Category Archives: random musings

DIY nails: Better from afar

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A few days ago, I began my journey into DIY nail art.

It was a mess for sure and I realized that I wasn’t cut out for — well, tape cutouts. This time around, I decided that my next move into DIY nail art would be all free-hand. I paint. I draw. I doodle. I’m surely capable of holding a brush.

It doesn’t look that bad, right? From far away, I’m damn proud of myself. But up close, this is still a crazy mess.

What these photos fail to show is the texture of my manicure. Each finger has SO MANY air bubbles that it seems like I tried to give my nails a grainy texture on purpose. How do people get rid of these blasted things? I rolled my polish instead of shaking it. I used quality OPI products. Is it just because there are so many damn layers on my nails?

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DIY nails gone bad

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Quite some time ago, I had a disastrous experience with my manicure. I wanted to recreate some fancy runway look and it didn’t come out nearly as fresh and fly as I wanted it to. The lesson I took from that was that any attempts at getting “fancy” with my nails would undergo a trial run by me, at home, for free.

Enter, the color-on-color French.

Well, let’s be honest here first. This isn’t a French manicure. I hate French manicures. I see no purpose in having a naked nail with an exaggerated white tip. It’s foolish that people spend extra money to make their nails look like, well, nails. Use a nude. And don’t get me started on the ridiculousness of it on toes! Gross! Toes are not fingers! Why make them look like they are?

Correction: Enter, the pale green/purple color block.
OPI Gargantuan Green Grape/Rumple’s Wiggin’

For as often as I change the color on my nails, this was actually the first time I experimented with “design.” (I use that in quotes because I’ve seen people paint fucking Monets on their nails.) This seemed simple for me. Use one color. Let dry. Tape off ends. Use second color.

My problems came quickly and often. Color everywhere. Smudges. Tape getting stuck to my nail. Nail color coming off with the tape.

Plus, I do my nails like little kids color — totally outside the lines. Get that color all over the place. Then, clean it up once it’s dry and under water.

Not my finest work. But because I invested a good hour out of my day, I’m sticking to the results. I definitely am not imbued with the patience to do this again.

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Air bubble takeover. Correcting the bald spot left from the tape removal.

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Left hand: Crooked lines, still not cleaned up. I’m left-handed, so this never looks good.

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Right hand: The lines are better, but it still looks crappy.

It’s been awhile

But I can still remember

Just the way you taste.


See what I did there?  So clever.

My flash-from-the-aughts lyrical shoutout has double meaning here.

First, BACON pancake cupcake!!! Had it earlier this month and, yes, I can still remember how it tastes — like bacon and pancakes and maple syrup.

Second, it has been a long while since I’ve posted. Summer, though, brings renewed commitment and a ton of ideas.

And now, Staind …

Coffee, at last. Thank god almighty, I’ll have coffee at last.


I’m pleasantly surprised I made it as long as I have without coffee. It’s been 10 LONG days. Now, I’m on my way to San Francisco with the cold, crisp air and wet holiday season. Just look at that photo: it SREAMS coffee. I think it’s time to indulge.

Now that my coffee fast is officially over I can be a little retrospective. I did not suffer from crippling headaches. But I have had this persistent (yet minuscule) annoyance, which I now think could have been one long headache. Funny right?

I was ridiculously tired and brain dead the first couple days — like I was starring in my own zombie apocalypse.

Then came the cranky behavior. Every little thing people did annoyed the bejeezus out of me. And those things that normally piss me off were magnified to the nth degree: cutting me off on the freeway, holding elevator doors open, not returning my “good morning” salutations during morning jogs. Bullshit. All of it.

With the return of coffee, I’d be interested to see if my mood improves.

Here’s hoping.

Coffee goes well with …


I live in Los Angeles so it never gets super cold. The few times it has snowed here have been front-page affairs. (I count two times.) Nevertheless, to my standards, it is cold here in the winter. And between so many holiday parties, tree lighting ceremonies, skating outings, etc., the thing I want the most is a nice cup of coffee. A warm mug against my cold hands. A decadent aroma inhaled that enlarges my heart three sizes.

Without it, I’m feeling a tad Grinchy.

PHOTO: Tree lighting ceremony at Universal Studios Grinchmas Whobilation.

Coffee-free highs and lows


HIGH:  I’ve had neither aches nor pains.

LOW:  I’ve just been a worthless automaton.

I’m starting to think this whole no-coffee experiment is entirely overrated. Obviously, I can’t function properly without it. I’ve literally crumpled over multiple times in my chair the last few days. I know exercise will wake me up, but there’s zero energy to even go for a walk.

Maybe I’ll bust out some squats in the office a little later. Must carry on…

Coffee … it’s what’s for dinner


And breakfast.
And lunch.

It’s a sad day to realize you have a problem, and sadder still when that problem is something as innocuous as drinking too much coffee. This black tar has become my go-to drink. I’ll drink more cups of coffee than water in a given day. That’s just not right.

So I’m weaning myself off for a good minute.

Today is my first non-coffee day. There’s no deadline or timeline, though I’d like to make it a full week. I’ll report back any health, mood or behavioral changes experienced …


I paid for this

Got a good glimpse of my nails while I was typing away just now. Yes, this manicure is on purpose. And I just got it on Tuesday. I was inspired by silver-and-pink Chanel manicure that looked very cool. Mine, not so much… I see now why manicurist didn’t want me to do this. It looks like the color has grown out.

Lesson learned: When I try something new, I’ll do it at home (aka for free).

Cool doesn’t live here no more

When I travel, I usually like to wratchet up the cool. I walk around tourist traps oozing snark (albeit secretly enjoying myself). That’s how the cool LA kids roll.

I see a pretty vista or a point of interest. I snap its photo from a safe distance, waiting for the tiny window of opportunity when all the other tourists move out of the way. Not in ATL. My recent trip to Atlanta disoriented me.

fa shkeef

I got excited at CNN and Turner Field and the World of Coca-Cola. And I was a Pepsi fan growing up! Makes no sense. I needed to stake my claim and made sure I was snapped at all those photo ops — real and imagined.

NERD ALERT: Me posing in front of cardboard cutouts of Anderson Cooper and Soledad O’Brien

NERD ALERT: Me sitting on CNN en español bench… because I watch CNN en español *all the time*

NERD ALERT: Reporting on the extreme weather conditions

NERD ALERT: Posing at fake CNN anchor desk. My accomplice has been pixelated for his own protection.

NERD ALERT: Showing off my dippin dots in a souvenir helmet

NERD ALERT: Showing off my commemorative penny. Anyone else still collect these or am I the only one keeping them in business?

NERD ALERT: Me and the worldly Coca-Cola bottles

WEIRDNESS: Posing with the lip-puffs

NERD ALERT: Just in case I didn’t have enough pictures of coke bottles

NERDS: Took this picture from a friend’s FB album. Toasting with Coke founder. Again, pixelating the innocent.

PHOTOS: With the exception of the last one, you can find these and other pics from trip to Atlanta at my flickr.

When you face plant off the Paleo wagon

I’ve dipped my toe in the Paleo waters. And after screaming Bloody Murder! You won’t take my cheese!!! I calmed downed and relented. It’s a choice. I chose. I can’t be that mad.

I was doing pretty well for a couple of months. I even surprised myself, considering all my Mexican staples were verboten — cheese, rice, beans, corn, tortillas. I joked about making a Mexican Paleo Recipe Book. That idea quickly fizzled after realizing it would just be pages and pages of fajitas and lettuce cups.

My strict adherence gave way to cheat meals, then cheat days, finally cheat weekends.

Today, I’m half paleo, which means I’m not paleo.

I don’t feel as well as I used to and it isn’t the guilt. My body got used to zero refined foods and it’s not at all happy when I steal away a chocolate croissant.

….which leads me to my current predicament — Spring/Summer 2012

It’s the season of barbecues and picnics and baseball games. How the hell do you stay paleo at a baseball game? Seriously, not rhetorical. And don’t give me any bs about packing your own snacks. That’s just not the kind of girl I am. This week, I face planted off Paleo and I didn’t even care. (In text citation: Dodgers won. Suck it, Giants)

Since I scarfed it down quickly, here’s my meal in pictures from around the web.

The Dodger Dog
Paleo Confessions: bun, ketchup
Paleo Approved: hot dog (not likely, but oh well), mustard


Paleo Confessions: legumes
Paleo Approved: absolutely nothing, huh


Camacho’s Asada Nachos
Paleo Confessions: tortilla chips, nacho cheese, sour cream, beans
Paleo Approved: guacamole! and carne asada!


Paleo Confessions: Blue Moon
Paleo Approved: Orange slice (Thank god, for that floating bit of fruit!)

PHOTOS found here, here, here and  here.