1. You know, I used to follow the rules and post Quick Takes only on Fridays but really, it has totally become my favorite way to blog. Seven updates! Quick ones! Very little pressure to tackle anything of Substance! or Deep Meaning! Freedom to talk about laundry!
2. HEY! LAUNDRY! So I bought that giant bucket of Charlie’s Soap Powder in November of 2011 and it’s still not empty. I know some people think Charlie’s doesn’t clean as well as Tide, and for really tough stains/dirty stuff I tend to agree, but I have been SO SO SO happy with it 99% of the time and I do think a lot of that magic is because of my water and washing machine and whatever voodoo is going on there. (13-years-old top loader, medium to hard water.) So, that’s 18 months we’ve gone on a little more than $100 for laundry detergent, which I think is pretty damn cheap for not being empty quite yet. We also do (no kidding) 15-20 loads of laundry per week, including diapers. A LOT OF LAUNDRY. I think I’ve got about 15% of the bucket left.
3. Whatever the new iPhone is this year? I WANT IT. I take almost all my photos with my iPhone and there’s definitely going to be a camera upgrade and, well, I want that. The baby also kicked my phone off my chair the other day and it hit the tile below the fireplace and I think cracked the interior of my lens on my iPhone 5. There’s this odd purple spiderweb thing that appears in all my photos now.
Here, you can totally see it in this photo of all three of my children simultaneously NOT NAPPING. That purple blob to the left of the stand-up mirror Below the ottoman? It’s in all my photos.
Sorry, Chris. I need a new phone. THE BABY BROKE MINE.
4. I have heard a dirty rumor that Google Reader is being euthanized and…well. I fail to have the energy to get het up about it. I have been MEH on GReader for a while, even after I cleaned it out last year and deleted the boring and overstyled blogs I never read anyway. I keep thinking I should make a FB page for this website of mine so posts deliver automatically to people who want them, because I actually DON’T manually send every post to FB because I’m very lazy. Then again, I LOVE IT when Holly’s posts show up in my FB feed and also Erica’s but I can’t exactly TRUST the FB algorithm to show me everything I signed up to see so I’m kind of UNSURE on that whole thing. I do love it when people tweet links to their posts and I love it even more if they tweet them a few times so I’m sure not to miss them due to fancy dot-com math. (You should do that. Tweet your posts.)
5. I only have four takes in me tonight. THE END.
Okay, so I am the kind of person that enjoys having painted and manicured nails but I hate hate hate actually doing all of that work to my own nails. It’s a lot of effort for, oh, about twelve hours of nice nails, if I’m lucky. (Traditional nail polish is the worst value proposition in terms of time spent/time received.)I also don’t particularly enjoy visiting the salon for nail care because it’s expensive, it’s a time suck (if I have an hour or two to spend out of my house, kid-free? The nail salon is not my first choice), and I don’t like people pseudo-shaming me about personal habits (SORRY I BITE MY NAILS, I JUST DO AND I ALWAYS HAVE NAIL LADY. GAHHH. YOU ARE NOT TELLING ME SOMETHING I DON’T KNOW. I AM THIRTY-FOUR. I AM AWARE IT’S A BAD HABIT.)
This gel nail polish thing was verrrry attractive to me when I first heard about it a year or so ago. It lasts for weeks! It’s practically indestructible! It looks amazing! And, I liked it well enough to get a few times but at about $40 a visit (plus tip!) it was definitely on the spendy side for me and also I don’t like spending time at the nail shop anyway. It was a once every few months thing for me.
I got a set of gel nails two weeks ago and I liked them a bunch but the nail lady was telling me I was cutting my nails wrong and then she trash talked another customer to me and it took FOREVER and I was just kind of like, no. This is not how I want to spend any afternoons any more. I hit up Amazon for some supplies because really, it didn’t look THAT complicated.
I bought this UV lamp for $55 (after using it I think I could probably be fine with a cheaper/smaller one, but those Amazon reviews man, THEY GET ME EVERY TIME):
And then I bought this Gelish basic starter kit for $45, and I know I could buy the components cheaper and maybe I don’t need ALL of this but I just wanted to buy a kit to start with:
Then I bought three colors of gel nail polish.
Gossip Girl ($12.59)
Pink Smoothie ($11)
All of it showed up two days later (THANK YOU AMAZON) and it sat in a box for a couple of days because, well, LIFE. I was able to sit down with my new stuff tonight and while I am VERY HAPPY with the final result, it took me a really long time to get the gel polish off that my salon put on two weeks ago and I sat in front of acetone for so long that I think I got a little high. I read a tutorial and the official Gelish instructions and sort of went with that.
On one hand I filed the shiny stuff off and stuck cotton balls soaked in acetone on my nails and covered with foil. I soaked the other hand in acetone after doing the same file stunt on those surfaces too. Both methods worked about the same, which is to say they were both kind of half-ass. The polish mostly came of easily but both required a bit of light scraping; the bottom coat was still there and a bit shiny. I worked for a while to get it gone.
After that though? Smooth sailing. The polish went on easily (much more simply than regular polish for me) the light cured it and TA-DA pretty nails. Really, they look way better than any nail polish I’ve ever applied myself and I think they look just as good as the salon and I figure I only have to do them three times at home and the setup has paid for itself in salon visits I didn’t have to endure painful chatty small talk at.
1. I am hosting a party for my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary. Not fifty, SIXTY. SIX-OH YEARS! That’s a lot of years.
Aren’t they the most adorable? I think there will be a lot of people at my house for dinner which is going to be a BIG DEAL because I infrequently have a lot of people over for dinner. (I think caterers will be required, yes? Yes. No cooking for me that night.) I am elbow-deep over at Pinterest with decor ideas and I’ve even been to Hobby Lobby and used the first of several 40% off coupons AND there’s even a shortish list of home improvement projects to be completed before the party. I’m very excited! Parties! I LOVE PARTIES!
2. Mad Men this week was SO GOOD, wasn’t it? It was like, a REAL episode that was entertaining and funny and cute and actual things happened to move the storyline measurably forward and I didn’t even have to read a recap afterwards to understand it (that always makes me feel pretty stupid).
3. I want to read a blog titled something like, “Recipes You Need To Open A Bottle Of Wine For, But Do Not Need The Entire Bottle To Actually Cook With So Go Ahead And Pour Yourself A Glass.” Does anyone know if this blog exists?
4. Chris and I were talking the other day about what digital, non-tangible things we pay for in this house. We’ve come a long way from 2008 with our first iPhones, when we thought paying for apps was something suckers did. (Like, really, A LONG WAY. Chris, uh, builds apps for paying clients these days.)
We started to make a list of what we pay for on the regular:
- Flickr Pro for both of us
- Pandora (him)
- Apps and games of all kinds on the iOS platform but also some Android
- Digital movie purchases and rentals (Amazon)
- Hosting (Bluehost)
- Books, via iBooks
There are probably more, but the idea that I used to be NOT comfortable paying for things like this and now I’m all “CLICK TO BUY WOO!” is, I think, a big shift. Is there anything digital your family pays for outside this list? I am not exactly looking for reasons to spend money but there’s a good chance that if YOU are buying something I’m NOT? I might want to buy it and you should enlighten me about ways to improve my life.
5. I met a person the other day that was very self-involved and only talked about their family and their own stuff. And it didn’t come off as snooty or annoying in person, but after the fact I was kind of, I don’t know, MIFFED that this person was so All About Me. I stewed on this for a few days and I finally realized that it wasn’t the ME ME ME talk that was bothersome, it was just the simple fact that this person was BORING. The ME ME ME was only excruciating to listen to because it was so terribly boooooooring. I’d listen to ME ME ME from Nelson Mandela all day. (The better part of a week, probably.) This person? Nope. An hour was more than enough.
6. When there are five people in the house and one of them barfs pretty regularly and you’re just coming off a week of sick kids it is absolutely incredible how much laundry can accrue. INCREDIBLE.
7. Charlotte is two. Her birthday was yesterday and we got an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins and we sang Happy Birthday and Claire blew her candles out and she clapped her fat little hands and smiled and sang along with us and it was just exactly the kind of fabric that I hoped my life would some day be made of. Exactly.
PS The “loaf” version of a Baskin Robbins cake has a VERY FAVORABLE cake-to-ice-cream ratio. (LOTS OF ICE CREAM, LITTLE CAKE.)