Sweet '16 is starting off with a bang with January's installment of Behind The Scenes, featuring my beloved nail artist and friend, JoAnn. JoAnn is the owner and talent behind Polished By JoAnn out of Bellingham, WA. I discovered JoAnn several years ago and have been an avid devotee ever since. Any outlandish request I've made she's been able to execute on my nails. Not only is this lady talented beyond belief, but she's such a sweetheart.
Collects I love pictures, capturing a moment of time forever. Everyone posts a million pictures, sharing them with the world. I like to treasure mine, share them as gifts. I guess I am old school, I still love to print out hard copies.
Admires I follow many very talented nail artists, but one I truly admire is Robin Moses. She is an amazing lady, and outstanding artist.
Daydreams I daydream all day every day. My mind wonders. I find myself longing for a cabin, quiet, away from everything. No phones, internet, tv. Just space, and sunshine for my kiddos to run in while I drink my sweet tea on the porch with my husband. Yes, that sounds perfect.
Guilty Pleasures Trash tv. It's awful. I would be mortified if anyone ever saw my dvr. Mindless, garbage, starring people I would never want to spend time with, yet I feel the need to know every bit about their disgusting lives.
Weekend Pursuits Well, I am a nail tech so my weekend starts and ends on Sunday. I love sundays. Not because I don't love my job, but because I love my time with my husband and kids. Our Sundays consist of big breakfasts, hiking, picnics, and of course football!
Libation of Choice Prosecco.
Coffee or Tea Oh most definitely COFFEE, of any kind with lots of cream, whip cream and carmel sauce. I do love a good sweet tea in the summer too.
Blooms of Choice Tulips and lilies.
Favorite Book I mostly read children's books with my boys. I have always loved the BFG.
Where I’d Rather Be As I am currently snuggled up in my bed while I write this, no where else. I am exactly where I want to be, currently and in general.
Lipstick or Gloss of the Moment I don't generally wear color, shinny clear and minty is my favorite.
Nail Polish Du Jour I love nail polish of all kinds, but sparkles are the best.
Signature Scent Boss Intense. Its discontinued, and difficult to find. It's my favorite.
Style Icon I wear a lot of black, I have no concept of style. : (
Can’t Leave the House Without A beverage of some sort.
Pending Vacations Mexico this year for my 5th anniversary. And Alaska some time in the near future to visit my family.
Social Media of Choice Instagram, pictures are my addiction. I would much rather enjoy photos than the non sense and drama that fills Facebook.
Crushing On Black on black 2 door sportster Cadillac, it will be mine someday. It's real nice to look at.
Now if you need a nail artist, you know just who to call. She's so worth a drive from Seattle or Vancouver for an appointment. If you can even secure a coveted appointment that is. Do follow Polished By JoAnn on Instagram for inspirational photos, if you can't make it to the pacific northwest to see her in person.
A compilation of a years worth of nail art by JoAnn, set to Iggy Azalea.
This flowchart obviously speaks to me. Dry shampoo and blowouts are my best friend after all. Trust my when I tell you that washing my hair is one of my least desired tasks on the to do list. Lately I've been giving R+Co's Death Valley dry shampoo a go. It smells divine and does its job. Plus the packaging is TDF.
For some reason I had been hesitant to try a spray dry shampoo. I've been a loyal Oscar Blandi dry shampoo user for years. But lately I've been more open to exploring new lines. If anyone has any other dry shampoo recommendations, I'm all ears.
Several weeks ago I was given the opportunity to try a complimentary facial at Skoah, a spa in Seattle. To say that my face was in dire need of some attention is the understatement of the year. My face has been sorely neglected of late. What with an impending move and a bit of travel, my skin care routine had been reduced to remembering to cleanse my face at night.
Skoah was launched in Vancouver, but has expanded south of the border to include spas in Seattle as well as Boston. They promote their skin care as "personal training for your skin". Which is a novel way to think of skin care, yet makes perfect sense. Skoah is changing the way people think of skin care one facial at a time. According to their core beliefs, facials are "not a guilty pleasure, sporadic indulgence or beauty treatment. Just like your body, your skin needs regular workouts to stay healthy and look it's best." Brilliant.
The facial I received was "Fitskin", part of their Kore facial line. Awaiting me in the room was a personalized note and a tube of Skoah's Lip Love in Mint. Such a lovely and thoughtful touch at the start of a pampering treatment. This particular facial included toning, exfoliating, treating and hydrating, along with an arm and hand massage. The lovely esthetician also performed a few extractions.
Skoah products, produced in Vancouver, blend the best of science and nature. They use high-quality, highly-refined lipids and oils such as olive oil, shea butter and coconut oils. As well, they use sulphate-free cleansers in their face, body, and hair products. Most importantly Skoah does not test on animals.
The standout products that made the biggest impression were the Boost Serum, the Gold Serum, and the Dewlux Face Kream 30. The facial ended with the Dewlux moisturizer and it smells just like bubble gum. Which instantly had me coveting a jar. Not only does it contain SPF 30, a must, it also absorbs quickly and doesn't feel weighty on your skin. I'm uber particular about using non heavy products, and this moisturizer is perfection.
If you don't live near a Skoah spa, then try an array of their products via a travel kit. If you do live near a Skoah, go make yourself an appointment for a facial or two, or membership for that matter.
My obsession with lilacs has moved beyond the vase on my bedside table. They've bloomed rather early this year, what with our mild winter, and I was craving a way to preserve them post their bloom date. After seeing several friends posting on Instagram their clever lilac creations, I decided to tackle a few lilac DIYs of my own. I started yesterday by making lilac sugar. From there I made a small batch of lilac simple syrup and lilac ice cubes this afternoon. What with all this lilac deliciousness, a cocktail recipe or two will be in order soon! But that will have to wait until I'm post my 30 days no sugar. The irony of tackling these sugar laden projects when I can't consume a bit of it.
1/2 cup lilac petals (stems and green bits removed)
1 cup sugar
Layer petals and sugar in a jar. Let stand in a cool dark location for a few days. Shake every now and then. Pick the petals out and now your sugar is ready to use.
Lilac Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup lilac petals (stems and green bits removed)
Combine the water and sugar over medium heat on the stove. Heat until dissolved. Add the lilac petals and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain through a sieve, bottle, and store in the refrigerator.
Lilac Ice Cubes
Self explanatory. Fill an ice cube tray with water then place a number of lilac petals, sans stems, in your tray then freeze.
Next I want to tackle lilac perfume. The one ingredient wonder. And I'm contemplating a lilac sugar scrub or bath salts. The scent seems right at home in a bathtub.
Fresh lilac petals
Put 1 cup of lilac petals inside the bowl on top of the cheesecloth. Pour 2 cups of distilled water over the lilacs. Make sure they are completely covered. Place a plate on top of the bowl. Allow the flowers to soak overnight. Using the edges of cheesecloth pull it out of the bowl and gently squeeze the scented water into a small pot. Simmer the water until about 1 teaspoon is left. Let it cool. Pour your lilac perfume carefully into a dark glass bottle with a tight fitting lid and shake.
Another glorious run of manicures from my uber talented nail artist. She manages to exceed my expectations with every outlandish request. She was game to attempt a malachite pattern, a leopard moon manicure and gold leaf this round. I added the red under my nails in homage to Christian Louboutin. If you're local to the Northwest region of Washington state, make an appointment with her stat.
August's installment of 'Behind the Scenes' highlights Ali from the fashion blog, In Jackie's Shoes. Ali and I met in the lobby of The Grand America hotel in Salt Lake City last January. We were both attending Alt Summit and instantly bonded.
I adore Ali's M.O, don't you? "I believe that chic is forever and inspiration is everywhere. Following in the footsteps of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, women can be stylish, worldly, and fascinating all the days of their lives. With an eye toward design, fashion, food, music, pop culture, and so many other things, In Jackie's Shoes is about cultivating a beautiful life."
Ali resides in San Francisco with her adorable family. Follow her on Instagram to keep abreast of all the adventures she goes on while always looking super chic.
Collects snow globes, magazines from all over the globe
Admires women with full lives and chutzpah
Daydreams of laying on a beach (but never really do, even when I have a chance!)
Guilty Pleasures handbags, shoes, and nachos
Weekend Pursuits trying new restaurants in San Francisco (the food scene here is incredible), hiking with my kids and husband
Libation of Choice sparkling water, champagne, red wine
Coffee or Tea coffee (I didn't become a coffee drinker until relatively late in life, but I'm making up for lost time!)
Blooms of Choice peonies, all white bouquets
Favorite Book Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann
Where I’d Rather Be Paris-- this might be the year! I haven't been since I visited at age 16 with my grandmother.
Lipstick or Gloss of the Moment Nars Tasmania
Nail Polish Du Jour I'm about ready to start wearing Fall colors again. Perennial favorites are Essie Chinchilly and OPI Lincoln Park After Dark
Scent My all-time favorite is Hermes Eau des Merveilles
Style Icons Carolyn Bessette, Jenna Lyons, Julia Sarr Jamois, and, of course, Jaqueline Kennedy (my blog In Jackie's Shoes is named in her honor), especially during her Onassis Greece period