Too much to pay for a product that can't perform more than one task.  Being that I don't like to pile products into my hair, I won't be repurchasing this because it doesn't meet my needs on it's own.  I'll take shrunken, soft & moisturized hair over an enlongated, hay-like curl any day of the week.

Would I repurchase? No.

ETA:  PGR reader Michelle suggested that I try this product with JS Nourish & Shine.  Update coming soon. 

Top Left: Day One -  well defined but a little frizz; Bottom: Day Two - barely decent, a little definition with lots of frizz and tangles :-(

Sephora Gift Card Giveaway Winner

There were 17 entrants for the Sephora Giftcard Giveaway.
(I collapsed the email column and blurred out your last names to protect your info.)


And the winner is....

Destinee

Congrats!  Please email me at prettygirlrockblog (at) gmail (dot) com with your information.


Thanks to everyone that entered.  Please stay tuned because this is just the first of many giveaways to come and they'll only get better.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wedged | My Zara Booties

At the end of August, I "somehow" ended up on Zara's website and saw that they'd be enabling online shopping that following week.  Imagine my excitement.  (Anyone that knows me knows that I've been waiting for Zara and H&M to make moves toward online shoppnig for quite some time.)

On the 7th of September, I mosied on back to Zara's website and browsed around looking for something to gift myself with for my upcoming birthday.  I saw these wedges and I had to have them.  Knowing I wouldn't want to wait, I called the Zara location in Georgetown just across the Key Bridge.  They didn't have the boots but the rep informed me that shipping would be expedient and it was free.  I'll take it!

I received the boots two days after I ordered them and let me tell you, I loved them even more in person than when I saw them online.  These boots boast a suede strip up the side and back giving it a subtle-but-not-so-ordinary appeal and butter soft leather throughout the body and shaft which is a dynamite plus for me.  One thing I can't stand is hard, unforgiving shoes.  Since I'm a big foot, I need my toes to stay pretty and hard leather tends to rub and chafe causing unsightly corns & bunyons & what not.  I do not have the time...


Though I love Zara's apparel, its extremely rare that I pay full price because, to me, Zara is a marked up H&M.  Nothing wrong with that and though Zara and H&M may not even be affiliated in any form, but I still think of these stores as set up the same way as The GAP Corporation: $ Old Navy = $$ GAP = $$$ Banana Republic.  Also, I'm a price checker, I'm a firm believer that if something is $150.00, guaranteed in another 2 months, it'll be on sale for at least 40% off.  That's usually the time I dive in and purchase but this time, I decided to treat myself.

Here's what else I'll be treating myself with from Zara very soon:

Love.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blazin' (Blazers & Such)

With the weather being so back and forth lately; cold mornings & comfortable afternoons, it's not quite the time for a coat so of course I'm looking at blazers to give me the coverage I need for this time of year.

Blazers are something I only half-heartedly got into in '07 when I actually had three in rotation.  After giving one away in last year's closet cleanup, as its stands, only two remain in my closet.  One I refuse to wear because I don't like it anymore and the other, well, I don't like that one either.

So since blazers are an essential classic for any wardrobe, I figured I'd give away the two that I have left to this year's Salvation Army/Purple Heart/Goodwill closet cleanup and replace them with those that I'm willing to wear. Sidebar:  I also compared the male & female sides of the closet Chief and I share and aside from his business suits, he has nine blazers.  Nine! and I have none, basically.  I figured it's time to catch up.

When it comes to blazers, I've always been into details instead of just the "plain" blazers although there is nothing wrong with those either but I prefer a lil extra flare.  Here are those that I'm eyeing at this time:

Blazin'

F21

F21

F21

VS

7 F.A.M.  I'd LOVE this one in Navy.
I'm not into thrifting but there have been some fab ladies with lots of great finds from thirfting so I'd like to try my hand.  Searching for my new blazers would be a great opportunity to hawk around in the array consignment shops in and around Georgetown, Alexandria and McLean.  Fabulous finds for a fraction of the original cost?  Yes.

 To be continued...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Giovanni: "Hello, Good Buy"! + Giveaway {CLOSED}

While perusing TJ Maxx earlier last month.  I came across some fantabulous finds.  Almost 34oz of my favorite Giovanni Shampoo for $12.99 and 33.8oz of Joico K-Pak Conditioner for $16.99.

Let's just talk about Giovanni for a second: below is a comparison of my new and old bottles.  I find it wallet blasphemy that I've been spending 9 bucks a pop ($8.98 at Walmart to be exact) for only a third of the amount I could get for 13 bucks. Never again will I buy this shampoo from any other store but TJ Maxx.


Now for my favorite perfume at the moment.  When MK Very Hollywood was first introduced, I was expecting with MJ and I went to the counter at Macy's to purchase it.  Upon the first sniff I hated it.  I thought it smelled absolutely dreadful and I couldn't get away from the counter fast enough.  Anyone that's ever been withchild knows that the hormones will do that to ya but Very Hollywood had somehow snuck it's way into my life as a sample when I purchased a cologne for Mario for his birthday two months ago. 
I gave it a try--hormones in tact--fell in love and added to my list of items to buy.  Next thing I know I'm perusing TJ Maxx and what do I see?  Michael Kors Very Hollywood...the last bottle for $26.00 (Originally 45.00).  I didn't hesitate to snatch it up.

Don't you just love when you find your favorites for a steal?

                                                                                           

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

And now for a giveaway that has absolutely nothing to do with this post.  As I mentioned before I've been a little behind on my giveaway schedule, partially because I'm a procrastinator but no more, I say!  It is time.

To celebrate 100 subscribers to my blog (yes, I said 100. I told y'all I was behind but we're about to catch up in a mighty way ;-p ) One lovely Pretty Girl will win a$40 dollar gift card to my most favorite beauty emporium--Sephora.

CONTEST DETAILS

There will be 1 winner recieving this prize
*CONTEST ENDS ON Friday, October 21st at 11:59 pm EST*

THE RULES (PLEASE READ CAREFULLY)

Entrants must be residents of the Continental U.S.
Winner must be 18 years & older OR have the permission of their parent/legal guardian if under 18.
Winner must be a subscriber to PrettyGirlRock Blog [click on "FOLLOW"  in the right sidebar.]

TO ENTER
Simply fill out the form below.  Please note that all fields are required.
Duplicate entries will not be honored.

Note:  Entries that do not adhere to these rules and guidelines will be disqualified. Winner will be selected at random, using a random number generator.

Disclaimer: No purchase necessary. In accepting the prize, the winner acknowledges that pretty-girl-rock.com may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize(s). This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. Contest open to Continental U.S. only. One entry per person. Winner must contact pretty-girl-rock.com with winner’s mailing address at prettygirlrockblog@gmail.com within 5 days of being notified of winning.  Failure to respond shall mean that the winner forfeits the prize and another winner will be selected at random.

Tales of Baking Fails

In my quest to become the best bake sale mom ever I set out to learn how to bake from scratch.  No, the box cookies, cakes and muffins just aren't good enough for my baby and his future classmates.  Now, I'm not knocking you if that's your thing because I sure love a box spice cake.  But I love to cook and though I can hook up a mean pot of greens, award winning Chili and the best darn chicken lasagna ever, I'm completely defeated in the area of baking. 

I hadn't attempted to bake anything from scratch since I made a too-tough-to-chew cheesecake last spring.  How I did that is beyond me but I can tell you that it gave the knife a little resistance when cutting.  That cheesecake incident occured just after a peanut butter cookie fail which occurred right after an oatmeal raisin cookie debacle.  I decided after the cheesecake that it was just time to hang it up.

At the close of summer, I got an itch to try it again and decided to give it another whirl.  I searched out a few interesting recipes and chose a sour cream pound cake recipe by Paula Dean.  I followed the directions to a T.



The cake turned out beautifully and when I took it out of the bundt pan, I felt so accomplished.  I just knew that this had been quite the success.  That is until I cut a slice.  The flavor of the cake was dreamy but the cake wasn't moist and the choke-ability (yeah I just made that up) factor was high.  Instead of the inside being light, fluffy and airy it was thick and heavy.  I'm not even sure what I did wrong.

But before cutting it, I called myself making a lime glaze. Turns out I didn't add enough sugar so it never turned back to being solid and just soaked right through the cake.  I was so disappointed because I'd taken off work that day and thought I'd surprise Chief with a poundcake when he came home from work.  He was surprised alright.  But he was a champ and he was encouraging about it and said that the falvor was good, he just need a talk glass of milk to rinse it down.  Over the course of the next few days, he'd get a slice here and there.



Then there were the cheese biscuits.  That following Sunday had come and Chief went out with friends to watch  football as I prepared to cook Sunday dinner.  I was super excited to make homemade biscuits like my grandmother used to do.  I got the recipe off the back of the Baking Powder container but again, I'm not sure where the heck I went wrong.  When I pulled them out of the oven they looked wonderful and browned.  I was reeling with exciting.


To the touch they were bouncy but slightly crusty.  Just the way I like it.  I threw one on my plate and sat down with my dinner.  Since I knew the bisucit was perfect, I never bothered to taste test.  I opened the biscuit and it looked moist and fluffy and had a bit of steam rise from the center.  Ahhhh.  I had my mouth all ready for a crusty cheddary biscuit, you know like they have at Red Lobster.   I took a huge bite and a few chews in it was if I had just poured a bucket of sand in my mouth.  The biscuit was gritty and mushy all at the same time and tasted like crisco--not cheddary and garlic.

Immediately, I jumped up from my seat and threw the biscuit in the trash.  I then took the rest of the biscuits and wrapped them in a huge piece of foil and then put them at the bottom of the trash.  Chief never knew about that little debacle.  It was far too embarrassing. Ha ha!

No one should be this horrible when it comes to baking and I'm going to keep trying.  I'm so determined that while I was standing in the line at Walmart the other day, I picked up cookbook that's all about backing.  This book, maybe it will give me a chance to redeem myself.  Chief promised to be my taste tester--poor thing.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Favorite Nail Colors for Fall

The weather is finely cooling down in D.C. and I'm finally feeling like Fall is officially here.  I've been on my nail painting kick again--not that I ever got off it, but I'm just saying... Here are the nail colors I'm sporting this season.

Neutral and Nudes

These are my go-to colors for this season and I've been rocking them obsessively since the end of August but they work for any time of the year.  If you're looking for great nuetrals, try "China Glaze's "Pelican Grey" or Zoya's "Jana".  Essie's Case Study in particular has been a favorite of mine.

L to R: Essie - Case Study, Sinful Colors - Let's Talk, Essie - Mink Muffs


Almost Black


Almost black is the new black.  For the times you want serious fun without going to extremes.  I don't necessariyl consider this a trend beause I'll even rock the almost black blues and purples in the summer.  Yes, I will!  If you're looking for this season's new colors, try a dark burgandy for starters with OPI - "Honk If You Love OPI" or OPI "Road House Blues", $8.99 each.

I'll be going for Road House Blues and an oldie but goodie: OPI's "Lincoln Park After Dark"

OPI - Lincoln Park After Dark (no flash) / OPI - Lincoln Park After Dark (flash)
Metal-lica

Metallics are back in the forefront spilling over from summer into this season and I'm all over it. The best thing about this ever-returning nail trend is that there are so many unexpected colors that are metalics. Take OPI's Purple with a Purpose" for example, pictured below.  Purple is already my favorite color but when I saw this metallic beauty, I had to have it.  If you're into metallics as well, try China Glaze's "Admire", $7 or one of these by NYX:
OPI - Purple With A Purpose

L to R: NYX- Meeso, NYX - Dancing Queen

Keeping Spirits Bright

And for the times I want to say goodbye to the cold weather blues, I've incorporated some colors to keep me in the right spirits. If you're in brights year 'round then try China Glaze's "Mediterranean Charm" & Ulta's "Blue Streak" or these pretty babies below:

L to R: OPI - The "It" Color, Orly - Pretty Please

What's Missing?

Two other colors I'm looking to get next are OPI's Get In The Expresso Lane (Earthy Green) and a pretty dark, burnt orange. I haven't quite found it yet but when I do, it is on.  If anyone has any suggestions on that, let me know! :-)  What are your faves for fall?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Favorites: Lipstick - Volume I

Left: Natural light, Right: Flash
Last year, I made a post about getting up the courage to be more bold in my approach when it came to lipstick.  I went from Revlon Reds to Rimmel Roses & Berries and as of 10 minutes ago, I've got a few NYX lipsticks on the way from Cherry Culture.  It's safe to say that I'm ready to venture out & try some of the shades I've been eyeing by MAC & Smashbox now that I'm confident I won't be wasting money.

In the meantime though, I've picked up a few more drugstore lipsticks that I am oh-so-pleased about.  When it came to drugstore lipsticks, I pretty much stick to Rimmel London because though I liked the Mayebelline "flavors", something in the formula always made my lips chapped 10 mintues after I put it on. 
While on my latest drugstore beauty run, I decided on a whim to pick up a few by Covergirl--two from the Queen collection and wow! They surely give Rimmel a run for their money.  All three of the lipsticks I picked up are highly pigmented and don't take loads of effort to apply.  The red didn't bleed and there was no need for liner with any of these.  I would, however, recommend liner for the fabulous hot pink (Tempt) because that baby stains like no other.

Tempt - Covergirl
This shade reminds me of a matte version of the my Rock&Republic gloss in Loudmouth.

South Beach Sand - Covergirl Queen Collection
Tawny Port - Covergirl Queen Collection
I so love there lipsticks that I'm going back to get more. Up next, a neutral, a brown-red and a plum/berry.

p.s. I also reshaped my eyebrows...giiiiirl they were a mess. Also, I wanted to go a little thinner for the fall & winter.

What are your favorite lipsticks/glosses for this season?