Monday, August 11, 2014

Ireland Getaway 2014- Post 12- Our Final Days...

Our final days in Ireland were spent exclusively in Dublin. We had turned in our rental car with a huge sigh of relief- Dublin is not a city to drive in if it can be helped and I know after 2 weeks of being the sole driver my husband was ready to turn in the keys. As much as we love road trips (and we LOVE road trips) I think we were both eager to just walk out the front door of our hotel and have everything easily accessible.

The Budget car rental office is located quite a ways from Dublin city center but lucky for us there was a bus stop right in front of it. The bus route didn't take us exactly where we wanted to go but it got us close enough and allowed us to wander the city on foot, taking in things you just miss if you're zooming by in a car.

We wandered by the River Liffey to the Old Jameson Distillery in the Northside of Dublin in Smithfield. This area was completely rejuvenated in the late 90's- the 120 year old cobblestones were lifted, cleaned and re-layed by hand. We chose not to take a tour of the distillery, trying to watch our budget at this point but we did walk around the foyer and of course the gift shop. A few goodies made their way into our luggage from that gift shop, we just couldn't leave empty handed!

After the Old Jameson Distillery we stayed on the alcohol trail and walked to the Guinness Storehouse. This is quite a walk and it started to drizzle. Even though we didn't have a definite route marked out my husband, once again proving that he's as good as a GPS most days, found our way to the storehouse. We came at it from a direction that didn't have many signs so I'm guessing he found it by smell. By now the drizzle turned into a sprinkle and the umbrella came out. Once again we chose to forgo the tour- I have done it before and my husband wasn't interested enough to pay the ticket price so we wandered back towards Christchurch Cathedral after lingering outside and taking in the large storehouse. I'm glad we took the time to walk all the way to the Storehouse, with the drizzle it was so atmospheric to walk along the shiny, wet cobblestones. With no one else around you could easily be transported to it's 1902 heyday. 

Once again we didn't consult a map so we meandered and took our time finding our way back go our hotel.  It was such a lovely way to end our time in Ireland. Personally I'm so horrible with my sense of direction ( as I've mentioned many times previously) I would never have done that on my own but being with my husband I could just relax, take it all in and trust that we'd get where we needed to be with maybe an adventure or two along the way. 

Ireland will always be a place I will want to return to.  It is firmly lodged in my heart and any chance I get to return, I will. I have agreed that our next overseas trip will be somewhere other than Ireland but I do know that there is a lot of life left to live and hopefully many, many more opportunies to travel and that someday I will be on the shores of Eire again. With that thought I said a bittersweet goodbye to my old friend and we flew back upwards and onwards, where unbeknownst to me I was set to embark on the next journey in my life. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Pommes Frites Candle Co.

What's an unexpected perk of working in a salon that is also a boutique? Being introduced to amazing products!! The latest thing on my list that may just break the bank?- Pommes Frites Candle Co.

Pommes Frites is a small Los Angeles based company that makes small batch, high quality candles from domestically grown soy wax. Besides the amazing apothecary style packaging, the unique scents are what really piqued my interest in this brand. Campfire? For reals? Aw yeah- now that is a candle scent! There is something to tickle everyone's olfactory nerve- florals, fruits, woods, seasonal aromatics. 

The one I chose to go home with first was No. 15 Gardenia & Coconut. The scent reminds me of something but I can't put my finger on it. It smells of something from my past and that something must be happy because I chose it over campfire (trust me, that will be next).

The Campfire seems to be in the lead for everyone's favorite but I think that Sweet Grapefruit is a close second. They also carry some of their scents in mini candles, which I fully intend to take advantage of! I just might already have a few in my cart on their Etsy store (psst, Eucalyptus and Neroli, anyone?! Oh yes!)

For those of you in the San Luis Obispo area Hive Natural Beauty Collective is carrying a select group of scents* so come on in!! For everyone else that it outside the San Luis Obispo area these candles can be purchased from their Etsy store.

*Scents currently available at Hive: Gardenia and Coconut, Campfire, Teakwood and Tobacco, Sweet Grapefruit, Amber and Moss. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

4 Current Lip Obsessions

I have some new lip obsessions at the moment. It doesn't matter what reason I enter Sephora for I always come out with a lip product it seems. I'm a lipgloss, lipstick, lip balm queen. As I mentioned in my previous lip post (HERE) I'm forever obsessed with Bite Beauty. I swoon each time they come out with their seasonal limited lip items. 3 of my latest obsessions are from Bite Beauty and one is from Marc Jacobs Beauty.  Here's the breakdown of my current faves!

BB for Lips in Tawny

This sheer tinted lip balm feels heavenly. If there's one thing I hate it's sticky lipgloss. This glides on and just gives you a hint of color. This is my current go-to when I don't want to go full on lipstick or bright color, but I still want a hint of something on my lips. SPF 15.

Deconstructed Rose Lipstick in Centifolia
*limited edition (still available on the Sephora website as of 8/3/14)

Oh my goodness if you like the smell of roses then this is for you. Inspired by the ever changing colors of a rose the 4 limited edition colors smell both heavenly and are ultra hydrating. This color is described as muted peach but in person I would say it's a bright coral. 

Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Sucré

I'm in love. This is the one I want to grab the most. It is the newest addition to my lip bag and the one I'm currently planning outfits around! This matte lip crayon is not dry at all- it glides on evenly and has enough viscosity that I can rub my lips together to spread the product with no problem. What I like about this heavily pigmented crayon is that it stains my lips so even an hour after application I have some color to my lips. I also like the versatility- if applied directly from the tube you get more color saturation but if I just want a hint or a wee bit lighter I'll use my finger to apply it from the crayon. For an example of what it looks like applied with my fingers see THIS photo from my Instagram feed. (cheerupoldbean)

Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl- Full in Fame

This is a high maintenance product. I have to use a flesh toned waxy lip pencil to line the edges of my lips or this product bleeds. Nothing to make you feel old like a lip product that bleeds!! I don't wear this that often because of that but when I do it's like a party on my lips! It's minty tingle-y and whoa does it shine! They're not kidding when they call it Lip Vinyl! If you don't have a problem with colors bleeding passed your lip lines then this highly pigmented minty gloss is for you. (for a better pic of what this looks like on see THIS pic from my Instagram feed.

*to view swatches of these colors see THIS photo from my instagram feed @cheerupoldbean

So there's my current lip favorites! I'm back in the posting saddle again so expect more to come- lots of product reviews and the final Ireland post coming (cue tears- there's a reason I've procrastinated on that one)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ireland Getaway 2014- Post 11- Happy Birthday to me, Dublin style

I chose to spend my birthday back in the heart of Dublin. Dublin quickly shot up the list of my favorite cities while on this trip. My previous experience with the city did not leave me impressed, I didn't dislike it but I wasn't in love. I now know it is because we didn't stay in the city but at a B&B on the outskirts. To truly love Dublin you need to stay in the heart of the city. You want to step out the door and find yourself on a busy sidewalk, minutes from Grafton Street or Trinity Colllege.

Dublin is a truly walkable city that is easy to navigate and that is one reason I loved it. I am not good with directions. I will be the first to admit that I competely suck at navigation and maps. I have no sense of direction whatsoever!! GPS is my best friend. Dublin is a place that even I could navigate! I even ventured out on my own while my husband slept off his cold. I would never had attempted that if I didn't feel completely comfortable.

What I was most excited about was spending my birthday in Dublin. With Grafton Street close by and a bit of money set aside for birthday shopping, it was a really special and relaxing day.  I never thought I'd be able to say that I went to a foreign country for my birthday- we're just not jetsetters like that so this birthday will go down in the books as amazing just for the sheer fact that we were in Ireland. 

The morning of my birthday started with our very first time sleeping in during the whole trip! It was the first day that we didn't need to be somewhere by a specific time or be on the road as early as possible to make the most of the short amount of daylight that winter in a Northern European country provides. What a wonderful way to start the day! No alarm, no early morning breakfast calls and NO pb&j to make and pack for our picnic on the road! We lived off of pb&j! I'm not kidding! Our first day out of Dublin at the beginning of the trip we went in search of a Tesco and loaded up on the best sliced loaf of bread I've ever had, quality peanut butter and Bonne Maman jam that was half the cost of what it is in the States! We ate that we were in Ireland- except my birthday- my birthday was reserved for the most sinful bagel and egg breakfast sandwich I've ever had, fancy fish & chips and of course: dessert!

The moment we arrived in Dublin all of those days earlier, I was drawn to a place called Queen of Tarts. I knew that my birthday treat would come from this little place with the cheeky name.  I have a serious sweet tooth, so no special ocassion goes by without some sort of sweet treat- it's mandatory! Normally birthdays for me equal cake or a cupcake but as soon as we stepped into Queen of Tarts my eyes fell on the lemon meringue tart and I just knew that this was the treat of all treats to end my Dublin birthday extravaganza with! But I'm getting ahead of myself- the tart will have to wait!

The first thing on the agenda for my Dublin birthday was shopping! We had both resisted buying too many things. The only souvenirs we bought were from the Giant's Causeway (a tin whistle which quickly became the soundtrack to the latter half of the trip) and a few books from Trinity College (traditional Irish baking and Celtic lettering- can I get a nerdy woot?!), otherwise our main purchases had been food and admission to a few places. We were trying to be frugal with money as well as space in our suitcases. I desperately wanted to find a pair of shoes- my first trip to Dublin I found an amazing, avant garde pair of clunkers that I wore until they literally fell apart around my feet, and I was hoping to start a tradition.

In a city the size of Dublin you'd think that would be an easy feat- no pun intended. Unfortuantely for me, I had a specific type of shoe that I wanted. I saw them all over the feet of the stylish ladies of Dublin and yet I couldn't find them in a single store. Trust me, I looked. My poor husband had to go into every single store that sold footwear. Nope, none, zilch. The only thing I could think was that they were from a previous season and I was out of luck. So, since I am stubborn and refused to broaden my horizons I had no success in the shoe departement. I did however manage to find things to buy, in case you were worried. I don't regret not finding shoes but I do regret very much walking away from the Benetton jacket that I was eyeing. At the time I had just had a mini shopping spree at a different store so in my mind I couldn't justify buying the jacket even though it was on sale. A word of advice- if you find yourself loving an article of clothing in a foreign country and said purchase isn't going to make you homeless upon your return then BUY IT! I walked away from it, decided I could just order it online if I regretted it and left it at that. But I thought about that damn jacket every day before we left. And guess what?! You CAN'T order it online because it was only available in European stores and you won't find that out until you are sitting thousands of miles away having NON-buyers remorse. Sheesh- I might still be a teensy weensy bit upset that I walked away from it...

The one and only time we had fish & chips on this trip was my birthday night. We chose the Copper Alley Bistro because it had a small, intimate setting and a view of bustling Dame Street. The food was delicious but the restaurant was dead quiet- we were the only customers due to our habit of eating dinner early so that made it all feel a bit awkward. At least my husband and I enjoy each other's company and never lack for conversation- althought the rare times we do, we can sit in companionable silence and just be together. 

The day ended with the aforementioned visit to Queen of Tarts. We ended up going twice before we left Ireland and our first venture was at their Cows Lane location in the Temple Bar area of Dublin, very near to our hotel. Something I've learned about Dublin (and London for that matter) is that places tend to close early (unless it's a pub of course). We walked in just before 7pm and were informed that they were closing- but the hostess immediately offered to put in a to-go order for us. We had intended to get our treats to go anyway so we didn't feel inconvenienced, just surprised that a cafe serves dinner and desserts was closing so early in the city center. Do yourself a favor and get something to go even if you plan to acutally eat there- the to-go box is the cutest thing ever- it reminds me of the Mendl's box from The Grand Budapest Hotel.

It was such a wonderful birthday in a place that is very dear to my heart. I wish I could make it a tradition and go every year, but alas it's too far away and not realistic financially. Everyone should be able to celebrate their birthday with people they love in a place that renews their spirits and fills their heart. I know how very lucky I was to be able to do just that. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Welcome To The Hive...

I rarely talk about my day job, and I've never mentioned anything about my workplace. This has been on purpose- I like to keep that part of my life separate, but recently I've made some big changes in that department and I've decided to break my own rule. I want to introduce you to my new home away from home, some of the people in it and what we get up to on our days off (photoshoot!) 

Marcia, the Creative Director and Owner of Hive Natural Beauty Collective likes to keep things lively and fresh, the aesthetic is constantly changing. Already, only a matter of 10 days after these photos were taken we have a new arrangement of displays. 

I was lucky enough to have been offered an opportunity to work here at a time of great changes. What once was a salon of only 4 chairs is now a salon of 6 chairs. What once was a breakroom is now my work home. With the structural changes also comes digital and design changes. Hive Natural Beauty Collective will soon boast a new website. A streamlined, fancy website. When this website goes live you will be able to feast your eyes on gorgeous images shot by Michelle Roller Photography, designed and styled by the ladies of Hive. 

We got in on the action too. There just might be a bio or two and well... some headshots. I give you fair warning that we all had to get up really early for these headshots and can not be held responsible for the outcome if we look it! Actually in all seriousness I work with some stunning ladies, who also happen to be real gems, with kind hearts and wicked senses of humor, who make me happy to go to work each and every day. 

My favorite picture of the day- featuring Marcia

Noelle, getting direction

Ali, ready for her close up

Lindsey greeting Michelle, our photographer for the day

Ruth in a moment of contemplation before her headshot

Nichole walks to the orange wall

Kelsey strikes a pose.

Monica all dolled up and photo ready

Terez holding her own in front of the camera

talking strategy and preparing the station

Monica and Lindsay sharing a laugh. My other favorite photo from the day.

Making magic happen.

Marcia taking control of that topknot and showing it who's boss!

When the website is up and running I'll do a part two of this post. I'm really proud of everything we did that day, and happy to have been even just a small part of it. There is so much more than what was captured here but I can't let the cat completely out of the bag now can I?!

*Thank you to my co-workers for allowing me to stick a camera in their faces. I love nothing better than documenting the "behind the scenes" action. 

Thank you: Marcia, Kelsey, Lindsey, Monica, Noelle, Terez, Ruth, Ali and Nichole. 

Follow Hive on Instagram at: Hive_beauty