Can you Bottle Happiness?

Butter London's Slapper

After I hit up this year’s Vintage Virginia Wine and Food Festival, I decided it was time to hunt for my latest nail polish obsession: Butter London’s (don’t you just love that name?) Slapper. It’s a gorgeous, rich turquoise color that is perfect for summer.

And just like back in March when I decided I had to have Essie’s Mint Candy Apple–a perfect spring shade–I drove to two different stores to get it. My first stop was the Sephora in Fair Oaks Mall. A cashier told me that Butter London is something only Sephora’s online store carries. She was nice enough to tell me that Ulta in Fair Lakes stocks it. So after getting my free truffle-of-the-month courtesy of my Godiva Rewards Club membership, I headed off to Ulta.

This Ulta is in same shopping area as the Best Buy and is a free-standing shop. The friend that I was with spotted the Butter London stand first. When I first opened the bottle, I thought the color looked a little darker than the pictures I saw. And for $15 a pop, it was little pricy for it not to be what I wanted. But I knew that if I didn’t purchase it now, I’d just think about it constantly until I got it. So I shelled out the cash, had a great conversation with the clerk about the company’s high-quality products and painted my finger nails last night.

And it was worth every penny. It goes on thick, dries quickly and the color is just perfect. It’s a dark, bright turquoise that honestly reminds of lululemon’s (another one of my favorite brands) surge. I know I’ve found my perfect color for summer, and I’ve had a small smile on my face since I put it on. So, can you really bottle happiness? I’d say yes. Sure, it’s a temporary jolt of happiness, but for $15, I can afford it. 

The Wear on My Yoga Mat

The back of my yoga mat, right where my toes rest, is looking a little rough. Some of the material has started to “chip” and there are tiny indents in the mat. And I couldn’t be happier about it.

I once took a yoga class where the instructor’s mat was worn down to the threads around the feet area because of how much she used it. And I’m proud to say that mine is getting there. No, I don’t want it to look as pristine as the day it was when I carried it out of the store. I’m content with it looking used because it means I’ve committed to the practice and have returned to the mat time and time again. Plus, it’s mean to be used, right?

So thank you mat, for all you’ve given me–including showing a few of your scars.

Why I Love Airports and Air Travel

Wow. There certainly is a lot going on in the news today (thinking of you, Boston and Texas), but I’ve decided to take a step back from all of that and discuss airports. Sure, going to the airport can be a pain. The lines are long. You might have to throw away some of things you brought. And now that the airlines have started charging for each and every carry-on bag, the overhead bins fill up fast and people complain it. But now that I’ve listed all my complaints with the airlines, I’m here to list everything I love about them.

1. It’s exciting to travel through an airport. You’re traveling somewhere new with (mostly) strangers, and you’re leaving your home base and going somewhere you’ve never been before.

2. Occasionally, you might strike up a conversation with a stranger and share more of yourself than you ever thought you would. Granted, this doesn’t happen all the time or very often, but it can and when it does it can be magical. I once spent an entire three-hour train ride talking to the person sitting next to me about New York City, going to music venues alone, interning/jobs, how Joe Biden spoke for three hours at her college graduation, Catholic school (she graduated with a class of 13) and how she was moving to D.C. to move in with her boyfriend who she thought was the “one” and starting law school. I’ll never forget it, and I’ll probably never see her again. But that is part of the joy of traveling, my friends.

3. This might sound strange, but I love, love, love the sound of all the seat belts being unbuckled after the plane has landed. It’s the sound that you have officially arrived.

4. I enjoy having time in the sky dedicated to NOT surfing the Internet. I feel like the Internet is the biggest distraction ever for me, and oh the rest of the population, and I love having time to just read, listen to music or watch TV. It’s a welcome calm for me.

5. Since I’m a news junkie, I love browsing through all the titles at those Hudson News stands that are everywhere. It lets me know that others love the media, too.

It’s just five things, but they are enough to make it worth it.

In Praise of lululemon

The sheer pants lululemon-gate has spurred countless news articles, a hilarious Jimmy Kimmel parody and plenty of articles analyzing just what this means. Can you think of the last time a fashion brand generated this many headlines? Can you think of the last time an athletic clothing brand got this much attention? I certainly can’t, and since enough has been written about sheer workout pants (which if you’ve ever seen a group of people bend over during an exercise, it is a problem) and since people who shell out serious cash to buy high-end athletic wear have been criticized, I am here to tell you why I love lululemon.

When I first started regularly going to fitness studios, I noticed that everyone was, for the most part, wearing clothing with a little silver circle with a funny-looking “A” on it. And it looked good on them. The fit was great, and the colors were bright. And I had to have it.

The first time I ventured into a lululemon store, I think my jaw hit the floor when I looked at the price tags. They wanted more than $50 for a shirt I only wear when I’m sweating? But then I tried their clothes on. And they fit perfectly. I mean, I wish lululemon made clothes you could wear every day so shopping would be that much easier. The clothes are almost always flattering, they come in a variety of bright, beautiful colors and if you go to studios regularly, just about everyone wears them. I realize my last comment is very high school clique-ish, but it does feel good to fit in and belong.

I have two jackets, about 10 tops and three bottoms from lululemon, and I wear each and every piece fairly regularly. But most importantly, when I put on lululemon, I just feel better about myself. Falling in love with this brand has made me realize why people shell out big bucks on their wardrobes. It’s because, like it or not, wearing a high-end brand that looks great on you just feels better. It’s like saying to the world, without saying anything at all, “I care about my appearance, and I look good when I’m doing it.”

Realize that this is coming from someone who spent all four of her high school years wearing baggy, ill-fitting sweat pants, T-shirts and hoodies who never thought I’d be donning tight-fitting athletic wear. But I do. And I love it. And I feel good about spending money on clothes that make me feel more confident about myself. And I’m not going to apologize for it.

Let them wear high-priced lululemon. Let them have it.

The Best $8 I Ever Spent

photo_handswithbluepolishYes, yes, this is another beauty post about a product I adore. But this one is special. This time last week, I decided to take one day off during the week as I worked throughout most of the previous weekend. I saw “Silver Linings Playbook” in the morning (great movie, by the way) and then went on a “hunt” to find Essie’s Mint Candy Apple shade of nail polish. I saw this ad in a couple of magazines and could not get over it. The nail polish (which is the perfect blend of mint and turquoise) was shown dripping all over an apple, and I had to have it. Ah, the power of advertising.

So I drove to Target, two CVSs (who had cardboard displays featuring the shade, but not the product itself) and finally found the last bottle of it at Walgreens. And it’s just perfect. It reminds me that spring is coming even though winter is still lingering around.

I’ve gotten numerous compliments on it. Someone told me that it was the perfect shade of robin’s egg blue and made her think of spring. It just goes to show you that sometimes you just need a little retail therapy to brighten your day. Sure, $8 is a lot to spend on a tiny bottle of nail polish, but this one was worth every penny.

photo-bottleofnailpolish